Skip to content
Advertisements

Posts from the ‘Marketing’ Category

10 Ways Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Sales

  • Sales teams adopting AI are seeing an increase in leads and appointments of more than 50%, cost reductions of 40%–60%, and call time reductions of 60%–70% according to the Harvard Business Review article Why Salespeople Need to Develop Machine Intelligence.
  • 62% of highest performing salespeople predict guided selling adoption will accelerate based on its ability rank potential opportunities by value and suggest next steps according to Salesforces’ latest State of Sales research study.
  • By 2020, 30% of all B2B companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes according to Gartner.
  • High-performing sales teams are 4.1X more likely to use AI and machine learning applications than their peers according to the State of Sales published by Salesforce.
  • Intelligent forecasting, opportunity insights, and lead prioritization are the top three AI and machine learning use cases in sales.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning show the potential to reduce the most time-consuming, manual tasks that keep sales teams away from spending more time with customers. Automating account-based marketing support with predictive analytics and supporting account-centered research, forecasting, reporting, and recommending which customers to upsell first are all techniques freeing sales teams from manually intensive tasks.

The Race for Sales-Focused AI & Machine Learning Patents Is On

CRM and Configure, Price & Quote (CPQ) providers continue to develop and fine-tune their digital assistants, which are specifically designed to help the sales team get the most value from AI and machine learning. Salesforces’ Einstein supports voice-activation commands from Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google. Salesforce and other enterprise software companies continue aggressively invest in Research & Development (R&D). For the nine months ended October 31, 2018, Salesforce spent $1.3B or 14% of total revenues compared to $1.1B or 15% of total revenues, during the same period a year ago, an increase of $211M according to the company’s 10Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The race for AI and machine learning patents that streamline selling is getting more competitive every month. Expect to see the race of sales-focused AI and machine learning patents flourish in 2019. The National Bureau of Economic Research published a study last July from the Stanford Institute For Economic Policy Research titled Some Facts On High Tech Patenting. The study finds that patenting in machine learning has seen exponential growth since 2010 and Microsoft had the greatest number of patents in the 2000 to 2015 timeframe. Using patent analytics from PatentSight and ipsearchIAM published an analysis last month showing Microsoft as the global leader in machine learning patents with 2,075.  The study relied on PatentSight’s Patent Asset Index to rank machine learning patent creators and owners, revealing Microsoft and Alphabet are dominating today. Salesforce investing over $1B a year in R&D reflects how competitive the race for patents and intellectual property is.

10 Ways Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Sales

Fueled by the proliferation of patents and the integration of AI and machine learning code into CRM, CPQ, Customer Service, Predictive Analytics and a wide variety of Sales Enablement applications, use cases are flourishing today. Presented below are the ten ways machine learning is most revolutionizing selling today:

 

