In an uncertain economic climate (inflation, budget cuts, etc.), companies are looking for ways to improve the productivity of their sales teams to answer the question: how to do more with less?

AI offers new solutions to optimise salespeople’s time, reduce costs and generally improve the company’s overall performance.

Sales managers who have adopted this technology have seen significant results in B2B sales. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 65% of sales organisations will have moved to a 100% data-driven business intelligence model. Companies that miss the mark will be at least 2 years behind their competitors!

Since the launch of ChatGPT, AI has gradually moved away from its “entertainment” image to become part of the day-to-day operations of companies.

According to a recent study by Salesforce, only 10% of employees are well trained in AI, while 97% of them believe that acquiring AI skills should now be a priority for their company.

AI is relevant to addressing several issues in the sales department, especially in the area of sales time optimization. Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the world of B2B sales. It can automate tedious and repetitive tasks, and help to better understand customer needs and behaviours.

Here are 5 practical examples (and the solutions that go with them) of AI in B2B sales.

#1 Automate the leadgen

Contacting the right prospect at the right time with the right message… In business, it’s all about content and timing. By automatically analysing millions of pages available on the web, AI identifies the best matches to provide sales representatives with the most captive targets at a given moment. No more cold calling, now it’s warm calling!

Ex: Growbots or GetRev

#2 Predicting buying behaviour

Data is the new black gold for companies. Millions of data reside, transit between the different systems of the company (CRM, Billing, ERP…). By analysing it, AI is able to model buying cycles and predict customer needs: x-sell and upsell opportunities, churn risk…

Ex: DataRobot or RapidMiner

#3 Automation of data entry

Today, for low value-added tasks, AI can replace humans. This is particularly the case for CRM data entry. The sidebars (side panel integrated in the mailbox) require too much usage and show their limits in terms of efficiency. Contacts and activities are not systematically fed back into the CRM (according to Salesforce, only 20% of activities are filled in).

The future is 100% automatic. No action is required, the AI takes care of everything to create and record the information in the right place.

Ex: EverReady, Einstein Activity Capture.

#4 Chatbots and virtual assistants

Chatbots and virtual assistants use artificial intelligence to provide real-time customer support. Semantic recognition, 24-hour availability, virtually unlimited knowledge base…

Chatbots can also be programmed to qualify leads and assess whether they are mature enough to be passed on to a salesperson for a demo.

Ex: Drift or Intercom

#5 Email optimization

Like Waze which uses user data to suggest the best route, AI can analyse the most successful content (theme, tone, length…) to recommend the best email to your teams: email subject line, copywriting, call to action… to improve open rates, click-through rates and conversions.

Ex: Phrasee or Persado

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