How to Use AI For Sales to Outsell Competitors With Ease

Wondering how to use AI for sales? Learn how high-performing sales teams are using it and read up on the benefits of implementing AI sales solutions.

What would it mean for your career if you could hit every sales quota from here on out? What would it mean for your organization if you could reach every quarterly forecast (instead of missing them as over 90% of B2B companies do)? More commission, bonuses, promotions, job security, and the list goes on. 

But what does it take to accomplish this in the current climate where all of the following are true?

  • Many salespeople spend less than a third of their time selling by some estimates.
  • Many industries are more competitive than ever.
  • Many companies are more resource-constrained than ever.

In two words: artificial intelligence (AI). 

What are the benefits of using AI for sales?

Michael Nemeroff, the CEO and co-founder of RushOrderTees, summed up some of the top advantages: “AI has helped to speed up our sales team’s workflow by automating repetitive processes such as customer outreach and follow-up, sales process execution, and contract completion. This has freed up our sales reps to be able to spend more time engaging with prospects.”

Besides optimizing how sales reps spend their time, there are other benefits, including significant improvements in the following: 

  • Sales teams’ understanding of customer needs and their ability to personalize interactions based on those deeper insights
  • Sales teams’ understanding of the competition 
  • Forecasting accuracy (which we’ll talk about later)

As a result, sales teams who’ve already embraced AI are seeing more engagement, increases in lead volume and close rate, and higher rates of satisfaction with the customer experience. Not to mention that they’re able to make savvy decisions faster thanks to AI’s ability to analyze large amounts of data and produce insights, forecasts, and informed recommendations.

How to use AI to boost sales: 7 opportunities

What other sales teams are doing can provide you helpful clues on where to start with incorporating AI into your sales processes. Here are seven ways you and your team can use artificial intelligence to get ahead. 

1. Roleplay sales conversations

AI can help you roleplay real-life selling situations, improving your ability to build rapport with prospects, identify deep-seated needs, and overcome objections. Ryder Meehan, a co-founder of Upgrow, found this to be true, saying, “I recently came up with a new discovery call script. Since I'm the only salesperson at my company, I didn't have anyone to roleplay it with before using it on a live call. I prompted AI to roleplay the script with me, and it helped me refine the script. The new, AI-tested script has improved my close rate from 22% to 33% after using it for three weeks.”

2. Automate lead generation

Finding potential leads can be time-consuming and tedious, but AI can make it less so. 

AI-powered LinkedIn prospecting tools can sift through profiles and identify potential leads based on predetermined criteria. Many can also send personalized initial and follow-up messages to get conversations started. There are various tools for automating and even personalizing outbound email campaigns. And while cold-calling may not be everyone's cup of tea, there's even AI-powered software that can suggest responses in real-time to help you get and keep potential leads interested.

3. Automate lead scoring

More than likely, you score leads on several criteria, right? You might look at factors like demographic info, website activity, previous interactions with your company, and so on. Even if you've been in the sales game for a while, this manual multi-faceted analysis takes time. And, potentially, time that you don't always have. 

In contrast, AI-based lead scoring technology can analyze these and countless other data points nearly instantaneously.  Many can even learn from previous leads that have converted into customers and adjust scoring criteria accordingly. Not only can these systems save you time, but they can result in a higher degree of accuracy. That way, you know which leads to prioritize following up with.

4. Generate, qualify, and nurture leads with chatbots

Conversational AI chatbots can serve several purposes. They use natural language processing (NLP) technology to understand common questions or requests for assistance and respond appropriately. 

They can help generate leads by providing personalized product or service recommendations, gathering contact info, and scheduling appointments or demos. Not to mention that they can ask questions to qualify potential customers—you’ll know which leads are worth your time and seal those deals faster. And that’s not just a hypothesis. McKinsey confirmed the value of chatbots, finding that 64% of companies that grew market share by adopting advanced sales tools use them.

5. Place recommendation engines on your website

A recommendation engine is a type of data filtering tool. These engines use machine learning algorithms to analyze customer data, such as past purchases or browsing history, to provide personalized product recommendations. You can embed a recommendation engine on your website, helping potential customers quickly discover and learn about the most relevant products or services for them. By the time they reach you, all you have to do as the sales professional is address any lingering questions and close the deal. 

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