September 9, 2019
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning exist in our everyday lives, whether it be asking Siri about a new song, or Netflix suggesting what to watch next. Besides modern day conveniences, AI can play an important role in lead generation for businesses, especially when it comes to B2B marketing.
In many companies, there is often a disconnect between the sales and marketing teams. This is usually due to a lack of shared focus or communication. Marketers may give sales a lead that they think is perfect, but sales do not. This causes friction between two teams that need to be working together and AI is the perfect way to bring them together.
While AI isn’t a deus ex machina to solve all your company’s problems, it is potentially able to help in bringing in sales and new revenue.
AI can point out positive leads to sales, that will satisfy marketing as well, and making sure that the potential customers are targeted for the correct platforms. You don’t want someone advertising accounting software to the company that sells accounting software.
To correctly use AI in B2B lead generation, both departments will need to come together and decide on an ideal customer profile, a profile that satisfies marketing and sales.
The profile can consist of several variables, such as industry, the stage of the company, and how many employees they have. The criteria are almost limitless. The AI will use the profile to measure current and potential leads against a selection of criteria. Without it, the AI will fumble around, essentially throwing darts at a board while blindfolded.
If your business has been running for years, you’re probably using either a massive Excel sheet or an over-stuffed customer relations management (CRM) piece of software to keep track of all your leads. If your team isn’t pedantic, that data may just be cluttered, filled with dead or unnecessary leads that your company will never benefit from.
To take a step forward, your company will need to take a step backward Both sales and marketing teams will need to filter the list and throw out those that just don’t fit your criteria or are useless. It’s going to be a huge undertaking, but the AI will be able to pull value from that data and indicate potential quality leads that you’ve yet to think about.
Once both marketing and sales have cleaned up their lead data and decided on a specific customer base, the AI system can take effect. A benefit of using AI is predictive analytics.
This system can look at all the leads and compare them against financial and marketing data. It can even draw in information from social media campaigns. From this, the AI can predict future trends for lead generation, potential spend, and which campaigns or products would attract their attention.
To free up some of your staff members to concentrate on all the new leads, an AI chatbot system, like Clickatell Touch, can be implemented to handle customers and queries.
While AI may be able to churn out B2B marketing leads for your team, it still won’t have all the information that a human does. Because of this, humans will still be required to look over the data and add in their own information.
For example, the sales department may have a personal relationship with a lead or even inside knowledge of what a client is looking for and how best to approach them, which the AI cannot decipher.
The AI system is a tool to help your company and not one that replaces staff. At least, not yet.
Even though you may have cleaned up the old CRM system, you shouldn’t throw it away. Your marketing and sales teams are still going to need something around to house all the AI’s data, and a place to store all the new leads.
Even though AI is a tool that can benefit your company and teams, it’s not something that should be wholly relied upon just yet. Yes, AI can help you with lead generation, but it still requires maintenance and input.
While AI can improve marketing and lead generation, it is also set to change our personal lives with self-driving cars and advancements in robotics. It may not be long until we’re served burgers by a machine. For further machine trends, read our article on trends in AI technology.