The applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are very diverse. Big players like Apple, Facebook, Google, or Samsung are not without reason to spend billions on new AI technologies.
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However, unlike other countries, German companies are somewhat cautious and skeptical about AI applications. According to a study by the Federal Ministry of Economics, only 5% of German companies use AI, and 3 out of 10 companies expect to use it in the next 10 years (Summer 2018).
Let’s get the mystery out of artificial intelligence. Will AI make your B2B sales more successful?
We will first understand what AI can and cannot do today. Based on this, we will show you different possibilities of how you can use AI for your B2B Company in the field of sales.
What exactly is behind artificial intelligence?
When you think of “Artificial Intelligence,” do you see Arnold Schwarzenegger as a terminator in front of your inner eye as he raises his hand and says, “Come with me if you want to live …!”
However, the machine that can think and act independently is still sci-fi. Experts distinguish AI as “strong” and “weak” (between “normal” and “narrow”).
Weak artificial intelligence refers to systems that provide solutions to concrete application problems. As a basis for problem-solving, it uses mathematics and computer science, specifically developed for need. The resulting system is improved by its algorithms — in other words, the system learns from existing data.
In contrast, strong (or general) artificial intelligence is what we know from sci-fi movies. The goal of a simple AI company is to achieve or exceed the same intellectual skills as humans. However, so far, this is pure fantasy. Whether such intellectual development is possible is still debated. Experts who are attracted to the notion that simple AI is possible, talk about 20–40 years.
All AI systems that exist today fall under the concept of weak AI — a common fact.
Therefore, one can answer the question “what exactly is behind AI”: in the form of various algorithms such as mathematics and computer science.
You have previously used AI in your daily life: text recognition, image recognition, speech recognition, automated translation programs, expert systems (eg getting recommendations for action based on a knowledge database), and some examples of navigation systems applications for AI.
How will AI strengthen sales teams?
Sales personnel are often under tremendous pressure. They must meet quotas, take care of their customers, attend conferences, and do dull and laborious tasks such as research and documentation.
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AI and machine learning can help with authentic and repetitive tasks. Automation programs are designed to perform time-consuming but simple tasks, such as searching the Internet for specific data or sending personalized e-mails. Using AI to manage time-consuming and low-return tasks allows sales staff to focus more on their strengths — communicating with customers.
Another way to strengthen AI sales is through data analysis programs. Digitalization offers many opportunities for B2B companies to increase sales and efficiency. However, manual structure and analysis of large amounts of data are time-consuming and error-prone tasks. Therefore, most companies use only a fraction of their data and the rest is not used in data archives.
AI-based Predictive Sales Analytics Software calculates price range based on sales forecasts, cross-selling opportunities, customer churn, and current sales data. Sales teams can use this information for targeted and effective action to increase productivity.
Companies that use AI hire employees
One common concern is that AI systems will replace distributed jobs. In this case, a sigh can be healed. A recent study with over 3,000 managers found that companies that already rely on AI could increase their team numbers by 76%.
The results of this study also confirm our view. As software providers for attendee sales analytics, we see AI applications as support for sales teams and not as an alternative.
The Art of Artificial Intelligence in B2B Sales — Summary
Terminator science fiction. Today’s AI systems fall under the concept of “weak artificial intelligence”. They solve specific tasks significantly more than humans using software and mathematical algorithms.
AI software can learn from existing data and create new resolutions. Only 5% of companies in Germany use this capability. For this reason, our tip: Don’t let the word artificial intelligence stop you. Think about whether such a program can support your processes so you can take advantage of your competitors.
There are many ways to strengthen AI sales. Automation programs, for example, can support your sales team in standard and repetitive tasks. Alternatively, you can use data analysis software to predict which of your customers might be pranks, what pricing options you have, and cross-selling opportunities.
AI-based software effectively supports B2B sales so that marketers can focus on their core business: taking care of their customers.