At a Glance

  • In today’s hyper-connected digital world, customers expect personalization, convenience, and targeted sales experiences. Sales professionals are continuously striving to provide an enhanced and integrated customer experience.
  • Sales Professionals face many challenges every day – a better understanding of buyers’ needs, value communication, demand prediction and most importantly, staying connected with the customer.
  • Low customer engagement hinders companies’ brand image, forcing them to switch to other brands that better cater to customer requirements. Availability of market data and customer behavior is driving sales professionals to understand customer needs better. Enhanced customer experience ensures business outcomes.
  • Sales powered by Artificial Intelligence is the differentiator that can build better customer relationships as AI helps to understand customer behavior, enhances your ability to forecast, and enables you to focus on sales that matter. AI in sales also helps you in effective demand forecasting to stay in line with the market demands.

The Age of Distraction

Your sales departments play a pivotal role in your organization. They face numerous challenges in increasing customer satisfaction. The significant consequence of living in a digital era is that sales reps get defocussed as they cannot accurately read the customer information. Sellers need appropriate tools to instill a focused effort on sales.

These distractions reduce sales efficiencies by 14%

59%Sales people claim to have too many tools

64% Sales reps’ time is spent on non-selling activities

50%Sales reps’ have no idea about what is expected of them

In addition to distractions, sellers face increasing complexity in today’s sales environment. They work with an average of 10 stakeholders for every purchase decision to be made, resulting in buying decisions to take 97%¹ (Gartner) longer than expected.

Yet, 60% of companies lack a well-defined sales process, further contributing to the long sales cycles. The need to work with different functions and people requires more collaboration, adding to its complexity.

Using Artificial intelligence in sales helps you streamline your sales process by automating various functions like – sales execution, tracking sales performance, connecting with prospects helping you increase your conversion and win rates.

For instance, AI automation in sales has helped automate purchasing using bots decreasing 15 to 20% of expenditure sourced through e-platforms.

Gartner predicts that 30% of all B2B companies will employ some type of AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes by 2020. Your competitors are experimenting with artificial intelligence, looking at the benefits it offers from automating their sales processes. Per McKinsey, companies using artificial intelligence in sales have seen –

  • 50% increase in leads and appointments
  • 40-60% decrease in overall costs
  • 60-70% decrease in call time

While staying at par with competition makes automation a must, clarifying the software’s personalized capabilities and limitations is paramount.

85%

of customers will manage their relationships with different enterprises using bots or virtual assistants by 2020.

Source: Gartner

Smart CRM Solutions Can

  • Transform decision-making across many functional areas
  • Unite key functional areas on organizational goals
  • Improve efficiency, accuracy, profitability
  • Allow staffers to do more creative & strategic work

How can AI help your sales department?

There remains a misconception that AI automation can replace humans. Instead, AI helps humans to increase accuracy and perform their jobs better than before. Incorporating artificial intelligence in your sales departments enables you to automate various tasks done by humans and reduces the scope for human error increasing efficiency. Your sales department can benefit from AI by –

AI for increased price optimization: To decide the discount to be given to a client is always a tricky question for companies. As important as winning the deal is, leaving money on the table is a loss for you. Adopting artificial intelligence in sales departments helps you estimate the ideal discount rate for a proposal by viewing the specific features of a past deal closed. These features also include Features could include: the size of the deal in dollars, product specification compliance, number of competitors, company size, territory/region, client’s industry, client’s annual revenues, a public or private company, and level of decision-makers (influencers) involved.

AI for Better Forecasting: Forbes estimates that 74% of large B2B firms engage in sales forecasting every week. They also estimate that 69% of companies, regardless of their size, consider their sales forecasting methods to be ineffective. Sales managers face a daunting challenge in tracking where their team’s total revenue falls short each revenue cycle. Using AI in sales can help you effectively estimate and predict your revenue, reducing your operational challenges to manage your inventory and resources better.

