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Role of AI in sales and why sales teams should adopt it

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What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) in sales? 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in sales is the process of taking the knowledge held within your sales data and enhancing it using computer algorithms. This might take the form of logic, if-then rules, decision trees, and machine learning (ML) applied to sales or CRM data.

One of the biggest issues that sales teams face is combing through their data for sales opportunities, which can be incredibly difficult and time-consuming when your business is awash with data, usually from multiple sources.

Hence, for many businesses, AI is at the heart of smarter selling by:

  • transforming data into intelligent insights on every customer, product, and sales touchpoint.
  • empowering salespeople with data-driven, actionable, and real-time insights to have sales-focused conversations.

What is the role of AI in sales management? 

AI-assisted sales management is a completely different approach from the traditional sales management process. Instead of pushing your salespeople to start with a blank sheet of paper and no intelligence on their customers, they’re equipped with easy-to-read and actionable sales insights that can be ranked by opportunity value. This data is often already available in your business but is deeply buried.

Once you begin integrating sales intelligence software, users will be notified of a particular customer that needs to be spoken with, wherein the purpose of the call is mapped out for them based on their sales history. Even better, up-sell, cross-sell, and swap-sell opportunities are outlined at the product level, so it’s easy to increase revenue with minimal data analysis efforts.

Remember, your data is a sales goldmine! Each engagement with a buyer generates data that can give insights into your sales activities. The vital step is to let the system know whether that was a viable opportunity or not. The algorithm then grows stronger and becomes more effective over time. By collating, analysing, and presenting that data effectively, sales AI helps to drive faster revenue growth and ensures you are maximising sales opportunities from existing customers.

Most common sales management challenges 

A sales team that lacks AI-led insights for sales prospecting often finds itself off track or spinning in circles. Here are some of the most common challenges that you may face if you don’t use AI for your sales data management:

1. Unable to quickly identify sales gaps 

Salespeople often struggle to identify the gaps in their funnel, typically when they have a large portfolio of customers. Without a thoroughly implemented sales management system, it is hard for the team to identify changes in sales patterns. Of course, they may be able to notice an overall decline in sales. However, they may find it challenging to stop this from happening in real time and at a product level.

2. Sales data mismanagement 

One of the biggest challenges for sales teams is simply managing their sales data. As we mentioned earlier, data, if used correctly, can be a sales goldmine. When it comes to making informed data decisions, sales teams often struggle, especially if they're not already using an intelligence platform to manage their mountains of sales data.

3. Lack of insightful data on-the-go 

Many sales teams have reps in the field who often struggle with being efficient and productive 100% of the time. Unlike inside sales teams, field-based sales reps often struggle to access information and reports on handheld devices, particularly if mobile coverage in that area is poor.

4. Missed cross-sell and upsell opportunities 

Without a sales intelligence tool, all sales teams have to work with is historic sales data. As such, they can find it challenging to understand the overall buying behaviour of their customers. AI-assisted sales systems can alert sales managers or reps to accounts that have the highest potential for cross-purchase in a similar product line or the top candidates to pitch new products with a higher purchase value.

What are the benefits of using AI in sales? 

A sales analytics platform integrated with artificial intelligence can deliver several benefits to your business and optimise: 

1. Sales profitability – By accelerating revenue growth 

The primary benefit of AI-powered selling is accelerating revenue growth. By giving stronger data insights into cross-sell, switch-sell, and up-sell opportunities, AI-guided selling maximises efficiency and streamlines your sales team’s efforts. That enables you to focus on the most lucrative opportunities, which have the highest chance of conversion, supporting revenue growth targets.

2. Sales retention – By improving customer satisfaction 

Sales prospecting backed by AI-guided insights will help your teams demonstrate a deeper understanding of your customers while ensuring that you ask the right questions at the right time. To enhance customer satisfaction, the sales data extracted using AI and ML can help pitch the relevant products that have a higher chance of getting sold and satisfying the consumer. Such insights can help you stay one step ahead of your competitors and cement your future growth. It can also help to remove bottlenecks and improve sales efficiency.

3. Sales Growth – By boosting conversion rate 

Your conversion rate is affected by what you are selling, to whom you are selling, and when you are selling. To boost the rate of sales conversion for your business, you must check all three boxes. Without sales intelligence data, salespeople are likely to pitch and sell without an account-based sales strategy. AI-guided selling equips the teams with data points on a specific customer’s purchase behaviour and patterns. The right data empowers salespeople’s ability to sell more.

4. Sales efficiency – By automating sales tasks

The core benefit of using AI in sales is to automate recurring tasks and hit your team’s overall efficiency targets. According to a McKinsey report, over 30% of the tasks of any sales team, like strategy, planning, reporting, and order management, can be automated. Imagine owning an intelligent platform that manages the entirety of your sales data, providing you with information on the regions your sales are declining in, your most efficient sales reps with the highest sales acquisition, and the sales gaps highlighting who stopped buying from you and to whom you should sell similar products. The moment sales automation is in place for your business, your sales managers are left with more time to spare and can pivot to focus on your overall business goals.

5. Sales visibility: By offering real-time insights 

The real-time insights of AI underpin every benefit we've talked about so far. These insights inform your sales KPIs, provide greater visibility into your sales performance, and help with the continuous improvement and growth of your sales team.

Revolutionising the way we sell…  

With more and more sales teams adopting sales AI platforms, the landscape has never been more competitive. AI-guided selling is more than a ‘nice-to-have’ to reshape your business’ sales strategy. It is fast becoming an essential component of a successful sales pipeline in today’s challenging and dynamic sales environment. Advancements in AI and ML are powering the future of sales by increasing sales efficiency and streamlining business growth.

sales-i, your sales intelligence solution, not only empowers your sales team with all the actionable information but also provides them with real-time insights to sell smart every day.

To see the difference sales-i’s AI-guided selling solution can make to your business, get in touch with us or book your free demo today!

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