Artificial Intelligence has been a buzzword for too long, but it is only now that its impact is visible around us. Right from movie recommendations while watching Netflix to giving personalized results on Google search, AI is everywhere. Fears of machine domination aside, AI has been really transforming our lives in every aspect. Boosting sales could be the next fort it can conquer for you.
Improving sales is always a constant problem in any business. No matter much you are selling, the goal is always to sell more. While some solutions require innovative minds, others are usually redundant hard work. Artificial intelligence can step in and make the entire process more efficient and impactful, thus giving a boost to your sales. Here are 5 ways how it can achieve that:
1. Better leads
Lead generation is a very important concept in sales today. Put simply, lead generation is the seeding of interest in a consumer regarding the product/services you offer. However, the usual methods of lead generation often lead to dead ends; be it needs that are no longer valid or customer information that is now incorrect.
Artificial intelligence gives you better leads by gathering better data. The data could come from social networking sites like Facebook/Twitter or through traffic on your channels. The data is accurate, which results in better leads. Better leads mean more potential customers and thus better sales.
2. Predicting customer needs
A consistent problem faced in sales is matching the customer requirements and expectations. There is no scope to ask customers what they need in most cases, and hit-and-trial doesn't always give the desired results. Two core problems of this issue are:
● Understanding what the customer wants
● Informing the customer that you have what he needs
Artificial intelligence solves this problem through predictive analytics, a branch of AI that deals with processing data and predicting the behavior. Ever wondered how most e-commerce websites like Amazon seem to recommend products that you probably needed? Predictive analytics process all the available customer information, build a customer profile and tell you what they would probably need. This helps you build your pitch and increase your sales.
3. Retaining existing customers
Retaining existing customers is as important as getting new ones. Once you realize this, the question that remains is "How". The answer is easy. Customer retention is the same as getting new customer, minus the lead generation.
AI comes to the rescue here too. Using the same old method of predictive analytics aided with machine learning, you can build a model and teach it to analyze customer buying patterns. The model can then give you information like what was the lifetime of the product they last bought and when would the customer be requiring a new one while taking customer consumption habits into account.
As a result, you would be able to guess when the customer would need a replacement of the product. Ans that's the perfect time to send the pitch! It should be interesting to note that customers are 3 times more likely to go with the companies that offer them a product/service precisely when they need it.
4. Better productivity
Sales are never the most exciting of opportunities. While the end results are often exhilarating, the actual process of making successful sales is quite tedious. For every innovative task, there are 5 monotonous ones. Not to mention, too much monotony usually has negative effects on innovation too. In short, better sales requires better productivity of the people involved.
Interestingly, this can be achieved with artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence directly aids in automation, one of the key methods of improving employee productivity. In simple terms, routine tasks like maintaining customer profile and creating sales records could be automated using AI, keeping you free to focus on things that matter: sales.
Vital tools like CRM often have a heavy need for regular data entry work, which consumes a lot of time. However, vendors are now beginning to provide CRM tools with built-in automation capabilities for such tasks. All the hours you save from these routine tasks could be spent in following leads, creating relationships with clients and closing more deals. Artificial intelligence would take care of the tasks that you left behind. So, essentially it’s a win-win situation all the way.
5. Better efficiency
Efficiency is defined as the amount of work done in a certain period of time. In a competitive domain like sales, both the work is done and the time taken matters. There is a constant pressure to achieve more targets and close more deals. To improve efficiency, you can simply reduce the time taken to accomplish the same target. So, how do you do that?
Well, artificial intelligence can help you out. One of the most popular uses of artificial intelligence today is as personal assistants. Think of Siri, but customized for sales. Task-oriented tools can be integrated with AI to make things simpler for you, like scheduling meetings and taking notes. The right tools and information could be at your fingertips whenever you need them.
As a smart, digital assistant, AI can solve a lot of problems that would have otherwise consumed your personal time. Combine that with the automation of routine tasks like data entry. In the end, you notice that you save a lot of time, which can now be investing in making more sales.
Improving sales is an essential aspect of any business, and any technology that can assist in it should be appreciated. Artificial intelligence is already shaping the way our civilization do things, and sales are yet another field that can reap huge gains from it.