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CRM and Sales

How AI for sales boosts efficiency and performance

Kerry Leech 9 min read
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Recent research by Gartner found that 88% of Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) have invested or are considering investing in AI. But make no mistake, “the rise of the robots” is not set to replace humans.

Instead, it aims to improve their execution of specific tasks. In the case of sales, this could mean reducing manual or repetitive tasks, running predictive maintenance, or automating reporting to streamline operations and boost profit margins.

In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons behind the rising popularity of AI in sales and show you how tools that integrate AI technology, like monday sales CRM, can also improve your sales team’s productivity.

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What is AI in sales?

AI in sales uses artificial intelligence tools and technology to improve sales processes, identify selling opportunities, and boost overall sales performance.

AI software mimics human cognitive abilities to perform complex tasks such as decision-making, data analysis, and language translation. It supersedes automated software as it uses human reasoning and learning to improve performance and efficiency rather than rigidly following a set of instructions.

The use of AI in sales comprises several technologies.

Machine learning

Machine learning (ML) uses algorithms trained on data sets to become machine learning models that make accurate predictions, decisions, or recommendations. ML can track customer behavior in sales — like search histories, keywords, clicks, social media interactions, and message receipts and opens — to identify trends and make predictions.

Natural language processing

Natural language processing (NLP) uses AI and ML software to interpret human communication. For example, you could use NLP in sales to extract information from a CRM web form and assign leads to sales reps based on requirements or location.

Chatbots and virtual assistants

A virtual assistant performs tasks based on commands or questions — like Alexa or Siri — whereas a chatbot converses in natural language via a messaging app. Sales teams use chatbots to collect basic information from prospects before reps engage with them, saving valuable time. These advanced AI-powered chatbots can quickly qualify leads and provide relevant insights to sales representatives.

Augmented analytics and intelligent applications

Augmented analytics and intelligent applications enable humans to handle vast and complex data sets more effectively. They use statistical and linguistic technologies to manage data and inform decision-making, like you may have experienced with the Amazon and Netflix recommendation engines.

The technology is used in sales CRM systems to interpret large volumes of data — like customer behavior, interactions, and word choices — and identify the best deals for sales reps to target and close.

AI visualization

AI visualization uses algorithms to explore database relationships and generate images (visualizations) that are easier for humans to understand. These can unearth difficult-to-spot trends and enable sales teams to respond to critical data.

Overall, AI technology can help reduce repetitive administrative tasks, improve forecasting accuracy, and predict customer behavior. Ultimately, AI in sales boosts sales reps’ performance so that they can sell more efficiently and effectively.

7 ways sales teams can benefit from AI

In the last five years, global adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has increased —  with over 60% of organizations using it and only 1 in 5 not intending to.

According to a report on AI at work, 79% of sales and customer service professionals have reported a positive impact on their job performance as a result of using AI technology.

Here are seven ways sales teams can benefit from AI and help businesses sell more. Remember that you can achieve many of these with a CRM tool that lets users harness the power of artificial intelligence: like monday sales CRM, for example.

1. Increase the accuracy of sales forecasting and lead scoring

Using historical data, AI sales systems can predict future results, like the deals most likely to close or which new customers have the highest propensity to buy products or services. With better customer insights, sales reps can close their hot leads, hit sales targets, and increase revenue.

2. Reduce admin time with sales automation

Another major pull for AI in sales is reducing the time spent on tedious administrative tasks — manually entering CRM data, scheduling meetings, and assessing the sales team’s pipelines. This frees up time to focus on higher-value tasks that require humans, such as building relationships with prospects, closing deals, and selling more.

For example, with monday sales CRM, you can use AI to summarize meetings and provide relevant action items.

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3. Generate data-driven sales recommendations

Some sales CRM systems use artificial intelligence to interpret large volumes of data and suggest actions for sales teams. For example, AI can identify and recommend the most promising deals for sales reps to target and close.

4. More efficient sales processes

Ai helps automate some sales processes and provides better and more accurate information. AI can pull insights about leads, prospects, and customers from your CRM and other data sources. Consulting firm Deloitte found that teams using AI made organizational processes more efficient to a high degree.

5. More accurate sales forecasts

Forecasts are the most valuable data insight sales teams gain from their sales analytics tools. AI improves sales forecasts and predictions so teams can plan pipelines more efficiently and determine which leads will most likely convert.

6. More personalized customer experience

AI can generate predictions around customer behavior by analyzing and learning from historical data. For example, AI technology can check how clients behaved or reacted previously and recommend how best to approach them in the future.

