3 reasons to go with conversational AI
In the fiercely competitive market, every business wants more and more prospects to move from the top of the funnel to become happy customers as soon as possible. To shorten this journey from lead to cash, today, many solutions and advanced automation tools are getting utilized such as Lead Scoring, Personalized Campaigns, and Email Sequences. This helps to move a prospect through each sales stage before actual sales team starts conversing with the prospect.
However, none of these solutions except powered by Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has the potential to imitate as close to an actual expert salesperson, who manages every lead from the top of the funnel to conversion.
Before we delve into reasons, let’s understand Conversational AI – It is a sub-field of artificial intelligence focused on producing natural and seamless conversations between humans and computers1 . While the most common use of Conversational AI has been seen in chatbots on the website, but it goes beyond and can be used with multiple communication channels. For example, Inversation uses it across Email, Text, and Apps for enabling intelligent conversations between the prospect and the business.
1. Prospects need a companion
In an ideal situation, every prospect wants to have a dedicated sales companion at their disposal who can answer any query any time, guide prospects throughout the sales process and beyond, keep them updated all the time and help prospects make right decisions.
Contrary to this, every business wants to do more with less, hence utilize available sales resources to the maximum to achieve their growth targets month over month, leaving no time to give much-needed focus and attention to each prospect.
Conversational AI provides the capability to create a virtual sales expert or virtual sales companion. An expert who can perform various repetitive sales tasks in the lead to cash process; such as Lead Qualification, provide Product Clarifications and Meeting Set-up. This virtual sales expert is the best companion for Prospects as an always available salesperson in various stages of the sales cycle.
Moreover, this companion can be cloned and trained over a period to be a specialized domain expert for specific tasks, for a specific product category or for the specific use case. For example, expert companion for all export inquiries, expert companion for all trial customers, expert companion for home loans, or expert companion for travel insurance.
By enabling always available expert companions, who can augment existing marketing/sales operations, Conversational AI not only elevates customer experience but also builds trust between the prospect and the business.
2. Find out real intent to buy
Recently while speaking with expert marketers during industry conferences and customer meetings, I came across this strong point of view that today’s marketing automation systems even with ML enabled lead scoring doesn’t give a true outcome whether a prospect has real intent to buy or not. Today’s marketing qualification is as good as few clicks a prospect has done (without any intention) on marketing emails loaded with images, videos, and stories.
And to find out real intent to buy, the ideal way is to reach out to each prospect, have a one-on-one conversation and figure out if they really have intent to buy. But the real problem is how to do it at scale with limited resources?
With conversational AI’s capability to create virtual sales experts who can engage prospects into a dialogue understanding prospects’ situation, product, and category of interest, it is much easier and scalable to find out real intent to buy. For example, it could be as simple as virtual sales expert asking for a suitable time for meeting to prospects who have download a brochure on your website, do intelligent follow-ups and if the response is received then set up a meeting.
Of course, Virtual sales experts can go further to qualify and nurture prospects sharing information, asking a set of questions with follow-ups at the right interval, without letting any prospect fall through the crack.
3. Very low touch operations (Sales/Marketing)
From the interview of more than 50 sales and sales ops teams across industry segment conducted by Inversation, it came as no surprise feedback that sales & sales ops team spend a quarter of time managing tools rather than focusing on sales or sales operations per se. And no doubt that many of the sales operations team want to cut down on the number of tools used by them and that many tools have poor adoption.
Dig a bit deeper and we can easily find that each tool comes with a high touch of manual operation. For example, many sales automation tool require sales reps to configure cadence, manually set-up timings, write appropriate templates to automate follow-ups and then manually fine-tune them based on performance.
Similarly, while working with a mid-size Insurance provider and with an EdTech company, I came across similar reasons for not using marketing automation; that resources are too busy to manually configure and run nurturing on every fresh set of cold leads with new tweaks and learning.
In these scenarios as well, virtual sales experts powered by Conversational AI with its self-learning capability has potential to perform various tasks diligently with little or no manual intervention and keep enhancing its skills and competencies like a grownup kid. For example, virtual sales expert learns from how each interaction has performed and how prospects respond to each follow-up, enhancing its ability to get a higher response rate with the continuous learning cycle.
Also, solutions such as Inversation go one step ahead whereby it ensures all conversations and statuses are updated back into the system of records such as CRM so that there is no need or requirement for the operations team to do day to day management of the tool including configurations.
In summary, Conversational AI has the potential to bring leads as closer to conversion as possible by empowering virtual sales experts, the best companion of prospects, to find real intent to buy with having a low touch operational requirement. This is the right time for businesses who are looking to bring efficiency in their lead to cash process and who are looking to outperform their growth targets to explore and consider bringing in Conversational AI in their sales process.
Inversation is one such innovative solution which is disrupting the leads management process and is helping businesses engage, nurture and qualify leads at scale using Conversational AI. To try or to know more, how Inversation can bring efficiency in your lead to cash process with Conversational AI reach out at inversation.io.