  1. AI and machine learning technologies excel at pattern recognition, enabling sales teams to find the highest potential new prospects by matching data profiles with their most valuable customers. Nearly all AI-enabled CRM applications are providing the ability to define a series of attributes, characteristics and their specific values that pinpoint the highest potential prospects. Selecting and prioritizing new prospects using this approach saves sales teams thousands of hours a year.
  2. Lead scoring and nurturing based on AI and machine learning algorithms help guide sales and marketing teams to turn Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) into Sales Qualified Leads (SQL), strengthening sales pipelines in the process. One of the most important areas of collaboration between sales and marketing is lead nurturing strategies that move prospects through the pipeline. AI and machine learning are enriching the collaboration with insights from third-party data, prospect’s activity at events and on the website, and from previous conversations with salespeople. Lead scoring and nurturing relies heavily on natural language generation (NLG) and natural-language processing (NLP) to help improve each lead’s score.
  3. Combining historical selling, pricing and buying data in a single machine learning model improves the accuracy and scale of sales forecasts. Factoring in differences inherent in every account given their previous history and product and service purchasing cycles is invaluable in accurately predicting their future buying levels. AI and machine learning algorithms integrated into CRM, sales management and sales planning applications can explain variations in forecasts, provided they have the data available. Forecasting demand for new products and services is an area where AI and machine learning are reducing the risk of investing in entirely new selling strategies for new products.
  4. Knowing the propensity of a given customer to churn versus renew is invaluable in improving Customer Lifetime Value. Analyzing a diverse series of factors to see which customers are going to churn or leave versus those that will renew is among the most valuable insights AI and machine learning is delivering today. Being able to complete a Customer Lifetime Value Analysis for every customer a company has provides a prioritized roadmap of where the health of client relationships are excellent versus those that need attention. Many companies are using Customer Lifetime Value Analysis as a proxy for a customer health score that gets reviewed monthly.
  5. Knowing the strategies, techniques and time management approaches the top 10% of salespeople to rely on to excel far beyond quota and scaling those practices across the sales team based on AI-driven insights. All sales managers and leaders think about this often, especially in sales teams where performance levels vary widely. Knowing the capabilities of the highest-achieving salespeople, then selectively recruiting those sales team candidates who have comparable capabilities delivers solid results. Leaders in the field of applying AI to talent management include Eightfold whose approach to talent management is refining recruiting and every phase of managing an employee’s potential. Please see the recent New York Times feature of them here.
  6. Guided Selling is progressing rapidly from a personalization-driven selling strategy to one that capitalized on data-driven insights, further revolutionizing sales. AI- and machine learning-based guided selling is based on prescriptive analytics that provides recommendations to salespeople of which products, services, and bundles to offer at which price. 62% of highest performing salespeople predict guided selling adoption will accelerate based on its ability rank potential opportunities by value and suggest next steps according to Salesforces’ latest State of Sales research study.
  7. Improving the sales team’s productivity by using AI and machine learning to analyze the most effective actions and behaviors that lead to more closed sales. AI and machine learning-based sales contact and customer predictive analytics take into account all sources of contacts with customers and determine which are the most effective. Knowing which actions and behaviors are correlated with the highest close rates, sales managers can use these insights to scale their sales teams to higher performance.
  8. Sales and marketing are better able to define a price optimization strategy using all available data analyzing using AI and machine learning algorithms. Pricing continues to be an area the majority of sales and marketing teams learn to do through trial and error. Being able to analyze pricing data, purchasing history, discounts are taken, promotional programs participated in and many other factors, AI and machine learning can calculate the price elasticity for a given customer, making an optimized price more achievable.
  9. Personalizing sales and marketing content that moves prospects from MQLs to SQLs is continually improving thanks to AI and machine learning. Marketing Automation applications including HubSpot and many others have for years been able to define which content asset needs to be presented to a given prospect at a given time. What’s changed is the interactive, personalized nature of the content itself. Combining analytics, personalization and machine learning, marketing automation applications are now able to tailor content and assets that move opportunities forward.
  10. Solving the many challenges of sales engineering scheduling, sales enablement support and dedicating the greatest amount of time to the most high-value accounts is getting solved with machine learning. CRM applications including Salesforce can define a salesperson’s schedule based on the value of the potential sale combined with the strength of the sales lead, based on its lead score. AI and machine learning optimize a salesperson’s time so they can go from one customer meeting to the next, dedicating their time to the most valuable prospects.
Advertisements

10 Ways Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Marketing

 

  • 84% of marketing organizations are implementing or expanding AI and machine learning in 2018.
  • 75% of enterprises using AI and machine learning enhance customer satisfaction by more than 10%.
  • 3 in 4 organizations implementing AI and machine learning increase sales of new products and services by more than 10% according to Capgemini.

Measuring marketing’s many contributions to revenue growth is becoming more accurate and real-time thanks to analytics and machine learning. Knowing what’s driving more Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), Sales Qualified Leads (SQL), how best to optimize marketing campaigns, and improving the precision and profitability of pricing are just a few of the many areas machine learning is revolutionizing marketing.

The best marketers are using machine learning to understand, anticipate and act on the problems their sales prospects are trying to solve faster and with more clarity than any competitor. Having the insight to tailor content while qualifying leads for sales to close quickly is being fueled by machine learning-based apps capable of learning what’s most effective for each prospect and customer. Machine learning is taking contextual content,  marketing automation including cross-channel marketing campaigns and lead scoring, personalization, and sales forecasting to a new level of accuracy and speed.

