3 Benefits of Arming Sales Teams with Machine Learning Technology
We’re all familiar with the damming predictions about technology replacing humans – to recap, a Forrester stat forecasts technology to displace 1 million salespeople by 2020.
Despite the fear this may strike in the hearts of salespeople, technology is not the soul-sucking, mortal enemy that this statistic leads sales reps to believe.
No, technology will not ultimately cause the mass extinction of sales teams. No matter how sophisticated tech becomes, sales is a contact sport that relies on connections, communication and a strong handshake. And technology will never be able to do that as well as humans can.
On the contrary, machine learning technology has the potential to elevate sales reps in a way that will drive greater revenue, buyer loyalty and sales satisfaction by freeing up time and providing the intelligence to allow salespeople to do what they do best – connect with customers.
Consider these 3 benefits to implementing machine-learning solutions into the B2B sales force.
1. Sales reps can allocate more time to the activities that drive revenue
The time that sales reps actually spend selling is decreasing year after year. Administrative tasks, like data entry, have continued to eat away at sales day-to-day, leaving them little time to actually engage with customers.
Machine learning solutions, like 4-Tell’s Smart Commerce℠ Platform, have the ability to combine information from siloed data sources and automate tasks across systems. Reducing friction for salespeople as they navigate their stack of sales tools frees up hours of time that’s traditionally spent inputting data or correcting data errors – it’s estimated that sales spend at least 5.5 hours per week on tasks that require data entry.
By implementing machine learning technology that can eliminate repetitive and time-consuming activities that aren’t related to selling, more time can be spent on higher-value activities, like advancing deals and meeting quotas, that significantly increase revenue.
2. Machine learning technology creates opportunities to sell with impact
Despite sales reps best efforts, pining over endless excel sheets to piece together buyer information or to find data that can add value to the buyer journey is not a great way to improve the sales pipeline. Humans are prone to error and boredom, making human analysis largely unsuccessful.
Pinpointing critical pieces of data gets a whole lot easier with the help of intelligent technology. Machine learning technology can quickly comb through mountains of data to stitch together 360-degree views of each customer and identify critical information that’s pushed to users in the form of actionable suggestions.
For example, 4-Tell’s Smart Commerce℠ Platform integrates data from internal and external systems and sifts through the information to surface comprehensive buyer profiles and product catalogs. Based on buyer behavior and product information, 4-Tell’s machine-learning engine can establish product lineages to surface predictive suggestions for sellers.
Armed with comprehensive insights and predictive intelligence, every seller – whether brand new to the company or a seasoned veteran – can drive revenue and buyer loyalty by providing valuable product bundling, gap analysis and assortment planning suggestions early on. In fact, studies from CIO insights have found that sales reps who use sales analytics increase quota attainment 4x faster than non-users.
3. Sales engagement and satisfaction improves with machine learning technology
There’s a reason that the voluntary turnover rate for salespeople is 15.9 percent, whereas the average rate for other types of employees is 14.3 percent. As many B2B firms have yet to implement machine-learning technology, repetitive administrative tasks that require little skill are still a large portion of sales jobs.
But here’s the thing: it’s exactly those kinds of monotonous activities that are the killer of employee satisfaction. As satisfaction suffers, so does your retention rate. When your retention rate suffers, so does your revenue – instead of reaping the benefits of an engaged workforce, money has to be spent replacing reps while concurrently enduring the diminished productivity that is often a result of a disengaged workforce.
Having a machine-learning solution that allows sales reps to spend significantly less time on administrative tasks and instead on what they’re best at – selling – increases job satisfaction and employee engagement.
Additionally, as is the case with 4-Tell’s Smart Commerce℠ Platform, workforce morale is heightened when the technology is easy to use and equips them with the intelligence to sell more effectively – boosting confidence and increasing their chances of closing deals.
Technology will not replace the value of human interaction when it comes to building relationships with buyers, but it can make them better by automating repetitive tasks and surfacing intelligent, comprehensive and predictive insight to power buyer interactions.
Its time businesses let technology take the reins on administrative duties so the humans can spend more time on the tasks that require empathy, creativity, judgment and critical thinking. Doing so will increase businesses bottom-line while supporting a more engaged and productive workforce.