This blog is part of a series focused on Sales Enablement, a modern business solution designed to help sales and marketing teams sell more effectively using information, content, and tools. Each blog will focus on a topic in the transformational technology space that can help sales and marketing become more efficient.
Your sales reps spend 66% of their time not selling. This usually means they’re searching for answers, files, and assets. The practical effect is that non-revenue-generating tasks are killing your profit margin.
Selling is a complex profession with multiple tasks building to the close that aren’t necessarily revenue generators. How can a sales manager use next-gen technology to cut down on the busywork so that sales teams can spend more time making money?
Surveying the technology landscape
Closing a deal requires an understanding of the customer’s problem, and quickly identifying a way to solve it. This level of personalization requires time management and analytical skills that most sales leaders do not have the time or inclination to handle.
Luckily, transformative technologies can increase the amount of time your sales team spends on selling activities. When an organization prioritizes efficiency, many technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, and Natural Language Processing can be leveraged. Each of these tools allows a workforce to focus on adding value to the organization, and not spending time on the ancillary tasks required to get there.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad way of describing how computers can apply behavior and intelligence that was previously only achievable by humans. Under AI’s umbrella, many other technologies exist, including Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, and more. In the context of selling, AI executes manual tasks like searching documents, enabling the seller to spend time adding value in ways a computer cannot.
- Machine Learning (ML) is a computer’s ability to improve automatically over time by examining patterns in data. Because the scope of ML is narrower, its applications are clearer cut, like a computer’s ability to recognize shapes or play chess.
- Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a subfield of AI that allows a computer to interact with a human in their natural language. This can include language understanding, speech recognition, and language generation.
The importance of efficiency
As AI tackles more tasks that previously required human intelligence, business professionals can use it to free up time previously spent on manual tasks. From the perspective of a sales professional, many of the most time-consuming tasks are building toward higher levels of personalization for their customer.
Showing a customer that you understand their problem, and how to solve it is critical. To see the potential of digital personalization, look no further than these statistics on email marketing:
- According to Aberdeen, click-through rates go up by over 14% in emails with some level of personalization.
- Campaign Monitor data shows emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
- An Experian study finds personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.
If your organization prioritizes sales efficiency and personalization, cutting down on manual tasks is necessary. The most logical first step is to begin with the most time-intensive operations, which according to recent McKinsey reports is searching for information and assets, consuming 25% of your team’s time – searching.
How intelligent search can help your team
The days of mass-produced sales and marketing content are dwindling as sales teams gain the ability to engage individual customers with little human effort. One powerful application of AI is intelligent search, which gives a computer the ability to derive intent from a user through natural language processing. In short, AI can understand you in the natural way you speak and give you answers that are closer to what you’re looking for.
As the concept of sales enablement becomes a priority for teams in every industry, sales enablement software is gaining traction in modern organizations. Every software platform offers an assortment of powerful tools that help your business, and intelligent search may be the most beneficial of all.
An AI-powered assistant can drastically reduce the time spent searching, saving your team hours in a workweek. In addition to saved time, sales reps will be able to provide customers with content that is more relevant to their specific problem.
Here are some ways an intelligent knowledge assistant can help:
- Improved prospecting
- Greater sales team consistency
- Swift assembly of relevant content
- Eliminating routine documentation
- Coaching through everyday tasks, like RFP construction
Unika was built to help organizations easily create, discover, and use knowledge to enhance employee productivity and increase business outcomes.
Leverage your organization's collective experience for better decision making; easily search for internal experts by skill sets, industry expertise, and more.
Unika’s Intelligent-Knowledge-Assistant searches through your Unika environment and other connected systems to help answer FAQs, find people, find assets, or support complex research scenarios.
Create easy-to-read profiles that include biography, skills / expertise, employment history, certifications, affiliations and other key information about your employees.
Organize and populate knowledge into a consolidated page that can be shared internally or externally with clients.
Deploy knowledge campaigns to inform employees about active pursuits, new clients, or firm news.
Connect your document management systems, CRM, and other popular applications with ease and confidence.