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AI in sales: How to use the “CRM goldmine”

15.7 trillion dollars. This is how high current analyses estimate the contribution of artificial intelligence to the global economy in 2030. In other words, the technology has enormous potential – in your company too. AI in sales in particular promises significant leaps in efficiency and increased sales. The real treasure is already in your hands: the data from the CRM system. AI helps you to utilize this valuable resource.

Hans Jürgen Eilers, Area Sales Manager, GEDYS IntraWare, expert in the digitalization of processes, especially in the area of sales
Hans Jürgen Eilers, Area Sales Manager, GEDYS IntraWare, expert in the digitalization of processes, especially in the area of sales

Hans Jürgen Eilers, Area Sales Manager
GEDYS IntraWare GmbH

What does today’s B2B sales force need – and why does it need AI?

Digitalization has also made its mark on sales in the form of CRM software. fundamentally changed. A glance at your diary will probably tell you that online meetings are increasingly replacing face-to-face meetings. This is practical, as it eliminates the need for long journeys and you can complete transactions from your desk at home.

However, the real cultural change lies in the increased demands of the market and your customers. Availability, speed and flexibility have become decisive factors when it comes to selling goods or services. Added to this is the desire for personalization that people are used to from their private online shopping experiences. Personalization means, for example, that order histories and preferences are known and customers receive individual product recommendations. The expectations that are shaped by private online shopping are being transferred to B2B business.

At the same time, the sales department is faced with an ever-growing mountain of data. This enormous amount of data is both challenging and useful, because it is the key to offering prospective customers exactly what they want. A well-maintained CRM allows you to deduce what a customer wants today and in the future, what their price sensitivity is and what potential they have for your company. This provides the basis for mastering the challenges of today and tomorrow. But how?

This is where artificial intelligence comes into play for sales. Used correctly, it brings numerous benefits:

  • Predicting customer behavior
  • Creation of optimal offers
  • Prioritization of leads
  • Better networking with customers
  • More efficiency in customer service
  • Increase in data quality
  • Simplified communication

Find out how to develop the individual benefits in the 7 use cases for AI in sales!

Good to know: According to a Statista survey from 2020, AI in sales is one of the top 3 areas of application for artificial intelligence in companies. In 2018, a pwc survey revealed that only 4 percent of companies are past the implementation phase and are using AI to its full extent. However, development is progressing rapidly and AI is now one of the top issues in companies. After all, their use in sales promises decisive competitive advantages.

These types of AI exist

When talking about “AI”, we often simply refer to “artificial intelligence”. Current reporting also uses the English term “AI” or “artificial intelligence”. AI is a collective term for various types of software that perform different tasks using methods such as machine learning. The following types of AI are particularly common and offer potential applications in sales.

Generative AI

Generative AI is characterized by the fact that it is able to generate data. This is often done on the basis of probabilities. Probably the most famous example of generative AI is ChatGPT from Open AI for generating texts, which has already found its way into our CRM release 8.14.

Analytical AI

Analytical AI is capable of evaluating vast amounts of data – in some cases, it sifts through and structures enormous data sets in just a few seconds. This enables advanced methods such as data mining, which involves the targeted evaluation of data, for example to predict customer behavior in sales.

Reactive AI

In contrast to generative and analytical AI, reactive AI is more simply structured, as it “only” executes specific actions in defined use cases – for example in the form of a chatbot in customer service.

7 successful use cases for AI in sales

How can I use AI in sales? There are several exciting approaches to this, from communication to the prediction of customer behavior. The following use cases show how you can use AI and CRM software in sales to create decisive advantages.

1. AI in sales for predicting customer behavior

Analytical AI offers a particularly interesting field of application in sales. Ideally, the CRM system serves as the data basis. Modern software such as GEDYS IntraWare CRM offers the possibility of managing and structuring a wide range of data. An evaluation with a supplementary AI can, for example:

  • show how high the potential of the contact is
  • Make recommendations for the next best action
  • Predicting migration trends (to avoid migration)
  • Deliver sales forecasting for better planning

Web Intelligence is also particularly exciting. This is the generic term for AI-supported analysis of the internet in order to recognize market trends at an early stage and find potential new customers.

2. AI in sales to create optimal offers

Closely linked to the prediction of customer behavior is the support of AI in sales when preparing offers. Here, for example, it is possible to predict the price sensitivity of customers and thus calculate the probability of closing a deal. This helps you to focus your efforts on the right prospects.

