In every organization there are stellar sales folks who have a touch of gold. For an outsider it appears that they walk in and close a deal over a handshake. Others in the sales team try to mimic their style or observe and learn but never seem to be able to match their throughput. What gives?
Is it their charisma? Their knack of knowing what the customer wants? Deep understanding of the product(s)? Or, a multitude of these factors that separate the stellar sales person from a mediocre one? Or, as many would say, some are just born lucky!
Sales & marketing has been more of an art than science. It still is. With advent of AI, this is bound to change. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of mundane deals do not require any human interaction at all. It is already happening in some ways, especially in software industry or ‘subscription’ based business models. A reminder for a renewal of subscription is triggered and the customer just accepts the T&Cs and off you go…
For complex and large deals, AI can help tremendously. A multi-variate algorithm can identify and weigh different factors that are most likely to help close the deal and prep, even an average sales-person, to respond to customer queries in a timely manner with holistic information on hand.
As you start developing the algorithm for supplementing your sales force, think about all the factors that you think help close the deal. These can be as varied as product literature, timeliness of information, responsiveness, behavior traits of the sales person, and others. Shortlist top five and run your historical data through the algo to see if it generates expected results. Keep tweaking the top five variates till you get highest possible accuracy of the results and your sales force will be better equipped to close the next set of deals with a much higher probability than otherwise.
The good thing is that the AI need not be included in the happy hour celebration 😊