How artificial intelligence is changing sales

Companies are using artificial intelligence in all kinds of innovative ways to advance their businesses. AI algorithms can be used to power any company’s decision-making process, helping you make better business predictions.

Here are five specific areas where they can be leveraged to help your sales team sell more:

PRICE OPTIMIZATION: Knowing what discount, if any, to give a client is always a tricky situation. Today, an AI algorithm could tell you what the ideal discount rate should be for a proposal to ensure that you’re most likely to win the deal by looking at specific features of each past deal that was won or lost.

FORECASTING: Using an AI algorithm, managers are now able to predict with a high degree of accuracy next quarter’s revenue.

UPSELLING AND CROSS-SELLING: You can spend a lot of money on marketing to those who won’t buy, or you can use an AI algorithm to help identify which of your existing clients are more likely to buy a better version of what they currently own (upsell) and/or which are most likely to want a new product offering altogether (cross-sell).

LEAD SCORING: With AI, the algorithm can compile historical information about a client, along with social media postings and the salesperson’s customer interaction history and rank the opportunities or leads in the pipeline according to their chances of closing successfully.

MANAGING FOR PERFORMANCE: Using AI, sales managers can now use dashboards to visually see which salespeople are likely to hit their quotas along with which outstanding deals stand a good chance of being closed.

In each of the five examples above, the quantity of gathered data used will increase the algorithm’s ability to give a more accurate prediction, which in turn will drive behavior. This is key. The value of any prediction lies in how it can be used to guide a salesperson’s or manager’s behavior to improve the company’s bottom line. If data is indeed the new oil, then companies who can capture the data, analyze it, and generate actionable insights will have salespeople who’ll be able to close more deals, more often.

(Victor Antonio is co-author of “Sales Ex Machina: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the World of Selling.”)

Info: https://www.businessdayonline.com/hbr/article/artificial-intelligence-changing-sales/

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