VP of Account Based Marketing
As with the focus on reduction of sales cycle, it is equally important to provide a personalized buying experience to prospects and clients throughout the process. With new momentum and advancement in artificial intelligence, it’s now possible to provide a genuine, human-like, AI cover to your sales team through Conversational AI.
From helping to funnel prospects, to answering pressing questions 24/7 and following up over months and months of email tag, artificial intelligence like Conversational AI isn’t a substitute for human involvement – it’s an important tool that augments your human sales team to create a more efficient process and generate more leads.
The Dawn of AI Assistants
With conversational AI, we’re not talking about incomplete workflows and suboptimal experiences. The conversational AI technology helps us to create AI assistants, which mirrors human interaction, so much so that it’s becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference between a “real” person and AI. In fact, 27% of consumers weren’t sure if their last customer service interaction was with a human or if it was actually AI.
It’s not a fad either: according to Gartner, by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationship with businesses without speaking to a human.
The best thing about AI Assistants? You can configure your AI Assistant for your business so that you’re automating responses that make sense, reflecting your values, and explaining your products or services. At the same time, an AI Assistant can update your database, contact numbers and names, and automate the scheduling of meetings with your sales team.
1. Generate Leads
An AI assistant can cultivate early interest by interacting with prospects meeting your target criteria and can follow-up on those conversations persistently, without fatigue. It can follow up on dead and ancient leads, with a trigger for instance, if they have not been spoken to in a year. These are leads that previously no sales person would have touched that you’re giving yourself another shot at, through the AI assistant
An AI assistant is therefore a natural member of your sales team digging up old leads that previously would have fallen through the cracks. Through email, social media, web chat and more, with no human involvement, the AI assistant generates interested prospects. And obviously, being the AI it comes from, it learns with every interaction so it can become more efficient at keeping prospects engaged and welcoming
2. Qualify Prospects and Schedule Meetings
When it comes to sales, there’s nothing worse than a dead end. AI Assistants can help speed up the process of making sure prospects are actually qualified with a series of simple questions. The AI Assistant can qualify the lead through a series of questions crafted seamlessly within the conversation. The best part is that the AI Assistant can be introduced at most channels as preferred by the prospect
This can be such as value add and time saver considering that sales reps only spend 36.6% of their time actually selling. The rest of that time goes towards non-sales activities like admin work, scheduling meetings, doing paperwork, and answering emails. AI Assistants take this burden away from your team so they can focus on what they do best–sell.
3. Present the Product and Answer Queries
An AI Assistant is omni present – which means that they are available to prospects and customers 24/7/365 and present in most channels configured. AI Assistants can help keep a consumer engaged with an email or SMS message or messenger conversation, eventually encouraging them to download a guide or free eBook that breaks down your service. So even when your prospect or client has a question on a weekend or late at night, your AI assistant is available to answer some of their questions. This way, by the time a prospective client gets to the sales team, they already have a great base of knowledge about the product. Though your qualified sales team will still need to maintain a vast amount of knowledge about your products and services, AI assistants can help speed up this part of the process exponentially.
When you consider that more than 80% of commonly asked tier 1 support questions are answered by AI, it is just a matter of time before we see similar results in sales outcomes as well. With an AI assistant ready and able to answer questions quickly, the sales cycle can be greatly reduced. This 24/7 availability of AI assistants is one of its greatest perks.
4. Conclude the Deal
As digital engagement becomes more and more mainstream with technological advances and changing consumer expectations, Conversational AI can shorten the sales cycle by allowing your customers to ask crucial questions immediately to make those decisions quicker – and then actually finish the sale online. This is especially seen in online platforms such as food-tech and eCommerce where AI powered chatbots seamlessly guide customers towards menu selection, product filtering and eventually purchase and fulfillment activities
AI assistants can also be leveraged post-sales relationship building activities such as
Intelligent follow-ups and feedback: By using AI-generated emails or SMS messages, your team can easily get in touch with customers after the deal is closed to ensure that they’re enjoying the product, ask if they have any questions, and further the relationship.
Referrals: An assistant can follow-up with customers to leave brand recommendations and testimonials, share recommendations in social media, and even refer the brand to friends and family to drive sales and brand reputation
If you are planning to introduce AI Assistants into your organizational workflow or just want to learn more, do signup for a demo.