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Riding the AI Wave: Three Ways AI Can Shape the Future of Sales

Against the backdrop of economic uncertainty and a stringent labor market impacting businesses of all sizes, sales remain a key function of continuity and success. Add in the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence, and the result is a combination of high-impact factors affecting sales organizations.

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ChatGPT and Microsoft Azure have redefined the AI space, sparking an ongoing arms race to bring the next best innovation to market. AI-powered tools are being deployed at rates faster than ever, and while the use of AI in sales is not new—recent innovations can significantly enhance sales capabilities if leveraged correctly.

As we look ahead at how AI can shape the future of sales, I predict automating planning and operations functions to better inform day-to-day decision-making will be key. Below I dive deeper into the intersection of AI and sales, including aiding your sales team and tying AI to ROI.

Shaping the future of sales with Artificial Intelligence

AI capabilities now have the potential to identify the data that matters most to businesses. This can mean improving insights on customers or providing deep intelligence into business value. Regardless, the goal is to automate and streamline processes to improve efficiency across the sales and go-to-market process. By relying on the live intelligence of existing customer bases, sales organizations can decrease churn while strengthening retention rates at the same time.

AI can also assist with customer strategy by building an expansion and cross-sell strategy. With the combination of intelligent value analysis models and dynamic market data sales teams are more equipped, to prove customer value while enhancing discovery, and generating more leads. In a similar sense, sales organizations can use AI to analyze an existing customer base and make better predictive model decisions. By tracking business impact, sales organizations can cross and up-sell easier and make renewals undeniable.

Leveraging  AI in the planning process can also lead to the revelation of new trends in business data, enabling sales organizations and teams to make more informed day-to-day decisions. In return, they can expect to see improved customer retention and increased leads, shifting the primary focus back to the customer and profitability, which is extremely significant in a competitive marketplace where buyers are more aware than ever before. Once customers are put at the forefront, sales teams are the next priority.

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Aiding your sales team with AI 

Aiding sales teams with AI provides them with access to automated, real-time data that improves efficiency with tasks. Rather than starting from the ground up, AI can make recommendations on early-stage pipelines, including sales development representatives (SDRs) who have intel into the overarching picture. Moreover, AI gives sales teams the ability to analyze data from multiple marketing channels,  enabling better collaboration with marketing and product teams.

By applying this insight into practice, sales teams can understand the best path to deliver a product or service and experience based on value.

This is also directly tied to conversion rates. Ultimately, AI can assist with evaluating bottom-line impact. The next step is understanding how to integrate this intelligence across the business and apply it to the overall go-to-market strategy to generate revenue.

Tying AI to ROI

In order to maximize the potential of AI, sales leaders need to understand how leveraging it ties into the overall business strategy and revenue goals. To get there, those at the top level should use AI to focus on enhancing key sales planning and operational functions.

AI can equip sales managers with capacity planning, overall allowing businesses to identify how and when to scale, in addition to identifying possible bottlenecks, so they create better design capacity and mitigate potential risk. In a similar sense, these platforms will assist managers with territory planning. Sales executives can then rely on a strategy to ensure their team is targeting the most profitable customers.

When sales leaders use AI tools to their advantage, they can measure current performance against annual performance trends, keeping them on a better, more accurate track for future predictions. 

The popularity of AI will continue to grow as new, innovative technologies come to market and companies are put under pressure to conform and adapt.  Whether managing territories, making sales projections, generating new leads, or increasing sales capacity— AI has the potential to improve sales planning and operations, better inform day-to-day decision-making across the entire sales landscape, and transform the future of sales as we know it.

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