AI Won’t Take Your Job, But It Will Make Sales Easier
Although we may still be packing turkey leftovers for lunch, it’s almost time to start reflecting on the year. For me, I’m still thinking about all those bitcoins I should have purchased!
Let’s look at the technologies that were predicted to develop rapidly in 2017. Chief among them, artificial intelligence.
AI has continued to excite industry insiders and spectators alike, including journalists and their article titles. One of my favorites was CNBC’s April 2017 article “Artificial intelligence will replace half of all jobs in the next decade,” which purported AI would be the most impressive technology revolution ever.
While it’s true that AI will have a stronger presence in the near future, I doubt it will force half of the workforce in 2020 – an estimated 82 million Americans – to picket street corners with signs proclaiming “AI Took My Job.” (I certainly wouldn’t like to!)
Currently, AI is an often undervalued tool that can be designed to complete fact-based, sometimes repetitive, tasks at scale. Ideal scenarios involve around data, including entry and processing. AI makes a better fit for these tasks because of the tools it is inherently built on, some including machine learning, natural language processing, classification and cluster. This makes AI the ideal product to assign the mundane, repetitive tasks of our jobs so we are freed to invest our time into the core of what we do.
Take for instance, the sales process, a function that has already been revolutionized in the short time AI has been introduced. By way of my work at Troops, I’ve the opportunity to watch AI transform the operations of the sales teams around the world. By using the Troops, one company has been able to update over to $2.14 billion in sales leads, an opportunity that would have been otherwise lost.
With AI, there is a productivity uptick. Goodbye prospecting and lead scoring, and trudging through heavy CRMs to log meetings notes and calls. Instead, say hello to more client time. And hello to more closed deals, too.
As an in-depth example, x.ai, an artificial intelligence assistant who schedules meetings for you, is a tool that helps accomplish exactly that. By copying Amy (or Andrew for some) into your email thread, you leave the scheduling ping pong up to a robot that’s as personable as your dear Aunt Sally.
When equipped with Amy, one team scheduled 588 unique meetings in one month. Out of 53 employees, the sales team lead used Amy the most, scheduling all 111 of his month’s client meetings by robot. Using Amy ultimately saved him 31.5 hours, nearly a week’s worth of time that he could then focus towards better meeting preparation and building stronger connections with his leads.
When we’re enabled to cut out the mundane tasks of something as deceivingly simple as scheduling meetings, we’re empowered to focus on the things we enjoy the most.
There are so many ways AI will be filtering into our sales routines. For example, intelligent systems will tell sales and account managers when their customers are at risk of canceling. They will let sales people know exactly when and how they should follow up with a prospect that hasn’t returned an email or call. There are plenty more examples to unpack, but I’m excited to see what the future holds.
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