DIGITAL SELLING IS HERE

Business to Business (B2B) sales operations is drastically changing. Sales personnel now have access to exceptional amounts of data. Combined with machine learning and other applications of Artificial Intelligence, sales and marketing personnel can use an array of tools to identify opportunities for growth.

Let’s hone in on the data. According to data collected by Mckinsey & Co, companies that have adopted digitization, characterized by end-to-end, data-driven operational processes, see:

3x industry average revenue growth

8% higher return to shareholders than the industry average

3-5% additional return on sales

 

B2B sales companies should capitalize on this window of opportunity through implementing and embracing applications of Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence is a broad concept. So it’s easy to get lost in the complexities, fear-mongering, and futurism usually surrounding AI. Artificial Intelligence umbrellas over a broad range of applications. Machine learning, a subset of AI, uses algorithms that enable computers to learn and predict from datasets through using statistical methods. The reality is that applications of AI are highly niche, and businesses that are quick to implement this technology will ultimately prosper. This is because customers expect quick, streamlined communication and delivery. With such a broad array of options, it’s easy to understand why key decision-makers may become overwhelmed with embedding AI into their operations. 

There are applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in every stage of the marketing and sales funnel.

Let’s take a closer look at how Artificial Intelligence can and will impact each stage.

Starting from the top, the awareness stage sees the need for B2B businesses to hone in on target segments within the population and advertise to them through relevant channels. Artificial Intelligence enables this through aggregating data from multiple channels and doing predictive analytics to target the most relevant potential customers. This has the potential to increase the bottom line for any company by eradicating irrelevant advertising costs and ensuring that the advertising budget goes towards groups that will eventually lead to long term conversions.

The consideration stage is the sellers a chance to showcase the extent to which they can personalize and tailor their products and services to the buyer. Sellers can qualify their competence and value proposition. Artificial Intelligence and its subsets will enable B2B consumers to interact with AI chatbots and digital assistants, and see for themselves the ever-evolving power of AI. AI is also able to predict consumers’ intent and the extent of their interest. So, to a certain extent, marketers will be able to asses how much they should advertise their products based on consumers’ actual needs.

The conversion stage will see companies cater to the personalized needs of the B2B consumer. A shift to subscription-based models for B2B sales consumers sees the need for long-term, sustainable relationships. Long-term success for consumers is a win for any sales team. Therefore the loyalty stage will be informed by data and machine learning algorithms to predict future consumer behavior, provide real-time customer support, and cater to niche applications within consumers’ businesses in relevant ways.

These stages merely scratch the surface of what’s possible through AI for B2B marketers. AI is not a one-size-fits-all solution – its applications will vary according to industry and company-specific needs. However, the one constant is that applications of AI are integral to any B2B marketer looking to be at the forefront of their industry.

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