Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sales Productivity and Artificial Intelligence

I have been working with several Customer relationship management (CRM) packages since 2006. Salesforce is a leader now especially on the cloud. SugarCRM has been a promising platform as well.

The new Lightning experience from Salesforce is a real buzz. It has raised attention and brought many people to try this new platform. It should boost productivity. However, I do not think it will be a sales booster as well. Sales is not really about technology. Good sales people can use any kind of technology to sell. Increasing the odds of selling needs information, skills and talents.

The information will help take better decision of course in a shorter span of time. This is critical to close a deal. However, it takes much more than being productive and efficient to convince a big client to acquire a good or a service. Software can assist with all the logistics of selling. They can help make sales people more productive and spend less time looking for information or working on presentations.

Sales packages might be able to help if they get enough information from the Sales person on time. At the moment, data is flowing one way from the computerized application to the eyes of the sales person. If we can get data flowing the other way round during the meeting that will be amazingly a plus. 

I am still looking forward to seeing the tool that will truly boost the sales talents and change the average sales person into a successful effective account manager. I doubt tools and packages will do that. However, artificial intelligence might get us closer to that end.

I imagine the sales person of the future to get into a client's office with Google Glass or something similar, an iPad with a CRM package, and an earphone. The glass will help the sales person analyze the body-language of the client in order to pitch to close a deal just on time (Right when it clicks !). There is no software in the world that can understand the interactions with the clients at the moment. It needs more intelligence to acquire more info.

In that, the smart glass will acquire more information right during the meeting. Send them back to a smart engine that is fully equipped with business intelligence and tailored services. Then, the machine will start feeding the human agent with more custom information uniquely packaged for the client she is meeting.

Isn't a big step forward? Would this help sales people sell more, better, and in shorter span of time?

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