How can artificial intelligence help you to sell?
The old spray and pray method, reaching out to as many people as possible, is not working.
Falon Fatemi, the CEO of Node.io, told aiweek, “80% of prospects are the wrong people, at the wrong companies, at the wrong time, and we’re approaching them with the wrong message.”
She said that sales and marketing have, “a massive problem of businesses guessing at what their total addressable market (TAM) is and not knowing who the people and companies are they should sell their market into.”
The sales truths that must be confronted
“Every organisation has a different set of target customers”, Falon told us, “and not only that but every sales rep has their own ideal customer profile based on who they are and who they’re successful at selling to.”
“Organisations need to really understand the people and companies that they should sell their market into with a high fidelity and level of integrity and data quality.”
“Then that data needs to be actionable, it needs to be real time, and it needs to be dynamic.”
Falon’s AI company intends to make the 1:1 sales and marketing dream a reality by making sense of the plethora of data we have on the web.
Personalised pitches, every time
“We essentially build a model for every person”, Falon said, “Our recommendations are not focused on generalised topics. They’re focused on each user, person, and company. We’ve built our system to be highly personalised in a 1:1 way.”
“For a salesperson, Node can recommend that you should sell, for example, Blue Jeans Network to Blue Apron, and it would explain why.”
“It could explain that Blue Apron has a higher deal size potential, and give the signals the system has identified that are correlated to that.”
“Not only that, Node will actually suggest that you as the individual sales rep reach out to (let’s say) Penny Wilson, who’s the CMO at Blue Apron, because Penny was a former buyer at Hootsuite, your existing customer, before she moved to Blue Apron.”
“When you pick up the phone to call Penny, Node will provide you with a set of insights and suggest exactly what you should say.”
“Node looks at both the relationship of Penny and her company to your organisation, that’s selling the product, as well as to you, the sales rep, and suggests a set of insights you should mention that could result in a higher conversion or response rate.”
“Perhaps Penny’s company’s direct competitor is your existing customer. Node could let you know that you should mention that to Penny, who will want to see the product that her competitor is using.”
“Or maybe you went to the same university, or worked at the same previous company as Penny, or perhaps her company is using a product that your system has integration with. Node can let you know to mention that too.”
“The recommendations go from being more macro, and focused on a model for a company, all the way down to actually highly personalised for the individual end user.”
“It’s focused on who the person is, and what’s relevant to them.”
How does an AI system get personal?
- Data crawling
Crawling the web to mine unstructured data sources like company page, online articles, LinkedIn, which will be used to build profiles on people and companies.
- Natural language processing (NLP)
NLP is then used to draw meaning out of this unstructured data, with the aim of creating a graph connecting the dots between people and companies.
- Machine learning (ML)
Node then teaches itself with the “structured brain” it’s gained. By remembering successes and failures it can continue to improve.
Falon said, “As the system consumes more data, it’ll get better and better at identifying prospects with higher deal size and win rate potential”.
The future of sales and marketing
Falon asked us to consider, “Now that technologies like Node are able to tell you what your TAM is at the click of a button, instead of having to spend millions of dollars on human labour to figure that out, what does your job evolve into?”
“It evolves into a job that is more strategic, consists of more judgement and decision making, and more taking insights and figuring out how to apply them into the business that you work in.”
“Where I see these technologies really being able to impact the work force is by actually shifting and evolving our roles from guess work and a lot of manual roles to that of judgement.”