AI and Prescriptive Analytics in B2B Sales Strategy
Artificial intelligence now has the ability to shore up inefficiencies in call scripts, applying NLP to a machine transcription that is used on customer acquisition calls. Gong, the brand that is applying this new technology, is building on the market that was created by Apple’s Siri and Amazon Echo with a level of intimacy and nuance that was previously thought unattainable except through direct human to human interaction.
In the Gong example, the transcripts of sales calls were categorized, and conversation trees were mapped out to analyze which questions were asked, the objections that were raised and what was discussed. This filtering of the conversation helped to reduce the amount of time needed to understand the basis of the calls as well. Overall, about 2,000 hours of calls were recorded.
What Does Sales AI Mean for Sales?
Sales people were generally ecstatic to receive the notes that Gong was able to procure from its conversations. Instead of having to pore over individual calls, the new sales AI did all of the organization for the sales team, categorizing sales calls by preset metrics that created a more effective way to analyze the content. Sales people were able to quickly determine the number of prospects in a particular country, the promises that were made on the call, and the items that the call discussed, all very easily determined through a simple transcript read.
From this data, sales people have many options – limiting the type of customer that a particular script reaches, or modifying the script to engage more or less of an action item depending on where the customer is in the sales funnel. These techniques, once back of the napkin estimates based upon the whims of a sales manager, are now quantifiable items that can be trended out on a spreadsheet for management to analyze with an incredible amount of scientific rigor.
Sales AI and Prescriptive Analysis
Many companies that have struggled to equate a top level strategy with front line performance now have the data necessary to close the gap through sales AI. The lines of communication between marketing and sales now have an explicit metric that is determined by a dispassionate third party, the sales AI. No longer does sales have to worry about the ego of the marketing department, and marketing no longer needs to try to guess at strategies that work without real time, front line experience.
Based upon new sales AI data, the decisions about how to allocate the time of sales reps on calls, the customers that are actually called and the nature of the call will now be more scientifically approached. In short, a sales team can create a sales script for an entire campaign, not just a talking script for an individual call. These hard metrics help to create a prescriptive analysis to give a sales person a clear cut price guidance based upon the customer type. Sales performance is also easier to measure under these circumstances.
AI, Prescriptive Analysis and B2B
Many company owners already recognize AI as the future, with 24% of companies in Canada already implementing it into business in some way. Even companies that do not currently use AI expect it to be a part of mainstream business within 10 years.
B2B companies have an opportunity to reduce expenses across the board with AI. No longer do companies have to rely on expensive third party aggregation and trends services in order to map out call strategies – AI takes care of this in house. Prescriptive analysis keeps sales and management on the same page in terms of expectations and cuts down on the number of truly cold leads that a sales person has to face. Finally, companies can direct their business based upon the likelihood of connectivity instead of basing strategies off of hot tips, blind chance or a numbers game.
AI also has the potential to seamlessly connect a customer higher in the sales funnel to a human sales person to finish the sale. However, much as with customer service calls, that manpower is not used unless a customer has been genuinely vetted for interest by the AI. Strategies like these allow companies to redirect many of the funds previously used within the sales department into other aspects of business more in need of funding.