The B2B sales industry has moved far away from schmoozing purchasing managers and traditional cold calling. Now there’s an entirely new process in which sales professionals use artificial intelligence (AI) to understand exactly which brilliantly-phrased pitches close the most sales – and even when to stop talking and start listening. Yes, that’s right. AI can even tell you when to stop talking and just listen. AI can also unite analysis with actual sales calls to produce predictably better results.
While a salesperson’s intuition is still key, sales teams can leverage AI to provide more convincing insights to them to close deals faster than ever before. It’s predicted there will be a 98 percent increase in the growth of predictive selling over the next three years – and a 118 percent increase in such predictive intelligence as lead scoring and forecasting.
Here are three use cases in which AI and sales analytics can work together today.
Reduce Pipeline Volatility and Unpredictability
Traditionally, managers might listen in on calls to gauge the likelihood a deal will close. However, this process is time consuming, not comprehensive, and it’s nearly impossible for sales forecasts to be entirely correct based on a small sample of phone calls.
For businesses, that’s a problem. Without being able to accurately forecast sales – and thus revenue – companies are unable to allocate resources properly, plan new hires, or confidently make investments. Businesses that don’t hit their numbers also have a hard time raising financing. And, without any big wins for the company, workers risk losing momentum – leading every department into a downward spiral and putting the company at risk.
That’s where AI comes to the rescue. Today, sales professionals leverage AI and analytics to dissect thousands of hours of sales calls per month. This means much richer insights into which opportunities will close and which will go dark, without a manager having to sit in on an impossible amount of calls and using guesswork to figure out a forecast. Using AI for analytics, it is now easier than ever for companies to map out their future investments and hires as well as fulfill the bigger company mission.
Boost Your Win Rate
To understand the health of your sales process, the following formula helps:
(# of Opportunities) * (Win Rate) * (Average contract value) / (Sales cycle time)
It’s easier to change the “# of Opportunities” variable. Over the past 10 years, dozens of sales automation tools have emerged that enable semi-automated follow-up cadences or compile large amounts of leads. It’s more difficult, however, to change the “win rate” variable. Because, while it may be widely known some members of the team close more sales, it’s difficult to figure out exactly why this is true – and more, how to effectively train other team members to be A players, too.
However, with today’s AI capabilities, it’s gotten a whole lot easier. AI and analytics can be leveraged to understand why those top-notch salespeople are 300 percent above quota and why others are just scraping by. Is it the questions they ask and how they build rapport? Or is it how they position the company against key competitors and make the customer laugh?
AI has the power to examine these factors and even act as a personal coach to a salesperson – while he or she is on a call – to give recommendations in real time about exactly what to say. It’s like having a veteran salesperson by your side at all times, scribbling down suggestions to move the conversation forward.
Automate A/B Testing for E-commerce Businesses
AI and sales don’t entail just dissecting phone calls and providing insights into what to say, when, and how. AI can also optimize A/B testing for e-commerce businesses, helping them understand which designs result in more conversions. Sentient Ascend, for example, uses AI to analyze various designs, copy, and images simultaneously to test which resonate with customers to achieve the best results at a faster rate.
So, instead of a company having to wait for A/B testing to take place one design at a time, AI automates the process to figure out what works faster, to get more Website conversions – and, yes, up the sales.
Today, AI gives sales teams insights like they’ve never had before – enabling them to work at a faster rate, scale beyond competition, and keep a high morale in the process. And, as AI tools become more widely adopted, you can guarantee more and more companies will jump on the bandwagon to stay competitive and watch their sales spike.