CRM Insights Part 4: Artificial Intelligence Is Here

Feb 21, 2018 | General

CRM Insights Part 4: Artificial Intelligence Is Here 

In the first portion of this four-part series, we noted how little CRM systems have evolved over the past decade or so. Here in Part Four, we explore how that’s all about to change as artificial intelligence is deployed to create smarter ways to use the information captured within CRM systems.
Artificial intelligence (AI) sounds very techy, but when it comes to CRM it is not designed for the data analyst.  It’s being brought into CRM systems as a tool at the user level where people work, accessible to all users so it can become a seamless part of day-to-day use.  As a result effectiveness is going to climb. 
What is the practical application of AI in your CRM? CRM vendors are betting that AI will revolutionize many typical activities:
  • Predictive modeling to increase effectiveness of sales teams
  • Insight into a sales prospect’s previous buying habits
  • Blend personal and professional attributes to improve target marketing 
  • Visibility into customer life cycles and upsell opportunities
  • Improve data analytics and lead scoring

Zoho Zia – AI Example

The five enterprise CRM market leaders – Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, and Adobe – are investing heavily in AI over the next few years. But there are less expensive AI inclusive CRM options available for SMBs that need a right-size solution. 
Zoho CRM is one of those solutions. Their new AI “sales assistant” Zia is a data intelligent application.  Zia learns from the data each person enters – how they use the CRM system and the activities they routinely perform. This information allows Zia to interpret performance, offer solutions, and make predictions for sales management, teams, and individual reps. Zia exposes key activities that go into making a sale – and often discovers critical activities you may not even realize are important.  With intuitive reports and dashboard, Zia can predict a timeline for your business’s growth.
Within a short period of time, Zia learns your business and sales process – and using this data, Zia can detect anomalies. Whether your business is under or over performing, Zia pinpoints the irregularities that may be contributing to the trend. You can then take action by duplicating or eradicating the anomalous activity.
Specific examples of what Zia is capable of include: 
  • Improve communication effectiveness: When scheduling a task Zia SalesSignals suggests the right time to contact each customer in your database, reducing voicemails and unopened emails. 
  • Points out anomalies: Zia’s analysis includes sales trends versus actual and encourages sales teams to modify activity to meet goals. An example would be Zia sending an alert to users who have generated fewer leads than projected. 
  • Do it faster, more consistently: Salespeople have certain tasks they have to perform repeatedly such as call, send email then schedule a call back.  Zia learns these patterns and helps automate them with macros. 

What’s Next For Your CRM?

The growing incorporation of AI into CRM highlights how important it is for organizations to view their CRM as a tool that is constantly evolving with significant potential to increase its contributions to the organization. Yes, this sounds obvious, but after having worked with numerous CRM vendors for over two decades, we can attest that major innovations such as AI aren’t obvious to the typical CRM user.  
And even when the innovation is obvious, the impact of that innovation and how to leverage it is rarely straight forward. So what does an organization need to do to ensure they are always maximizing their CRM’s ROI? 
You can rely on your CRM vendor but that will lead you to their website, help videos or customer service.  From there the implementation will be up to you. Or you could work with an independent third party CRM specialist, especially if you used one originally to implement your CRM. At AspenTech CRM we encourage this later approach with either semi-annual or annual reviews. 
These reviews should look at a number of critical factors: 
  • Recent CRM usage and results are analyzed against goals. 
  • A review of product, process and personnel changes since the last review is done to determine what modifications are needed to improve the CRM’s effectiveness. 
  • An analysis of the functional changes the CRM vendor has made to the core CRM system is done in the context of how the organization can capitalize on these improvements to increase their ROI.    
AI is revolutionizing the CRM industry – and you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to significantly improve your business’s sales capabilities. AspenTech CRM offers proven CRM implementation services that include the latest AI applications. Contact one of our CRM specialists today at (866) 880-4228 or by email
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