Is AI Going to Be the Death of the Salesperson?
As technology continues to advance, artificial intelligence (AI) has become an increasingly popular topic in the business world. While AI is often associated with automation and job displacement, it can actually be used to enhance the ability of sales professionals to work more efficiently and effectively, ultimately driving more sales and revenue for their organization.
Let’s explore five ways in which AI can support sales professionals who make in-person sales calls. These are sales tools for every sales toolbox—ones that I personally use and recommend to others.
1. Targeted lead generation
Sales professionals face the challenge of identifying potential customers who are interested in their product or service. With the help of AI-powered lead generation tools, salespeople can target their efforts more precisely, improving the chances of identifying prospects who are most likely to convert and then focus their attention on those individuals. These AI tools can identify prospects by their demographics, behavior, and purchasing history.
One of my favorite lead generation tools is Apollo.io. It uses machine-learning algorithms to analyze data from a variety of sources, including social media, company websites, and public databases, to identify potential leads for salespeople. You can run a search by person, company, job title, and zip code. The dashboard is super simple to use and offers a suite of tools that includes sales automation, CRM integration, sales engagement, and analytics. The best part is that you can use the basic platform for FREE or purchase a plan if you want to get its full power.
LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be used for lead generation when looking at a specific company. The latter allows you to track a prospect’s activity on its social media platform.
2. Personalized recommendations
AI can support sales professionals by providing them with personalized information about a customer’s behavior style along with preferences on how best to communicate with them. This helps salespeople build stronger relationships with customers by demonstrating that they understand their particular buying style and can offer solutions in their preferred communication style.
Crystalknows.com is an AI-powered platform that provides a range of tools designed to help salespeople communicate more effectively with customers. Crystal relies on natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to analyze the language and tone used during written communication, such as an email or social media post. This provides insights into the person’s DiSC profile, allowing Crystal to give the sales professional a playbook for conducting a meeting or communicating through emails with the customer. They offer a FREE trial on ten clients before you would need to purchase a plan.
3. Predictive sales analytics
AI can also be used to provide sales professionals with predictive analytics that help them anticipate customers’ needs and behaviors. By leveraging these AI insights, sales professionals
can tailor social media strategies to improve their chances of building trust with their target markets.
Hootsuite.com is a social media management platform that uses AI analytics to analyze large amounts of social media data. This allows it to identify patterns and trends in customer behavior, such as which types of content perform best or which channels are most effective for engagement. For example, Hootsuite analytics recognizes that certain types of posts get more engagement at certain times of day, so it can predict that similar posts will perform well at those same times in the future. This information is useful for sales professionals looking to optimize their social media strategies and engage with customers more effectively. This is not a FREE platform but has reasonably priced plans.
4. Automated follow-up
Following up with potential customers is a critical part of the sales process, but it can also be time-consuming and tedious. With the help of AI-powered automation tools, sales professionals can automate much of the follow-up process, freeing up their time to focus on other activities. AI tools can do things like send follow-up emails, schedule appointments, and record phone calls on behalf of the sales professional. By automating these tasks, sales professionals can improve their efficiency and focus their attention on closing more deals.
The AI-powered automation tools that can help automate much of the follow-up process are found in a good customer relationship management platform, better known as a CRM. Look for one that provides a wide range of tools designed to help salespeople manage their time and energy on more high-value activities. HubSpot.com is my favorite because of its ease of use and powerful mobile app. It has a FREE version but to get enhanced platform applications, you should upgrade to a paid subscription.
5. Enhanced customer service experience
Finally, AI can support sales professionals by enhancing a customer’s overall experience while building a stronger relationship with them. AI can provide customers with on-demand and easy access to information, improving their overall satisfaction with the sales process. By enhancing the customer experience, sales professionals can increase their chances of success and of generating repeat business.
Loom.com and Vidyard.com are asynchronous video platforms that allow sales professionals to provide personalized information, demonstrations, post-meeting recaps, and check-ins. Both platforms offer real-time analytics and insights on video engagements which allow sales professionals to track customer behavior and preferences to improve their sales approach and customer service. Both offer a FREE version but to get enhanced platform applications, you should upgrade to a paid subscription.
In conclusion, AI can help sales professionals be more effective, efficient, and successful. It can be a powerful tool for those who make in-person sales calls. It can provide targeted lead generation, personalized recommendations, predictive analytics, real-time insights, automated follow-up, and enhanced customer service. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that AI will play an increasingly important role in the sales process. As such, sales professionals who embrace AI will not need to write their tombstone epitaphs in the near future.