The customer journey has changed. In days long gone by, it used to be a linear process. A customer would find a company, conduct a little research, connect with a sales associate, and make a decision. However, the digital age has changed the way that customers complete their buying journey. There are now a multitude of choices that customers must navigate as they begin, pause, change, restart, and complete their buyer journeys.
If you're reading this post, then you might feel a little like the kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar. You've done your homework, you know that you aren't supposed to have dessert before dinner, and yet you can't help yourself ... you reached for the cookie, without realizing that if you had just done a little bit of research you could have had a cookie on top of an ice cream sundae. In other words, perhaps you have a "fake CRM" (the cookie) and have now sheepishly realized that it isn't a "real" CRM. One might say that's the way the cookie crumbles, but all food references aside, you've come to the right place if you want to a) confirm that your CRM isn't cutting it, and b) discover what you should be looking for in your CRM.
Movies like I, Robot and Next Gen portray Artificial Intelligence (AI) as power-hungry robots. However, the latter portrayal couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, AI is posed to not take over businesses, but to provide support to sales departments of all sizes, shapes, and industries. Not only will AI support sales departments, but it will offer the tools needed to transform them into innovative spaces.
Gone are the days when Artificial Intelligence (AI) brought to mind scenes from Hollywood blockbuster classics Minority Report and I, Robot. Instead, AI technologies are rapidly changing the way that marketers and sales teams reach prospects, nurture leads, and inevitably close deals. Contrary to conspiracy beliefs, AI isn't meant to replace various sales positions with machines. Instead, when used properly, AI technologies can and will help sales teams achieve their desired results via the five following benefits.
Immediacy in sales is everything.
Yet, in my experience, many marketing funnels and the sales teams they support take their sweet time following up on their best opportunities.
This is a perilous decision to make as a business: according to InsideSales, “50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first.” — so by failing to provide an immediate next step you are likely to leave serious money on the table for your competitors.