When it comes to AI and customer relationship management software, major vendors aren’t messing around. In the last few years, Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle have all acquired or developed sophisticated AI technology to help businesses derive better insights from their data.
Using data gathered from your CRM to drive insights and make the most informed business decisions isn’t a new concept, and you’ve likely been doing it as long as you’ve had a CRM.
If you’re an enterprise business, you probably have a team of analysts whose entire job is to dig through data to offer the best suggestions for growing your company. But if you’re a small to midsize business, it’s likely that you don’t have that luxury. That’s why the growth of AI in CRM should have you excited.
With an AI-powered CRM, you’ll have access to deep data analytics in a fraction of the time of doing it manually. An AI-powered CRM allows you to use predictive analytics and natural language processing (NLP) and will help your team save time on repetitive, tedious tasks.
1. Boost ROI and supercharge lead scoring with predictive analytics
In 2019, Gartner found that there’s growing interest around predictive functionality from marketing technology (full content available to Gartner clients). A CRM with built-in predictive analytics helps businesses in a lot of ways (the amount of saved time alone makes it worth it), but predictive lead scoring might be chief among them.
Predictive lead scoring is a tool that uses an algorithm to look at all of the data (contacts, job title, revenue) you’ve collected in your CRM and external data found in the wild (your website, email marketing efforts). It will then score these leads to give you a better idea of where they fit in your sales funnel and then determine whether leads are qualifiable or unqualifiable.
This tool looks through all your data to find trends about client behaviors to provide your sales representatives the leads that are most likely to close. This occurs within a fraction of the time that it would take you to manually score leads.
If you have a great manual lead-scoring method in place, you don’t have to throw that away. You can still benefit from predictive analytics by sifting through the results with a fine-tooth comb when it does the scoring for you. You may even gain new insights into your customers that you can use to modify your manual methods moving forward.
Some companies have never done any lead scoring. If that’s you, you can play catch-up by using the predictive analytics tool that an AI-powered CRM will provide.
2. Get inside your customers’ heads with natural language processing
Natural language processing (NLP) uses AI to decode and analyze large chunks of written or spoken words to understand the sentiment, tone, and meaning of the message. It’s been around for a while but is starting to be used in customer service to help businesses maintain great relationships with their customers.
NLP can help businesses derive insight from the most common channels of engagement—phone, email, and live chat.
This tool is particularly useful for businesses with teams dealing with escalated customers. Handing the contact off to the correct team before you have that first call might be the difference between a customer staying with you or leaving as soon as their contract is up.
Even if you have a small team, being armed with knowledge about how customers are feeling will help to start the interaction with your customer from a place of understanding. This will help you handle or de-escalate situations with your clients and will lead to higher retention.
3. Save time and money with an AI-powered CRM
An AI-powered CRM eliminates more mundane and tedious tasks such as inputting and cleaning customer data, so convenience should be a factor when you’re deciding if you need a CRM with AI capabilities. The sheer amount of time saved when you employ AI can be staggering; the tasks that take you hours, instead take minutes.
If you’re using a CRM to its full capabilities, you’re already keeping all your customer data up to date and running routine audits to ensure the data stays clean.
This all takes time. A lot of time.
With the level of automation an AI-powered CRM provides, your employees won’t have to spend time inputting new customer data into your system. It will automatically input all the relevant data (name, revenue, job title, etc.) once a potential lead comes in from any of your sources, which could be from filling out a form or signing up for a newsletter.
Think about it. Even if inputting new data into your CRM takes your most efficient employee three minutes, multiplying that by 100 entries means five hours lost. Multiply that by every employee you have and that’s days or weeks per year that is spent solely on data entry.
This is just one instance of how an AI-powered CRM can save you time. With the automation granted by an AI-powered CRM, you free up your time to do what really matters—closing deals, meeting with potential new leads, and making sure your customers are happy.
Want more information about CRM software?
Even if you’re not quite in a place where you can fully utilize an AI-powered CRM, you shouldn’t sleep on them. They are cutting edge and offer capabilities and advantages that you won’t yet find in traditional CRMs.
If you have a ton of client data to sift through, a large team that struggles to input customer data into your current system, or you frequently deal with unhappy customers, you might want to consider getting an AI-powered CRM.
That said, check out 5 Popular Free and Open Source CRMs if you’re on a tighter budget and don’t need to utilize the features that an AI-powered CRM provides. If you’re searching for a CRM with excellent customer service ratings, look no further than 4 Best CRM Solutions With Excellent Customer Service and Support Ratings. And lastly, check out our 2019 buyers analysis, if you’re curious about what other businesses are looking for in CRM software.
As always, feel free to give our expert advisors a call at (855) 998-8505 if you need any assistance in choosing the right CRM software for your business.