5 Benefits of Automation and Conversational AI in Sales

Support salespeople with lead generation chatbots to save your team valuable time

Rising competition, increasing digitization and thus growing customer expectations – the challenges in sales to sell products and services have changed over the years. Companies need to find new ways to meet their target audience and beat the competition. One possibility for this is the automation of sales processes, which has already found its way into many companies and, thanks to its numerous advantages, will be used even more as a supporting sales tool in the future. Routine and administrative tasks are indispensable for the sales team, but they also cost a lot of valuable working time. Artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots are the optimal tool to free up sales staff for the really important and profitable tasks: personal customer contact. 

We have listed below how chatbots sustainably increase efficiency in sales and what other advantages automation in sales offers:  

1. Automated 24/7 lead generation: from prospect to customer

Every sales cycle starts with the challenge of lead generation. Here, it is not only important to make a prospect aware of your company and product, but to inspire him and thus turn him into a potential buyer. An interested party qualifies as a lead when he provides the company with his personal data (e-mail address, telephone number, etc.) for further interaction. He thus expresses an increased interest in buying the product or service. This step of data collection can be easily standardised and automated through the use of a chatbot. So why not let lead generation become a self-runner? 

On the company homepage, the chatbot can greet the prospect directly on the homepage and offer its help. Frequently asked prospect queries can be answered by the chatbot. HDI Insurance, for example, uses its lead generation Chatbot Lizzy efficiently in upselling for its sales process: customers can use it flexibly at any time to add another driver to their insurance policy for a limited period of time. The chatbot processes the enquiries about the driver extension – an additional insurance policy is concluded within 3 minutes, completely automatically and without additional resources from the sales department.  Bots can also ask automated queries, e.g. about product feature preferences. This not only generates leads but also pre-qualifies them at the same time. 

2. Personalization through automation

Consumers expect an individual approach and personalized content – this is part of their desired shopping experience. Personalization builds a trusting relationship with the company and at the same time reduces the fear of data misuse. If, for example, a prospective customer starts the interaction with a chatbot through a CTA, the chatbot can informatively pick up the user exactly at the point where he is. Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP) – a subfield of AI – the chatbot is given the ability to process, read and react to human language. After a short get-to-know-you interaction, the user is guided unnoticed through predefined questions to receive a customized product offer according to the answers.  Due to the personalized content, interest is increased, trust is built up and even the undecided user is convinced to give his personal data to the chatbot. 

3. Focus on the essential: the customer

One of the most valuable tools in sales is the CRM system, where all relevant data on prospects and customers converge. A treasure trove of data with enormous potential, but which also quickly becomes a time-consuming task. Researching information about potential customers, maintaining databases and writing e-mails – administrative activities that are necessary but have a considerable impact on the daily work of a sales employee. These sales processes can be easily automated through the use of AI. Addresses, contact data, company descriptions can be researched at the touch of a button. Furthermore, chatbots can send standardised emails and arrange sales calls or meetings – coordinated with the linked calendar of the sales team. Thanks to AI, the weekly reporting for the meeting is automatically created directly. 

Process optimization through sales automation means that sales staff spend less time on administrative tasks and more on human interactions, enabling them to intensify their relationship with prospects and customers. 

4. Solving the data puzzle thanks to AI

However, connecting a chatbot to the CRM system offers scalable added value not only for administrative activities but also for the sales strategy. In addition to collecting valuable customer data, AI chatbots can accurately monitor and analyse the data and draw conclusions about customer behaviour based on it. Correlations of the huge amounts of data are recognized, structured in a meaningful way and thus support the sales team in being able to better interpret the behaviour of the interests. This makes it easier for employees to assess which lead has a higher chance of closing a sale and prioritize their efforts accordingly. 

However, contact points with prospects that did not quite make it to a qualified lead can also be followed up through the use of chatbots. To reactivate the lost lead, the bot sends customized offers or reminders. The customer was looking for a specific product the last time they visited the homepage and didn’t find it in the right size? The chatbot can automatically send a notification as soon as the size is available again. And if that’s not enough to make a purchase, a personal voucher code is sent out 48 hours later. Thanks to sales automation, the customer has regular points of contact with the company, which builds up the customer relationship without the use of sales staff. Once a lead is generated, the chatbot automatically assigns it to the correct sales employee based on predefined company key figures such as industry, location or turnover – including all relevant information. The digital handshake between chatbot and sales. 

5. High reach through presence on all channels

Nowadays, customers expect companies to provide round-the-clock service on all channels. This requirement is almost impossible to cover by employees, the costs for working time alone would be far too high. An efficient and flexible solution here is the integration of a chatbot, which takes over the communication with the customer in real-time. This way, additional communication channels can be opened up in addition to the personal interaction by the sales employee, enabling new customer contacts. Social media and messenger services are ideal for automatically bringing the customer into the sales cycle through chatbots. 

Conclusion

Through automation in sales, the team is able to concentrate on the core activities and address the prospects in a more individual and targeted manner. This process optimisation increases the value of every single interaction in sales, as sales conversations become more efficient overall through the integration of AI.