In recent years, we witnessed companies implementing artificial intelligence (AI) in their enterprise applications, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools for marketing automation, sales processes, customer services, personalization, segmentation, recommendations, customer insights, and analytics.
This has completely transformed the way marketing managers make decisions and interpret data, causing significant impacts on the company’s growth in terms of customer loyalty, profitability, and customer experience.
Businesses integrate AI into their CRM tools for three reasons. Firstly, as the size of customer data increases day by day, AI helps convert raw (unstructured) customer data into organized (structured data) using tools such as machine learning. This helps in detecting trends/patterns and provides valuable insights for businesses. Second, AI technology enables companies to store and manage large volumes of data without errors.
Secondly, in addition to the ever-growing volume of data, managing business processes and relationships become more complex due to increasing transactions. This causes complications in understanding company relationships and identifying accurate customer patterns. This is where AI helps by augmenting the CRM function and providing actual information.
Lastly, business investors’ increasing popularity and interest in AI integrated CRM tools like Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP have been growing since 2016. Furthermore, the influence of AI in CRM tools can be seen better as business processes become more intricate with increasing customer data. All in all, AI makes it convenient for business firms to understand their customers better and assess their behavior towards products and services.
Let’s now find out the five ways artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming CRM.
1. Ingestion and retrieval of data
Through the integration of AI, manual data entry is no more required by sales professionals, which saves several hours of extra effort and unproductive time spending on various activities. Not only this but AI assists in centralizing different customer databases and at the same time save the complete customer lifecycle information whether it is retrieved through email, call or chatbots, etc.
2. Sentiment analysis
Most customer interactions occur virtually through mediums that do not reveal customers’ body language and facial expressions; it becomes difficult for salespersons to develop trust and a strong relationship with their customers. Luckily, artificial intelligence offers a powerful solution to this problem. Through the use of sentiment analysis, AI-powered tools can analyze conversations and evaluate customers’ emotional situations. A good example is Cogito that provides in-call voice analysis, which helps sales staff comprehend customers’ emotional states and respond to them in the best possible manner.
3. Data reliability
To augment the role of decision making, an AI-integrated CRM system can help by identifying potential issues in the system, remove any duplicated data, report any errors so that the users can correct them, identify if there is any incomplete data in other systems and give advice on updating any obsolete data.
4. Converting leads into customers
Artificial intelligence has immensely motivated sales organizations to move from rules-based lead scoring to predictive lead scoring. As AI can examine millions of different historical and instantaneous attributes such as demographic data, geographic data, activity, and web behavior, it helps salespersons determine buying readiness of customers. Once combined with CRM systems, AI can scrutinize the ratio of won versus lost deals to identify trends that can advise predictive lead scoring methods. Every time a more accurate model is recognized, it automatically becomes the default.
5. Targeted recommendations for salespeople
CRM is the source of data collection. When AI is integrated with CRM systems, they undertake a new and more valuable role, such as a trusted advisor. An AI integrated CRM is equipped with the capability of providing targeted recommendations for salespersons. An artificially intelligent CRM is considered adequate when it gives the “why” element to the salespersons, informing them of the rationale behind specific prescribed courses of action.
Let’s conclude. With the emergence of AI, marketers and sales professionals may be on the verge of losing jobs, but this is a myth and considered a short-lived perspective. AI promises to enrich, not replace, the human element of sales. This means that future sales professionals will employ artificial intelligence to complement their professional practices and skillsets.