Artificial intelligence (AI) is now a household phrase thanks to smart assistants, self-driving cars, and even recommended products on e-commerce sites. It’s a common term around the office too, from predictive and personalized marketing to sales forecasting and competitive intelligence.
So there’s a good chance you know what AI is and what it’s capable of. But how do you actually start using AI in sales?
While AI technology has grown tremendously in prevalence and awareness, it’s still ambiguous enough that you may not know how to implement it immediately.
What is Predictive Sales AI and How Does It Work?
Predictive sales AI uses historical data, patterns, and even external sources to forecast and enable businesses to make better sales decisions. The AI works by applying predictive algorithms to a company’s CRM or ERP data and automating much of the sales process so reps can focus instead on nurturing and closing deals.
Making it work requires:
Intentional data collection
AI algorithms won’t work without proper historical data. Gather past sales data, competitive data, customer behavior, market data, etc. It’s even better if you can gather data and make predictions on one platform.
Continually optimize your data to remove duplicates and standardize it to function for predictive models.
Training the software
You must teach AI to learn and execute your predictive model(s) like a human brain. Using your predictive sales software, run tests using historical data sets and compare them against what occurred in the last year.
Regular software use
Predictive sales AI doesn’t do the selling—it provides the insights you need to execute better, more data-driven strategies. Use the insights you glean to modify your sales strategies and sell smarter.
5 Ways to Use AI for Sales Today
There are many practical AI applications across your team. With predictive insights, you can:
Help your sales team prioritize leads.
Predictive lead scoring technology estimates a lead’s likelihood of converting to a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) and flags prospects to prioritize. The sales AI assesses which types of leads have historically led to conversion (using factors like a prospect’s company size, industry, job title, etc.) so reps can double down on nurturing leads that are more likely to convert.
Monitor customer activity to improve retention rates.
Sales AI isn’t just for new customers. Predictive technology can help you judge ongoing customer satisfaction and even detect sentiment, helping you identify at-risk accounts. Applying predictive algorithms to historical data gives you deeper insight into converting more cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
Identify key purchase influencers.
Stop guessing which job titles to target. Let sales AI point you to the right purchase influencers to drive conversions. AI can accurately predict which conversations are more likely to influence deals and even how many touches it will take to close using historical sales data.
Create and improve your marketing strategies.
Use AI to catch prospects before they even enter the funnel. Lead interest analysis allows you to create dynamic, multi-phase, highly targeted campaigns that drive more high quality leads into your pipeline. You can send more personalized email communications that drive deeper engagement and eventual conversion with sales and marketing AI.
Launch new services, products, and initiatives.
Launching a new product or service into the market requires several decisions, from branding and target audience to manufacturing and logistics. These decisions can be overwhelming, but AI helps you make smarter decisions that will result in a more successful product launch based on past launches and other market data.
The Benefits of Predictive Sales AI
The biggest benefit of predictive sales AI is that it removes the risk of human error from sales planning. Instead of merely guessing, AI helps you make sense of the data you’ve already collected to accurately predict sales patterns and the probability of closing—without the hassle of doing it yourself.
More tangibly, sales AI helps you generate and score more leads, maximize lifetime customer value, improve sales forecasting accuracy, and tailor customer content and campaigns. It can even help you address indirect goals like accelerating business growth, building relationships and understanding customers, and gauging overall business health.
How effective is predictive sales AI? In our research and experience, predictive sales software results in:
What Do Customers Stand to Gain from AI?
Consumers now expect lightning speeds for every business interaction. They want you to respond to new lead requests in seconds or minutes. They prefer an accelerated Service Level Agreement process. They expect you to immediately reply to their customer support needs or risk a poor review. How can you possibly keep up?
AI puts you a step ahead, helping you:
- Reduce blind spots so you don’t miss key prospects or fail to address customer needs
- Serve viable leads faster (and spend less time on false alarms)
- Gauge customer sentiment before it devolves into a full-blown issue
- Multi-task or offload unnecessary work to automated systems
Overall, AI gives you more time to focus on human relationships and value-added tasks with more precision and know-how.
What Can Predictive Sales Analytics Do for Your Business?
Predictive AI is not only a smarter and more accurate way of selling. It’s the sales strategy of the future. As AI advances in speed, accuracy, and ease of use, you can bet your competitors will begin adopting predictive technology as a direct path to win.
No matter your organization’s size or industry, predictive sales software can help you:
- Work smarter
- Turn data into valuable insights
- Focus on key accounts and influencers
- Increase speed to value
- Avoid the headache of a complex AI implementation involving IT
SugarPredict helps you uncover insights unique to your business—even with limited or incomplete data. With the Sugar Platform, CRM data and predictive analytics live in one place so you can gain deeper visibility across your organization without ever leaving the app. You can finally see your prospects and customers in high-definition to inform more tailored campaigns and reach new levels of business performance.
Ready to sell smarter? Experience the power of artificial intelligence by watching a demo today.