Machines having cognitive abilities of their own is a concept that has revolutionized industries. The revolution introduced us to the wonderful and intriguing world of Artificial Intelligence. AI has been pivotal for the computing industry for the past few years. The most vivid and apparent manifestation of AI is the arrival of chatbots, which have been successfully incorporated by many organizations and businesses. They’ve seen tremendous success in terms of increased revenues, better customer interaction, and increased accuracy. However, while a few organizations use chatbots extensively, many are oblivious to the concept. In this blog post you will know what a chatbot is and why as a business owner you should be using them.
Chatbot is software which is trained to understand natural languages. You could ask it a question and voila! You’d get a reply. According to Wikipedia, they treat conversations like a game of tennis; talk, reply, talk, reply. So, what exactly is it, about them, which should excite you?
Chatbots can bring the much-required consistency to your business. Bots are precise when handling and processing data. Unlike humans who tend to lose their edge while performing repetitive tasks, bots excel in this sphere. Moreover, humans, being emotional tend to react to situations or scenarios differently, a bot on the other hand does not.
And given the current market/industry landscape, AI is making progress and growing by leaps and bounds, it is safe to say that future holds infinite possibilities.
How Can a Chatbot Increase Your Sales and Revenue
Sales teams are the interface between the customer and your product. They have to serve as the face of the business and sell a product or service an idea and are responsible for ensuring the top line growth of the company. It is inevitable that they are under a constant pressure to perform. There are several metrics which indicate the performance of the sales personnel like OTIF (On time in full), MSL (Must stock list) for a CPG sales team and other metrics like Opportunity win rate, Average deal size and market share to name a few which cuts across industries which need to be constantly taken care of. Sometimes due to the complex IT landscape there will be two or more systems from which they need to access the information.
If this data can be easily accessed by sales teams, by using mobile devices from a single interface, it would give them extra time to focus on nurturing leads, added advantage would be if they are able to transact with the LOB systems based on this information using the same interface.
If key statistics were made available to the sales teams and able to transact using the same interface in a handier, easily accessible format, it would help them make better use of the time.
How Can a Bot Make Data More Accessible?
Unlike humans, bots can process enormous amounts of data in real time. They help in tracking your stock across various stores, your best and worst performing areas, best performing quarter, etc. With this information, you can add resources or try a different strategy to improve your business.
Bots track individual members’ performance as well. They do so by generating reports for every quarter. Using this you can gauge the best and worst performing months for your sales team. Bots notify individual members if they fail to meet their KPIs.
Bots help the sales personnel analyze the key metrics quickly by asking natural language questions like they would ask someone from the helpdesk team to get the information they need from multiple systems but from a single interface.
Benefits of using bots for sales is backed by a solid evidence as many businesses use bots as their sales assistants.
Here are a few case studies of businesses using chatbots and reaping the benefits:
A large FMCG company
A Large FMCG company, which focuses on health, home, skincare and hygiene, had their sales teams focus on aspects like must stock list and market share based on either push emails of PDF and separate reporting decks created by their central MIS teams from multiple systems like SAP, Redshift etc. The sales team had to review numerous reports to gather information, which often was outdated/static.
The company integrated data from various data sources and surfaced it through a chatbot, which was a single window information solution. This helped them access information for the following KPI’s:
- Market Share
- Bottom Stores
The Chatbot helped them increase their MSL from 3% to 15% across countries increasing revenue in Millions.
A large soft drink company
A large soft drink manufacturing company wanted to improve its top line and increase production. Information regarding the same was across disparate systems like OBIEE, SAP, etc.
A centralized view was necessary without having to implement a complex DWH project to integrate all this data. This information was needed for the executive teams handling sales and plants to make quick decisions to ensure that the finished goods was produced in the right quantity at the right times and available to increase top line.
The company implemented a chatbot which gave information from all these systems in a single view where they could query for all this information using Skype and access data. This also had links to the detailed reports for analysis.
Bots Can Help in Ways That Are More Than One
Not just as assistants to your sales teams, chatbots can be deployed as the initial communication/interface between businesses and their customers. Enterprise Bots can provide a better experience as they understand and offer engaging content, and language wouldn’t be a barrier, ever!
This methodology shift, or way of operations results in delighted customers who eventually become promoters for your business. As a result of this, you gain new leads, convert existing customers into your brand ambassadors.
The benefits don’t stop here! You could even implement a bot into your office intranet to avail better interface and simplify processes for your employees. For instance, if someone has to raise an IT ticket, they would no longer have to follow convention. They could just ask the bot to do it for them.
Employees can be metaphorically equated to the gear that needs to be well oiled and well maintained to support the entire machinery of your business. It is, therefore, inarguable that when employees can focus on issues at hand, overall efficiency increases.
Bots Are Here to Stay
The last few years have witnessed an exponential increase in the number of service and product providing companies. For your business to survive in this age of cut throat competition, you must keep up with technological trends. Top performing sales organizations tend to spend their time working on customer facing/front line sales activities. It becomes imperative for them to efficiently manage data. An intelligent sales assistant bot could prove to be an answer to this problem. It would qualify as an able member of your sales team and seamlessly integrate itself into existing sales systems like SAP, SAP HANA, SAP BW, OBIEE, Salesforce, Marketo, etc.
Several firms ranging from Reckitt Benckiser to Hike and Uber have successfully implemented bots into their mainstream business and are reaping multiple benefits.
“Take risk now and do something bold. You won’t regret it. – Elon Musk”
Bots are the latest and the greatest addition to sales teams across the world. They help in managing data, enhancing customer experience etc.
What do you think about bots? Do you agree with whatever is said in this blogpost? If you have suggestions and queries please let us know by commenting below.