CRM & Artificial Intelligence: 7 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Sales in 2022 and Beyond

CRM tools are crucial for managing customer relationships, working with your team and closing deals. Artificial intelligence (AI), is now integrated into the most innovative CRM software companies. Combining CRM and AI, machine learning uses machine learning to sort through large amounts of data in order to better understand prospects and automate lead nurturing to close more deals.

These are seven ways CRM Software providers combine CRM and AI tools in order to improve small business’ sales processes

1. CRM & IA makes data compilation and organization more efficient

Experienced sales managers will tell you that manually entering data into a CRM can be a time-consuming task and a major barrier to CRM adoption. Salespeople spend 30% of their time selling. This is partly because they spend hours manually entering data and paperwork. AI is a powerful technology that automates manual tasks so that salespeople can return to what they love most: selling.

Real-world example: With AI, reps can spend more time nurturing relationships and closing deals. For example, the Salesforce CRM has an AI feature called “Einstein Activity Capture” that records emails and events with each prospect, automatically organizes them into a timeline, and puts them on your calendar.

 

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Furthermore, CRMs such as HubSpot use AI for automatic detection and consolidation of duplicate contact records whenever you upload a contact list. This eliminates the need to have your reps manually review lists before adding or removing duplicate records.img alt=”HubSpot CRM Manage duplicates.” src=”https://fitsmallbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Screenshot_HubSpot_CRM_Manage_Duplicates.jpg”/>

HubSpot CRM Deduplication feature (Source HubSpot

Einstein Activity Capture features in Salesforce (Source: Salesforce.com)img alt=”HubSpot CRM Manage duplicates.” src=”https://fitsmallbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Screenshot_HubSpot_CRM_Manage_Duplicates.jpg”/>

HubSpot CRM Deduplication feature (Source HubSpot

HubSpot CRM Deduplication feature (Source HubSpot

2. Enhanced Lead Scoring

Sales teams are 33% more likely than others to prioritise leads based upon accurate data rather than intuition. Many sales managers find it difficult to create an accurate model of lead scoring.

Common lead scoring factors include buying signals, job title and budget, industry size, geography, and company size. AI can be used to help you score your leads. This is possible by using your CRM data, behavioral insights and marketing indicators as well as buying decisions from closed deals.

Only 46% of salespeople have access to information about prospects’ intent to make buying decisions based on accurate data, but AI can make it more accessible. This helps your team hone in on which deals to focus on closing to lead them further down the sales funnel .

A real-world example: Vodafone automates lead scoring in its CRM using Anaplan’s AI-powered program to save time in the selling process. They were able to reduce their planning time from three to six months by integrating Anaplan into their CRM to gain data driven sales insights.

Integration of your CRM with AI software such as Anaplan provides predictive insights. This allows your team to identify opportunities that are likely to be closed. It also makes it possible to build more reliable sales projections, optimize your sales territories, and quotas.

3. Better Customer Insights

Understanding your customers is key to gaining their trust and moving them through the sales process. It can be difficult and time-consuming to understand and research each lead individually when there is a large number of them in your CRM sales funnel. This could explain why only 8% of people trust salespeople.

47% want to feel trusted, 44% desire responsiveness, 40% expect sales representatives to be experts in their field, and 40% need to feel comfortable with their salesperson. A lot of CRMs use AI to discover valuable information about potential customers. Machine learning is used to analyze large quantities of data to help reps identify their business needs and craft personalized communications.

Real-world example: Freshsales developed an AI assistant named Freddy to unlock insights about each prospect. It learns from the data in your CRM to create predictions, insights, and recommendations to help you make decisions on how you communicate with each lead.

It can also identify patterns that will help you engage customers and forecast your revenue, backed up by data. Freddy also offers chat services on your website that allow users to ask questions and get the answers they need, without taking away from your support or sales team’s time.

Freshsales Freddy AI prediction and recommendation example (Source: Freshsales)

4. More powerful sales conversations

Many salespeople have some sales training to talk with prospects over the telephone, but AI can now provide coaching and insights by listening in on sales conversations. This technology helps reps recognize social cues and know when to slow down or give prospects room to talk.

