Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t the future, it’s the present. It’s in our phones (Siri), homes (Alexa), favorite streaming services (Netflix and their recommendations), everywhere. And of course, it’s also in the news. Have you heard of Sophia? You know, the robot who was awarded an honorary citizenship by Saudi Arabia? Anyway, its (or her?) creator, David Hanson, said that Sophia’s “basically alive,” and at the United Nations Sophia announced to delegates that it’s “here to help humanity create the future.” Sure, it’s advanced and looks cool, but according to The Verge, it’s only a cleverly built puppet designed to exploit our cultural expectations of what a robot looks and sounds like. After all, its answers sound somewhat scripted and it’s not nearly what we’ve come to expect from true AI — consciousness.

Alas, because we’re here to talk marketing, let’s switch gears and talk about how AI is streamlining marketing and sales. More specifically, here are 5 tips to drive sales with AI.

1: Improve Mobile SEO with Voice Technology

Voice technology, comprised of speech and voice recognition, is a hot topic today. While speech recognition converts spoken words into digital words, voice recognition identifies speakers by specific features such as intonation, speech and style. The combination uses a couple of forms of AI like deep learning and natural language processing to power what we’ve come to know and love as digital assistants (Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana).

Lucky for you, you can use voice technology as one of the many AI tools for sales in your arsenal. How? By adapting and making use of how voice technology is revolutionizing search to improve your mobile SEO. With virtual assistants, we no longer pull up Google and type out, ‘coffee place near me.’ No, we now pull up Siri and ask, “Hey Siri, are there any coffee places nearby?” This means that instead of utilizing shorthand keywords, you have to make use of intent and contextual meaning with your keyword selection. In other words, use long tail keywords that answer “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why” and “how.”

2: Use Chatbots to Smooth Out the Customer Journey

Use of Chatbots

Another way you can use AI in sales is with the use of chatbots. The beauty of chatbots is that you can use one as an automated sales assistant that helps smooth out your customer’s journey as they traverse your site. For example, imagine that a potential customer is browsing your site and either stumbles on a problem or has a question regarding one of your products or services. With a chatbot, they can simply type out their query and voila, their question is answered by your friendly chatbot. The best part? Unlike people, chatbots work 24/7/365.

Without a chatbot, they’ll either email you with a question or try to get in touch with you via phone, which, depending on the time, may or may not be rewarded with an answer. But guess what? That’s the good scenario. The likely scenario is that they’ll be frustrated and click out of your site, lowering your conversion rate  while simultaneously raising your bounce rate. Do yourself a favor and get in touch with a digital marketing agency with digital capabilities to help you out.

3: AI for Sales Prospecting

Another use of artificial intelligence in sales is with sales prospecting. As it is, you probably play the numbers game and chase a couple of leads with the hope of converting some. Why do that though? This strategy usually leads to wasted time and money on dead ends that could’ve been spent on other prospects with higher chances of buying something. The good news is that this problem can be alleviated with AI. One of the many uses of AI is in the realm of predictions and predictive analytics. As a matter of fact, with AI you can narrow your sales pipeline and focus on people who are more likely to convert. So instead of dividing your attention on random people, you can give each one a score that corresponds to how likely they are to convert, allowing you to give each prospect their appropriate level of attention.

4: Recommendations = Sales

Take a note from Netflix and Amazon and start recommending products and services to your users. With its many capabilities, you can use AI to analyze search and buy patterns to generate a list of products/services your users are most likely to get. In this way, you can get more than one sale from existing customers, or turn a prospective customer into a paying customer.

5: Optimize Ad Targeting

Finally, if you’re running ad campaigns or are thinking or running one, use AI to optimize your ad targeting. Similar to using it for sales prospecting and generating recommendations, artificial intelligence can be a powerful tool that helps you cater your ads to the people who will be more receptive to them. This is especially true if you’re running display campaigns with banner ads in which you pay for impressions, not clicks.

Let’s Take a Second Look

Artificial intelligence in sales and marketing is the answer to the question of how can I get more sales? Let’s go over the 5 tips we covered today one more time:

  1. Improve Mobile SEO with Voice Technology
  2. Use Chatbots to Smooth Out the Customer Journey
  3. AI for Sales Prospecting
  4. Recommendations = Sales
  5. Optimize Ad Targeting