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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=artificial intelligence'>artificial intelligence</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=AI and Sales'>AI and Sales</a>
Marketing & Tech
Jul 24, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

The use of AI in the sales and customer satisfaction process is still in its infancy. The potential for AI and its role in sales and customer service in the next five to ten years, however, is huge.

AI is currently being used to collect and interpret key business metrics - helping companies make decisions based on past events.

In the near future Artificial intelligence will improve how we understand the relationships between people, information, time, outcome, and actions. Let’s consider some of the areas of change in sales and customer satisfaction which will result from the ‘coming of the robots’.

Sales Performance and Recognition

The screening, training and appraisal processes associated with sales and customer service pros will be remodeled as under-performing sales and customer service professionals are identified faster. Mid-level performers will likely receive more precise and agile training. The best performing salesperson, meanwhile, will benefit from new predictive tools which help them to become even more effective in sourcing and closing sales.

Non-traditional rewards and ways to motivate - e.g. gamification - will also continue to evolve in view of optimising performance of sales-focused professionals.

Tracking

Artificial intelligence will enable salespeople to more be effective by automating frequently-repeated or lower-level tasks; allowing them to create automatic alerts for when thresholds are reached, and particular tasks are executed.

With this information, salespeople will be able to avoid surprises, understand why customers think the way they think, and better relate to why buyer behaviour.

Higher Customer Satisfaction

Customer service is possibly more likely to see big changes than sales departments. Why? Because many of the tasks performed today by people will be handled via AI voice. This will mean that most human interactions will be at a higher level of customer satisfaction than we are currently providing.

As Artificial Intelligence becomes fully integrated with websites, customers will be able to go much further through the buying process before they have to interact with a human. Indeed, for many transactions, there will be no human interaction at all!

More Power to the Customer

AI will give even more power to the customer even more than today. Better predictive analytics and tactics using cookies and retargeting campaigns will create a customer journey which is much more personal - based on online user activity and interests.

This will mean that companies will know what their customers will want based on historical context without making any assumptions. In turn, sales and customer services departments will be in a stronger position to renew customer contracts and upsell additional products

Faster, More Efficient Sales Processes

AI will allow the salesperson to direct more complex sales and be able to do it in a more efficient manner. Future salespeople will be able to do their sales planning sessions using AI instead of needing to prolong the sales cycle by engaging their sales managers.

As the laptops and smartphones have increased the productivity of salespeople over the last decade, AI will increase productivity at an even faster rate over the next five to ten years.

The ‘coming of the robots’ will mean a smarter, personalized and more predictive customer experience. This will mean that sales-focused execs will enjoy more timely and informed one-on-one interactions safe in the knowledge that what they say and show is proven and tailored for their prospect or client.

Centralised Data

The days when most sales activities, such as meetings, presentations, emails, attachments, phone calls, and follow-ups are not centralised within a CRM are almost over. Centralised places which help interpret and sort bigger data will become more prevalent as companies look to connect the full gambit of sales activities and opportunities.

There will no longer be separate data silos stored in such places as email, laptops, drives, CMS, portals or learning systems.

AI will allow sales and customer services to better connect with company KPIs plus identify stronger revenue opportunities.

These advances will mean that salespeople will be able to better harness big data to gain informed and targeted insights into account health. This will help to minimize churn, identify new prospects, and increase the bottom line of companies.

Conclusion

Much of the use of AI today mainly consists of simple reminders and suggestions for busy salespeople, derived from crawling through dialing lists, emails and calendars. The future of sales and customer service, however, will be about better information leading to more efficiency and timely, segmented, interactions with clients and prospects.

About the Canadian Professional Sales Association

Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter. 

Contact us today at memberservices@cpsa.com or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.

Copyright ©2017 by The Canadian Professional Sales Association
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