Siya Carla is the Solution Consultant at Finoit Technologies, a leading custom software development company which provides unique web design and mobile app development services. By creating interactive mobile apps for 450+ customers across the globe, Finoit enjoys a great reputation as a prominent mobile app development company.
The evolution of sales models is a constant necessity for the distributors of financial products. Be it the selling of insurance, mutual funds, loans, or credit cards, the traditional selling tactics like cold callings, canned pitches, and advertising have lost their credibility and effectiveness. In the past, while conversing with a buyer, the salesperson used to control the conversation by regulating the flow of information. But now, that control has shifted to the buyers. Changes in communication methods, the circle of influence, and access to information have empowered them to grow smarter and intelligent. They are no more the silent listeners, they are well informed and thus they are the decision-makers. In fact, studies show that before being ready to speak to a sales guy, decision-makers, on average, tend to consume five pieces of content to enlighten themselves with information.
It won’t be wrong to say that the modern-day decision-making buyers are well acquainted with traditional sales techniques, and have developed a kind of mistrust for those. However, for the most part, the timeless fundamentals of selling i.e lead scoring, find prospects, create interest, communicate effectively, and ask for the sale, have remained constant and will continue to be pillars of modern-day selling as well. But, yes several things have changed, most importantly the consumer buying behavior has changed and needless to say that technology is one of the key enablers that has triggered this change and radically altered the consumer trends, expectations, and demands. Now, the question is how the sales community, including, sales processes, salespeople, and sales management, can cope up with this change?
Its time to adapt to the new world of artificial intelligence
If technology advances have changed the consumer buying behavior, it is also true that it has unveiled never-before kind of fin-tech capacities that with the right kind of adoption can help financial distributors to quickly adapt and fulfill the demands and expectations of their buyers. The bottom line is to understand the challenges in the sales processes and sales management in light of the changing dynamics of the new-age consumer buying behaviors.
Some of the key challenges experienced by sales leaders of financial products are:
1. Customer Profiling – Most businesses have volume-driven databases, how to make it quality driven?
2. Productivity – Is every sales guy in the team is being productive enough, or the monthly business is resulting from the heavy-lifting of the top performers only?
3. Visibility- Is the sales team rightly adopting the sales model? What are their day-to-day activities; is it that what is being documented in their timesheet? What is the status of a particular lead? What is the best deal size in the sales pipeline?
4. Core activities- As data suggests, are the sales guys not being able to rightly utilize their time, wherein 14.8% of their time goes into administrative tasks, 20.4% is spent on social activities and only 35.2% of the time is dedicated to actual selling.
At a glance, it can be observed that financial distributors need a more data-driven insight into their sales processes to overcome these challenges. Every aspect of sales management starting from lead scoring to customer profiling, performance and productivity regulation to sales workforce management, can be improved with betters data insights. Artificial Intelligence is indeed the new way to deal with data.
How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Overcome the Challenges and Improve Sales?
In B2B Sales, artificial intelligence can be deployed through new-age sales tools like Field Sales management software, CRM, or ERP. These systems are equipped with automatized data mining features and machine learning. These AI-enabled systems are intelligent and they can equip the sales processes with capacities like:
1. AI helps with accurate lead scoring by facilitating automation and predictive analytics of sales data that helps to create well-defined buyer personas based on age, demographics, corporate background, etc.
2. Databases are huge and building a quality-driven database means filtering oceans of data. Instead of stirring the ocean for tidbits, AI can help determine how and from where to gather the right data, by automating the sales data gathering process.
3. AI-enabled field sales management tools are invaluable in adding insight into the structuring of sales teams. It helps with preparing more accurate sales quotas, optimizing sales territories, revising staffing requirements, realigning sales policies and compensation.
4. AI analytics can reveal customers’ needs, how they relate to a particular product or service and accordingly make informed and accurate recommendations like pricing strategies, ideal customers visit hours, when to close sales, suggest sales KPIs for the sales guys, etc.
5. Artificial intelligence is a smart way to take over mundane and repetitive administrative tasks that consume much of the sales team’s time; tasks such as appointment scheduling, task allocation, self-service, reporting, etc.
6. In financial product sales, customer retention is crucial to leverage the advantage of recurring revenue. AI predictive analytics can provide a deep insight into the customer satisfaction quotient.
The evolution of the sales model is upon the sales community only. Sales tools like CRM, ERP, Field sales management software, market research, and other sources have already made the sales community rich in terms of data. But that’s raw data, and it needs to be turned into intelligence and then data can help in improving sales remarkably. AI can make it happen. Thus, it’s the peak time for financial product distributors to adopt artificial intelligence in their sales processes.
Originally Posted: https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/19814/how-financial-product-distributors-can-cope-with-sales-challenges-with-ai