Automating Your Sales Funnel With an AI Sales Assistant

In the past, marketing teams traditionally were celebrated for the pure volume of leads they brought in, leaving the sales team to sift through and narrow it down to higher-quality leads. Today, however, most organizations recognize that this is an inefficient use of the sales team's time and that lead volume is not an accurate key performance indicator for the marketing team.

Illustration of a sales funnel with dollar signs floating around the top, representing sales.  A sales rep and an AI bot are helping to feed sales into the funnel. In the background is a 3-D graphic showing increased sales.

Build AI Sales Assistants to Drive Leads Down the Funnel

This is where an AI sales assistant can help, encouraging companies to fully embrace the concept of lead quality over lead quantity. When you build AI sales assistants for your business, you create powerful tools to push qualified leads into the sales funnel from the start. This allows sales representatives to focus on closing deals rather than filtering leads, which has been proven to lead to an overall increase in sales. In fact, 67 percent of lost sales are due to sales reps not properly qualifying prospects before taking them through the entire sales funnel — ultimately, just a waste of time.

Aligning Marketing and Sales Goals

Many organizations have already come to understand the importance of aligning sales and marketing goals. As these businesses show, the best way to follow through on the change is through lead nurturing: a process that inserts an additional step into the funnel. Nurturing is an essential step in establishing a relationship and trust with new customers. It can also be a tedious process with potential errors along the way.

There are obvious benefits of quick, accurate lead qualification. But it's important to keep in mind that implementing a workable solution at a cost your company can shoulder —  while simultaneously aligning sales and marketing goals — can be a challenging effort. Having the reps manually complete the task means scaling the team to follow up on every lead quickly, which is inefficient in practice and can lead to missed opportunities, wasted time, and the overuse of resources.

AI letters on the left half an illuminated circuit board design that fades to dark blue on the right half

Next-Gen Lead Nurturing Meets AI-Powered Sales

Implementing AI into the sales funnel has drastically changed the lead qualification process's efficiency and efficacy in a short period of time. Today, marketing and sales teams can individually focus on what they do best and align themselves to meet business needs rather than generating and chasing down low-quality, high-volume leads. To this end, innovations in machine learning and conversational AI can now replace the rote work that reps and marketers previously undertook to generate leads.

When you build an AI sales assistant, you can:

  • increase the chance of conversion by immediately following up with leads 

  • reduce the amount of time sales teams spend chasing unviable leads; "one-sided" conversations with bots can generate information to assess a lead's overall quality

  • remove the need for manual data entry by integrating directly with your customer relationship management (CRM) software; this allows faster transition of customers entering the marketing/sales funnel 

  • cultivate and curate strong initial leads, with AI following up when customers leave certain data on a site (i.e., contact information); the bot can call in to confirm details, make appointments, and push relevant marketing information

Implementing AI for Greater Sales Automation

AI sales assistants are high-tech creations, powered by cutting-edge AI software and machine learning techniques. However, that doesn't mean the implementation process has to be difficult. After reviewing your needs with a Vonage AI account manager, our team can craft a scalable, highly customized AI sales assistant for your company, customers, and specific business goals. The cloud-based AI assistant will quickly and easily merge with your existing business communications and CRM, meaning you get to see real business benefits in a small amount of time.

The alignment of marketing and sales goals is a successful tactic when it comes to increasing business sales — and lead nurturing aided by an AI sales assistant is a powerful way to make that happen.

Vonage provides AI virtual assistants for standalone applications, as well as those integrated into our contact center and unified communications offerings.

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By Noam Fine Head of AI, Vonage

Noam Fine joined Vonage as Head of AI following the acquisition of over.ai, a voice artificial intelligence platform of which he was the co-founder and CEO. Prior to over.ai, Noam was the CEO and co-founder of Sensiya, a contextual awareness platform (acquired by iam+), Widdit, a leading provider of engagement and monetization solutions, and Predictad, a provider of predictive search algorithms. Noam has a BSc in Industrial Engineering from Tel-Aviv University.

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