Artificial intelligence is poised to transform sales

Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform many sectors, departments and roles, including that of the sales team.

For starters, the technology can take over many administrative tasks that take time but don’t make the sales professional any money. It’s possible to teach a machine to do everything from data entry to emails to scoring leads.

Below are several ways that industry analysts expect AI to transform sales over the next several years.

Prioritise emails and make recommendations for next steps

It doesn’t take long for any salesperson’s email box to fill up. Some of the emails contain important information about prospects and products, butmost do not. Unfortunately,
the salesperson can’t tell one type of email from the other without spending valuable time combing through them.

>See also: How AI is changing enterprise sales

With AI, sales professionals may never have to read and prioritise emails again. A machine chooses the ones that need immediate attention and brings those to the sale representative’s attention. AI can even make recommendations on what the salesperson should do next based on the information in the email.

A new approach to deal scoring

The data that exists behind the scenes of a prospect is important, but it can be difficult to access. This includes such things as company size, solutions the prospect is considering, and the number of company stakeholders.

Comparing these details to historical data from hundreds or thousands of closed deals would be especially useful, if not for the fact it’s extremely time-consuming. This can happen with AI because it can complete in minutes what it might take a normal worker weeks to finish.

>See also: ‘Organisations deploying AI are creating jobs and increasing sales’

With machine learning in place, companies can make more accurate predictions about what might take place with the upcoming deal. This includes the likelihood of closing the deal and how long it might take. This would allow everyone in the sales team to tailor their approach to create a winning deal or walk away early if there’s little chance of a conversion.

Automate the billing system

Knowing whether to apply a volume discount, an incentive for a future purchase, or something else can take valuable time to decide. AI reads previous billing interactions from numerous customers as well as considers available data from current ones. It then applies an incentive or discount automatically, thereby saving the salesperson hours of work in trying to determine the most appropriate discount strategy.

AI as a coach for new sales representatives

Training a new salesperson is necessary but time-consuming. It also takes one sales representative or manager away from his or her own duties for the duration of training.

>See also: The future of the sales industry

AI makes it possible to match a trainee with an automated assistant, who reminds them to do things such as contact a client or nurture an existing customer based on timelines that have worked well in the past. The machine knows how far the new employee is in training and makes suggestions accordingly.

Saving time on administrative tasks ultimately means making more money. It’s the reason sales organisations exist in the first place.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is the editor for Information Age. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and cyber security.