Sales is an integral part of any business. The ultimate tool to understand how effectively the sales department operates and finds success is customer experience. The success of any company depends on how the sales strategy is modified as per the current market environment and trends. In the new-age business environment, technology has given an edge to the sales team in bettering their performance. Today the one tech tool that has been taking businesses by storm is Chatbot. Businesses are primarily turning towards chatbots apart from in-person sales to provide the best customer experience. Millennials are a deciding factor for customer experience and research says that 40% of them engage with chatbots daily.
The reason for this is the enhanced customer experience chatbots provide with their customized recommendation and reduce TAT for any query, as chatbots can answer almost 80% of queries and they provide quick, direct and simple answers. It’s understood that when customer experience is well-timed, smooth and sophisticated, IT enhances customer satisfaction. This, in turn leads to an increase in customers returning to the same brand repeatedly, which leads to an increase in sales.
Chatbots are hence giving the required edge to sales teams in bettering their businesses.
Approx 16% of organizations are using chatbots in their sales and marketing departments, as it is said to be an efficient and effective tool in increasing sales without financial burden. In addition, 58% of B2B companies are using chatbots, 36% of businesses use them to generate more leads, and business leaders claim that on average, chatbots improve sales by 67%. Chatbots also help in collecting key marketing data. One of the reasons why chatbots are now increasingly popular in sales is because of their ability to provide quick and personalized responses to customer inquiries. 57% of businesses claimed that with chatbots there’s a minimum investment but a large ROI, which is why chatbot is the go-to tool for businesses now.
So, to implement an AI chatbot into the sales process, what do business needs?
- A CRM system to manage customers relations
- A website to be the focal point of the digital ecosystem of the business
- An AI chatbot on the website to optimize it, engage customers, and supply the CRM system with collected customer inquiries or else, to have a fully working sales funnel
How can chatbots help in sales operations?
- Lead generation: Chatbots can engage with potential customers and gather information about their interests, needs, and preferences. This information can be used to qualify leads and provide targeted marketing messages.
- Streamlined Sales Process: Chatbots can be used to automate the sales process, allowing customers to make purchases without the need for human intervention. This helps increase sales as it reduces the time and effort required for customers to make a purchase.
- Upselling and Cross-Selling: Chatbots can be used to suggest additional products or services to customers during the sales process. This can help increase sales as customers may not have been aware of these products or services.
- Data collection: Chatbots can collect data on customer interactions to provide insights into customer behavior and preferences. This can help businesses optimize their marketing and sales strategies.
- 24/7 Availability: Chatbots can be programmed to be available 24/7, allowing customers to get immediate responses to their queries anytime. This can help increase sales as customers are more likely to purchase when they receive timely and helpful information.
- Personalized Recommendations: Chatbots can be programmed to provide customized customer recommendations based on their preferences and past purchases. This can help increase sales as customers are more likely to buy products tailored to their individual needs.
- Customer Retention: Chatbots can be used to provide ongoing support and assistance to customers after they have made a purchase. This can help to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat sales in the future.
Conversational AI and Generative AI are the next big tool for sales teams
Conversational AI uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enable natural and fluid communication between machines and humans. They are designed to improve the user experience by providing a more natural and intuitive way to interact with technology. Chatbots are a specific type of conversational AI. But conversational AI is a more comprehensive and advanced approach to creating human-machine interactions. Conversational AI systems use natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and other AI techniques to analyze and understand human input, generate appropriate responses, and provide personalized recommendations or actions.
Generative AI refers to a branch of artificial intelligence that focuses on creating or generating new content, such as images, text, music, or even video, using machine learning techniques. Generative AI models are designed to learn patterns and structures from a given dataset and generate new, original content based on that learned information. It has found applications in a wide range of fields. In natural language processing, generative models can be used for text generation, language translation and even dialogue systems. In the context of text generation, models like GPT-3 utilize deep learning techniques to understand patterns in large datasets and generate coherent and contextually relevant text based on the input provided.
Generative AI and chatbots, when combined can create conversational agents that can understand and respond to a wide range of user inputs in a human-like manner. These AI-powered chatbots can be deployed in various applications, such as customer service, virtual assistants, language learning, and entertainment, to name a few. They offer the potential to automate and enhance interactions with users, providing efficient and personalized experiences. By leveraging the power of AI, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and deliver personalized, efficient service to their customers. With this level of sophisticated tech tools available for less cost in comparison to deploying manpower, many have and are raising concerns about how AI will replace people. What needs to be understood is that – people with knowledge about AI will replace those who lack the same. Hence reaffirming that upskilling with technological advancement is a must for survival.
(The author of this article is Venkataraman D, Executive Director of Sales & Strategy of Crayon Software. All views expressed in the post are the author’s, and the publication does not claim rights to it.)