How to Use Conversational AI to Build Relationships with Customers and Close More Deals

By Danny Shepherd, Co-CEO, Intero Digital
A woman stands in front of a doorway thinking.

Conversational AI, which evolved from basic chatbots, is now a powerful tool for engaging leads, prospects, and clients in meaningful interactions.

Understanding Conversational AI

Conversational AI is advanced AI technology that engages users in dialogues like human conversation. It offers a step up from traditional chatbots by providing more flexible and human-like interactions – greatly enhancing customer engagement, satisfaction, and experience.

How Does Conversational AI Work? 

The operation of conversational AI comprises several interconnected steps:

  1. User Input: Through a user interface, individuals can input text or use automatic speech recognition (ASR) to convert spoken words into text.
  2. Natural Language Processing (NLP): The technology then employs NLP to transform unstructured text into structured data – interpreting user intent from the text or audio input.
  3. Data Processing: The data undergoes processing where grammar, meaning, and context are analyzed to comprehend the user’s intent, which aids in crafting appropriate responses.
  4. Action Prediction: An AI model predicts the optimal course of action using the interpreted intent and training data.
  5. Response Generation: Finally, natural language generation (NLG) crafts a suitable response – completing the conversation cycle and facilitating human interaction.

Selecting a Conversational AI Platform

Choosing the right conversational AI platform is pivotal to align with your business objectives. Here are some considerations:

  • Effectiveness: Ensure the platform accurately comprehends and processes natural language, understanding user intent and context.
  • Ease of Use: The platform should be user-friendly, enabling customers to easily initiate conversations and allowing your team to design conversational flows without hassle.
  • Integration: It should seamlessly integrate with existing business systems like CRM or inventory management systems and be scalable to accommodate your organization’s growth and changing needs.
  • Multi-Channel Support: The platform should support communication across various channels, ensuring a seamless customer experience.
  • Security Compliance: Adherence to security standards and data privacy laws is important to guarantee safe data transmission and archiving.

Exploring Advanced Features of Conversational AI

Conversational AI platforms offer many advanced features that can be harnessed to enhance sales efforts:

  1. Personalized Interactions: Conversational AI can leverage customer data to personalize interactions, providing recommendations or information that aligns with individual preferences or past interactions – thus making the conversation more engaging and productive.
  2. Analytics and Insights: Most conversational AI platforms have analytics that can provide insights into customer behavior, interaction trends, and lead quality. This data can be invaluable for refining sales strategies and understanding customer preferences.

Implementing Conversational AI for Business Needs 

Conversational AI can be instrumental in various sales functions:

  1. Qualifying Leads: AI-powered chatbots proficient in NLP can gather and qualify leads’ information, ensuring seamless integration with your CRM for better lead management.
  2. Generating Sales Pitches: Utilizing conversational intelligence technology can help personalize sales pitches, address objections, and close deals effectively.
  3. Scheduling Demos and Meetings: Chatbots can streamline the process of organizing meetings with qualified leads, enhancing the B2B sales experience.
  4. Providing Customer Support: Conversational AI can handle multiple customer queries simultaneously – taking care of routine and less critical tasks as well as freeing up human agents for more complex issues.

Implementing Conversational AI – A Phased Approach

Implementing conversational AI in your business doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. It’s advisable to take a phased approach:

  1. Pilot Testing: Begin with a pilot phase where the AI is deployed in a controlled environment. Collect feedback from both customers and sales teams to understand its effectiveness and areas of improvement.
  2. Integration: Integrate conversational AI with existing systems like CRM, email, and other communication channels to ensure a seamless flow of information and better coordination among sales teams.
  3. Training and Optimization: Train the AI with more data and optimize its responses based on the feedback collected during the pilot phase. Engage in regular training to keep the AI updated with the latest product information, sales strategies, and customer feedback.
  4. Scaling: Once satisfied with the performance, scale the AI to handle more types of queries and to be used by a larger portion of your sales and customer service teams.

Best Practices for Sales Conversational AI

Once you’ve defined your sales objectives, identify how conversational AI can help you achieve them. Tailor your AI models to align with your brand’s tone, messaging, and customer experience expectations. Continuously refine your conversational AI based on feedback from your sales team and end users. Regularly evaluate its impact on your sales metrics and use the insights to optimize your AI and surrounding sales processes.

Integrating conversational AI into your CRM strategy empowers your sales team to tackle minor customer issues efficiently and close deals effectively, paving the way for business scalability.

Incorporating conversational AI is not merely about keeping up with technological trends; it’s about fostering meaningful relationships with your customers, understanding their needs better, and eventually driving more sales. Through streamlined, personalized interactions, conversational AI could significantly transform how your sales team operates and achieves its goals, setting a new standard in customer engagement and sales efficiency.

Danny Shepherd is co-CEO of Intero Digital, a 350-person digital marketing agency that offers comprehensive, results-driven marketing solutions.