Augmented Intelligence and the future of selling
Source: Procre8 for Cloudworks , Author: Souphien Akhrif
Posted: Mon February 19, 2018 11:31 am

UAE. The sales world embarks on a new journey as Augmented Intelligence steps into the gameplay. People working in sales teams have now begun incorporating AI into their everyday work activities.

What is it about Augmented Intelligence that makes it a major shifter in the way sales are conducted and won? Could this new technology positively influence the sales world, yet move human minds out of the sales picture?

Understanding Augmented Intelligence
Let us first define Augmented Intelligence to better understand how it works in the business world. Augmented Intelligence (AI) is the creation of a close-to-human autonomous intelligence through modern technology. This is different from artificial intelligence in that augmented intelligence serves to complement rather than replace the human mind’s decision-making.

Augmented Intelligence in Sales
You can place augmented intelligence systems anywhere inside a business organization. But one of the most notable departments where it is currently used is in the crucial sales department. Why are businesses supplementing their sales reps’ work with augmented intelligence?

Here are some reasons why:

- Intelligent use of data is tantamount to the success of a sales team. Using AIs in CRMs that sales reps use helps the reps manage the data easily to their benefit.
- AI-powered CRMs take the burden out of manual data entry work by incorporating faster ways to upload and manage customer data.
- AIs are capable of analyzing data inside their systems. Not only that, AI can also translate these analyzed data into actionable data which reps can easily utilize in whatever stage of the sales cycle they’re in.
- AIs do not dictate things to the salespersons – they are programmed to anticipate actions and aid its users to act based on human insight.

The result of all these augmented intelligence is a better future for the sales world. Sales are closed faster than if a sales rep has done it without an AI-guided CRM. Time, effort, and expenses are all cut down to a minimum. And best of all, the human mind and efforts are not overrun by augmented intelligence – after all, sales is an activity too complex for only a machine to handle.

Data-Driven Decision Making
The business world recognizes Data-Driven Decision Making (DDDM) as an approach that places emphasis on the importance of decisions backed up with credible and verifiable data.

You need to learn about your customer first before you can sell him something of value to him. You can’t make a sale if your product or service isn’t aligned with his needs and preferences. This is precisely why gathering data for a DDDM approach is important.

Data Processing and Augmented Intelligence
Modern CRM programs like Salesforce are now graced with the powerful presence of augmented intelligence. This technology lets your salespersons enjoy a streamlined approach to data gathering, verifying, grouping, and analysis. AI also enables users to apply customer data during various decision-making points in the sales cycle.

Here is a sample situation to show DDDM, augmented intelligence, and human intellect working together to achieve a common goal:

- A salesperson asks himself if he should continue with a product demonstration to a prospect who becomes reluctant to accept his offer.

- Data he collected from personally interacting with this prospect could be quickly reviewed from the AI-driven CRM tool to look for behaviours or factors that might have affected his change of sales thought.

- He finds out that the customer became reluctant because of a lacking description for the product’s use. Previous data showed the customer’s buying behaviours is anchored at scrutinizing the product descriptions first before proceeding to buying it.

- The salesperson decides on the matter and takes appropriate steps guided by his own insight, his desired customer experience levels, and the customer data he retrieved from the CRM tool.

- He sets out to fill in the gaps about the product’s description so that his reluctant customer may understand the totality of the product offered to him. This way, he won back the customer’s trust and made his prospective customer an actual one.

- Had the salesperson not looked up to customer data in the AI-driven CRM tools, he might not have learned about the source of the prospect’s reluctance to buy, and might have missed a chance of making a successful sale just because of it; not to mention that the customer will also have a negative customer experience with the brand.

A Brighter Future for Sales
The combination of authentic human intellect and augmented intelligence makes sales processes even more successful than before. That is why many businesses are now seeing the benefits and are willing to invest in AI-guided CRMs like Salesforce.

Augmented intelligence not only takes the cumbersome sales tasks off a salesperson’s load; it also enables them to really focus and reach out to the needs of customers, making a special bond and relationship forged by trust and efficiency.

Augmented intelligence is truly set off to create a brighter future for business sales

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Photo Captions:
1. (above)  DDDM, Augmented Intelligence and human intellect work together to achieve a common goal
2. (inset)   For illustrative purposes only (File photo)

About the Author
Souphien Akhrif is Managing Director at Cloudworks, an agile and innovative cloud consulting company working in the GCC region and the largest Salesforce Gold Partner based in UAE.

 

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