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The use of AI and automation in B2B sales. What we have already implemented and will develop in 2024: Semantrum case study

How to use AI in B2B sales

According to a Hubspot study at the end of 2023, 69% of sales professionals believe that AI will change how they approach the profession and customer service processes. More and more sales managers are beginning to implement AI in their processes (84% of respondents in a study by another CRM system, Salesforce, said that it helped increase sales in their organization by improving and accelerating customer interaction).

However, anxiety about AI continues to grow. In the same study, 39% of professionals are worried that they will lose their jobs if they cannot learn how to use generative AI at work.

Given the imperfection of generative AI for the Ukrainian language, we have been postponing its full implementation in working with clients for a long time. Still, today, we are ready to share the practices that have worked for us. We are also prepared to share some non-obvious automation tools, particularly those based on AI technologies.

Automatic scoring and lead enrichment

It's not necessary to explain the importance of CRM systems separately, but some of them have additional benefits, such as the automatic (AI-assisted) addition of extras to company data, such as a website, the number of employees, company size, and industry.

This helps to segment the flow of incoming leads very well. We use one of the largest global CRM platforms, Zoho CRM, but many other platforms also have such features.

Preparing for the presentation

Once we have the lead and segmented it, it is important to reach out to it with the right offer. For this stage, we use the capabilities of our media monitoring system Semantrum, but you can also use free systems such as Google Alerts or Talkwalker or paid analogs.

Understanding the relevant context in which the company is located is extremely important in B2B sales. This context can include messages about a change in C-level management, the company's entry into international markets, a merger, a crisis around management, product, or HR statements.

It is also worth looking at the information space around the competitors of the company you are negotiating with - sometimes, information about competitors makes you look more informed and expert in the eyes of the interlocutor. To avoid looking through dozens or hundreds of messages and to identify the most important ones, you should use the grouping of stories and sort the largest and most recent ones.

Automating LinkedIn outreach with special tools

We use HeyReach, but there are other tools, such as Expandi, LinkedIn Helper, etc. We are adding AI customization to messages, based on prompts and Semantrum's information, and it shows nice results for now.

Developing managers' pages on LinkedIn

For communication on LinkedIn, it is important to create a personal brand for sales managers as media monitoring consultants. At first, we tried to control this manually, but later we came to the conclusion that it should be done centrally and as automatically as possible.

That's why we use our BrandVox tool to create content using AI and schedule managers' LinkedIn posts. Since the tool takes into account the specifics of the content for a particular country or target audience, as well as the brand's tone of voice, we were able to get consistent and regular content posting that is created centrally for the entire sales team, in different languages depending on which country a particular sales manager works for.

Training managers

Manager training is another process in which we use AI. Of course, managers go through a whole training course on the system, interface, audience needs, and the competitive environment in our market.

However, for ongoing support and training, we have developed a custom plugin in ChatGPT - we have uploaded the main training materials on the system, and now a manager can use it as a presentation simulator for a client from a particular industry, an examiner to identify gaps in their knowledge, or as a personal tutor who teaches certain aspects of the system or presentations (customized to our materials) through dialogue.

Where do we NOT use AI in sales?

  1. In creating commercial offers for clients. This approach may be justified in some areas, but in ours, each offer is customized to the maximum extent possible.

  2. In creating email newsletters. We tried it, but the response to such emails was much lower than to manually created ones, so we left this process to our marketing department for now.

  3. Creating presentations. The answer here is simple: we have not yet found a tool that would satisfy us when creating Ukrainian-language presentations. For English-language ones, we started using Gamma, and so far, it looks quite promising.

Tell us, do you use AI in sales? What are the results or significant time savings?

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