THIS – Shaping InteractionsStrategy Consulting & Digital Agency in Düsseldorf

AI for sales teams: Innovative ways to increase efficiency

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Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are becoming increasingly important in our increasingly digitalised world. Since 2023, more than half of companies have increased their investments in generative AI.

They are also increasingly used in sales to optimise business processes, improve customer experiences and support sales teams in their daily work. It is predicted that by 2028, around 70% of B2B buyers in the US will use AI to optimise their purchasing process. This will fundamentally change the way products and services are researched, evaluated and selected.

What is artificial intelligence and machine learning?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that focuses on the development of systems that can imitate human intelligence. Machine learning (ML) is a sub-area of AI and focuses on the development of statistical models and algorithms. These are designed to enable computers to learn independently from data and recognise patterns.

In a nutshell, AI is the overarching concept that describes the imitation of human intelligence, while ML is a method within AI in which systems learn from data in order to accomplish certain tasks.

The use of AI in sales

Optimisation of sales productivity

By analysing past sales data, data-based suggestions for action can be derived in order to increase productivity within sales. In addition, AI can quickly compile customised presentations and information material based on existing data and materials. This can include taking into account sales styles, sales employee preferences and specific product features or use cases. AI can also create training, assessments and onboarding programmes for sales staff based on specific requirements. This leads to better preparation and faster integration of new team members and ensures that the entire sales team is always up to date.

Increasing the customer lifetime value

Predictive AI models are able to predict customer behaviour based on various parameters and optimise sales activities such as personalised offers, cross-selling, upselling and follow-ups. Sales teams can use AI to create personalised customer brochures and send them with individual links. This makes it possible to offer customised solutions that are precisely tailored to customers' needs. This targeted customer approach can lead to higher customer satisfaction, better customer loyalty and thus also to more sales.

Customised pricing through guided selling

With guided selling, customers can answer questions about their needs on their own or in a sales meeting, after which they receive customised product recommendations. Chatbots can answer the first important customer questions around the clock and provide sales teams with valuable data. Pricing algorithms perform comprehensive analyses to calculate the optimal prices for products and customers. This data-driven pricing takes into account factors such as demand, competitive pricing and customer behaviour, allowing companies to develop competitive and profitable pricing structures.

Analysing the competition

AI tools can analyse the online presence of competitors and direct opponents and collect valuable information on market dynamics. This includes data on new product launches, price changes and marketing campaigns. Sales reps can use this data for an upcoming sales call and decision makers can use this information to adjust strategies to capitalise on new business opportunities and respond to risks in a timely manner.

Information procurement with data silos

Company data is often stored in different data silos, which makes it considerably more difficult to access relevant information that can be crucial in discussions with customers. AI can be used to analyse and search through these volumes of data in order to immediately access the latest prices and information, for example. This means that sales staff always have the latest data available and can provide their customers with the best possible advice.