Have you ever thought to use AI to increase sales? In today’s society, the application of AI is apparent throughout many industries, including sales. 27% of global consumers say that AI can deliver better service than humans, 38% believe AI will soon improve customer service, and 73% of global consumers are willing to utilize AI if it makes their lives easier.
Chad Burmeister is a cofounder of Sales Ex Inc. Their company is rooted in the idea that AI can increase revenue, eliminate repetition, and make selling more efficient and effective.
Growing up, Chad had always been at the cutting edge of technology and was always looking for ways to make people’s lives more efficient.
Chad is officially releasing his book, AI for Sales, this Thanksgiving, November 28th along with Stu Heinecke’s Get the Meeting. If you buy both books on Amazon and send them a screenshot, you’ll get a dozen VIP conference codes for next year to attend events such as Sales 3.0 and AISP. With the codes, you’ll get a20% – 85% discount. Chad is encouraging everyone to read the books and meet the authors at the conferences.
Chad has seven virtual sellers who are commissioned, salespeople. The team has set up a daily data poll for these virtual sellers with a company called Lead 411. The data is fed into their CRM and the CRM goes through their email bot, a virtual assistant named Marissa Brown. They create preconfigured emails that filter through these virtual assistants so multiple batches of emails can be sent every day. The AIs are preprogrammed to have a “conversation” akin to what you see on a chat feature. When a person responds, the AIs can communicate with the prospects.
The chatbots can also set up meetings and appointments. The AIs chatbots are configured to know when to schedule an appointment. It knows when you’re out of the office or if you have time for a meeting.
One simple questions have about a thousand variations, such as the cost of a service or a product. The AI knows what to listen for and offers a very simple answer. It then replies with the cost, along with a link to your calendar so the prospect can set up a meeting.
As the business owner, you need to teach the AI to respond in a way that gets the highest level of conversion. If you are a BDR (Business Developer Representative)assigned to pulling data from a CRM and pushing the send button, then your job might be in jeopardy. However, most BDRS are doing more than just pulling data. They are also pulling relevant lists, and doing research. Additional tasks include figuring out which people to send emails to, writing a good email, and leaving a voicemail as needed.BDRs are responsible for a complex system of outreach.
Chad’s tools called BDR.AI executes 50 to 100 connection requests per day through LinkedIn and get over 100 emails a day on the same platform.
By using this software, they get five to fifteen meetings a month. As a result, the organization can work more efficiently. The AI allows the BDR more time to do other tasks. This would include getting on the phone to connect with people personally. This enables them to understand their customer’s needs and show a more personal interest to the prospects. The tools let the bots and humans do what they do best.
Tokyo, for example, pushed a 4-day work week and the results have shown about a 40% increase in productivity. That increase can be attributed to the use of AI in their respective industries.
Salespeople can do more with their day than just sitting in their offices, making appointments and making calls. They can now spend time with their families or take the Friday off to just improve their quality of life.
In the virtual world, somebody always gets to play God. While it’s true that salespeople can use AI to increase sales, there are also downsides in using it. Let’s consider the trolley car example and put yourself in the conductor’s shoes. As you’re going down the tracks, there are five people on the right side and one person on the left. You can’t stop the train so you have to pick a side to do an emergency stop. Many people would say to choose the left to minimize the damage.
However, let’s say the five people are wearing an orange jumpsuit and the one on the left is your child. In this scenario, there are many solutions and a million points of data to consider. Mathematician Chris Beal says it would take a very long time before we could put all that information in the system. He further added that the AI can only get to a certain point and then it’s up to us to make the final decision.
We tend to let the bots make the decision for us but think of the trolley dilemma. In hiring, the bot would go to the more qualified candidate. But who really determines the qualification?
In small companies, a decision like this is easy. It’s much more efficient to get a bot who can do a better job at a lesser cost. The same isn’t true for bigger companies where more political decisions are involved.
Chad believes that there will be a need for people to help companies make decisions about the ethical use and deployment of AIs.
