“Eyeball It? — No, Use Artificial Intelligence” 8 Artificial Intelligence Apps You Should Consider For B2B Sales
“I eye-balled it”, said Captain Sully. “You eye-balled it???!!”, asked the stunned officer, investigating human performance on the crash landing of Airbus A320 on the Hudson river. “I eliminated all the other options…There was no time for calculating options. I had to rely my judgement about the altitude and speed on my experience of thousands of flights over four decades. I eye balled it.”
A typical sales process might not need precise calculations, such as, flying an aircraft, yet, all sales reps inherently believe they are above the process and that their gut “knows it” — making it OK to thumb suck deal sizes, eye-ball closures, and trust their gut feeling. The importance of experience in a process can be debated, the reality is that the use of artificial intelligence tools in sales and marketing is growing rapidly.
Gartner predicts — 85% of a B2B relationship will be managed without human interaction, by 2020. AI apps are the next industrial revolution in sales. Here are 8 top artificial intelligence tools worth investigating for your business:
#1. Conversica. This AI platform works as a virtual sales assistant, is able to identify opportunities, respond to leads, and tenaciously get the best phone number, time to call, purchase criteria, and sales feedback. The company claims that because AI messages appear to come from a ‘real person’, the engagement rate is high — running at about 50%.
#2. Clari. Self-proclaimed the“next industrial revolution in sales” — this platform uses data science to identify revenue-generating patterns and risks. You can have real-time visibility on deal changes, communications between your sales rep’s and customer’s, progress through milestones and next steps. Clari data science even gives you the probability on when and why a deal will close, in which you can spend your time on the deals that matter.
#3. Fuse Machine. AI Assistant for Inside Sales. Fuse Machine works on prospecting, listening to data signals across the web to find companies interested in your product while working on qualified leads that match your ideal customer profile. Afterward, Fuse Machine AI coordinates the best time to meet with a potential customer by suggesting meeting times based on your shared calendar.
#4. Salesforce Einstein. Covers all aspects of sales in the best possible way — in fact, so good, that one has a tough time believing Salesforce’s superb marketing videos. Einstein can guide you through your day, learns from your data, delivers predictions, and recommendations. With App Cloud Einstein — some benefits include advising retailers, coaching sales reps, assist service agents, guiding marketers, empowering developers and more.
#5. Albert. Speaking of Einstein, Albert can’t be far behind! Hailed as the “AI app of the year”, Albert incorporates predictive analytics, machine learning, feedback, and natural language processing to provide marketers with a self-driving solution for cross-channel campaigns, testing, optimization, analysis, and insights. Albert claims 30 more increase in leads, and 600% increase in conversion rates. Harley-Davidson recently announced that it credits Albert with 40% of their New York City sales.
#6. Mintigo. Mintigo demystifies the Who, What, Why, and How of B2B sales — “Who will buy?”, “ What will they buy?”, “Why they need it?”, and “How you should engage them in a meaningful conversation?”. It arms sales people by adding personalized one to one nurtures to account based marketing initiatives.
#7. Lattice. This predictive marketing platform provides the data and insights needed to execute sophisticated segmentation and personalization required for successful account based marketing efforts to reach not just your top 50 — but your top 500 or 5000 accounts. Lattice has solutions for acquisition, engagement, conversion, and expansion for Oracle, Salesforce, Marketo and Data Cloud.
#8. Vendemore. Ideal artificial intelligence for companies doing large deals, this app works on content marketing, B2B demand generation, and cross-selling. Vendemore also works on the typical challenges in generating leads for B2B. It attempts to resolve lack-of-access by getting access to multiple stakeholders in the prospect organization, correct messaging by generating urgency and interest, and resolving the issue of frequency without annoying or resulting in an “unsubscribe”
Even if B2B AI apps deliver just 10% of what they promise, every owner, founder, CEO, sales rep in the world, will stand up and applause for them. No wait, maybe not the reps — sales as a profession might be dead then…
Nonetheless, for a more reasonable prediction on the need of sales reps in addition to this process, I like to go back to Sully:
The committee verdict on Sully — “After running through every scenario, talking to experts, aviation engineers, bird experts, speaking to the flight crew, interviewing every single person in the process, talking to each player… There is still an unexplained X in this result and that is when you remove ‘you’ from the equation — the math just fails.”
After all the AI interventions, a good sales rep might still be the unexplained X. Remove him, and the math just fails — prudence is to arm him with intelligent predictions.