Using AI to Accelerate Sales

Last week I attended a great event put on by NewVoice Media. The most interesting speaker was Martin Hill-Wilson from Brainfood Consulting. He was an exceptionally engaging speaker and his talk was on a very hot topic, artificial intelligence (AI). Inspired by Martin’s talk, I wanted to share some thoughts as well as some specific examples of how sales organisations can take advantage. You can also read his whitepaper on the topic here.

Big Data

To understand why artificial intelligence this is relevant to everyone and how exciting these developments are its important to understand ‘why’. We’ve all heard the term ‘big data’. Here are a few stats to keep in mind:

  • Every day, 2.5 quintillian bytes of data are created (that’s 10M blue ray disks)
  • 90% of the worlds data has been created in the last two years
  • 90% of this data is unstructured

So, what can individuals, companies and government agencies do with this data?

  • Insurance telematics can significantly decrease risk for companies and payments for drivers
  • Loyalty schemes can track what customers buy and tailor coupons accordingly
  • Nearly half of those in the UK who self-track their health have seen behavioural changes
  • Transport agencies can modify traffic light sequences, modify bus routes and deliver info to drivers
  • Find patterns to predict and understand crime resulting in reduced activity
  • Escalate sales velocity and efficiency and reduce sales costs

Sounds great, so what’s the issue? The issue is that of all this amazing data, 95-98% of data is never analysed. So if most data is not analysed, but can lead to significant advances, how can we plug the gap?

As Dale Newman from Forbes says:

As it turns out, AI just might be the break companies need. Computers of today are faster and more efficient than ever. A program with artificial intelligence could do a month’s worth of work in just moments. Big processors and lightning-fast internet mean AI units can handle the variety, velocity, and volume of big data and translate it into something useful.

Artificial Intelligence

I wanted to share a few thoughts that impressed upon me in the talk about artificial intelligence Martin shared. Full slides from Martin’s talk are here

  • Fast Moving
    • The speed of change in this industry is astounding. What impressed upon me, was those companies who don’t start adopting AI in 2017 will be left behind.
  • Accepted by Consumers
    • A poll by the Telegraph shows nearly 40% of people would rather interact with a robot
    • According to Gartner, by 2020 85% of relationships won’t require a human
    • There are already a few examples of artificial intelligence widely accepted such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa
    • The next generation of Siri –> Viv
      • You will be able to book a taxi with Uber, book a hotel, answer complex questions
      • A request to Viv could be as simple as ‘Send my mother flowers’ and Viv will combine knowledge about where your mother lives, what flowers she likes, etc
  • Wide applications
    • Salesforce has announced Einstein, its machine learning solution which is really exciting. Some brief thoughts about the announcement here
    • ChatBots exist across a wide variety of social media
      • KLM bot on Facebook that can confirm flight statuses and send you prompts to board
      • 1-800-Flowers bot on Instagram
      • Dominos bot on Skype can take pizza orders
      • To see how advanced bots have become, try a chat with Mitsuku
    • Services organisations are using bots to help people find information and tackle easy issues at a low cost

Sales Uses for AI

I wanted to share some of the things that may be of interest to your sales organisation, specifically some technology that exists TODAY!

  • Use predictive analytics to improve your forecasting accuracy
  • Prompt your sales team to engage in the right behaviour, proven to show results
  • Immediately engage large volumes of low quality leads with automation to increase conversion
  • Analyse your call activity through natural language processing to determine buyer trends and enable sales coaching
  • To facilitate the desire for buyers to research and educate themselves, intelligently suggest appropriate content to share with clients based on patterns of interest or language
  • Use chatbots to cost effectively manage traffic on your website and turn them into leads
  • You could say to your phone, ‘Show me leads I’m supposed to talk to today,’ and it does those operations for you: analyses which ones are at which stage, finds the hot leads, and gives you a ranking of which ones you should talk to first, a probability of converting, and the expected monetary value when converted.

If your company isn’t taking advantage of these huge technological advances, someone else is. 61% of companies will be using AI by 2018. To explore how this exciting new technology might be able to help you, please contact Marissa.

[poll id=”12″]