Optimize Costs & Improve Revenue with Sales AI
Whenever people start talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in sales, the discussion often focuses on two things:
- Lofty ideas about how AI will change sales as we know it as technology advances
- How AI can help your sales team close more deals
Only 15% of those same companies felt they had the right tools to set and monitor prices.
This is one major area where AI in B2B sales can help. Think that might have an effect on revenue generation? We do.
No company should go into implementing an AI and machine learning solution without doing their homework. Creating these programs will take time, money, and commitment.
That being said, we think you’ll see the investment is worth it. Consider these examples of how AI can help you generate more revenue for starters.
1. Capture and Analyze Your Transactional Data
Every transaction your business completes offers a wealth of insight and opportunities to recognize patterns. The challenge for most companies is that they aren’t equipped to examine the data and find the treasure buried within.
AI can make spotting these trends and finding actionable insights easier.
Machine learning and algorithms will be able to break down mountains of information while spotting trends and patterns. As you feed the machines more data, they become even better at analyzing it.
Once you see the trends in your transactional data, you’ll be able to use this knowledge in a wide range of ways to better make pricing decisions and better target customers to convert more leads into sales.
The key takeaway here is that your transactional data is full of information. If you’re not using AI and machine learning tools in your business, odds are you’re not only unaware of these insights, but you’re not able to capitalize on them either.
2. Recognize Patterns in Wins and Losses
In the previous point, we discussed how AI and machine learning could help you find patterns in your transactional data.
We’d call those “wins’, since the customer has completed some sort of transaction.
However, we can also glean a lot of information from our losses as well. Sometimes a missed sale provides us more insight than the one we’ve closed.
Your AI solution will be able to look at each deal you have in your pipeline. It will then suggest actions with high probability of resulting in a win for your business.
As time goes on and the AI comes into contact with more data, the system develops an even better handle on what actions will lead to the desired result. Missed opportunities provide just as much opportunity for learning in this scenario.
One of the biggest benefits here is that AI will eventually become savvy enough to recognize “losses” before you invest a huge amount of time and energy into them. This is another win. You can generate more revenue by prioritizing the deals the AI thinks have the greatest shot at success.
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3. Evaluate Success and Losses
Our third point builds on the last. Wins are great, but not all wins are created equal. AI can help you better understand how difficult getting a win will be.
We’ve all had this client – the one interested in our product, but who loves to kick tires endlessly before actually committing.
As such, this customer will eventually become a “win”, but to be effective with our time and resources we need to understand what this win costs our business. If it’s a low value item but requires weeks of our sales team’s time, that win isn’t as good as one where we sell a high value product with little effort.
Your business wants every win it can get, but AI can help you better understand how to prioritize your leads so you’re not losing easy sales while focusing on the difficult ones.
Taking this one step further, AI can also help you understand when losing a deal is a win. There will be customers who wouldn’t have been worth it in the long run. They’d have cost you more in time and manpower than they ever generated in revenue. It’s important to be able to recognize these types of deals. AI will help with this.
4. Provide Insight on Effective and Ineffective Revenue Generation Efforts
When you add the previous three points together, you arrive at point four. AI will help you determine which revenue generation efforts are effective and which aren’t working.
Knowing what works allows you to focus on the things that are driving results. Knowing what’s not working shows you what isn’t a priority.
AI will make it clear where your efforts are best spent.
5. Improve Revenue Generation Strategy
Did you know that AI can listen in on calls, read emails, and analyze the information being shared?
AI can be one of your greatest sales mentors. The technology will allow the machine to listen in and analyze these interactions, then formulate plans for how to improve in the future.
Over time, the algorithms will become masters at predicting what will and won’t work. Which means your sales team can approach contacts with the best strategies right out of the gate.
6. Increase Rep Efficiency
In a perfect world, your sales team would spend all of their time doing what matters: selling.
However, sales has become one part selling, one part administrative work over the past few decades. Sales professionals spend countless hours not working with leads, but instead entering data into a CRM.
This is not the best use of their time and talents.