AI can use this information to build more personalized customer recommendations and suggest how sales reps should interact with prospects.

7. Greater job satisfaction

Implementing AI leads to greater job satisfaction for sales professionals. Working in a more streamlined environment with accurate data boosts team morale. According to the Deloitte State of AI survey:

82% of respondents strongly believed AI would enhance job performance and satisfaction.

Great. So why aren’t all businesses using AI in sales right now? There are a few pitfalls to be mindful of.

What are the drawbacks of AI in sales?

Like with any new technological advances, AI has a few challenges.

AI sales pitfall #1: AI is only as good as the data you feed into it

If the quality of data is poor, it simply cannot accurately make the clever predictions and automations we’ve mentioned above.

AI sales pitfall #2: You need to work with the right tool

There are a lot of tools out there that claim to be AI, when they’re actually basic automation tools. While basic automation tools are great for teams who need to improve efficiency, they aren’t sophisticated enough to meet needs like predicting high-propensity leads.

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AI sales pitfall #3: Extensive and expert support is needed

Incorporating AI into your sales system is a high-level process that must be executed correctly. So businesses need specialists who fully understand how it works to ensure it delivers value and makes sense. This may mean hiring new employees and training day-to-day users on how it works.

AI sales pitfall #4: Some AI predictions can be wrong

AI isn’t infallible. Sometimes it gets things wrong. For instance, when analyzing CRM data, it may misinterpret data and promote a poor lead instead of a strong one. Humans still need to sense-check AI suggestions.

Moving on, let’s look at some practical use cases.

Which AI features does monday sales CRM offer?

Now that we’ve been through the automation benefits let’s discuss how we can help bring AI into your sales machine.

The good news is monday sales CRM can quickly get to work to help your sales team reap the benefits without waiting for advancements in AI sales.

For example, it can help with:

Note: The following features are currently in beta and is in the process of being released gradually to customers. If you would like to become a monday AI beta tester and have it implemented on your account sooner, please fill out this form to request access.

Composing and editing emails

The AI email generator in monday sales CRM allows users to quickly compose sales emails and edit the text via a chat-like interface. Sales reps and managers can save vital time when writing and refining their sales messages. For example, users can write prompts such as:

  • “Write me an email informing a customer of their upcoming renewal.”
  •  “Write me an email introducing a new feature and its benefits to a prospect.”

Sales reps and managers can save vital time when writing and refining their sales messages.

Generating tasks

Use the automated task generation app to build new plans based on your input and goals. For example, ask the AI assistant to suggest tasks for each deal stage of the sales pipeline.

Use the automated task generation app to build new plans based on your input and goals.

Summarizing complex tasks

Focus on what’s important while the AI assistant in monday sales CRM summarizes complex topics and provides relevant action items. For example, ask the AI assistant to summarize your sales call and assign action items.

The AI assistant in monday sales CRM summarizes complex topics and provides relevant action items.

Building formulas

Describe a task or team objective to monday AI, and it will generate a formula that will help complete those tasks more efficiently. For example, you could ask the AI assistant to create a formula that calculates the total estimated revenue for the quarter based on deal progress and sales forecast.

Generate a formula that will help complete those tasks more efficiently

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Work smarter, not harder

The bottom line? AI in sales has the power to boost sales reps’ productivity and performance through automation.

It can increase the accuracy of sales forecasting and lead scoring, reduce admin time through sales automation, generate data-driven sales recommendations for training, increase sales figures, and create more prospecting opportunities.

Will it replace humans? No. But can it boost sales teams’ performance so businesses can see higher revenues and profits? See for yourself.

Learn more about other types of sales: Direct Sales, Inside Sales, B2B Sales, B2C Sales, SaaS Sales

Frequently asked questions

Ultimately, AI aims to reduce manual tasks and admin so sales teams can spend more on human-to-human conversations. The end result? They have the time to sell more.

There are many ways businesses are using AI in sales today. This starts with the basics like automating repetitive tasks, all the way through to predicting customer behavior and identifying cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Businesses also use it to improve forecasting, customer experiences, and much more.

No, it’s unlikely AI will replace sales reps completely. It can take away some tedious, repetitive tasks and free up their time to focus on human interactions like building customer relationships, understanding their unique needs, and offering tailored solutions.

Kerry Leech is a highly experienced B2B Content Marketer with over 20 years' experience within SaaS, Data, and Tech.
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