How Businesses Can Benefit From AI Right Now

Much has been and will be written about artificial intelligence and the promise it holds for enhancing business. From Facebook Messenger bots to fully autonomous transportation, AI is revolutionizing the digital world, and while some ideas thrown out there are more dream than reality, there are practical things businesses can do today to get value from AI technologies that don't require years of project lead time. Businesses are able to right now focus on optimizing aspects of the customer journey and incorporate AI in time for 2018. Here are some ways AI can be leveraged now to improve marketing, sales, and service in your company.

AI for Marketing

Better lead scoring

This is a great use case for AI that helps to identify key factors influencing each lead’s “readiness to purchase” and automatically provides a score to help you find the warmest and most qualified leads.

By analyzing all leads within the sales/marketing database, AI tools are available to help businesses look at all of the possible characteristics of leads that have converted into sales and identify what a “successful” lead looks like. Once it has a model for a successful lead, the AI system uses a predictive model to test whether one or more characteristics are disproportionately correlated with success, and then it gives higher scores to the leads with those characteristics. The more data you give it, the more accurate the predictions.

The business instantly receives higher-quality leads; better alignment between sales and marketing teams; faster engagement with high-value leads; better sales performance; and happier sales reps.

AI-powered segmentation

Marketing is more effective when it resonates with the audience. Real-time segmentation is critical for any personalized marketing strategy, but segmentation requires time- and resource-intensive analytics work. Also, it is hard to keep it fresh if done manually. AI-based segmentation is a much more scalable way to segment your customers based on up-to-the-minute data, to deliver more dynamic segments and thus more personalized marketing content.

AI-based customer segmentation tools use a number of different analytical capabilities like behavioral tracking and clustering algorithms based on RFM (recency/frequency/monetary) data and predictive models to determine which groups of customers make the most sense for your desired goals.

This provides numerous practical benefits, including keeping customer data fresh and structured; maintaining highly personalized interactions with each prospect/customer to create a stronger bond with a brand and boost marketing ROI; generating higher-converting content/campaigns; and giving marketers more time to devote to content than to creating spreadsheets and crunching data.

AI for Sales

Predictive next best offer/best action

This tool is super-handy for sales reps as it analyzes data using access to more accounts and more customer history to offer the best action for helping the lead get closer to making a decision.

Based on historical data, AI-based “next best action” uses predictive modeling to identify accounts that look alike and which actions/offers are most correlated with the success of those accounts. Using this model, AI can determine which steps have not been completed with an existing account and thus offer up the smartest sequence of actions that will lead to a successful outcome.

As a result, you’ll observe better sales rep productivity; higher close rate of deals in the pipeline; higher sales rep retention; and increased revenue.

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