For many sales and marketing professionals, terms like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and master algorithm may seem comparable to a foreign language. But in reality, artificial intelligence (or AI for short) is the next great technological revolution knocking at our front door, making and saving money for the businesses that deploy these autonomous algorithms.
AI can help businesses quickly unearth insights, enhancing – not replacing – the overall value provided by sales and marketing teams. Salesforce’s most recent research suggests Marketers anticipate AI use will grow by 53% over the next two years— a much higher rate than any other tech types. So don’t fear our robot overlords – learn more about how machines taking on difficult and repetitive tasks will improve output for both sales and marketing.
A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence
In 1950, Alan Turing developed the Turing test – a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equal to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. Essentially, Turing challenged a human to write notes to and interact with both another human as well as a computer; the machine won the game when the player acting as the interpreter could no longer distinguish between the computer and the other player. In performing this test he sought to answer the question “can a machine display general intelligence?” to which the answer is – “every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.”
Today, artificial intelligence is present abundantly in the sales and marketing landscape – from website chatbots to predictive segmenting. AI can find rich patterns in data, which is overwhelmingly time-consuming for us humans, and use those patterns to capture large and impactful trends. AI removes the tedium and guesswork of running a marketing campaign or trying to close the sale, by generating insights from haystacks of data.
How Marketers will Benefit from Artificial Intelligence
It seems AI is making the headlines across every industry these days, and marketing is no exception. Primarily, artificial intelligence can help modern marketers transform marketing efficiencies in their internal operations, but also help them get more from their data and personalize their marketing.
1. Improving efficiency with automated lead scoring
Using artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms, marketers can setup automated lead scoring in their marketing automation tools (or even CallRail!). Automated lead scoring such as CallScore takes the pressure off of marketers having to qualify prospects via long forms, freeing them up to work on other marketing initiatives.
Not only is AI-powered lead scoring a time-saver, letting machines qualifying leads is smarter, faster, and more accurate. You’ll be able to vet leads to identify the ones with the most potential and optimize your marketing to attract similar prospects – freeing you up to send even more qualified leads to sales. There is inherent value created by having human marketing reps spend more of their time improving ad campaigns and developing new creative, as opposed to manually scoring leads, thus growing the appeal of AI even more.
2. Advanced personalization & customer segmentation powered by AI
Another area where marketers can anticipate an AI impact is in personalization of content, customer journeys, and lookalike audience modeling. Artificial intelligence tools such as keyword spotting can help you quickly analyze datasets to learn things about your visitors that no other analytics system will show. Marketers can discover new use cases, product problems, and customer sentiments without having to comb through conversations.
Similarly, AI can be setup to trigger automated, predictive journeys. AI tools using machine learning can help you trigger the right message, on the right channel, at the right time by leveraging customer data to create more relevant experiences. With the ability to adjust quickly to messaging and products, marketers can better tailor their messages and let fewer leads slip away.
Artificial Intelligence Means More Productive Sales Reps
Just like AI is a game-changer for marketing teams, it’s powering sales reps to close more deals in less time. It’s also helping them understand their prospects better, so they can improve customer service and gain a better grasp
3. Automate lead qualification, shorten the sales cycle
Along with helping marketing teams directly, AI also assists sales reps in covering more ground in less time. They can focus their energy, resources, and time on the most profitable customers thanks to the power of chatbots and automated lead scoring. Both Chatbots and CallScore use artificial intelligence to quickly identify hot leads, without hiring an expensive army of sales reps to comb through and respond to each and every lead. AI is able to filter your prospects and learn patterns in your sales flow to better prioritize your actions; your time will be spent more effectively, and your conversations will become better. Not only that, leads are now followed up promptly and you can capitalize on a new sales opportunity before the competition.
4. Predictive analytics to power tailored conversations
Just like AI can identify huge trends to help marketers better target leads, it can also help sales reps predict the probability of customer purchase or spotlight key customer information to help suggest products that will fit their needs. Predictive analytics anticipate what will happen in the future, including win likelihoods and close dates of your deals based on your previous wins and performance patterns.
Similarly, using AI such as keyword spotting can help sales managers quickly identify when a deal is about to go south by instantly identifying negative sentiment words such as “unhappy,” “need to speak right away,” “disappointed,” etc. in a phone call conversation, automatically.
AI: The Future of Sales and Marketing
The rise of AI can no longer be ignored, and companies that continue to invest in these new technologies will no doubt reap the fruits of their (lack of) labor. For example, one CallRail customer used AI-powered CallScore to grow their client’s sales by 530%. Companies that invest in early forms of AI now will no doubt emerge as the leaders in their field, as they experience unrivaled improvements in the way their sales and marketing teams operate.