In recent years, much has been promised about artificial intelligence (AI). Their goal was to imitate and even improve human intelligence. Above all, it should serve to significantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of sales. Since AI is able to recognize patterns in customers and prospects, different criteria can be compared and desired characteristics in customers and prospects can be identified. The application of AI and predictive analytics brought clear advantages for sales, especially in the hard times of Corona.
A sales department without customer visits? The contact restrictions caused by Corona posed particular challenges for the sales organizations. The most frequently asked question in sales force planning before the Corona crisis was: How can most customers be reached by the shortest route?
Instead of personal on-site visits, companies had to rely on digital methods. But what happens when the location of the company no longer matters and business is suddenly done from all locations around the world? This is exactly what the Corona crisis has shown us by showing us that sales work can be more effective.
A look at the details
Many companies now look at their sales organization in more detail than before the Corona crisis. Particularly interesting are the revenues generated by telesales during the crisis. However, it is not only past sales, but also the sales potential and sales expectations that determine the value of a customer. The predictive analytics tool Customer Value Prediction, developed by Dastani Consulting, is able to forecast the sales of each individual customer for a certain period of time. At this point, AI makes a valuable contribution by deriving the requirements of orders from the past. This information can be used across all channels. The system learns very quickly how an unforeseen event such as Corona will affect customer behaviour.
Customer Value Prediction shows what can be derived from past orders. The Share-of-Wallet Prediction is directed into the future and shows the full future potential of a customer. Especially for customers with low sales, it is worthwhile to take a look at the sales potential. The share of wallet (value) is defined as the difference between the total potential of a customer in a specific product group and the actual sales of a customer in the respective product range. With the help of Share-of-Wallet Prediction, sales resources can be invested in those customers who still have open potential.
Customers with low sales potential and low sales expectations can be assigned to telesales according to our analysis. Again, this means that non-economic visits are reduced and/or substituted by telesales. The capacity of sales resources is minimized, so that in the future these customers will not be served as intensively as in the past. Customers whose sales expectations and sales potential are high, on the other hand, require much more intensive support. This frequency of visits must be increased even more in the future.
Using saved sales time for acquisition
In order to hold their own in the market in the long term, companies must continuously acquire and reactivate new customers. Our predictive analytics process Target Group Predict is used for this purpose to actually acquire those customers who also have high growth potential. Algorithms read the websites of their best existing customers in order to detect patterns and correlations. Several million websites are then compared with them. A software takes care of the degree of correspondence with the target company. Approximately 20,000 different characteristics are incorporated into the forecast model. From this, it is possible to deduce not only the probability with which a company will become a customer, but also the product range for which it has a high level of interest. Individual product lines can thus be developed in a targeted manner. In addition, the sales organization can determine which sales can be achieved with potential customers. Accordingly, sales employees are able to allocate resources in a resource-optimized manner, not only in the field, but also in telesales.
The potential lies in the forecast
But how does a sales representative recognize who he should visit next on his tour? Thanks to the high forecast quality, the sales representative is provided with important contact information without having to pick up the phone first. The sales potential can be systematically exploited, no matter how the sales area is demographically structured. Many B2B companies are already using it to optimize their new customer acquisition. Evaluation criteria such as industry affiliation and number of employees are completely pushed into the background. Since the potential analysis results in a very precise assessment of worthwhile sales visits, direct marketing campaigns and call centers are largely unnecessary. This not only increases the targeting accuracy of sales activities, but also speed and cost efficiency. For this reason, companies are now being asked to rethink their traditional actions, at the latest now after the hard times of crisis.