3. AI in sales for prioritizing leads

AI is also a great support if you want to qualify leads – keyword: lead scoring. Traditionally, lead scoring is done more or less “by hand” or “by gut feeling”. With the help of AI and data from your CRM system, you can move towards a data-supported lead evaluation that dynamically adapts to customer development. To do this, the AI analyzes the data from the CRM and also makes predictions based on similarities between different contacts. In this way, you receive a list of the top contacts for successful further processing in sales.

In a next step, it is also conceivable to identifystatistical twins“. This means that you can find companies that have very similar needs to your best customers and include them in your acquisition efforts. With AI support in sales, you can increase the chances of success in acquiring new customers and at the same time boost efficiency in your department.

Our tip: The most important basis for the success of AI in sales is high-quality data. Use the potential of CRM systems to optimize data quality. Make sure that all employees record the relevant data during deployment – that way you get the most out of your tech stack.

4. AI in sales for better networking with customers

As described, personalization is a major trend that has long since reached the B2B business. Ideally, the sales department can not only remember a customer and their individual needs, but also make suggestions for successful cooperation in the future. Here too, AI supports you in sales by evaluating data and making recommendations, such as the next product offer.

5. AI in sales for more efficiency in customer service

You can go one step further by combining sales, AI and customer service. With a chatbot , it is possible to be available around the clock and many inquiries can even be processed automatically. You forward identified leads to the responsible contact person in your company’s sales department.

6. AI in sales for simplified communication

You can also use AI in sales and customer service to simplify communication. A very simple use case: Have your emails personalized by ChatGPT or a similar program. This works, for example, in GEDYS IntraWare CRM with the AI assistant. As a live translator, the program enables you to communicate with customers from all over the world in real time without speaking their language.

And that’s just the beginning. There is already artificial intelligence that enables you to analyze the mood of the other person. AI assistants with Natural Language Processing (NLP) evaluate spoken words and factors such as voice pitch to recognize emotions. This gives you an insight into the emotional world of your customers, which offers you decisive advantages in sales talks.

7. AI in sales to increase data quality

Another area of application for AI in sales is the optimization of data quality. There are various scenarios in this area. One simple use is to check that the data is up to date.

Clustering is also useful. This means that you use defined parameters to determine who your top contacts are – and process corresponding requests preferentially and at the highest level.

Tip: Data-based personas

With AI, you can create data-based personas. As a result, marketing and sales have a much better idea of the target group and can optimize their activities accordingly. You will also find the necessary data in the CRM system.

What advantages does AI offer in sales?

The more intensively you integrate artificial intelligence, the more diverse the ways in which you can benefit from it.

More efficiency: By automating and accelerating processes, you and your team are more productive in the same amount of time.

Increasing sales: Applications such as sales forecasting and process mining enable you to make the right decisions at an early stage and increase sales.

Further development of the portfolio: AI uses data-supported personas and lead scoring to show which contacts are particularly valuable to you – and which products and services your customers value. The knowledge you gain can be used to sharpen your focus or expand your portfolio.

Deeper customer loyalty: By improving customer service with AI support and recognizing churn trends with churn prevention, you strengthen and deepen customer loyalty.

Challenges of AI in sales

Even though AI offers numerous advantages in sales, there are still some challenges to consider. As a general rule, all data-supported AI functions are only as good as the data basis. It is therefore essential to maintain the data in a high-quality CRM system. Otherwise the AI evaluations will come to nothing. Even more problematic is a supposedly data-supported evaluation whose data basis is, however, too thin. At worst, you are trusting unqualified predictions. You can also protect yourself against this with professional data maintenance.

Another focus should be on the consistent use of AI functions by employees. Otherwise, positive effects such as efficiency gains can quickly fizzle out. You can prevent this by providing your team with comprehensive training.

Last but not least, the introduction of AI in companies can lead to human employees relying too much on technology. Human intelligence is still indispensable if the capabilities of AI are to be put to good use.

Conclusion: AI and CRM in sales are worth their weight in gold

In summary, the use of AI in sales not only offers numerous advantages. What’s more, their sensible use determines their success in sales. To benefit from this, you need a high-quality data basis – CRM offers this. By using CRM data, you can deepen customer loyalty, prevent churn, acquire new customers and reduce the workload on your team. All of this leads to more sales in the long term and secures your competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive market environment.

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