Techopedia defines artificial intelligence or AI as an area of computer science involved in the creation of intelligent machines. Learning, the ability to manipulate and move objects, and problem solving are some of the traits programmers of AI intend to develop.
Today, the most common application of AI is in the tech industry from machines that perform tasks which are too dangerous for humans to Siri and similar voice-controlled assistants that you can ask to call someone or to search the web.
Experts are divided about whether artificial intelligence is good or bad for humanity. But many believe that AI will inevitably become a major part of our future.
The area of sales and marketing is no stranger to the use of AI tools. In fact, more than half of the leading marketing companies are already using AI while the rest are planning to do so in the next few years.
There are many reasons why sales and marketing AI works so well, and here are just some of them:
Artificial intelligence tools used in these fields are based on longstanding marketing strategies and techniques, such as product recommendations and predictive lead scoring.
Intelligent software can contact 100 percent of leads, maximizing a company’s revenue potential.
AI allows for more customer-centric campaigns, which makes the customers feel valued because of highly personalized messages and targetedThe internet and other developments in technology mean it’s easier than ever to reach a high number of potential buyers.
However, this also means that competition is fierce and that you need to differentiate your brand for customers to take notice of and buy from you.
Here are ways AI can help can improve your sales.
AI can perform mundane tasks, allowing sales professionals Most sales teams spend a bulk of their time doing repetitive tasks. Things such as qualifying leads that take them away from more valuable endeavors like closing sales and meeting sales goals.
In fact, advanced research and a lot of phone and email hours are spent just to qualify leads, taking up over 80 percent of sales reps’ time on average, according to Destination CRM. This leaves only 20 percent of the salespeople’s time for closing.
Artificial Intelligence revolutionizes sales by taking over the repetitive tasks of finding and sorting leads, monitoring the required orders, and communicating with customers and potential customers (among others) so your sales team can focus on increasing their conversion rates.
AI can provide valuable assistance to salespeople.
Certain sales and marketing AI tools can crunch numbers, identify patterns, and analyze vast amounts of data in a very short amount of time. These qualities make AI function as an extremely useful assistant to salespeople by providing them appropriate content and supplying upsell and cross-sell suggestions that are specifically targeted to each customer.
Because AI can analyze all sorts of information, including existing business relationships and new opportunities, it can help you tap into valuable areas that would have been unexplored otherwise.
AI is able to process more data.
On some level, sales is intuitive. Salespersons usually have an idea, no matter how vague, about which customers are likely to buy their products.
This instinctive knowledge is usually based on both actual sales experience as well as plain guesswork.
New sales and marketing AI tools, however, trump the way sales professionals identify potential leads by taking the guesswork out of the equation.
They do this by analyzing the buyers’ profiles, which allows AI to pinpoint not only leads but also predict solutions. As well as suggest products that the potential customers need or might be interested in.
Data available to salespersons without the use of sales and marketing AI tools is limited to their own experiences, intuition, and perhaps the strategies your company prescribes, but all of these come up short, especially when you consider that a sheer amount of data relevant to sales has been created over the last year alone.
AI can improve sales without adding more sales personnel.
If you are like most companies, you’re always on the lookout for ways to increase your bottom line.
One way to do this is to hire more salespeople who perform key sales activities. However, doing so means a corresponding increase in costs, which can drive your revenue down.
AI provides the solution. Apart from allowing sales reps to devote more of their time closing sales, AI can analyze how top performing salespeople work and share the information with the rest of the sales team.
This gives everyone the opportunity to contribute, and provide the poorly performing individuals the tools they need to improve.
AI can help companies explore all areas of opportunity.
An artificial intelligence program can go through and analyze literally millions of data and see correlations and patterns that you could possibly overlook.
For example, it may discover that sending a follow-up email weekly can produce results for up to eight weeks after the first contact.
Or it might see a link between sending a particular pitch deck to potential customers before giving them a call, leading to more conversion.
These details may seem small but they can contribute to a better overall performance in the long run.
According to an article on Forbes, 53 percent of marketers intend to adopt artificial intelligence over the next two years.
In fact, research from Demandbase shows that 80 percent of all marketing executives surveyed see marketing AI as the next big thing, revolutionizing marketing by 2020.
