Here’s a challenge for you: Sift through five years of customer data. Look at what worked five years ago, 3 years ago, last year and last week. Now quantify the trends, and show your salespeople where the market is going today. Then go a little deeper and use that data to personalize engagements for every prospect.
Any human being who tries to do a job like that is going to have to rely more on gut and instinct than data. This Forbes blog sees machine learning and artificial intelligence stepping into jobs like this. Here are 3 ways that will transform your sales department.
1. Better Deal Scoring
Chance are, you have data points from years of wins and losses, size, number of stakeholders, and solutions they looked at. Machines can slice and dice that data to give you a better idea of how likely a new deal is to close, how long it will take and how to tailor your approach. Machines can also change the score as the opportunity progresses, and keep your team focused on deals that are more likely to win.
2. Less Costly Sales Training
You don’t need an extra person to walk new reps through tasks, tell them when and how to reach out to a client or prospects. Machines know what worked in the past. They know the processes. The new rep can be learning while the experienced rep is selling.
3. Accurate Forecasting
In many organizations, sales forecasting becomes a dark art. Management pressure, gut feelings and sandbagging reps all complicate this business-critical task. Machines have no vested interest other than improving their accuracy. Out of the box, they can make predictions from a macro level. Over time, they get better.
4. Preparing for this new paradigm.
Unlike science fiction stories, machine learning doesn’t just happen. Accurate data underpins the machine learning cycle. A lot of accurate data. Aberdeen Group reports that “best-in-class organizations “invest in data accuracy around their prospects’ and customers’ behavior.” It appears that if a company starts to capture this data now, they’ll have a leg up on the competition when machine learning wave hits.
Tools like Rollio deliver 3X more data, accurate data, while simultaneously reducing the time that salespeople spend updating the CRM. The cloud-based solution connects to your CRM and processes without requiring a major time commitment from your IT department.
5. What automation and machine learning means for personal relationships.
Once machines start crunching numbers, human relationships become more important. Sales reps don’t have to sell as hard; they can work like relationship managers. Marketers won’t have to sell as hard, either. They become industry experts forecasting customer needs.
But before any of this, you need data. Click here for a free Rollio demo.