Three Ways AI And Sales Analytics Work Together

Author: 
Sabrina Atienza

Luckily, the days of the traveling salesperson are long behind us. Today, salespeople rarely carry around product-filled briefcases, and stick their feet in the door of unsuspecting potential clients for just long enough to reel off another unwavering pitch. And while one may reminisce on those days as simpler times, the conspicuous question remains: How was that even efficient?

Compared to the processes used today, it wasn’t at all. The sales industry has moved far away from door-to-door salespeople and traditional cold calling, and into an entirely new intelligent process. One in which sales professionals use artificial intelligence (AI) to understand exactly what brilliantly phrased pitches close the most sales, and even when to stop talking and start listening.

While a salesperson’s intuition is still key, AI is leveraged to provide more convincing insights to empower sales teams to close deals faster than ever before. It’s predicted there will be a 98 percent increase in the growth of predictive selling over the next three years, and a 118 percent increase in predictive intelligence, like lead scoring and forecasting. Here are three use-cases in which AI and sales analytics can work together today:  

Reduce pipeline volatility and unpredictability

Traditionally, managers might listen in on calls to gauge the likelihood a deal will close. However this process is time consuming, not comprehensive, and it’s nearly impossible for sales forecasts to be entirely correct based on a small sample of phone calls.

And for businesses, that’s a problem. Without being able to accurately forecast sales - and thus revenue - companies are unable to allocate resources properly, plan new hires, or confidently make investments. Businesses that don’t hit their numbers also have a hard time raising financing. And without any big wins for the company, workers risk losing momentum, leading every department into a downward spiral, putting the company at risk.

That’s where AI comes to the rescue. Today AI and analytics is leveraged to dissect thousands of hours of sales calls per month. This means much richer insights into opportunities that will close and those that’ll go dark, without a manager having to sit in on an impossible amount of calls and using guesswork to figure out a forecast. Using AI for analytics,  it is  now easier than ever for companies to map out their future investments and hires, as well as fulfill the bigger company mission.

Boost your win rate

To understand the health of your sales process, the following formula helps:

(# of Opportunities) * (Win Rate) * (Average contract value) / (Sales cycle time)

It’s easier to change the number of opportunities variable. Over the past 10 years, dozens of sales automation tools have emerged that enable semi-automated follow-up cadences or compile large amounts of leads. It’s more difficult, however, to change the ‘win rate’ variable. Because while it may be widely known some members of the team close more sales, it’s difficult to figure out exactly why this is true - and more, how to effectively train other team member to be A players, too.

However with AI capabilities today, it’s gotten a whole lot easier. AI and analytics can be leveraged to understand why those top-notch sales people are 300 percent above quota, and why others are just scraping by. Is it the questions they ask, and how they build rapport? Or is it how they position the company against key competitors, and make the customer laugh?

AI has the power to examine these factors, and even act as a personal coach to a salesperson while they’re on a call to give recommendations in real-time about exactly what to say. It’s like having a veteran salesperson by your side at all times, scribbling down suggestions to move the conversation forward..  

Automate A/B testing for e-commerce businesses

AI and sales doesn’t just entail dissecting phone calls and providing insights into what to say, when and how.  AI can also optimize A/B testing for e-commerce businesses, helping to understand which designs result in more conversions. Sentient Ascend, for example, uses AI to analyze various designs, copy, and images simultaneously to test which resonate with customers to achieve the best results, at a faster rate.

So instead of a company having to wait for A//B testing to take place one design at a time, AI automates the process to figure out what works faster, to get more website conversions - and yes, up the sales.

Today AI gives sales teams insights like they’ve never had before, enabling them to work at a faster rate, scale beyond competition, and keep a high morale in the process. And as AI tools become more widely adopted, you can guarantee more and more companies will jump on the bandwagon to stay competitive and watch their sales spike.

Sabrina Atienza is co-founder and CEO of real-time voice AI platform Qurious.