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Technology is constantly evolving, making it difficult for salespeople to stay up to date. In the past, top salespeople were expected to master technologies such as CRM, video and social networks. But today, that’s no longer enough, thanks to the advent of artificial intelligence (AI). AI has been around for a long time, but is now a tangible tool for sales professionals.
At PRIMA, we’ve decided to try out some of these tools for you, with the aim of making sales work as easy as possible. This article is the first in a series that aims to demonstrate what you can do with AI, what benefits you can get from it, and how you can implement it further down the line.
AI can play four major roles for sales reps: targeting, prospecting, content and message creation, and customer intelligence. If you embrace AI for any of these four elements, you’ll already be gaining efficiency in your role as a sales professional.
AI for targeting
AI, through various tools, enables us to identify companies that match the profile of our ideal customer. We can use an artificial intelligence tool to identify companies in a precise geographical area that correspond to what we’re looking for. For example, an AI tool to identify all companies with sales between 5 and 250 million, located in Quebec and operating in a specific industry. We can also request the name and contact information of the president, vice-president or any other person of interest in the company. We can then integrate these results into our CRM, thanks to APIs (application programming interfaces) available for numerous platforms.
AI for prospecting
AI can also be used to run campaigns for us, when prospecting. We identify the targets we want to approach. A robot designed for this purpose will feed messages to the intended targets. It will decide for itself which message is best to use, depending on whether or not it has received a response.
AI for content creation
Tools like ChatGPT or Google Bard enable us to create messages or content tailored to the questions asked, but in a conversational way. If you want to create messages that are highly relevant, it’s best to use AI.
ChatGPT and Google Bard are basic platforms for content creation. It may be more difficult to bend them to our needs. But there are other extremely specialized platforms that can also be used to organize campaigns. These platforms can be trained on your content and adopt your branding in tone.
What’s more, using ChatGPT, for example, can expose your company secrets. Indeed, any information that is submitted to these content generation tools (known as generative AI) is used to train the tool. Specialized sales tools are not accessible to the general public. What’s more, these tools isolate your corporate data from that of other companies on the same platform, thus protecting your trade secrets.
AI to track customers
Once you’ve done the prospecting and closed the sales, you’ll want to keep an eye on any changes that may occur with your customers. You can use AI combined with one or more robots to identify changes on your customers’ websites. For example, are there any new product launches? Have they acquired a new company? Have they expanded their factory? You could also search for any updates made on the company’s LinkedIn profiles to identify movements within the hierarchy, departures or arrivals.
Robots can send you this information at a pre-determined frequency, which can lead to additional business and sales opportunities.
AI is just the beginning, and far from over
We can already make the most of what artificial intelligence has to offer. The aim is not to make ourselves obsolete as salespeople. Quite the contrary, in fact.
We want even more information to enable us to have more efficient conversations with our customers. We also want to reduce our cold calling efforts, by using artificial intelligence to help our customers progress through the buying process.
AI saves time on certain steps that don’t need to be done manually. But the time saved should not be used to play Tetris, but rather to take other actions in the sales process!
Ultimately, artificial intelligence increases the number of opportunities in the pipeline, reduces sales cycle times, and optimizes sales. More than that, it gives you ideas on initiatives and sales activities you should be doing to hunt down the ideal customer profile.
Stay tuned, as we plan further articles on this topic.