The strongest marketing departments rely on a robust set of analytics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure their progress towards revenue and customer growth goals. With machine learning, marketing departments will be able to deliver even more significant contributions to revenue growth, strengthening customer relationships in the process.

The following are 10 ways machine learning is revolutionizing marketing today and in the future:

  1. 57% of enterprise executives believe the most significant growth benefit of AI and machine learning will be improving customer experiences and support. 44% believe that AI and machine learning will provide the ability to improve on existing products and services. Marketing departments and the Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) running them are the leaders devising and launching new strategies to deliver excellent customer experiences and are one of the earliest adopters of machine learning. Orchestrating every aspect of attracting, selling and serving customers is being improved by marketers using machine learning apps to more accurately predict outcomes. Source: Artificial Intelligence: What’s Possible for Enterprises In 2017 (PDF, 16 pp., no opt-in), Forrester, by Mike Gualtieri, November 1, 2016. Courtesy of The Stack.

  1. 58% of enterprises are tackling the most challenging marketing problems with AI and machine learning first, prioritizing personalized customer care, new product development. These “need to do” marketing areas have the highest complexity and highest benefit. Marketers haven’t been putting as much emphasis on the “must do” areas of high benefit and low complexity according to Capgemini’s analysis. These application areas include Chatbots and virtual assistants, reducing revenue churn, facial recognition and product and services recommendations. Source:  Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit, Capgemini Consulting. 2017. (PDF, 28 pp., no opt-in).

  1. By 2020, real-time personalized advertising across digital platforms and optimized message targeting accuracy, context and precision will accelerate. The combined effect of these marketing technology improvements will increase sales effectiveness in retail and B2C-based channels. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) lead generation will also increase, potentially reducing sales cycles and increasing win rates. Source: Can Machines be Creative? How Technology is Transforming Marketing Personalization and Relevance, IDC White Paper Sponsored by Gerry Brown, July 2017.

  1. Analyze and significantly reduce customer churn using machine learning to streamline risk prediction and intervention models. Instead of relying on expensive and time-consuming approaches to minimize customer churn, telecommunications companies and those in high-churn industries are turning to machine learning. The following graphic illustrates how defining risk models help determine how actions aimed at averting churn affect churn impact probability and risk. An intervention model allows marketers to consider how the level of intervention could affect the probability of churn and the amount of customer lifetime value (CLV). Source: Analyzing Customer Churn by using Azure Machine Learning.

  1. Price optimization and price elasticity are growing beyond industries with limited inventories including airlines and hotels, proliferating into manufacturing and services. All marketers are increasingly relying on machine learning to define more competitive, contextually relevant pricing. Machine learning apps are scaling price optimization beyond airlines, hotels, and events to encompass product and services pricing scenarios. Machine learning is being used today to determine pricing elasticity by each product, factoring in channel segment, customer segment, sales period and the product’s position in an overall product line pricing strategy. The following example is from Microsoft Azure’s Interactive Pricing Analytics Pre-Configured Solution (PCS). Source: Azure Cortana Interactive Pricing Analytics Pre-Configured Solution.

  1. Improving demand forecasting, assortment efficiency and pricing in retail marketing have the potential to deliver a 2% improvement in Earnings Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT), 20% stock reduction and 2 million fewer product returns a year. In Consumer Packaged Goods (CPQ) and retail marketing organizations, there’s significant potential for AI and machine learning to improve the entire value chain’s performance. McKinsey found that using a concerted approach to applying AI and machine learning across a retailer’s value chains has the potential to deliver a 50% improvement of assortment efficiency and a 30% online sales increase using dynamic pricing. Source:  Artificial Intelligence: The Next Frontier? McKinsey Global Institute (PDF, 80 pp., no opt-in)

  1. Creating and fine-tuning propensity models that guide cross-sell and up-sell strategies by product line, customer segment, and persona. It’s common to find data-driven marketers building and using propensity models to define the products and services with the highest probability of being purchased. Too often propensity models are based on imported data, built in Microsoft Excel, making their ongoing use time-consuming. Machine learning is streamlining creation, fine-tuning and revenue contributions of up-sell and cross-sell strategies by automating the entire progress. The screen below is an example of a propensity model.

