2.5 billion GBs of data is created daily. As a result, 90% of sales leaders cite information overload for missing quotas. So much so that 57% of sales representatives surveyed in 2018 missed their sales quotas the prior year, according to Forbes. To make matters worse, nearly half of a sales representative’s time is spent on administrative tasks. The overwhelming amount of information is distracting and slows down the core engines of business, generating sales.
I sat down with Anoop Bhatia, the Chief Executive Officer of Nowigence who discussed the benefits of utilizing it's Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform called Pluaris for Sales Intelligence (SI) and the features within the program creating a full, dynamic scope in real-time from lead grooming to approaching new prospects.
I started my career as a sales rep in the mid-80s. At that time, the pace of business was slower, and we didn’t have a plethora of digital tools like the web or team collaboration platforms like Slack or the ability to record and transcribe conversations and discussions. Now sales reps work in a digital era where more data is available than they can manage. Staying abreast of all internal and external intelligence to help them succeed is a task by itself. We utilize AI to fill the gap. Their market intelligence is enriched in real-time to help them achieve their goals by continuously grooming leads, strengthening their relations with clients and setting future targets with confidence.
Mr. Bhatia also explained that in the last two decades, we have developed digital platforms for sales reps that ask for information from them like in CRMs. However, these tools contain information already known to the sales reps. Or they receive contact details regarding new prospect from their Marketing department or from lead generating platforms like Marketo. They still need to dig for additional intelligence and spend time qualifying the leads before approaching prospects.
Nowigence’s AI driven sales intelligence (SI) platform integrates tools and their daily work processes automatically.
Our AI platform called Pluaris is like your personal notepad extracting relevant content from various sources used in your day-to-day work and organizing, storing, and delivering tailored intelligence as per your preferences in ready-to-use formats, added Mr. Bhatia.
Isn’t it true that we scribble notes all throughout our working life but still find it difficult to find or remember key points when we need them most?
Mr. Bhatia remarked “Our AI product helps you create your own extended memory and provides you the choice to share your notes with your peers or with all the sales professionals within your company.
We create institutional memory. It is only when we can recall the conditions that caused past events that we arm ourselves with the capability to predict future scenarios. 90% of the data is textual and conversational. Without systematic extraction and comprehension of signals from text and conversations, further blended with readily available industry standard quantitative or number-based data sets, no work done previously by sales reps for forecasting their sales and business planning can be accurate or a comprehensive summary of available intelligence”.
Humans have always found innovative solutions. Calculators were invented when the accounting needs of growing businesses increased to the extent that speed in calculations became a necessity. Similarly, the emergence of digital media has resulted in an information explosion which is expanding at a rapid pace.
“Without the power of machine comprehension to keep pace with information, a new era of the impoverishment of knowledge will set-in”, added Anoop.
Artificial Intelligence seems to be the need of the times. We are beginning to understand why there is so much hype about AI. Nowigence’s platform Pluaris serves to not only provide sales intelligence for businesses that want their sales reps to be more effective and not miss sales quotas, but it now frees up time for sales reps to focus on better tasks at hand.
“It used to take me days to collect talking points and develop my communication strategy when meeting new clients. It now takes me a few seconds,” said Anoop.
Pluaris’s purpose is to keep each sales rep relevant, up to date, forward-looking and plan-ready to meet the future risks and opportunities.
It all starts with Artemis — a tool inside Pluaris. Artemis is the automatic reader that ingests various data types, whether structured or unstructured in their proper context at a speed of light. Anoop went on to demonstrate its capabilities. He copied a link of the most recent business news that was published in the last few minutes. It was about 1200 words. Artemis read it in less than 20 seconds, displaying the summary of the key highlights in a couple of sentences and separately mentioned the business-critical signals contained in the article.
“This serves as a receipt that the data has been ingested. We read millions of press reports, media postings, internal notes, transcripts of various conversations every day to help bring intelligence in digestible bits for sales reps,” said Anoop.
Now, what can you do with the data ingested?
“You can ask questions or include in data analytics. This is not only valid for data that is freshly ingested but also for any of the intelligence stored in your extended or institutional memory. Human memory is short-lived, but our platform allows content to remain in memory as long as it serves a useful purpose,” said Anoop.
Solomon is a detailed Question and Answer tool capable of delivering answers to specific business questions in seconds. The objective is to be our client’s internal, detailed and comprehensive AI-powered search engine to meet their business needs. It is useful in meetings to get quick answers. Our product collects massive volumes of intelligence, either uploaded by users via Artemis or collected for users as part of our daily routine, based on their needs from publicly available sources daily. Traditional search engines cannot help in finding answers to questions for intelligence that were uploaded from users that are privy to their organizations. In addition, search engines throw out multiple pages containing many links as suggested reading requiring users to rummage through to find answers. Solomon is a business focused Question and Answer tool designed to eliminate the time spent by business professionals conducting web searches; providing them instead with specific answers analyzed from relevant external and internal data inputs.
Google can answer questions like how far the Moon is. It returns a specific answer with the distance in seconds. However, a limitation of Google’s search engine is the lack of institutional memory pertaining to you and your marketplace. Conversation with prospective clients are private and are not published in the media. As examples, a discussion with a client has important elements like future investments, new product opportunities, the reason for expanding in new markets and others. Once data is ingested and organized in the institutional memory, the possibility of powerful analytics unlike any performed before emerges.
“The inputs from sales reps’ is the starting point for many processes with businesses. Pluaris makes an organization objective, effective and customer-focused,” added Anoop.
“The quality of human comprehension is dependent upon sentence syntax. We reproduce the same with machine comprehension and use it to extract and organize relevant content. Automation isn’t easy and requires a ton of expertise. Many companies try to create in-house capabilities but fail to develop useful applications,” said Anoop.
On where he sees the future of AI for sales reps, Anoop mentioned that most companies are at a starting point with data science especially related to textual and conversational analytics. He added that companies have previously developed data analytics and business intelligence tools solely for structured data. Prior to the recent advances in AI, it wasn’t possible to blend signals from unstructured data with structured data.
“Businesses will be blindsided to their own peril if they refuse to accept AI in improving the client-facing processes starting with sales intelligence,” said Anoop.