Nothing irritates a marketing team more than leads that aren’t followed up. And nothing irritates a sales team more than a bunch of not sales ready leads. But neither party quite agrees who’s to blame, quite simply it’s no one team’s fault, it’s just that the qualification process is still pretty clunky.
The trouble with lead qualification processes is that marketing teams have been trying to solve the solution with marketing automation campaigns, and whilst some have been successful the majority have been struggling to get the results. But why?
Well if you think about it marketing automation platforms were built for lead generations and lead nurturing to keep the leads engaged with the brand. Sure the in-built forms can capture more information using progressive profiling techniques and lead scoring can help sales identify the “most interested” leads. But they don’t cut to the chase and qualify in or out.
If you’ve ever been a telesales representative, a business development executive or just a salesperson you’ll know the soul destroying job that is contacting “warm” data even to prospect. Few these days know the hardship of “cold” data, but that is certainly the worst task.
Think about it minimum call volumes of 80-100 calls per day to blast through a data set of 10,000 records that will likely not answer the phone, and if they do they’ll try and get you off the other end because they’ve been taught to be awkwards in telesales scenarios.
That said, the job will never die, because it’s a critical path of engagement with prospective and existing clients. But things can be easier.
With new age technology like artificial intelligence (AI) we can make that task of business development so much easier.
AI powered assistants automate low level repetitive tasks such as enquiry responses, qualification and appointment scheduling.
Virtual assistants are:
Not to mention they integrate with your CRM and Marketing automation platforms, and… they’ll update them given the right permission.
Humans on the other hand… aren’t that bad right? We’re just emotional about doing mundane tasks that suck up our time.
That’s because we’re good at:
And by freeing up our time using AI sales development reps, we can do more valuable tasks that focus on better customer experience, and having conversations with qualified, interested parties.
The number of use cases for AI assistants are limitless, especially when it comes to business development but these are the most interesting places to start for most businesses.
If your marketing campaign strategy is paying off you’ll find yourself with a growing number of leads that require endless diallers and sales people to follow up and qualify. Using AI assistants you can automated this qualification process by asking the right qualification questions “how many employees do you have?” “what quantity are you looking for?” and even responding to enquiries for pricing, case studies or even brochures! Thus reducing the back and forth of valuable resources.
The scenario is identical for the 10,000 records we talked about before – give the bot the list and it’ll follow up and find out who’s interested and who’s not saving your team vital time.
With the back and forth and the qualification out of the way, our AI assistants can now start handling the next important stage of the buying cycle… setting up a meeting. 99% of lead follow-up and sales processes start with a discovery or introductory call to discuss the requirements, solution or even just introduce wider offerings.
Now just think about that last prospect meeting you booked, or even the last time you bought something from a supplier… “when works for you?” “great, does 10am work?” “what about 3:30pm?” “Great speak then” … then the dreaded no show.
The best part about AI assistants is they can connect directly with your sales team’s diary, they can provide live availability and most importantly they’ll do all the reminding and following up.
Contact is out of the office, or so and so isn’t the right person, or even just I’m not interested give me a call in a few months.
These common scenarios rely on business development representatives to mark the diary, remember to action it, or even just have the time to do it. Again AI to the rescue, our handy assistant never forgets, it always has time, best of all it does the prospect re-engagement and reminding on our behalf.
If you aren’t already excited at the prospect of saving time, or freeing up your valuable human time, then here are a few more things to put AI assistants at the top of your agenda:
Most important of all, it’ll cost less than your worst sales person, and it’ll drive instant results to your business
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