Today’s post is by Sergey Medved, head of product at ClearSlide.
A good mix of creativity, personality, and persistence is the hallmark of a successful seller. When the mixture can be seasoned with a healthy pinch of technology, sellers can find more time in their days and close more deals. That’s a boon for most sellers because, right now, they’re only able to use 34 percent of their time for actual selling. The rest of the time, they are consumed with other work – from manual data input to administrative tasks.
This time crunch combines with salespeople’s busy schedules to make hitting their numbers a challenge. One of the ways artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are reshaping the sales industry is with tools that can boost sellers’ productivity and give them more time with prospects.
The majority of sellers’ time is spent in sales technology that doesn’t always directly support their sales efforts. Sometimes, reps spend hours just tracking down the right content to send prospects. Then they have to figure out what content is current, approved, and appropriate for a prospect’s specific stage in the sales funnel. That’s a lot to ask of people who already struggle to find time in the day to accomplish all their tasks.
Rather than asking sellers to sort through and familiarize themselves with a massive library of content, use AI-enabled tech in the following three ways to boost your sales team’s productivity and give them more time to focus on selling.
1. Automate low-value tasks.
Start with the low-hanging fruit: Automate easy, low-stakes tasks. For example, leverage automated email campaigns to help your sales reps check in with and send relevant content to prospects. That will save sellers from having to draft a long personal email each time they contact a prospect.
Of course, there’s still a time and place for personal communication – especially as prospects make it further down the funnel. But, at the top “awareness and education” stage, a prospect is just as happy to get a free white paper via an e-blast. Automated email technology is also helpful for one-off sends like birthday emails and check-ins. Sales reps can still personalize their message (or have it automatically personalized for them via language processing software). But, with the email timing and content already automated, your sales team will get back hours of time – time they can use to actually meet with prospects.
2. Use AI to tailor content.
While AI starts with automation, it doesn’t stop there. It’s constantly learning from the data it analyzes. That’s how Google – which you probably use every day – knows you, knows your preferences, and ranks Websites based on how well those Websites have helped others accomplish their goals. Sellers can leverage a similar approach to further personalize their interactions with prospects.
Sellers spend too much time searching for content and often end up with outdated decks. To get back some of that time and ensure content accuracy, AI can recommend the most appropriate content for a sales rep to use based on what’s known about the opportunity. For example, a sales enablement platform can help you find relevant content or even recommend specific content based on what has worked for a similar buyer, industry, or stage before.
3. Leverage power calendaring.
Even if admin tasks do take up an inordinate amount of sellers’ time, AI can help by turning time management into time intelligence. For example, platforms such as Woven – an AI-powered calendar app created by the former CIO of Facebook – scan users’ emails for signs of meeting requests. It then generates suggested meeting times and sends options to the attendees to book. On a more basic level, options like Calendly give your sales team the ability to ask prospects to book a time that works for them, via a simple link. That means no more weeks of back-and-forth emails requesting bulleted lists of days, times, and narrow windows of availability.
By using AI, sellers can get out of their email and calendars and into more – and more effective – meetings.
Want to learn about how AI is shaping the future of the sales industry? Download the ClearSlide white paper, “AI-Powered Selling.”