AI can lighten the administrative load for your sales team. We’ve just discussed how AI can listen to calls and examine emails. It can also transcribe that information, putting it directly into the CRM for your sales team.
Beyond that, AI can handle emailing leads, running chatbots, and dozens of other duties that will free your team to make meaningful connections with customers ready to convert instead of spending time qualifying bad leads.
Beyond that, AI is fantastic at helping with guided selling. Do you have a content library that’s not being utilized efficiently? AI can determine what pieces to use, when to use them, and even suggest ideas for additional materials.
7. Improve Overall Customer Experience
The final way AI and machine learning can help you generate more revenue is by improving the overall customer experience.
One of the key ways it achieves this is by correlating a customer’s entire journey through your funnel. And not just for one purchase.
Imagine your sales, marketing, and executive team being able to see the entire customer history all at once, complete with insights on what to upsell and cross-sell to these customers?
It’s a win-win. The customer isn’t bothered because you’re offering them targeted products they’re actually interested in based on their history with you. You’re saving money by upselling and cross-selling existing customers instead of chasing new ones.
AI makes this possible because it not only can track a customer’s entire history with your business, but it can break down the data in all those interactions (whether wins or losses) and help you better reconnect with them for future purchases.
Beyond that, AI can provide you with more detailed information about how to best connect with a previous customer. This way, your sales people come in armed with some advance knowledge and can make a genuine human connection with less effort. This makes customers feel valued.
Companies spend billions of dollars a year battling churn and chasing new leads. New business is always a good thing, but AI can help you take advantage of the opportunities you already have: your existing and previous customers.
Don’t overlook this powerful revenue stream.
How Can AI Optimize Costs?
Now that we’ve discussed AI’s role in increasing revenue, let’s switch gears and discuss how it can optimize costs.
1. Identify Underperforming Discounts and Segments
AI is excellent at breaking down your customers, leads, and prospects into a wide variety of segments based on a lot of different data points.
Doing this will allow you to see what segments of your customer base are actually moving through your pipeline and which ones aren’t converting well enough to justify your time.
Knowing where to focus your efforts is a key to success.
2. Identify Most Profitable Products
Does your business have a wide range of products? Do you know where your best margins lie and what your most profitable products are? AI can break this down for you.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ll again be better able to prioritize things with the best returns.
3. Automate Pricing Proposals
In the past, pricing proposals were often done by “gut feelings” and input from your sales professional. This was as much a form of alchemy as it was a science.
AI can eliminate the guesswork here by automating the pricing process based on data and not feelings.
AI will look at a diverse range of factors (including other deals you’ve made) and compare the numbers against probability rates and other parameters to come up with a price offer that will make the customer happy while ensuring you earn a profit.
4. Provide Insights on What Customers are Willing to Pay
Taking the previous bullet point to its next step, AI will help you determine what customers are willing to pay before you get to the proposal stage.
As in the automated pricing point, AI can look at a wide variety of parameters to determine realistic pricing. The machines will not only look at your pricing, but can consider competitors, locations, time of year, and a multitude of other factors.
This means you get a suggest price that is optimal based on whatever parameters you need to meet, without guessing and over or under-valuing your product.
AI is revolutionizing sales.
If you take nothing else from this article, we hope you remember that key point. If you’re not taking advantage of advances in AI and machine learning, your sales team is not operating at peak efficiency and you’re losing revenue (and ground to your competition).
It’s not hyperbole to say that AI is a game-changer in the sales industry. The level of insight you can gain from analyzing data is breathtaking in its depth and complexity. There’s really nothing in the sales space that AI can’t help you do more effectively.
If you’re looking to optimize your pricing and drive more revenue to your business, then the time to explore AI-based sales enablement tools is now. We’re here to help.
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Accent Technologies is the first and only SaaS company to bring together Sales AI and Content Management in a true Revenue Enablement Platform. We provide both sales and marketing with better visibility into the performance of their teams. This drives revenue through intelligent recommendations for complex sales scenarios and provides the data for rich analytics that power better coaching, forecasting, and long-term customer support. Learn more about our solutions or request a live demo to see it in action.