If you haven’t explored the possibility of how AI can help your business, it’s time to consider it. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind.
Here are ways artificial intelligence can help in your marketing efforts.
AI can pave the way for “hype personalization.”
Perhaps the biggest way AI programs can transform marketing is their ability to come up with highly personalized messages. Messages based on in-depth knowledge of the behavior of potential customers, which allows you to anticipate the needs and desires of your customers.
Gone are the days when customers would tolerate impersonal auto-response emails. For some buyers, particularly B2B customers, a company that doesn’t personalize its communication with them is not worth their business.
This “hype personalization” of messages doesn’t just pertain to email or chat messages. But also to all sorts of content (more on this below) and dynamic websites and landing pages.
Another advantage of having access to customer’s profiles is the ability to gather data. Data that you can use in predictive marketing. Predictive marketing places you in a position where customers will be receptive to your message.
It gives marketers an edge over the competition who are still using traditional marketing methods and channels.
Marketing AI can generate brand-specific content that appeals to customers.
Artificial intelligence tools won’t be taking the place of writers anytime soon. But AI writing programs are already available so you can produce useful content that can increase your site’s traffic.
They are particularly useful for reporting on regular events that focus on specific data. Things such as market analysis, quarterly earnings reports, and even sports matches.
Last year, “Wordsmith,” which is an artificial intelligence writing tool, was able to create 1.5 billion pieces of content. This is an example of an AI program that is only expected to grow. And will likely become more popular in the coming years.
Again, “Wordsmith” won’t be able (yet) to write opinion columns or blog posts concerned with advice on industry-specific best practices, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if the software learns to do so in a few short years.
Marketing AI can also help with content curation. It’s is a great way to engage site visitors by presenting them with content that they would be interested in.
Subscription businesses, such as Netflix, are some of the companies that benefit most from content curation. The more a customer uses the service, the more data the AI tool has to use and the more accurate the recommendations become.
Another advantage of artificial intelligence is in ad targeting. AI can get at immense amounts of historical data and analyze which ads work best on which people as well as at what phase in the buying process.
As a result, you can accomplish more effective content and ad placement compared to traditional methods.
AI can help marketers make timely decisions.
Timing is crucial in both B2B and B2C sales situations. But identifying the right time to engage potential customers to get them to buy has been a challenge to both marketing and sales teams.
This is where artificial intelligence tools come in; they can help pinpoint when the right time is and assist you in making crucial marketing and sales decisions.
In addition, AI helps marketers quickly adjust to messaging and products, allowing you to create personalized messages and prevent a higher number of potential customers from slipping away.
AI allows better communication between customers and businesses.
A majority of customers today communicate through mobile devices and messaging apps. AI can help make it easier for you to connect with your customers through various tools, such as chatbots.
These types of online software interpret the buyers’ questions and can even complete orders for them.
The advantage of marketing AI over human marketers is that artificial intelligence can respond to all messages, making the customers feel valued. All which results in repeat business and continued engagement.
AI can help with predictive customer service.
Predictive analytics can be used in various ways, such as in analyzing the actions and features of customers who don’t make repeat buys or who unsubscribe from a service.
Understanding these behaviors will allow you to reach out to those customers through prompts, offers, or assistance and prevent losing them.
AI can empower marketers.
Artificial intelligence can perform routine, time-consuming tasks. Leaving the other tasks that require the “human” touch to you, the marketer. For example, sales and marketing AI software can screen emails as well as organize schedules and prioritize communications.
It can also collect, structure, and interpret data. This data can help you predict the best time and situation for delivering content across various channels.
Furthermore, AI can develop strategies that you can implement better since you have more time to devote on them. Additionally, you will have more opportunities to engage with your customers wherever they are.
There is no doubt that artificial intelligence has a lot of practical applications in both the present and the future. But there are still many who fear its potential for widespread use.
For one, it could render countless jobs redundant and eliminate the need for human intervention in various processes. There is also the possibility that AI could go rogue as several movies have portrayed.
Whatever the case, a company that doesn’t at least experiment with AI in their sales and marketing strategies will be turning its back on something that could potentially grow their business in ways they haven’t even dreamed of.
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