Insights
October 21, 2020

How AI Will Impact Sales & Marketing In 2021

Gone are the days when sales and marketing teams spent most of their time manually entering, organizing, and processing information. Today, there are hundreds of tools that automate menial work and help SDRs become more productive, from CRMs to CDPs (customer data platforms) to marketing automation software.

The true revolution, however, is happening in the world of AI. With increasing velocity, artificial intelligence has been learning how to do repetitive tasks that required human input just a few years ago while also delivering business insights by performing big-data computations that were simply impossible before. 

Lots of companies are already capitalizing on AI capabilities applied to B2C and B2B sales as well as marketing, however there is still a lot of misinformation and confusion surrounding its use cases.

Let’s review what artificial intelligence actually is and see how it can help sales and marketing teams focus solely on high-value work. 

What Is Artificial Intelligence, Really?

Unlike human intelligence, AI is often used to describe the process of machines simulating the cognitive functions usually associated with the human mind, such as learning or problem solving with accuracy sufficient to initiate an action. 

Face recognition systems, voice assistants, self-driving cars and even predictive writing (e.g. Gmail autocomplete) are all based on self-improving AI models that are capable of taking action with enough certainty that they can be  useful.

Naturally, sales AI and marketing AI have presented lots of opportunities for growth. You can use sales AI right now in your organization to automate and augment much of the sales process, such as boosting lead volume, increasing closing rates, and analyzing sales performance. Similarly, marketing AI can assist you in scanning your online presence and identifying demand generation gaps within your overall marketing strategy, thus helping you reduce costs and increase conversions.

How AI improves marketing performance

While AI is constantly evolving, presenting us with even more use cases, one of the most effective ways we can leverage it right now is to delegate research and analysis that take up most of the marketing team’s time, so they can focus on what matters most: revenue growth. 

Tools like MarketMuse use AI to boost your SEM performance by reviewing the relevance of your existing content to your ideal ranking keywords and suggesting new content topics (with titles, word count, and keywords) to improve your Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) and gain more traffic. 

If you plan to expand your content reach, you could use an AI-based content curation software like Curata, which will search the web for the best performing pages in your field and make your content calendar planning easier and more effective.

Since AI can analyze millions of data points, apps like Automizy become increasingly useful in predicting open rates for email campaigns and constructing subject lines that have the highest chance of success.

Finally, with marketing ad spend representing a large chunk of any company’s budget today, it’s not surprising to see lots of AI developments targeted at decreasing CPC while maximizing target audience reach. A platform like Pattern89 can help you pick the best images to use in your social media campaigns as well as tweak copy based on most thousands of different combinations from top performing campaigns. In the search engine space, Acqusio uses 30 proprietary AI models to place accurate keywords bids to get the highest number of prospects out of any given ad budget.

How AI helps increase sales

If you analyze your SDRs’ performance today, you’re likely to notice that they spend a lot of their time finding prospects and organizing information (e.g. inputting data into the CRM) and little of their time actually selling. Using sales AI tools, you have the power to reverse this trend. 

AI-powered software, such as Seamless.ai, already excels at building and updating prospect lists based on companies, titles, or certain keywords, and even ranking the most promising contacts. 

As CRM platforms tend to be at the center of every sales team’s process, there are naturally an increasing number of sales AI solutions that not only assist with data input but also clean up irrelevant entries, forecast sales, reduce customer churn, and qualify leads. 

The problem with sales AI

Most of the sales AI tools today rely on your existing data to perform well. For example, those tools may require that you have a CRM database of contact information that is accurate, up-to-date, and large enough in size to be of use. Thankfully, this is typical of most companies today. Unfortunately, it does very little to help with the people visiting your website who aren’t in the database or who may be just anonymous, which can be up to 80% of your visitors at any one time. That also means that sales and marketing teams are missing out on opportunities every day.

The only way to fix that is to have some way to understand your anonymous visitors, and to do this would require a crystal ball. Well, that’s something a new implementation of AI has achieved. 

Imagine knowing the intent of every visitor on your website — whether they are known or anonymous — as soon as they land on your site. Lift AI is able to identify the conversion probability of every website visitor in real time (even when anonymous with no record in your CRM) and then assign each visitor a score. It uses a unique AI model based on 15 years of machine-learning data that includes one billion visitor profiles and more than 14 million customer interactions to understand the signals that make up intent.

Now that you understand the intent of each and every visitor, what now?

Once Lift AI assigns a high-score to any given lead, it instantly connects them to your SDRs via live chat for sales, while lower-scoring leads can in turn be directed to your chatbots. As a result, your SDRs can connect with any high-scoring visitor anywhere on your site and not just on one or two web pages (such as the pricing page, a commonly used basic deployment technique for chat). 

Now your SDRs will spend all their time selling to high-value leads, increasing their productivity  while making sure you find and convert every untapped visitor on your website. 

Lift AI seamlessly integrates with any live chat for sales you’re already using — be it Drift, Intercom, Salesforce, etc. — and installing it is as simple as adding a small JavaScript snippet to your website. 

The best part is that this isn’t science-fiction. You can try Lift AI free for 30 days and experience the power of sales AI on instantly increasing your conversion rates.

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