Sales and Marketing Teams-Did you know that only one percent of cold calls even lead to an appointment, according to a popularly cited study by Baylor University’s Keller Center for Research? The problem with cold calling is that it lacks a personal touch. Most of the time, the sales rep doesn’t offer anything the customer wants, because they don’t know what they want.
You may not have considered this before, but incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into the process could actually improve results by delivering customer insights to sales reps, ensuring they only contact interested individuals. So while much has been made about AI’s ability to automate routine processes, comb through mountains of data and even do more complex tasks, such as writing standard news content, it can also help sales teams provide a truly personalized approach at scale. With marketing and sales more analytically and quantitatively driven than ever, AI is the surest way to improve lead quality, segmentation and buyer-persona development, as well as more appropriately customize pricing and service.
Research from AI-enabled account-based marketing platform Demandbase shows that artificial intelligence can help achieve the following goals:
- 59 percent higher close rates for sales.
- 58 percent more revenue.
- 54 percent greater engagement.
- 52 percent higher conversion
No wonder the International Data Corporation surmises that spending on AI systemsis expected to reach nearly $80 billion by 2022, up from an estimated $35 billion in 2019. The potential for massive ROI is too great to ignore for all sorts of companies, from retail to finance to healthcare.
Now, many companies tend to simplify AI as a way to boost operational efficiency and automate routine processes, but thinking in these terms can get you caught in the “human versus machine” trap. The fact is the success of AI in marketing and sales lies in the technology’s ability to empower people to work faster and smarter. As Amit Kothari, a software entrepreneur and workflow management expert, writes in CMS Wire, “AI is more than machine automation. It’s about human augmentation.”
For sales and marketing departments to have success with artificial intelligence, they should align their teams, focus on improving efficiency and define expectations for their AI-powered platform, but they also have to think beyond automation and actively remember why they’re utilizing AI: to get and retain more customers.