We had a good discussion with Anil Kaul, Co-founder and CEO at Absolutdata. Having started Absolutdata back in 2001, he is one of the pioneers in big data, analytics and artificial intelligence. We discussed their primary areas of focus, their unique value proposition, cost and duration of deploying NAVIK, their core products. He explained in detail how AI powered sales & marketing assistants can help you reach the right customers through the right channel with the right message. Below you can find our podcast edited for clarity and brevity.
It is difficult to improve financials of a large business.
Decreasing costs are a sure way to improve financials however it is difficult to find and implement cost cutting opportunities. Cost saving opportunities fall in these buckets
- Long term investments: Finding areas to reduce operational costs with investment is easy. Investment in new systems and tools can reduce labor-intensive processes, improve operations and customer experience. Investment in new facilities can provide scale synergies and help save costs. However, it is difficult to convince top management to invest in the future given short term focus of Wall Street and most businesses. Wall Street’s focus has some merit, long term investments, especially technology investments have been documented to fail to deliver the planned benefits.
- Short term fixes: Headcount reductions, procurement transformation programs all fall under this bucket. They definitely impact costs but their impact on other parts of the business can be difficult to predict.
Increasing revenue growth is difficult for a large business because growth is the primary motivation for most businesses. All large businesses experienced strong growth to become large. In the quest to sustain growth, every imaginable lever gets implemented by businesses. Therefore, a large business founded several years ago had enough time to create a very effective growth machine given its competition, regulatory landscape and other constraints.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are already revolutionizing many businesses. Especially B2B selling is one of the areas that artificial intelligence and machine learning software companies are cooperating with enterprises.
To understand how artificial intelligence is helping B2B selling, we need to understand B2B selling process.
We can divide B2B selling into two groups:
- Inside sales managed by a CRM installation like salesforce
- Field sales which include face to face meetings with clients
For both, selling process starts with lead generation which is identifying possible customers who may have interest for the product that is offered. After that, leads are scored based on the possibilities and some are qualified as opportunities. Then, sales team converts these opportunities into actual sales with offerings and services.
We discussed lead generation before. After lead generation, it is necessary to determine priority of leads.
What is predictive lead scoring?
Predictive lead scoring is a novel approach to prioritizing customers. No sales rep wants to lose time with unqualified leads and these systems enable reps to focus on qualified leads.
There are a few ways to name this activity: predictive lead scoring, predictive scoring, customer behavior modeling. It is a subfield of predictive sales analytics.
Why is predictive lead scoring relevant now?
Poor lead prioritization can decimate companies. Sales targets get missed, teams get demoralized. Most importantly, sales personnel fail to learn from their experiences. They can’t gain generalizable experiences as they encounter leads with wildly varying intent. Even the greatest sales tactics will not work on a customer who is not willing to buy. A sales person who has seen only customers who are not willing to buy, can lose hope on even the best sales tactics and processes.
Sales reps spend most of their time in non-sales activities. Generating leads can take up a significant share of a sales rep’s time.
Automating lead generating leveraging the latest technology including AI, you can enable your sales reps to devote more time to sales.
What’s lead generation?
Lead generation is generating leads that are relevant for the specific business or industry, before evaluating them according to their possibility to be an opportunity.
Why is lead generation relevant now?
While traditional marketing involved blasting mass media with advertising, current state of the art lead generation includes using both own and 3rd party channels in a highly targeted manner.