This week in Las Vegas, at Oracle CloudWorld, the company will introduce a plethora of products, most of which will have little to no bearing on our area of CRM. This used to be more accurate, but since the software industry has been approaching its own singularity over the last several years, this statement is no longer accurate.
What is achievable is defined by the configuration of new hardware and how information from the back office influences activities on the front. As a result, we have to cherry-pick the information that is most relevant to us; thankfully, there is no shortage of press releases and internet searches to fill in the blanks.
That’s why… You may be interested in Oracle’s strategy for using AI into sales and marketing if you recognize the two-way nature of vendor-customer interactions in this sector. Additionally, they are investing heavily in AI for customer care (for more on this, read below).
Until now, the consumer had all the aces, and despite our best efforts, some retailers wasted time with prospects who were never going to buy. A seller may then attempt to sweeten the purchase by offering discounts or other incentives, among other tactics. However, if it happened too often, it would be difficult for the company to survive.
However, statistics may also be used to the buyer’s advantage. It’s common for them to get more leads than they can follow up on, leading to the loss of some potentially fruitful contacts.
For a long time, salespeople’s highest aspiration was to perfect their lead sorting to the point that the offers they passed up were the ones they should have. No human being is capable of doing the duty flawlessly.
Bring on the Robots
Artificial intelligence is superior than humans in opportunity identification, if only because it can work on the task while humans sleep. If salespeople know they are pursuing the most promising leads, they may rest certain that their time is well spent.
Using AI successfully at the beginning of the sales process, such as opportunity identification, paves the way for success in the subsequent phases, such as providing the correct information at the right time.
Intelligent Sales Orchestration, Guided Campaigns, AI-Powered Account Linking, and more are just a few of the areas where Oracle is announcing the addition of AI this week. It’s all geared at assisting sellers in making optimal decisions with optimal clients at optimal times.
Oracle places an emphasis on speed to providing the right information or service in service and support, which can be significant time drains for many businesses. For instance, Oracle aids agents in authoring and editing replies to clients considerably more quickly than manual procedures. Artificial intelligence can also perform a better job of selecting knowledge articles than humans can, rather than writing duplicate content.
I also like that AI can compile information from several exchanges into a single narrative, which speeds up the process of providing appropriate assistance. That rings true to me. You can see the value for all parties involved if you put yourself on wait so that a service professional may study your file and get up to speed to service your problem.
Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Lead Qualification
Oracle’s AI-driven CX seems to have this as its ultimate goal. It also seems that this will shake things up, possibly for the better. Marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL) have been the subject of heated debate for decades, sometimes with the passion of a 1980s low-calorie beer advertisement (for those of you who weren’t paying attention at the time, there’s YouTube).
Over the years, many of these pieces have focused on just getting sales and marketing to agree on what constitutes a quality lead and getting sellers to convey that to marketers. Not very long ago, we had meetings, communication channels, and measurements. In Oracle’s world, it would seem that a qualified lead automatically becomes an opportunity once the AI algorithm deems it such.
Even if it’s not the most ideal formulation, I have no doubt that AI will make it better than everything that’s come before. The actual transactions that fit the requirements of an all-out chase by a sales organization should be delivered by following AI-driven steps if a hundred leads reduce to a handful of prospects.
How Bad Could It Get? Well, it would be disastrous for a sales organization to lag behind the competition by failing to take use of AI. Of course, this requires some re-education for novices, and if you’ve been battling over leads long enough, de-education is in order.
For instance, suddenly, we don’t care much about the MQL/SQL conversation since the amount of leads becomes virtually fanciful. While marketing is interested in the total number of leads generated by each program, sales is more concerned with the total number of opportunities it receives.
Integrating Marketing and Sales Efforts
There will be a new conversation between sales and marketing as a result. Because of the increased level of candor that may be achieved, the conversation will improve as well.
We should all be more productive if we don’t have to waste time chasing around our sales and marketing colleagues to get information about leads and prospects.
Artificial intelligence probably won’t help us complete many transactions, but it might be all we need if it can make the marketing and sales process more efficient and successful overall.