A real-world example: The product was developed by Cogito and integrates with CRMs. The product analyzes your speaking patterns and helps you improve the ability of your reps to communicate with prospects and customers with empathy, confidence and using live call monitoring. It is built on millions of phone conversations and natural language processing (NLP). This technology can help reps improve their sales conversations and guide managers in how to provide coaching.

Sales call analyzed by Cogito (Source: Cogitocorp.com)

5. Better Sales Follow-up

Many sales reps depend heavily on email template to respond to large volumes of emails or messages. An AI-powered assistant now can assist with follow-up tasks. This technology uses a bot that looks human-like to follow up on prospects and cross-sell the appropriate products.

This type of technology is rapidly being adopted by sales organizations to increase close rates, reduce churn and engage leads. CenturyLink, for example, reported a 20% return on investment (ROI) when it integrated virtual assistant AI technology in its sales process.

A real-world example: Conversica’s conversational artificial intelligence sales tools allow sales teams to respond automatically to qualified leads via email or text message with personalized messages. It can respond in multiple languages.

It automatically updates your CRM with updated contact information. It can be used to contact leads prior to events (e.g. webinars), engage inactive customers and prospects, and follow up after events such as trade shows or conferences.

Conversica personalized AI conversation (Source: Conversica.com)

6. Automated transcription & sales call analysis

One of my greatest challenges as a salesperson was the ability to simultaneously take notes and listen to prospective customers. Additionally, I would try to recall as much information as possible about the conversation and then quickly add my notes into my CRM. Sometimes, it was only minutes later. This is tedious and can lead to human error. Details can easily be forgotten if they aren’t recorded.

AI can also analyze phone calls to increase emotional intelligence. It can also help sales teams record and analyze meetings and provide insights. AI technology can record time-stamped notes and highlight particular references made by potential customers. It also provides data about next steps, budget and decision-makers.

A real-world example:AI powered software like Choir.ai assists sales reps by recording, analyzing and integrating calls with your CRM software. It can reveal information such as competitors, key topics, feature requests, talk-to-listen ratios, filler words, and other relevant details.

7. Combining your CRM and AI will improve customer service

Nearly everyone has felt frustrated when talking to a bot doesn’t get the answer they want, no matter what industry. Many CRM providers are using AI technology to make bots that can provide accurate, timely answers without the need for manual data mining, which saves valuable time.

A real-world example: Zoho CMS and artificial intelligence go hand in hand. Zia can be asked by sales managers to show them a list with closing deals for the month. Zia then compiles data from their CRM and instantly provides them an automated list. Zia can also be used to search for information about your leads, as well as generate a visual graph.

Tips: Interested in learning more about CRMs and how they can help you manage customer service functions within your sales organization? Learn more about using a CRM to improve customer service.img alt=”Example Zoho Zia Lead By Source” src=”https://fitsmallbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Screenshot_Zoho_Zia_Lead_by_Source_example.jpg”/>

Zia is a great example of a source example (Source: Zoho).Zoho Zia AI Bot Tool. src=”https://fitsmallbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/GIF_Zoho_Zia_AI_Bot_Tool.gif”/>

Zia AI bot tool (Source : Zohoimg alt=”Example Zoho Zia Lead By Source” src=”https://fitsmallbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Screenshot_Zoho_Zia_Lead_by_Source_example.jpg”/>

Zia is a great example of a source example (Source: Zoho).Zoho Zia AI Bot Tool. src=”https://fitsmallbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/GIF_Zoho_Zia_AI_Bot_Tool.gif”/>

Zia AI bot tool (Source : Zohoimg alt=”Example Zoho Zia Lead By Source” src=”https://fitsmallbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Screenshot_Zoho_Zia_Lead_by_Source_example.jpg”/>

Zia is a great example of a source example (Source: Zoho).

Bottom line

In recent years, the CRM market has grown to $56.5 million and shows no sign of slowing. Salesforce stated that 47% of businesses plan to increase their AI use and 40% will increase their CRM usage. Additionally, sales teams were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must consider new strategies to reach customers and manage sales in the digital age.

Some salespeople fear that AI and CRMs could replace their jobs. However, this is not true. While AI can automate processes and provide insights, it cannot replace human relationships. CRM intelligence is gaining popularity as more sales teams adopt it to reduce time and increase data accuracy. They can spend more time building relationships with customers and moving prospects through the sales funnel to close more deals.

source https://fitsmallbusiness.com/crm-and-ai/

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