Companies boasting accurate sales forecasts are 10% more likely to grow their revenue and 7% more likely to meet their targets.Source: Aberdeen Group

Cross-selling and up-selling: The most effective and economical way to increase profits is to sell more to your existing client base. But how do you understand which audience to target? You can spend your revenue marketing your product to the wrong audience or use AI algorithms to identify which clients would be willing to update their product (up-selling) and/or buy a completely different product that you offer (cross-selling).

Enhanced lead scoring: 61% of companies say misleading buying signals are a huge barrier to effective lead scoring. They claim to fall prey to customers’ gut impulses and inaccurate information, which significantly hurts their lead scoring or bottom line. Per Forbes, 68% of respondents reported implementing lead scoring strategies, whereas 40% believe in the value associated with lead scoring.

Effective performance management: Sales managers are expected to eagerly track their team performance and look out for barriers in meeting their revenue targets. With AI, they can now use dashboards that showcase employee performance and help managers predict which salespeople are likely to hit their quotas and which deals have a higher chance of being closed.

Empowering your sales force with AI technology

Before investing in a pilot project, you need to meet your sales managers and understand the potential use cases to determine the suited requirement. Three types of AI technology promises results for B2B sales organizations. They are –

  • AI in Sales Predictions – Analytics like AI in sales forecasting find correlations between various data points. Such tools automatically create the insights that are essential to managers and sales reps. For example, they can determine a prospect’s likelihood to become your client and help in sales forecasting.
  • Prescriptive – Such analytics supports guided selling. AI suggests activities based on all the sales methodologies adopted by the firm. This is a step forward to move a deal to the next sales stage or develop a pricing model based on a prospect’s general preferences.
  • AI for Text and sentiment analysis with Natural Language Processing – understands and analyzes the context of customers’ questions and their behavior. Using sentiment analysis, sales reps are alerted if signs of dissatisfaction are discovered.

What Microsoft Dynamics has to offer: Exclusive Features

Dynamics 365 AI for Sales enables salespeople to build stronger functional relationships with their customers to increase customer satisfaction. It helps them take actions based on helpful insights helping them close sales faster.

Dynamics 365 AI for Sales offers the following capabilities for sellers:

  • Relationship analytics: This feature helps you assemble relevant information from the entire database to create a graphical representation of all the KPIs and activity histories. Such a visual display showcases KPIs and activity histories for any contact, opportunity, lead or account.
  • Predictive lead scoring: This feature helps you generate scores for all your leads in the pipeline. It assigns a score between 0 to 100 to leads based on signals from them and related entities such as contact and account. This helps you identify and prioritize leads with more chances of converting into opportunities.
  • Predictive opportunity scoring: This feature provides a scoring model to generate scores for opportunities in your pipeline. It assigns a score between 0 and 100 to all the opportunities based on the signals they give out and other related entities such as contact and account. This helps identify and prioritize opportunities that have more chances of converting into sales.
  • Notes analysis: Notes give you intelligent suggestions to help you save time and effort by taking actions such as creating a meeting request and adding a contact. The text in the note is highlighted and when selected, suggestions are displayed.
  • Talking points: This feature is useful to help you start conversations with customers based on emails. The conservation starters include topics that are related to Health, sports, vacation, family, and entertainment. These topics help you start a conversation with your customer, as you can choose your customer’s area of interest. Talking points will display only the latest communication for each topic in hand.
  • Who knows whom: This feature provides you details such as your contact’s name and email address who knows the lead. Using these details, you can reach out to your contact and get introduced to a lead and increase the chances of a positive outcome during the interaction.

Key Takeaways

  • Good sales professionals advance their sales processes by leveraging the right skills at the right time. They become agile in their approach to numerous stakeholders who represent a host of opinions and interests.
  • Sales managers will require their workforce to have skills and tools to help customers build the case for change by understanding how factors like desired outcomes and solution options influence decisions.
  • Companies can benefit from seeing tangible rep to customer conversion analytics and identify different ways to improve deal closure rate.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company and delivers transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

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