The Distributor’s Guide to AI Implementation – Leveraging the Power of AI #21
AI is an incredibly beneficial tool for distributors who want to transform their offerings and get ahead of the competition. Artificial intelligence can analyze complex data and provide unique insights into customer patterns, product demand and future sales. With it, you can support various sales channels and enhance how your team interacts with customers.
AI implementation will not only improve customer insight and support, but it will also enhance the tools in your sales arsenal, including:
- Customer service
- Inside sales
- Outside sales
Artificial intelligence is a revolutionary tool that, when incorporated into your B2B sales strategies, will enable your company to evolve beyond your competition and function on a higher level.
How Can AI Help Increase Revenue With Existing Customers?
Two things are holding your sales reps back from maximizing the revenue they receive from each customer: waiting for customers to call when they need products and not pitching relevant products that may fit their needs. Your team will improve customer satisfaction, increase average revenue per sales rep, and improve wallet share by proactively reaching out to buyers before they contact your company themselves.
Manually tracking the products that accounts have been or should be purchasing is time-consuming and prone to error. Thankfully, this is where AI comes into play. AI models enable sales reps to make highly personalized pitches to customers at the perfect time. By analyzing account data and customer behavior, these AI models will alert your team when a customer is due to reorder. It will also provide relevant upsell and cross-sell recommendations, so your team knows precisely what to offer each buyer.
AI-generated product suggestions enable sales reps to upsell and cross-sell more effectively by suggesting:
- Similar products
- Items that naturally go together
- Things the customer may have forgotten to order
- Products that fill the same need if their first choice is unavailable
- “Switch and save” options
By making suggestions beyond what the customer is asking for, your team can help buyers find products they may not realize they need, which will ultimately make them feel happier and more supported.
How Do I Get New Sales Reps Ramped Quickly?
Contacting the right account at the right time and being able to provide them with the information they need is critical. This can be a struggle for new reps considering the time it takes to develop enough customer and product knowledge to do these things effectively. With the help of AI, your new reps can reduce the time they spend manually reviewing customer data and spend more time interacting with buyers and growing as salespeople.
Increase Effectiveness and Time Spent on Calls By Helping Reps Prioritize Accounts
Relying on developing hunches or learning sales histories is likely to increase the time it takes for reps to get to their required revenue figures. Rather than calling accounts at random or manually building lists, your sales team can become productive quicker by using AI-generated lists.
AI models analyze customer account attributes, purchase history, similarity to other accounts and other key indicators to determine which buyers are high-priority and when your sales reps should reach out. They will also determine if a customer is likely to churn based on a slow down in buying behavior. To reduce churn, high-risk customers will be at the top of your team’s daily call lists.
In addition to helping sales reps make better connections, integrating AI automation into your workflows will also remove time-consuming administrative tasks. A higher level of automation means your team will have the freedom to spend more time developing skills and making calls.
Make Your Sales and Customer Service Reps Product Experts
Providing customers and prospects with necessary information while on the phone enhances the customer experience and increases your chances of making a sale. Unfortunately, new sales reps often face a significant learning curve with thousands or even millions of available SKUs. With the help of AI, your team won’t have to spend years becoming catalog experts. Instead, this technology enables your sales team to search catalogs quickly for product information and similar listings. These tools are available for everyone on your team, including inside sales, outside sales and counter sales.
Top-quality AI models will:
- Read and interpret the text from product descriptions to enable reps to search topics and keywords quickly
- Provide precise and easy-to-use search options to help your team find product data while speaking to customers
Although integrating new technology into your workflows may seem daunting, in reality, AI models require minimal training to use and give sales reps the tools needed to enhance the customer experience and make quality recommendations. Since AI models learn and improve over time, it is vital to integrate AI into your business as soon as possible to get the most out of your investment.