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Sales AI: How artificial intelligence is changing the face of sales

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AI is all around us. It’s in your phone and your favourite apps—you can even find it in fridges, televisions, and central heating systems.

It’s especially useful in business. For the past few years, AI has been transforming business processes from production to marketing, and we’ve only started to scratch the surface of its potential.

Sales AI can perform many functions, including freeing up human teams from tedious admin tasks and automatically scoring leads to help sales efforts. But that’s not all.

AI and automations like those offered by Dialpad Ai Sales Centre software can improve the lives of sales reps and customers in a variety of ways.

Let’s look at what AI is, how it’s changing sales, and all the ways you could benefit from using AI-powered sales software.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence has been a constant topic of debate ever since it was first featured in fiction more than 150 years ago. Since Samuel Butler wrote about machines with human-like thoughts and feelings in his 1872 book “Erewhon”, AI has fascinated and repelled people.

From the comical droids of Star Wars to the psychotic Hal 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, AI has been a staple of science fiction for a long time. So it’s perhaps no surprise that it continually generates a lot of interest after moving from fantasy into the real world.

But what is AI, exactly?

Well, there’s no simple, single definition. The term covers a wide range of technologies, including natural language processing, machine learning, and more.

It’s a complicated technological field, but the essential takeaway is that, unlike traditional programs, artificial intelligence is capable of learning and growing by itself. It can develop new insights and abilities without the need for humans.

For example, Netflix and Amazon use AI in their recommendation algorithms. Whenever you watch, buy, or rate something, the AI takes note. It learns your preferences and the kinds of things that other people with them tend to like. It then recommends new programmes and purchases to you based on this.

In a business context, solutions like Dialpad Ai allow companies to automate things like lead scoring, prospecting, proposals, and data analysis without human intervention. Artificial Intelligence for sales can draw nuanced insights about human sentiment and even handle simple customer queries without handing things over to a human.

Does this mean that AI is pushing human sales teams out? Absolutely not.

AI is at its best when combined with critical thinking and emotional intelligence. So, rather than replacing human sales reps, AI enables them to do their jobs with greater ease and satisfaction.

AI takes over the more mundane tasks that take hours of human reps’ time and empowers them by providing the data and insights they need to serve customers effectively:

Dialpad Ai Agent Assist for Sales

Dialpad’s Ai Agent Assist feature automatically searches for information to help a rep in real time

AI’s growing impact on the sales field

AI has many use cases for sales teams. Highly successful companies are already using it, and its influence and potential are constantly growing.

For example, a sales AI tool can integrate with your company’s CRM, marketing, and customer services platforms. It can then automatically sync data from these departments and give you a consolidated dashboard of detailed insights about the business, the market, and your customers. These insights can be used to inform and improve strategy and services across every department.

You don’t necessarily need to overhaul your entire business strategy to reap AI's benefits. Using a solution like Dialpad Ai, you can augment and enhance your sales process without having to transform your entire strategy.

For example, a good sales AI can:

  • Predict which prospects are most likely to convert. Using insights drawn from continuous monitoring, AI will notice when a customer behaves in a way that could lead to conversion. The AI can then flag this customer to sales teams, who can nudge them towards that conversion.

  • Forecast sales. AI can spot patterns over time, which enables it to forecast sales trends with a high degree of accuracy.

  • Provide real-time insights to sales reps to help them solve customer queries more quickly and effectively.

  • Recommend the next action to take in a variety of circumstances. For example, if a customer is raising a tricky query, AI can use sentiment analysis to recognise that help is needed and then recommend responses and conversational strategies that have previously worked well.

  • Spot anomalies in team performance. This enables managers to assign support where and when it is needed.

  • Coach both new and experienced team members.

  • Spot frequent themes in calls. For example, a sophisticated AI will notice how often your competitors’ names come up and warn you when mentions become worryingly excessive.

  • Automatically log calls, enabling you to bring them up for reference whenever needed.

  • Operate chatbots. While chatbots lack the human qualities you need to truly connect with your customers, they can deal with simple queries effectively and ensure that customers feel heard.

All of this naturally helps to build a much more efficient sales process. It’s also seriously empowering for your team, who can now get the insights they need at their fingertips, and no longer need to spend tiresome hours on data entry and tedious admin.

Automation, conversational AI for sales, and more: 6 ways you can use artificial intelligence in your sales team

1. Automate conversations with prospects using conversational AI

Conversational AI understands and simulate human conversation using Natural Language Processing (NLP)—you've probably come across chatbots before. Conversational AI is like a much smarter chatbot that can understand a wider variety of questions (not just answer preset questions with preset multiple-choice answers). In Dialpad, we can easily create conversational AI flows with the drag-and-drop builder in just a few clicks:

Creating a chatbot flow in dialpad self service blog size healthcare

2. Uncover more conversational insights

Not only that, Dialpad Ai can also perform sentiment analysis, live as a call is happening. That means it can pick up on when customers are saying things that indicate they’re frustrated like: “This has really annoyed me.”

