As we continue to fight the Covid era, it has become more than mandatory for businesses to go digital and has pushed most businesses to expand their virtual footprint.
According to Gartner 60% of B2B sales organizations will transition from intuition-based selling to data-driven selling by 2025. As everyone is catching up with this, it makes sense for the revenue teams to be more data-driven to be customer-centric.
Well, businesses have already started to adopt new technologies that “enable” their “sales” with data because it is indispensable to understand the market scenarios and buyer’s needs with data to craft a solid messaging and positioning.
So, here comes sales enablement.
What is Sales Enablement?
It is a relatively new term and has gained momentum that companies have started to embrace sales enablement as an individual function to empower sales and marketing teams.
Sales enablement is the process of equipping the salespeople with the correct information and resources at the right time to capture and engage along the buyer’s journey.
Simply put, the idea of sales enablement is to help market-facing teams to improve their productivity and strengthen their opportunity pipeline. And hence, the ownership of sales enablement often lies with both marketing and sales.
As enhancing productivity can come from various approaches, sales enablement is also multifaceted.
Facets of Sales Enablement
From content management to market intelligence, sales enablement is broad. However, as it turns out, modern sales enablement focuses more on information and the ability to act on information. And the true potential of “information” lies in how much we can dig data to find our moat.
Approaching Sales Intelligence via Market Intelligence
Most sales enablement tools feed you with static lead information that doesn’t bridge the knowledge gap about the highly dynamic market scenarios that impact your sales. They often fall short, and sales invariably become a shot in the dark. This is the reason why sales intelligence must be seen from the lens of market intelligence.
So, How Intelligent is your Intelligence?
Often there comes a question of how good is Intelligence. At its best, Intelligence entails a comprehensive ability to connect all the dots, to unravel all the information to provide actionable insights. So can an ordinary intelligence do this?
I hear a clear “no.”
The reason being, augmenting, analyzing, and empowering needs a lot more effort to offload the unnecessary noise and pull in crucial signals, which are often complicated and time-consuming without superpowers.
The good news is that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is the superpowers that could take much of the burden from the human brain.
Artificial Intelligence makes cognitive tasks much easier to perform with automation and the ability to understand large datasets and recognize patterns to make strategic decisions. It works autonomously, saving human time to work on things that need their holy attention.
So, what does this mean to the frontline warriors of business, the sales, and marketing folks? Let’s dive deep in!
AI in Sales and Marketing
Today, in B2B, the need for a long-term relationship with customers and sustainable growth has mandated sales and marketing alignment to build an effective account-based marketing (ABM) strategy as their core of the business.
The foundation of ABM often lies in tailoring everything the customer wants, addressed at a personal level. Identifying high-value accounts and for the “personalization” to be more relevant requires manual research of news, competitor websites, regulatory portals, social media, and whatnot!
Identifying, targeting, and engaging at scale is quite complex and requires different kinds of information and processing to take real advantage of it, which includes:
- Discovering information from various sources
- Curating the information to eliminate the unwanted noise
- Categorizing them based on the need
- Making it machine-readable to perform further analysis
- Understanding the value and leverage of the information to the advantage
- Executing all of the above at the right time
There is always a massive role of AI in every phase of this journey, from market research to curation for decision making or framing the go-to-market strategy to reacting to a PR crisis.
How AI and ML can help with sales enablement:
1. Sourcing Engine Powered by AI
Search can be a never-ending activity for finding the correct information from the pool of information available on the web. Sourcing engine powered by AI helps in understanding the search queries better and bringing the relevant information. This reduces a considerable human effort in scouring through hundreds and thousands of web pages. Learning the inputs and outputs of search queries, AI becomes more prudent every day.
2. Structuring the Unstructured
Qualitative data analysis requires data to be structured and machine-readable. The web has a massive pile of information, often unstructured. AI and ML can be beneficial in making it machine-readable and understanding the contextual reference of the data points for further analysis. Some of the most useful AI applications are:
- Named Entity Recognition: It is a Natural Language Processing (NLP) technique to identify entities, annotate, label them to predefined tags.
- Text Classification and Taxonomy: Based on the training data, contents are classified to fall under definitive categories.
- Curation: Identified pieces of information are curated and deduplicated to remove the unwanted noise from the clutter.
- Summarization: Text summarization is used to get a comprehensive crux of the content while preserving the key information elements.
- Sentiment Analysis: Used to identify the tone from mining the texts for positive and negative sentiment.
3. Real-time Monitoring
Well, we have all the data captured and made machine-readable. But that is not all. The time taken to orchestrate all of this is of significant importance to demonstrate an actual value. In this agile era of the business, spontaneous reactions are imperative for real-time actions.
This is why capturing events in real-time is pivotal. AI helps spot the trigger signals right away for tactical actions and better strategic decisions. This is done with the help of machine learning that understands your query to bring the most relevant search result in no time.
The Leap Towards AI
Capturing and analyzing the signals from the media at the right time and speaking the audience’s language is an essential part of sales enablement.
You probably wouldn’t want to lose out on potential opportunities due to the lack of the right process and technology that binds everything together to make you well informed.
Considering the grand scheme of things, AI is the road to be more productive and predictive. Organizations that embrace AI rather than seeing it as an existential threat can help rise them to the occasion. The sustainable advantage of AI in sales enablement is more than what we could possibly imagine.
The leap is not hard. At least, not hard with the right solution like Uptime.