AIs are helpful but you need to assess where they can be of help. It’s imperative to know your top three pains to be able to find the right solutions. A lot of companies get their lists wrong the first time because they fail to consider their ideal customer profile.
Always go for your target list to get the right people and give these lists to your reps. This keeps them from wasting their time looking for unqualified prospects.
Joe, the head of product from Inside View, says they can go into companies and take a look at their CRM to analyze all the closed deals Their best customer profiles are revealed after analyzing the transactions that have already happened.
These customers renew, they purchase when upselling is offered, and they pay on time. On the other side of the coin are the clients who don’t pay and don’t renew. Your goal as a sales company is to go after the best customers.
This is the area of AI that helps companies grow. It’s the ability to look at data and change the trajectory of the organization by leading sales reps to the right customers.
Salesdirector.AI is doing a great job of utilizing AI to improve its sales force. Their bots send messages by text and ask a series of questions pertaining to your sales schedules and appointments.
AIs are programmed to be efficient. It can go through huge amounts of data using a fraction of the time. By using AI, you can give your salespeople the tasks that they can focus on such as building trust and rapport as well as building human to human connections.
Reach out to Chad at SCALEX.AI. Use AI to increase sales and to always stay ahead of the game.
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Martin is the vice president of sales at Conversica, with 20 years of experience in sales. Conversica does conversational artificial intelligence for B2B and B2C.
Artificial intelligence is a series of algorithms that are statistical models looking to repeat tasks or transactions that happen on a routine basis.
Anti-lock brakes are a great example of AI. Many years ago, drivers were taught to pump the brakes when stopping to avoid having your car’s brakes lock up. ABS actually pumps the brakes for you. It’s a repetitive task that doesn’t require a human being.
In the business world, there are tasks that you don’t need to pay a human to do. The technology is artificial in the sense that it’s manmade. It’s intelligent because it can learn from its errors as well as from training models.
There are countless applications of AI in the sales space. AI can create a transcript of this conversation, evaluate past performance to predict the future and conversational AI which can handle some of the routine follow-up emails or tasks that happen in the sales process.
The ATM is a great example of the balance possible with AI. Thirty years ago, people stood in line at the bank to deposit checks or handle transactions.
When the ATM emerged, people feared that it would take jobs from bank tellers, and for a while it probably did.
Now, though, there are still tellers in banks, but many of those tellers became loan officers or financial advisors. There are actually more people in banks today than there were before the ATM.
ATMs removed some jobs but it allowed the creation of better jobs.
The means of operating evolves.
The number one task that all sales managers want their people to do but which sales reps hate doing is logging their activities in their CRM.
Those tasks are important but they are boring. If you don’t record your activity as you go, it stacks up on you.
It’s a mundane task that is automated now.
Think, too, about the follow-up of a lead. Leads are the most important thing marketing can give you. If you try to craft an email to 10 leads, eventually you end up doing copy and paste.
AI can help you create inviting messaging and engage the human that responds until the human rep can respond.
Transcription tools also help sales managers provide coaching to their team members. It can help with re-education and help to highlight the best parts of what your team is doing.
The next piece of AI is finding like-minded customers.
No matter how messy your databases, AI can look at your past wins and evaluate your current databases and identify those who are more likely to buy your products and services and engage with your company overall.
It’s one thing to find customers, but it’s another thing to keep customers and grow your customer base. You always want to make sure you’re talking to the right people.
AI can give you hard data about the conversations you’ve had that you can use to back up your efforts because human beings aren’t really good at assessing the subtleties of a changing market.
Big companies are like battleships and small companies are like speedboats. Small companies can be rocked by waves that can swamp the boat really quickly. Large companies can weather the waves better. AI can move an organization that is so large it doesn’t really feel the impact of smaller changes.
There are AI tools that help you understand your customers based upon what is in the news, and AI tools that help you track when it’s time to connect with your customer.
AI can make your time with your customer much more impactful.
Sales reps can also use AI to help with upselling to help you recognize when your customer is ready to engage in the buying cycle and to identify which customers are the best ones for you.
The best customers are the ones who have already bought from you before because you’ve overcome their initial fear and developed the relationship. They know what it’s like to deal with your products and services.
