Do not overthink it: How machine learning can rapidly boost your b2b sales in 2021

Your brain and your b2b data strategy share one similarity – They are only optimised by 5-10% of their capability

The human brain is of course the most complex computer we know.  Despite the technologies that exist in 2021, scientists still do not fully understand the intrinsic detail of what it is fully capable of.  

The best guestimates of most scientists are that we only understand about 10% of how it operates and works. 

Imagine what we could achieve if we had more data on the other 90%?? 

Likewise, the use of data to drive strategic change within B2B organisations remains sparse and, in most cases, avoided completely.  Decisions continue to be made based on ‘punts’ rather than any scientific evidence.

However in 2021 just having data is no longer good enough – having the tools to unlock data is absolutely key…and that’s where machine learning (or ‘AI’) comes in.

AI can now behave in ways most organisations don’t even know exist – and when you work with the right partners who can simplify the benefits into straight talking commercial language then it becomes apparent very fast that you will have a clear and distinct advantage over your competition.

AI remains in its infancy in terms of b2b organisations who are using it in any way shape or form and within the sales growth arena that is probably even less.

Between 2018 and 2019, organizations that have deployed artificial intelligence (AI) grew from 4% to 14%, according to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda survey.

You should not, however, be put off by that.  The technologies driving AI are working at hyper-speeds we have never seen before.  They are completely solid in their output but do still rely on grounded human ‘learning’ techniques to teach them…hence the term ‘machine learning’.

AI should not be seen as a complex, high cost, heavily procured strategy shift for b2b sales and marketing in 2021…it can actually be none of those things providing you understand its true commercial potential and use it as the number one tool to overcome your competitors and enjoy significant AI powered sales growth.

So how can AI boost your sales growth in 2021

The key therefore to optimising AI within your sales growth strategy is to firstly understand the core strategic sales categories where it can be best deployed. These are simplified below:

1. SegmentationWhat you need to start off with to build your current data world and understand where your gaps are.  

B2B marketers look for the same “single view of the customer” (SCV) that B2C marketers create, but challenges in coordinating SCV effort and working with what are often restrictive internal legacy systems means SCV strategy, least of all deployment, becomes an ongoing laborious headache.

AI AI-powered SCV and Single Prospect View (SPV) segmentation defines audience types and actively reallocates them in real-time based on their behaviours. AI driven SCV/SPV enables you to rapidly identify the most profitable customer profiles and develop a marketing response that seeks to find and retain more of them.

The SCV, and the in-depth levels of personalisation it brings also allows you to seamlessly maintain a strong market position and anticipate and respond to market behaviours before they arise. 

2. Forecasting
AI powered predictive forecasting uncovers sales forecasting potential you never knew was possible.  

AI powered data which is efficiently drawn from multiple interlinked sources enables an organisation to think beyond typical forecasting criteria.

AI provides assumption-free insights that allow modern sales leaders and marketers to make informed projections that facilitate advanced strategic planning.

AI-driven forecasting therefore allows sales and marketing leaders to efficiently meet organisational demands without draining human intelligence resources…and most importantly can enable you to predict market changing conditions before they arrive.

3. Prospecting – Machine learning now exists heavily in the data list arena.  

Gone are the days of using SIC codes to drive your ‘cold’ data strategy.  AI technologies now redefine what is possible in terms of where you acquire data and ensuring that it is completely relevant to building your prospect world…driving out the huge inefficiencies caused by SIC codes.  

Most importantly AI now ensures rapid data prioritisation aligned to the SCV ensuring ALL your sales and prospecting efforts are ALWAYS without fail, aligned to the prospects with the highest propensity to purchase.

4. Nurture – Automation –  AI provides Hyper driven personalised automation possibilities

Marketing automation has been around for some time now but usually only in the capacity of being used as a marketing led initiative driving out predominantly automated email journey’s ultimately with significant human intervention and direction.

AI driven automation removes the vast majority of those human touch points, ensuring every single buying touchpoint (email, online, voice) is personalised and automated almost completely seamlessly.  “Hyper automation is irreversible and inevitable. Everything that can and should be automated will be automated.” Brian Burke, Research Vice President, Gartner

5. Sales FTE alignment – ALL of the above particularly your AI driven SCV/SPV and data prioritisation initiatives will finally be able to provide you with the answer to the great sales taboo…aligning the appropriate volume of sales FTE to maximise your growth potential in the most cost efficient manner – ground breaking for improving your margin.

So, what is the positive strategic impact of AI on your b2b organisation? 

So, to summarise and to close off on the subject of this article (in terms of not over-thinking it), the commercial benefits AI can bring to your B2B Sales Strategy are as follows:

  • Significantly Improved customer journey mapping and improved customer experience
  • Clear stand out from your competitors – some of your competitors will continue to adopt old traditional techniques when it comes to data, personalisation and sales approaches….use AI to stand yourself out from the crowd…it operates so fast if you don’t look at it now you WILL get left behind.
  • Guaranteed Higher conversion rates all the way down your sales funnel
  • Much improved efficiencies in your sales strategy (base decisions on what you know you know and nothing else).

I think we would all agree they are the very core benefits we all strive for as sales leaders…so what are you waiting for?  

Get in touch with Ampli today and let us help you unlock the immense capabilities of machine learning and use it to think disruptively to stimulate your growth plan in 2021 and beyond.