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2016 Round up from The Sales Way

300 196 Contemsa

It’s been an exciting year for us at Contemsa – on top of signing up a number of new customers we’ve also had the opportunity to get involved in a few interesting activities.  We wanted to send you a little ‘2016 Round Up’ to keep you up to date on what we’ve been doing and take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

End of year round up from Contemsa

  • We joined Natwest’s national business accelerator program, Entrepreneurial Spark, in February of this year.  This has given us the opportunity to move into offices in central Manchester and connect with other startups and new high growth businesses.
  • We launched the Beta version of My Sales Academy, a central online resource hub for B2B sales professionals. Sign up online for our free demo version if you’re interested in providing feedback and accessing our templates!
  • We pitched at a recent startup event, Opportunity Knocks, and led a new workshop at The Landing co-working space and accelerator in MediaCity.
  • We took on a new staff member, Angela, who joined us in October as a Marketing Specialist.
  • We were also lucky enough to have an intern join us during the summer.  Greta came over to work with us for the summer before returning to start her studies in Germany.
  • We were kindly invited to Artesian’s annual conference (Artesian is a social selling software company) where we heard about the psychology of the sale from a former police hostage negotiator and also Alastair Campbell, the former Labour spin doctor.
  • Our MD, Carrie Morgan, won the Entrepreneur of the Moment prize at the annual Entrepreneurial Spark awards in Manchester – receiving a £10,000.00 cheque!

Customer service with AI

Analysts say that for complicated and sensitive complaints, customers want to speak to a real person and not with an AI chatbot (2). Customer service via telephone is often a frustrating process, with lots of questions and security procedures, so it is understandable that customers want real people to be on the other side of the phone once they get through. On the other hand, emails and live chat functions could harness AI technology to respond to simple information requests.

Many emails are unstructured, chaotic, and sometimes difficult to understand. AI could filter, classify and “decode” them in a quick and cost effective way so that customer service departments do not have to spend half their time deciphering content and deciding which category they should classify a particular email to. If AI can take this ‘painful’ process away from them, then sales reps and customer service teams have more time to focus their energy on delivering the best service possible to customers.

AI as a guide, not as a replacement

Nothing can replace the relationship between a sales rep and a customer; BUT, in many cases, sales reps tend not to follow a particular set of processes, as each sales rep has their own way of doing things. This can lead to ineffectiveness and obstacles that can slow down transactions if sales behaviours vary across an organisation. Incorporating AI into the picture can be a win-win situation, both for the vendor and the sales rep; as AI can support the sales cycle by ensuring that sales reps follow processes, speeding them up whilst guiding b2b sales reps through steps so that they spend as little time as possible on admin activities. AI can even coach sales reps to uncover new ways to interpret data, enabling more effective procedures throughout the whole business.

AI should be thought of as complementary to b2b sales reps and customer service teams; taking care of simpler, automated tasks so that individuals can focus on the most demanding activities which require skills such as empathy, relationship building and decision making. Ultimately, the use of AI can help sales reps to spend their time in the most efficient way, taking all the frustrating, costly and time consuming tasks away from them.

So, what else does the future hold? We are already seeing AI-driven tools being used by b2b sales teams today; to keep up to date with clients’ social media activities and guiding reps in how to write the most effective emails for their recipients. The next step could be AI-enabled chatbots to take customers through the first part of the sales process.

References

- https://hbr.org/2016/06/why-salespeople-need-to-develop-machine-intelligence-
- http://www.mycustomer.com/service/channels/is-artificial-intelligence-the-future-of-customer-service

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