The Complete Guide to Artificial Intelligence for Sales

By Aptivio | Updated August 12th, 2020

This complete guide to AI for sales goes over the different tools and many benefits of artificial intelligence in sales—plus, start preparing your business for it in two simple steps. With so many choices to make about AI, be confident in intelligent market monitors that create dynamic digital sales playbooks, and maximize your CRM investment.

What's inside this article:

AI Is More Than A Buzzword

Artificial Intelligence remains the buzzword on everyone's mind, but what are we talking about when we say it? AI for sales is all the tools powered by artificial intelligence to elevate workflows and increase productivity for sales teams. Wisely integrating sales AI into your business can transform CRMs into digital sales machines.

Sales AI Tools Help in Different Ways

Out of all the applications of artificial intelligence, there are several different types of AI tools just for the sales process. These include analysis, task management, and communication tools that all use AI to improve current capabilities. We'll briefly go over these types of tools and for a more detailed look, check out The 10 Best Types of Sales AI Tools.

AI for Sales Analyzes for You

The analytical power of AI frequently comes up as the defining feature of artificial intelligence. AI tools can analyze client behaviors, sales activities, or sales calls. Because AI can process billions of signals and data points, it can do more analyzing and interpreting than any one person on a sales team. This doesn't mean AI should replace key salespeople, instead use these tools to elevate and inform your team.

Manage (Almost) Everything With Sales AI

Another key feature of AI for sales is task management capabilities. As mentioned, there's no benefit of replacing human salespeople with AI robots. Rather, use AI to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks of the sales process. By automating steps like data and scheduling management, salespeople are freed up to focus on best serving clients and cultivating positive relationships.

AI for Sales Gives Personalized Insights

Sales AI tools in communication go a bit further than task management. By using natural language processing, AI communication tools can give personalized insights into the words and phrases salespeople use in emails with leads and clients. This feedback can prove invaluable for creating the best sales process for your business. Coupled with an autonomous sales prospecting tool, your sales team will know exactly what to say, to whom, and at the right time.

Sales AI Brings in Leads Automatically

Of all the sales AI tools your business can use, lead generation is the one that will automatically start bringing in more potential clients as soon as you start. Not only can artificial intelligence generate qualified prospects, but it can also perform lead scoring that will interpret which leads are most likely to convert. Use an intelligent market monitor to fully realize AI's potential to analyze the behavior, engagement, and availability of leads.

The Benefits of AI for Sales

The different types of sales AI tools already hint at the advantages of AI for sales, but here's an expanded look at its benefits. Overall, remember that AI tools have the power to optimize your sales team, data, and decision making. These three areas are critical to any business's sales process and success. To elevate performance in these areas, take advantage of digital sales playbooks created by artificial intelligence.

Rescue Salespeople From Time-Consuming Tasks

Sales AI could also be called AI for Salespeople because it specifically benefits the performance of the people on your sales team. The most advanced artificial intelligence will never successfully recreate the uniquely human interpersonal skills that expert salespeople have mastered. Instead, sales AI frees up salespeople to focus on selling and do what they do best­—creating positive client relationships. We consider this one of the most important values of AI for sales.

Optimize Your Data

The internal client data your business collects can be valuable in automating the sales process. So can the external data available about potential clients. The only problem is that data can get complications and overwhelming very quickly without getting help from AI. That's why we list data optimization as another top benefit of sales AI­—use the right tools and maximize your data value.

Make Informed Decisions

The last benefit of AI for sales is its capacity to help your sales team make the best decisions. Data is just an ingredient, like this data as a service blog article says. So, after AI helps you optimize your data, then salespeople can use it to make the most informed selling decisions.

Consider the Reasons for Sales AI

We've reviewed the different types of sales AI and its benefits, but what are the specific reasons to use AI for sales? We've rounded up the top 5 reasons you should consider integrating sales AI into your workflows. Simply put, it helps your sales team do more than before with intelligent tools. As with any additional steps you integrate into your sales process, it should be worth it and maximize your CRM investment.

Understand Your Pricing

Price optimization is one of the decisions that sales AI can help your team make. Knowing how much, when, or even if to offer discounts can be a difficult decision to make. With sales AI tools, your team can make more informed decisions using quantitative data. This and the following reasons to use sales AI are based on this article, How AI Is Changing Sales.

Forecast With Confidence

Make better business predictions with sales AI. Forecasting is another reason to implement additional tools into your sales process. Using AI features that can process billions of data points will help your sales team make more accurate predictions on future revenue and other relevant forecasts. Now you can more confidently anticipate what's to come for your business.

Know How to Sell More

Another reason to start using sales AI is to improve the upselling and cross-selling of the sales team. AI tools can now evaluate which of your current clients are most likely to purchase updated or other relevant products from your business. Similarly, there are intelligent market monitors that target the right buyers when reaching out to leads—another important stage that happens earlier in the sales process.

Rank Your Leads

The advantage of lead scoring is reason alone to start using AI for sales. By using predictive lead scoring techniques, your automated tools can rank the value of all your leads. This allows salespeople to know where to focus their selling and what approach might be most effective. Use scoring techniques with other features that perform opportunity qualification to get the most out of the tool.

Manage the Sales Team

The last reason to use sales AI is the team management possibilities. Managers can be kept up to date more easily and more accurately with AI tools that share team performance. This reason and the others are explored more in-depth in The Best Reasons to Use AI for Sales.

How to Prepare for Sales AI

You know the tools, the benefits, and the reasons for using sales AI. Now, how to start? We greatly simplified the process down to a two-step preparation. Identify the information you have and figure out how it integrates with your CRM.

Identify the Important Data

The first step in preparing for sales AI is realizing what data you have to power the intelligent tools you want to adopt. This other article does a good job of explaining how the data you have is valuable for setting up AI tools. For either task management or lead scoring, you'll need to have some information collected to start using AI for sales. Once you identify what data you have, then you can move forward.

Seamlessly Integrate With CRMs

The next step in sales AI preparation is seeing how your data and AI goals fit into your current CRM. All major CRMs have automation and AI capabilities to elevate performance. Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Oracle CRM, and HubSpot are all popular systems that already implement AI for sales. Ideally, any additional tools you add to your sales process will seamlessly integrate into your CRM.

Sales AI Is the Future of Work

By reading this article, you're already at a good start for understanding the power of sales AI. Discussions about AI has been around for a while and the concept persists for a reason. The future of work will be inextricably linked with artificial intelligence and automation.

Aptivio's Understanding of Artificial Intelligence for Sales

Aptivio uses billions of company behavior data points to determine the best sales indicators for opportunities and risks. This kind of opportunity identification predicts where your buyer is in the process based on a six month timeline of buying signals from multiple sources. As an intelligent market monitor, we at Aptivio understand what it means to use sales AI to improve performance.

Our Aptivio Intelligent Market Monitor for Sales creates a simple dynamic digital sales playbook. It can separate the important signals from the noise and discover the complex relationships in markets that would otherwise be missed. Ready to learn more? Get started for FREE today!

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