If you think AI is a recent phenomenon, then this nugget might amuse you. While the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was first coined in 1955, the concept of AI was first discussed in ‘Ars generalis ultima’ (The Ultimate General Art) by Ramon Lull in 1308 CE*.
Now that was a very long time ago! Today, AI has touched many aspects of our lives. It seems to be everywhere. Whether it is video recommendations on YouTube, product recommendations on Amazon, or traffic predictions on Google Maps, AI-based algorithms are helping us every day. We are all benefiting from it in one way or another in our personal lives.
AI has made inroads at work too – in improving business functions. In factories, AI is improving safety and productivity. In HR, AI helps employees get real-time help on leaves and payroll questions. In marketing, AI can help target the right audience for a campaign. In customer service, AI provides real-time responses for FAQs via chatbots and frees up agents’ time to work on complex queries.
AI in Sales Once we demystify AI, it is easy to see why it can be effective in the sales process too. AI reads patterns in historical data with great accuracy. Specifically, patterns, where certain early-stage behavior along with the profile might lead to a specific future behavior or outcome. Consider the following instances:
- Email status: Whether an email will be opened or not when it is sent at a specific time.
- Document: Whether a document has helped or not in advancing to a later stage, etc.
Now each individual and each client is different. When you have thousands of them, and possibly hundreds of data points for each one, patterns will emerge. AI was built to read patterns and has advanced to a level where little or no manual intervention is required. AI systems can comb through vast amounts of data and repeat the process thousands of times to find patterns leading to specific outcomes (for example, deal won or lost). Some AI models have inbuilt mechanisms to improve accuracy by predicting on historical data and verifying whether predictions are matching to their actual results, and iterating it over and over with adjustments until the accuracy rate is high.
Sales teams have already started to gain from AI-based applications that ultimately help them win more deals, and close deals faster.
Here are 15 critical areas in sales that can benefit from AI.
Lead & MQL Stage
- Profile Enrichment
- Lead scoring
- Show duplicates
- Best time to contact
- Email assistant
- Document recommendations
- Idle contact reminders
- Deal score
- Deal alerts & Task recommendations
- Sales reps if a decision-maker is not yet identified but the deal moves into the ‘Qualified’ stage.
- Managers if the client profile fit is low for a deal, and they need to step in to offer guidance to sales reps.
- Action-Items from emails, calls & meetings
- Price optimization
- Upselling & Cross-Selling
Sales Managers Sales leaders want to put salespersons in the best position to succeed. Besides needing accurate forecasts, they need timely alerts to assist with specific deals and find areas where salespersons need coaching. Here are some areas where AI can assist sales leaders.
- AI-based forecast
- Call analysis
Try Vtiger Calculus AI for free until March 31st 2021. It is time to put AI in the hands of your sales teams. Deal scoring, Deal recommendations, Email assistant, Call analysis, & Coaching features are all a part of Vtiger Calculus. Vtiger Calculus is an add-on that is available for Vtiger Sales & Vtiger One editions (Professional & Enterprise tiers).
References * – Here is a short history of AI written by Gil Press for Forbes and published on Dec 30, 2016.