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How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing How We Sell

In this special guest feature, Adam Honig, CEO of Spiro, discusses how proactive relationship management isn’t leveraging AI to replace humans, but instead is helping highly paid sales professionals work more effectively and providing sales leaders with critical insights into their pipelines. As Spiro’s CEO, Adam is focused on the company strategy and vision. Previously, he co-founded a software company which he led through its successful IPO and sale. Afterwards, Adam founded Innoveer, one of the largest CRM consulting firms, which was successfully acquired by Cloud Sherpas (and then Accenture). Adam is passionate about helping sales teams make more money using artificial intelligence, and is the driving force behind Spiro’s proactive relationship management.

Managing big data has been an ongoing challenge for companies – especially in B2B sales, where they are managing tens of thousands of leads working their way through the sales funnel. To help address the challenge, CRM was introduced to the market in 1999, the same year that the Palm Pilot came out.

Today, a Palm Pilot can be found in a museum, but CRM is still being used by sales teams. CRM projects have a high failure rate, because the technology hasn’t evolved. As a result, CRM projects place a heavy emphasis on getting salespeople to be data entry clerks and orient sales processes around data collection, not deal closing.

The good news is that it’s no longer 1999 and artificial intelligence (AI) holds great promise for companies, especially sales teams. An emerging product category, proactive relationship management, is leveraging AI to revolutionize the relationship between salespeople and technology. Proactive relationship management has three defining characteristics:

It’s natively built on artificial intelligence and consolidates CRM capabilities, sales enablement and telephony into a single solution. This consolidation is important because the artificial intelligence, which underpins the proactiveness of this platform, relies on having a full view of the data.

Proactive relationship management doesn’t need to be “used.” It can create contacts based on who you’re emailing. It can update opportunities when a proposal is sent.

Proactive relationship management guides salespeople to the right actions. Because the data is continuously being captured, the AI engine is able to spot patterns and provide recommendations on next best actions.

To put this into context, AI helps to make the selling process more proactive in ways that improve the overall success rate. Because a proactive relationship management platform is built on artificial intelligence, it can “work” in the background, collecting information from calls, texts, emails and more, dynamically creating contacts and sales opportunities. In addition to saving time by significantly reducing the data entry requirements, the AI platform actually gathers up to eight times more data than manual processes (1999 called and wants it CRM data entry back.)

But the AI is more than a secretary – it also becomes a personal assistant for sales reps. Based on that data it collects, the platform provides a daily “to do” list for sales reps based on the most important opportunities, and guides the next best action, whether it be a call or an email using an existing template. It can even take notes from calls and capture action items. So not only do salesteams have more time to sell, but they’re more efficient during that time.

And finally, the AI has the power and scale to analyze and correlate data to deliver actionable insights that help to improve the effectiveness of sales teams.

Much like we connect with Siri or Alexa, sales leaders can ask the AI “What did Sue do today?” or “What’s the status of Joe’s October deals?” and get an update. With more data, sales leaders have more visibility into their teams’ activities, and can pinpoint stalled deals or underperforming pipelines.

To remain competitive today and continue growing tomorrow, organizations need to focus their sales teams on the most efficient and effective selling strategies versus building an army of data clerks adding to the big data problem. Proactive relationship management isn’t leveraging AI to replace humans, but instead is helping highly paid sales professionals work more effectively and providing sales leaders with critical insights into their pipelines.

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