AI and CRM - The interplay between CRM and AI

A 2021 Guide: How AI is Changing the Face of CRM Tools

How AI is Changing the Face of CRM Tools

AI is a buzzword that gets thrown a lot these days. But, in reality, it is far too broad to really discuss without context—one area where AI technology is starting to make a big difference in sales, particularly within CRMs. CRMs haven’t changed that much since being introduced in the 90s, but the landscape looks likely to change.

There are many ways in which AI is starting to impact the notion of a CRM, and below, you can see some of the most prominent examples of what an AI CRM could look like soon.

Data Retrieval and Automation

Any sales professional will tell you just how important data, metrics, and prospect’s information are to their work. The fastest-growing sales organizations are those that utilize analytics most effectively. And one thing likely to be universally agreed upon is how much they hate doing manual data entry. The time-sink, drudgery that no one ever said they loved.   It takes a lot of time to crunch those numbers, review customer details, and find a way to build better relationships–and it’s generally inefficient and inhibits creativity. Luckily, AI is helping to automate some of these fundamental business administration functions. Managing data effectively and automating specific tasks away is one key reason why AI is changing how salespeople use CRMs.

A Detailed Overview

Within a CRM, this technology helps to capture a detailed view of the customer lifecycle. Rather than searching for specific data points, a sales professional can have a dashboard in front of them that shows them the bigger picture. Specific customer interactions are documented and tagged based on particular actions–making it a fantastic contact management tool.

All of this data can be inputted into a CRM, and it can give back valuable insights that can help detect trends and allow salespeople to nurture their leads far more effectively.

Predictive Lead Scoring

AI can utilize predictive models to enhance lead scoring for sales organizations. Converting leads into customers is the lifeblood of any organization. Most visitors are ready to purchase your product/service straight away, which is why they take several approaches to convert these potential leads into loyal customers. Traditionally, leads would be manually scored on their likelihood of purchasing. This is usually done through a set of predefined rules. While this method carries some success, it is relatively inefficient, and the ranking isn’t always accurate.

Enter AI. Using specific algorithms and models, it can more accurately figure out how close a customer is to purchasing. Instead of relying on a set of rules, it can analyze historical and real-time data within seconds. Web behavior, demographic data, geographic factors are just some of the aspects taken into account. Once integrated into a CRM, this technology can assess leads gained vs. leads lost to achieve a more accurate indication of future behavior.

Continued Learning

The most exciting aspect of AI concerning CRMs is the fact the algorithms keep learning. The models might not be perfect initially, but because there’s a bunch of them, the more the technology gets used, the smarter the algorithmic models become–reaching the highest level of accuracy. AI continues learning and becoming more effective for your CRM.–it merely keeps improving with the addition and use of further information.

Better Understanding of Customers

Knowing your customers and profoundly understanding your demographic is the key to success for all organizations–particularly sales. As technology continues to collect information on contacts, it will help you get specific insights that can help tailor your communication strategies. Tremendous amounts of data can be quickly processed to produce valuable insights. It can help you understand what is vital to your contacts and their behavior throughout the sales cycle. This leads to improved contact management due to having a better understanding.

This increased understanding can help you connect better with them and improve overall relationships. AI isn’t here to replace sales teams; instead, it can empower them through objective analysis of customer behavior and patterns.

A More Personalized Experience

One major gripe with traditional CRM software is that it lacks personality, and its flexibility does not go far enough in offering any real personalization. With the help of AI, a CRM can effectively learn about a customer’s journey throughout the sales pipeline and help spot opportunities and issues before they get out of hand. Overall, it becomes an invaluable contact relationship tool.

Upsell opportunities can be identified more quickly, and any customer care issues can also be flagged earlier. Different teams in an organization can collaborate more effectively with a more streamlined approach to leads. Therefore, the software becomes an invaluable asset to the entire organization. Instead of being thought of as a tool, it becomes a living, breathing aspect, continually learning, and getting better. 

Smarter Voice Activation Technology

We mentioned automated data entry earlier in the article, but a clear trend being seen in CRMs is voice-driven data entry. This is where data can be inputted and retrieved with voice commands.  Here at Riley, we know a thing or two about voice-activation technology. But, we’re the first to admit that we weren’t the first to think up the idea.

The notion of voice activation has been around for many years, and there have been attempts to implement it into various CRMs. A voice-activated CRM allows individuals to input valuable information that can then be processed. However, current technology has been somewhat limited in this regard.

Current Technology

Salesforce has its very own voice-activated CRM. It utilizes AI to provide recommendations and the best actions while an agent is talking with a client. But, some companies are looking for a Salesforce alternative that can go even further. Chorus is another piece of software that combines voice and AI. It works with Zoom to deliver insights from calls and meetings.

And lastly, we have Riley, which we are immensely proud to have developed. We don’t see ourselves as a Chorus competitor, but rather as a company delivering a new solution.  This innovative piece of software provides powerful insights from merely recording a few sentences. It can automatically find social media profiles, offer relationship insights, and be a powerful contact relationship tool.

It’s an exciting time to be involved with voice now, and AI is helping this technology reach new heights that we never thought could be possible. Future sales professionals will have excellent tools at their disposal that will allow them to close sales faster, allowing them to tailor their communication approaches more effectively.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, AI is already starting to have a tremendous impact on CRM’s nature. It is also helping to redefine the role of a CRM and what it can offer. Rather than eliminating the sales process, it is helping to empower individuals and teams alike. Ultimately, the link between sales and AI will only grow stronger as more technologies become further refined and intuitive. CRM and AI look to be a match made in heaven and will prove to be an invaluable pairing for sales teams worldwide.

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