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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? 

AI in sales is the process of taking the knowledge held within your sales team 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 issues that sales teams have, is to comb the sales data for sales opportunities which can be incredibly difficult when your business is awash with data.  

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

  • transforming data into intelligent insights on every customer, product and sales touchpoints. 
  • 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 data that can be ranked by opportunity value. This data is often already available in your business but deeply buried.  

For an instance, once you use any sales intelligence software then the sales users will be notified of a particular customer that needs to be spoken with, where 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 a 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 then let the system know whether this was a viable opportunity or not, the algorithm then grows stronger and becomes more effective. 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 round in circles. Here are some of the most common challenges that you may face if you don’t use AI for your sales management: 

1. Unable to quickly identify sales gaps 

Salespeople often struggle to identify the gaps in their funnels typically where 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. They may be able to notice an overall decline in sales, however, they may find it really challenging to stop this happening in real time and at a product level. 

2. Sales data mismanagement 

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

3. Lack of insightful data on-the-go 

Many sales teams have their reps on the field and often struggle with them being efficient and productive 100% of their 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 no sales intelligence, all the sales team have is historic sales data in place find it challenging to understand buying behaviour of their customers. Whereas AI-assisted sales systems alert the sales managers or reps with the accounts that have the potential to cross-purchase in a similar product line or the top candidates to pitch new products with 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 optimises: 

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 can help your teams to 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 & ML can help pitch the relevant products that have a higher chance of getting sole and satisfying the consumer. Such insights can help you to 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 

The 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 get all these three boxes ticked. Without the sales intelligence data, salespeople are likely to pitch and sell without an account-based sales strategy. Whereas 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 team’s overall efficiency targets. According to McKinsey’s report, over 30% of tasks of any sales team like strategy, planning, reporting, and order management can be automated. Imagine owning an intelligent platform to manage your sales providing you with information on the regions your sales are declining in, your most efficient sales reps with 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, at the same moment your sales managers are left with more time to spare and focus on overall business goals.

5. Sales visibility: By offering real-time insights 

Every benefit of using AI for sales management we discussed so far is underpinned by the real-time insights provided at every step of your sales process. These insights inform your sales KPIs, sharing greater visibility into your sales performance and helping with continuous improvement and growth of your sales teams.  

Revolutionising the way we sell…  

With more and more sales teams adopting sales AI platforms, the landscape has never been more competitive. You should motivate your sales team, if the team is facing challenges in adopting a sales intelligence system. 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 & 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 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 or book your free demo with us. 

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