  1. Lead scoring accuracy is improving, leading to increased sales that are traceable back to initial marketing campaigns and sales strategies. By using machine learning to qualify the further customer and prospect lists using relevant data from the web, predictive models including machine learning can better predict ideal customer profiles. Each sales lead’s predictive score becomes a better predictor of potential new sales, helping sales prioritize time, sales efforts and selling strategies. The following two slides are from an excellent webinar Mintigo hosted with Sirius Decisions and Sales Hacker. It’s a fascinating look at how machine learning is improving sales effectiveness. Source: Give Your SDRs An Unfair Advantage with Predictive (webinar slides on Slideshare).

  1. Identifying and defining the sales projections of specific customer segments and microsegments using RFM (recency, frequency and monetary) modeling within machine learning apps is becoming pervasive. Using RFM analysis as part of a machine learning initiative can provide accurate definitions of the best customers, most loyal, biggest spenders, almost lost, lost customers and lost cheap customers.
  2. Optimizing the marketing mix by determining which sales offers, incentive and programs are presented to which prospects through which channels is another way machine learning is revolutionizing marketing. Specific sales offers are created supported by contextual content, offers, and incentives. These items are made available to an optimization engine which uses machine learning logic to continually try to predict the best combination of marketing mix elements that will lead to a new sale, up-sell or cross-sell. Amazon’s product recommendation feature is an example of how their e-commerce site is using machine learning to increase up-sell, cross-sell and recommended products revenue.

Data Sources On Machine Learning’s Impact On Marketing:

4 Ways to Use Machine Learning in Marketing Automation, Medium, March 30, 2017

84 percent of B2C marketing organizations are implementing or expanding AI in 2018. Infographic. Amplero.
AI, Machine Learning, and their Application for Growth, Adelyn Zhou. SlideShare/LinkedIn.  Feb. 8, 2018.

AI: The Next Generation of Marketing Driving Competitive Advantage throughout the Customer Life Cycle (PDF, 10 pp., no opt-in), Forrester, February 2017.

An Executive’s Guide to Machine Learning, McKinsey Quarterly. June 2015.

Artificial Intelligence for Marketers 2018: Finding Value beyond the Hype, eMarketer. (PDF, 20 pp., no opt-in). October 2017

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Frontier? McKinsey Global Institute (PDF, 80 pp., no opt-in)

Artificial Intelligence: The Ultimate Technological Disruption Ascends, Woodside Capital Partners. (PDF, 111 pp., no opt-in). January 2017.

AWS Announces Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab, Marketing Technology Insights

B2B Predictive Marketing Analytics Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide, (PDF, 36 pp., no opt-in) Marketing Land Research Report.
Four Use Cases of Machine Learning in Marketing, June 28, 2018, Martech Advisor,
How Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Will Reshape Small Businesses, SMB Group (PDF, 8 pp., no opt-in) May 2017.

How Machine Learning Helps Sales Success (PDF, 12 pp., no opt-in) Cognizant

Inside Salesforce Einstein Artificial Intelligence A Look at Salesforce Einstein Capabilities, Use Cases and Challenges, Doug Henschen, Constellation Research, February 15, 2017

Machine Learning for Marketers (PDF, 91 pp., no opt-in) iPullRank

Machine Learning Marketing – Expert Consensus of 51 Executives and Startups, TechEmergence. May 15, 2017.

Marketing & Sales Big Data, Analytics, and the Future of Marketing & Sales, (PDF, 60 pp., no opt-in), McKinsey & Company.

Sizing the prize – What’s the real value of AI for your business and how can you capitalize? (PDF, 32 pp., no opt-in) PwC, 2017.

The New Frontier of Price Optimization, MIT Technology Review. September 07, 2017.

The Power Of Customer Context, Forrester (PDF, 20 pp., no opt-in) Carlton A. Doty, April 14, 2014. Provided courtesy of Pegasystems.

Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit, Capgemini Consulting. 2017. (PDF, 28 pp., no opt-in)

Using machine learning for insurance pricing optimization, Google Cloud Big Data and Machine Learning Blog, March 29, 2017

What Marketers Can Expect from AI in 2018, Jacob Shama. Mintigo. January 16, 2018.

%d bloggers like this: