Do you know that an average sales team spends just 15 hours for selling out of their 40 hours per week schedule? A research by Salesforce says “25% of a sales representative’s week is dedicated to large volumes of administrative tasks“. This opens up an immense possibility where some of the sales operations could be automated using AI.
Intelligent Process Automation and AI have changed the sales landscape completely. Earlier RPA (Robotic Process Automation) was used to automate the monotonous tasks done by humans like processing and manipulating data. RPA was in the business since the year 2000 making repetitive tasks simpler and easier and was also applied to several manual tasks to increase efficiency. But RPA had some constraints, so it was combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to bring out more intelligent responses, automated process and analyze large volumes of data. Intelligent process automation (IPA) goes beyond basic automation, it understands complex tasks that requires cognitive approach, that are repetitive and too boring for humans to perform.
Sales automation comes as a blessing to the sales teams as it helps to ease a sales rep regular task. It increases productivity, sales and revenue. Frost & Sullivan project that the Sales Automation will rise to $4.13 billion by 2028. Sales Automation gives a lot of advantages to marketers as it offers more leads, more productivity, and more sales and minimizes the age old manual tasks.
What sales operations could be automated using AI to enhance productivity:
AI helps in managing customers well as the tedious task of email content curation is done by AI-based systems. The AI algorithms track email browsing data of a subscriber to understand how a customer interacts with the content. By doing so, AI systems generate more personalized email content that can be sent to customers on an individual basis. This saves lots of time and allows sales reps to send more relevant messages to the right customer at the right time.
AI-enabled chatbots have changed the entire customer experience scenario. Personalized packaging is the new trend followed by brands today, as every customer is different; they look for different things when they visit your website. Chatbots fix problem automatically before a customer even realizes there is a problem. The Chatbots or Salesbots are designed to react proactively and create smart experience for the customers. The Chatbots offers live conversations and can streamline the entire purchasing process for the customer.
Oxford study predicts that 47% jobs will be automated by 2033. AI-powered tools store customer information and communicate better with the customers. Customers are unpredictable and they have several questions and doubts in the buying process. This is where AI-driven assistants come in to help the sales teams as they manage all kinds of customer queries easily. Salespeople spend their maximum time in searching leads, making indefinite calls, processing transactions and doing all the mundane tasks. AI helps in doing all these tasks and allows sales reps to build relationship with the clients. By building relationship with the customer, brands have a competitive advantage and can see enhanced customer engagement.
A sales funnel is a process of attracting leads, creating awareness about the brand, motivating them to take a decision and finally asking the leads to take an action. It involves narrowing, analyzing and following up on the leads. If the brand doesn’t create any awareness and initiate leads, then the sales funnel will collapse easily. Thus, leads that enter a company’s marketing funnel are “sales ready”. AI-driven systems help companies to match customer profiles and create an ideal list of prospects that fall in “sales ready” category. As soon as a customer enters into the sales funnel, AI tools segregate them into different groups on the basis of location, demographics, choices and actions. This allows for better lead management and converts potential customers into loyal ones.
AI-driven systems store every single data about a customer. Organizations can retrieve and process data any time so as to a) improve the accuracy of targeting, b) enhance the precision in messaging, c) reaching the right customer, and d) connecting with the right touch points. Smart AI-driven systems will bridge the gap between inbound marketing and outbound sales development. AI systems also allow marketers to target the right customer personas with the best messaging content and appropriate marketing channels – all of which are optimized together yielding enhanced customer service.
Sales automation helps in giving direct access to all the data like sales figures, customer data, complaints, reviews, and other activities. AI driven systems allow for deeper insights into customer data and helps in measuring overall sales revenue and success. This way sales team can use one system for all the sales related activities. They can store, organize and access data from anywhere through a single log-in.
As mentioned above, some of the Sales operations could be automated using AI that result in improved collaboration to identify leads, right content delivery, appropriate messaging, automating processes, analytics and strategy. With AI running in the background, human employees can work better in the forefront and run the sales process efficiently.