With each passing year, Artificial intelligence -AI has grown in relevance across various technology realms and areas of business operations. Today, it’s predominance in the sales and customer services arena is relatively larger than the fear that critics once warned about permanently throwing human entities out of their jobs.
In the evolving CRM space, AI integration guarantees higher efficiency and reduced turn-around time by automating workflows and redundant tasks in sales, customer relations and Marketing areas. A study on the economic impact of AI on CRM published in 2016 found that 21 percent of the over a thousand companies were already using AI and more than 40 percent of them had plans of AI adoption in the next two years. And about 40 percent of the study participants felt that AI provides maximum benefits in the customer support area.
Customers are already serviced by chatbots and virtual assistants to handle their queries and issues and receive shopping suggestion. By creating automated support desks, organizations are slashing long-term operating costs by eliminating customer services executives and helpdesk support teams. In most industry verticals, sales and marketing executives have conveniently removed unproductive tasks like data entry to increase their engagement in customer interactions and strategies for the increased lead generation. But technology evangelists still feel the need to extend the applicability of AI in core CRM areas for better returns and increased productivity.
Many cloud leaders including Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are already battling for partnerships to secure their reach in the CRM segment. By the end of 2018, CRM software development providers can expect the below transformations in their offerings to foster AI-driven, intelligent sales, and CRM processes:
1. Automated Data Management: Nothing is more taxing than gathering customers’ data from disparate communication and engagement sources. As per statistical data from a study by HubSpot, on average 32 percent of sales representatives spend on data entry every day. The Sales Teams will be able to avoid manual data management processes by deploying CRM tools with data capture and management features to increase their focus on customer services activities, finalizing leads and boosting customer satisfaction levels.
2. Voice Calls Transcription: AI tools with the ability to analyze voice tones, words and phrases can assist sales teams to identify weak areas in their operations. The voice call transcription reports can be used in deriving insights that help boost sales, quality of customer services and increase personalization in all stages of sales processes. Additionally, this feature can be optimized to generate content and verbal cues which are emphatic so that the sales executives can use while engaging with customers to gain their trust and loyalty.
3. Trend Forecasting: Forecasting market and industry trends as well as predicting sales performance based on past sales and customer data, interactions on social media, phone and emails with the help of AI tools will help sales teams end guessing games. The data in CRM systems can be analyzed and used to draw insights for planning, organizing and executing sales and marketing activities.AI-powered CRM Platforms like Einstein from Salesforce carry predictive scoring, forecasting, and recommendation features to increase the performance of sales teams.
4. Robust and Powerful Analytics: Analytics helps make meaningful use of data stored in the CRM platforms. With AI, it becomes easy to give a boost to analytics features to sort and interpret data for identifying patterns and generating insights on possible outcomes and ways to automate customer engagement and sales process.
5. Increased Personalization: In the field of sales, customer services and marketing personalization is the key that helps brands stay ahead of the curve. Using analytics and AI-powered features ingrained in a CRM solution, businesses will be able to analyze customers and their target segments better to curate content and strategies that are personalized and customized as per situations.
6. Optimizing Selling Process: By using customer’s data and recommending the products or services, brands and businesses can help their sales teams to close sales more easily by pushing marketing and promotional messages or campaigns that would interest customers.
Based on the latest market data many other tech giants including Oracle and SAP besides Salesforce have invested deeply in developing AI tools with natural language processing, machine learning capabilities and more to be used in driving personalization, allow cross-device advertising and analytics on CRM software.
Salesforce with its AI developments has created tension in the CRM segment pushing other large firms to keep up with the pace and compete in terms of CRM capabilities. There have also been many small tech companies being acquired by the large players to expand their horizon in through AI-powered CRM.
At the heart of this change, CRM companies are only looking to facilitate organic interactions, engagements and relationship management with customers. Therefore, businesses can expect more AI assistants, chatbots, social media analysis, in-store and online voice recognition, emotional analysis, object and facial recognition and many more piloted in the new, cutting-edge CRM software.
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