Conversica works in a traditional format as a revenue-generating tool for both sales and marketing. It’s engaging inbound leads and following up with leads.
It also provides the ability to engage with partner leads.
Conversica uses AI to identify upsell opportunities and to make sure customers meet their quarterly needs. The finance team uses it to help with collections.
Everywhere they can automate the conversational experience, Conversica uses AI.
Companies haven’t completely embraced AI for a couple of reasons.
No one has really thought about the technology and how it applies to their business. As a follow-on, there’s a great fear of the unknown.
Computers and phones once changed the dynamics of the work world by automating tasks.
Companies must have a roadmap of where they want to get and how AI can help them accomplish that. Failure to map out a plan will fall behind the competition. Those that do create a roadmap will be anywhere from 7 to 10 times more profitable.
Fear is fully understandable. Human beings resist change even though it happens all the time.
Adopt AI wisely. Find the areas where AI might serve you well. Set realistic expectations.
AI is a series of statistical algorithms made by people and trained by people. AI isn’t infallible.
It also won’t solve every problem your company has so don’t expect it to be a perfect cure. Along the way, you’ll uncover processes that are broken or struggles you didn’t realize existed.
AI isn’t a Hail Mary approach, but be willing to embrace change. It always happens.
Be totally, passionately into your customers. Understand their business and you’ll learn to recognize change before it actually happens.
This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.
Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.
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63% of sales leads don’t convert for at least 3 months. One reason is that many salespeople just don’t understand how to use the information they have that’s been sitting on their CRM this whole time.
My guest today. Anil Kaul is going to teach us how you can circumvent this issue through the power of AI.
Anil Kaul has grown a successful organization as the CEO of Absolutdata, a 15-year old data analytics company that help companies make informed and better decisions as well as empower sales teams to make better decisions. Sales is a combination of science and art for which their company can provide the “science” side of things. Listen in to find out how you can utilize technology to make your life so much easier!
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Anil:
Lessons from Anil’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer:
Why companies find it difficult to convert leads:
The role of a sales leader to move the process forward:
The sales leader needs to enable the sales team which of the leads they need to focus on and then determine the right strategy.
The role of the sales leader now is to provide the team with the right tools on the science side and the right kind of coaching and training on the art side of things.
The Role of AI:
Now is the time that AI will make a difference. One of the biggest challenges sales is facing as well as other departments is too much information coming from all directions and it’s difficult which pieces to take in with not enough time.
There is too much information that you only need to sift through only those that are relevant to you and that can make a difference.
AI can process a huge amount of data in terms of text, events, data, social media, etc. It’s good at figuring out what matters and what doesn’t. AI can now correlate and connect discrete pieces together based on these different pieces of information obtained.
How sales teams can take advantage of AI:
Change the mindset of leaving that burden on the sales individual because the organization itself has to take responsibility and AI needs to be done on an organization level.
How small businesses can get started with AI:
Absolutdata focuses on the salesperson and looks at what they need to do and what kind of information can be pulled up from the data they have.
Most small businesses have CRM systems and there is so much data sitting in that database that you can leverage by finding patterns that can help your sales team. Absolutdata can help you find out new opportunities you’re not aware of and also find out the most likely effective paths to closure.
They have access to the history of the customer, to the history of similar customers, and access to what your best salespeople have done. By combining these three, Absolutdata can give you the best recommendations on what your game plan can be. So you can focus on selling rather than spending extra time sitting down trying to figure out what your game plan should be so you become a significantly effective salesperson!
Who can best benefit from Absolutdata:
Larger sales teams and organizations are better suited to what they have since they have access to more data so that makes recommendations more robust.
They can also give tools to smaller organizations. They have a tool where you just give your quotas set for the beginning of the quarter and they can look at your sales history and tell you which customers are more likely to buy and which gap is the largest.This little tool simply sits on your phone and you can have access the necessary information you need to move that deal along.
Anil’s Major Takeaway:
Make sure you take the optimum value of the data the organization has because you make better money because the data is sitting there so just use it.
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