Sales managers can easily see all their reps’ active calls in Dialpad, and if any calls are dipping into negative sentiment territory. If they do, they can pull up the real-time transcript to get more context before deciding whether they need to barge the call or help the agent:

Ai Sentiment Analysis healthcare

3. Deliver tailored coaching at scale

Besides transcribing and analysing conversations for customer sentiment, Dialpad Ai is also really helpful for sales teams because it helps us improve our managers' coaching and training materials.

How we do it: Let’s say, for example, that we wanted to know how often certain product features, sales objections, or competitor names come up on sales calls. We can go into Dialpad and create “Custom Moments” to track these keywords and phrases. Dialpad Ai will then show us how frequently these topics are mentioned on calls—if we notice any anomalies or trends, we can dig into the transcripts or call recordings for more information:

Custom Moments analytics dashboard v3 blog sizepng

To go one step further, we can also create Real-Time Assist (RTA) cards, which will be automatically triggered when said questions come up. Sometimes called "call pops," these cards can be created with all the information and advice the rep needs and will appear automatically whenever the issue crops up.

This is a fantastic way to ensure your sales reps are always supported and furnished with the necessary information.

What’s more, these insights could help you decide that the perceived issue is a genuine problem with your product offering. Knowing that, you can pass the information on to your development team, who can rectify it.

4. Automate repetitive sales activities

Many people who go into sales do so because they relish working with customers. They like talking to others and are gifted when it comes to enthusing about the product or service they’re selling.

So, it often comes as a disappointment to brand new sales reps when, instead of spending their working days engaging with customers, they’re saddled with a load of tedious admin.

An AI service can take on a lot of these admin tasks, from scheduling outbound calls to the best leads, to sales call reporting, and pulling in call data, without any need for a human rep to do anything.

Dialpad Ai, for example, helps us with common tasks like dispositioning calls and note-taking, since it can generate an Ai Recap summary—with call notes and key action items—right after every call:

Dialpad Ai Recap In blog image v4

5. Forecast more accurately

Forecasting is one of the most tricky tasks sales leaders have to perform. But sales AI can make it a lot easier.

Some AI tools can ingest large amounts of customer purchase and sales cycle data, and then present these insights (and the data it has used to draw them) to your managers, enabling them to make a far more informed forecast than would otherwise have been possible.

As well as forecasting big picture things like predicted sales, this can also help you make informed decisions about more minor but equally important aspects of your business.

6. Improve sales prospecting and sales enablement

One of the areas in which AI in sales truly shines is in prospecting and sales enablement. (Think lead generation, lead scoring, and cross-selling opportunities.)

Let’s take lead scoring as an example. Sales AI can use current and past customer data to accurately predict which prospects will prove to be the best leads. It can then pass this information on to human sales reps and even provide targeted, personalised prompts as the rep interacts with the prospect.

AI can also score leads based on what it has learned through analysing conversational and behavioural data. It can spot patterns which indicate that customers and prospects are likely to convert and flag these as priority leads for your sales reps.

This prioritisation also empowers upselling and cross-selling. Some customers hate this process, while others are very receptive to it. AI can use customer data to tell you exactly which customers you should and should not upsell or cross-sell to.

You can get the best sales potential out of every call without alienating anyone with the help of AI sales enablement.

Ready to boost productivity with AI sales tools?

AI in the workplace is breaking new ground every day. No matter what industry you operate in, AI is transforming it rapidly. Adding AI to your sales process means you can stay ahead of the game.

By automating repetitive tasks, AI sales software shortens your sales cycle and enables you to deploy your vital human skills where they’re needed. Rather than spending all their time on data entry and tedious admin, your sales reps can do important work, like handling sensitive customers and making judgement calls about how to proceed with a reluctant lead.

But that’s not all. AI can also deliver deep and actionable insights about your customers and sales team.

This enables you to refine your sales techniques to deliver exactly what your customers need. It also gives you a greater understanding of your team’s skills and needs, allowing you to deliver targeted coaching and support wherever required.

If a full AI strategy feels like too big of a step for your company right now, don’t worry. You can still get many of the benefits of sales AI without having to reset your entire system.

Dialpad Ai can automate mundane admin tasks, monitor and analyse customer interactions, deliver targeted support, and present you with essential insights without reworking your overall sales strategy.

Why not book a product tour today to see what Dialpad can do for you?

See how sales AI can make your reps' lives easier!

Book a demo of Dialpad Ai Sales Centre to see how it works, or take a self-guided interactive tour of the app on your own!