Discover how you can accelerate sales with artificial intelligence (A.I.) & machine learning ... today! These days the sales role is increasingly seen as one steeped in science rather than a dark art practised by a successful few. This change has mostly been fuelled by some dramatic advances in technology capability.
It All Started with 'Big Data'
Across the last few years, we have witnessed a move towards ‘big data’. But what does that mean? Well, ‘big data’ is the ability to firstly, collect & store vast quantities of data and then to subsequently process it to search for patterns that unlock how we can improve.
For example, in the consumer world, this approach is being used to answer questions like:
- ‘Do specific weather patterns have an impact on consumer buying sentiment?’
- ‘Does the outcome of large sports events impact buyers' behaviours?’
- ‘How do traffic patterns impact town centre foot-fall?’
Right now, this insight has been confined to the small few who can use the highly complex tools required to make sense of this data.
The next wave of innovation has become focused on bringing this intelligence into the hands of the individual. For example, could we really predict sales outcomes using this approach and focus our precious selling time accordingly?
Practical Uses for A.I. in the B2B World
In the world of B2B sales, the consumer oriented patterns mentioned above are somewhat less relevant. But what if we could track high-value sales behaviours over time? What if we could build up a picture of the winning patterns exhibited by our top performers? Could we find useful insight in this data?
We are now entering the world of “artificial intelligence” and “machine learning”. Very grand and somewhat scary labels for concepts that could turn your CRM system from a dumb data repository into an intelligent sales guide.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning go together. Imagine the scenario where a machine can learn from the data collected. As the machine learns, it can refine its own intelligence. And with current machine processing power, it can do this darn fast.
Let’s start with a simple example. If I gave a machine three very different pictures of a cat, when I give it a fourth picture, the machine will most likely struggle to identify it as a cat. There are just not enough data points to learn from. Not enough data to make an accurate prediction.
However, by the time the machine has digested one million pictures of cats and processed those, the story changes. The next picture of a cat given to that machine will most likely result in a confident prediction that we do indeed have a cat on our hands!
How Can This Help Me to Increase Sales?
Let’s return to the science of sales. Imagine being able to uncover your “winning way”. To be able to build up a data driven understanding of the process that your top performing reps follow. The timing and cadence of the high-value sales behaviours that lead them to successful deal outcomes. If you could do that, it would unlock all sorts of possibilities, right?
- In the same way you can with cats, you could use this to predict deal outcomes. Predictions that are based on data. Predictions that are based on the machine learning what ‘good’ looks like and applying it to your deals.
- Better still, if you know what ‘good’ looks like and you can predict the health of your pipeline, then you could better marshal your resources. You could make sure precious supporting resources are applied to only the healthiest of deals.
- Going one step further, if you know what ‘good’ looks like you could use this insight to guide your core performers to follow the same path as your top performers. You could use the machine to coach them in real-time, rapidly increasing their sales performance and revenue contribution.
- Conversely, if we know what ‘good’ looks like then surely, we can also build up a picture of what ‘bad’ looks like. Imagine if we could track, identify and eliminate the poor sales practices that drag down our sales performance.
How Do I Get Started?
If this sounds like fantasy land then you are mistaken. This capability exists today and is in use by some of the largest global organisations. It is a capability that is inexpensive and fast to get started.