AI will never close a deal – but it will give you 3 more days per week to try
Alex and Steve are both Sales Managers at tech companies who happen to be right across the road from one another. One is a SaaS startup selling financial software to SMEs and the other a fast growing Cloud Hosting Provider servicing the same market. Steve, the Sales Manager for SaaSCo, is happy to have his team work with variously sourced data (collected from the company CRM, email lists, website tracking data, social media channels, etc) with the aim to find quality leads and pursue them. Sounds good?
In reality, Steve’s team is spending hours sourcing, arranging and rationalising volumes of lead data before putting a kilobyte of that information to good use. What’s more, without any way to analyse all the information in front of them, Steve and his team usually qualify prospects the old fashioned way: by putting them into alphabetical order and cold calling them. Not so good.
Steve and his team spend roughly 3 days a week on research (which translates into sifting through loads of unstructured data) and 2 days cold calling. His team’s ratio is usually 50 to 1 (50 calls, one yes). He has a dedicated team behind him but, the way things are going, it looks like they’re going to miss target again his month.
Over at CloudCo, Alex and his team use an automated, AI-based lead qualification platform to source, organise, categorise and qualify leads according to an adjustable set of parameters. Compared to Steve, Alex spends only 1 day preparing his weekly target segment. The next 4 days are devoted to calling his top 25% sales funnel prospects. His ratio is 20 to 1 (20 calls, one yes). Compared to Steve, Alex and his team are on track to meet their target this month and get a performance bonus.
So is AI poised to replace the Steves of the world?
Not likely. In fact, far from it. The reality is that guys like Steve are wising up to the power of artificial intelligence. In an age where sales qualification has gone from dark art to science, sales teams are letting advanced applications take care of mundane tasks so they can focus their creativity and efforts on building human-centric customer experiences. There’s simply no value in having your sales team collect, verify and organise volumes of lead data, and cross referencing that against multiple sources, while hot leads go cold.
Here’s a closer look at how AI-based platforms are helping Sales Managers like Steve:
Prioritising leads: A long leads list never implies an abundant, free-for-all bonanza of ready-to-buy leads. In many modern organisations today, sales professionals still labour through extensive lists of prospects with little indication as to how to separate quality leads from bad ones. What this means is that they end up spending a lot of time sorting through data. This isn’t something your sales force should be doing, and considering that only 25% of sales leads are legitimate, it’s no wonder Steve and his entire team feel burnt out by midweek.
AI-based platforms automate lead prioritisation by qualifying prospects the moment they get them. This means the leads list your sales team receives is organised, enriched and ranks the companies with the highest propensity to buy at the top. What this means for guys like Steve is far less time deciphering complex CSV leads lists and more time talking to worthwhile prospects.
AI is the natural next step in the evolution of sales lead qualification
While we hear countless stories of AI’s impending takeover of the world, the reality is that the technology is here to serve us humans – not upend us. By letting algorithms take care of mundane processes, we’re freeing up countless resources to focus our abilities where real value can be added. Sales Managers like Alex know this and that’s why he and his sales team work in close harmony with their AI-based solution without fear of it running amok.
In fact, sales teams like the ones we find at SaaS Co would do well to invest in a solution like Alex’s to introduce a more streamlined, results-driven and profitable lead qualification strategy.
At Synoptica, it’s our mission to banish those late nights your sales team spends sifting through volumes of unstructured lead data. Our AI-based lead qualification platform turns volumes of social, CRM, email lists, web and other data into organised and prioritised lead insights that help you focus on people, not data. To learn more, contact us today.