What is Artificial Intelligence?
It’s not quite The Jetsons. The iconic cartoon featuring a witty robotic maid prepared generations of children for robot assistants that help humans with a variety of mundane and complex tasks. But not all artificial intelligence is robotic— and not all robots are intelligent.
AI is a set of technologies that enable computer programs to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as decision-making, speech recognition, and visual perception, according to a recent report by Accenture, a professional services company that works with more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500. AI allows computers to:
- Sense. Audio processing and computer vision can perceive the world around it, such as facial recognition software.
- Comprehend. Language processing and inference engines, which deduce knowledge by applying logical rules to stored facts, allow AI to understand and analyze information. This technology can be used for language translation.
- Act. AI systems can mimic the decision-making capabilities of a human and take action. Examples include automated features that allow cars to slow down or brake without human intervention.
In the future, AI will be embedded in all business applications, said Adam Honig, CEO of Spiro, which created an AI-powered CRM.
“Maybe there’s a way to make it sound more dramatic, but I think it’s going to be like cloud technology,” he said. “It’s new and exciting today, but soon it’s just going to be a given for any new software product.”
Innovative AI technologies will enable people to use their time more efficiently by taking over repetitive tasks that normally require humans, and offering employees some tools that can enhance decision making, according to a recent report by Accenture, a professional services company that works with more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500.
Accenture predicts that AI will boost productivity and double annual economic growth rates in some developed countries by 2035. The U.S. could see the biggest economic benefit thanks to its advanced infrastructure and strong entrepreneurial climate, increasing annual growth from 2.6 percent to 4.6 percent.
Businesses that rely on trade shows to market their services do not have to wait for the technology of tomorrow. Here are three AI-powered services that can boost your conversion rate:
What: AI-powered CRM, with a built-in personal sales assistant
Cost: Plans range from $18-$66 per user, per month
Spiro uses artificial intelligence to automatically create, update, and manage a sales pipeline, and offers proactive recommendations about which prospect to contact next, and the best time to call.
The personal assistant also uses humor to encourage sales reps to engage with the app and make the calls necessary to close deals.
“We get sales people in front of more people, so they can close more deals,” said Honig. “That’s why we have the humor in the app. The sales people love it.”
The app includes seven different personas that range from boring to Jewish mother and R-rated, the most popular personality. Instead of saying, “Call this person,” the Jewish mother would say, “Don’t call Dave. See if I care,” while the R-rated persona might say, “Hey, &*@#$, call Dave.”
Trade show leads are more likely to close when they are followed up within 24 hours, Honig said. Sales reps can rely on Spiro’s AI to prioritize leads, and the sales assistant to remind them to follow up. Or, sales reps can set their own priorities manually.
“The more you work with Spiro, the more you educate it about who you’re dealing with and how you work,” he said. “Spiro is going to see what kind of deals you’re closing and prioritize those.”
What: AI-powered sales assistant
Cost: Plans start at $2,999 per month
Wish you could hire more sales assistants without the high cost? Conversica offers an AI-powered sales assistant that functions like a human sales assistant. It reaches out to every lead via email and engages them in natural, back and forth conversation.
Approximately 35 percent of leads reply to the sales assistant, which gauges the level of interest and responds accordingly. When leads are ready to engage in the sales process, the assistant alerts the sales team and finds the best number and time for a phone call.
When Zend Technologies wanted to test Conversica’s technology, the company assigned their new sales assistant its dead leads, said Gary Gerber, senior director, head of product marketing at Conversica. The results were an impressive 19 percent engagement rate and a $500,000 lead.
Automated technology has distinct advantages for companies that collect hundreds or thousands of leads at trade shows, Gerber said. Instead of assigning more leads than a sales team can handle, the sales assistant can make contact in minutes—freeing up sales reps to focus on promising leads.
Conversica’s customers place a lot of trust in their automated sales assistant, Gerber said.
“Ninety-five percent of the messages that the AI assistant sends go out without any human intervention,” he said.
What: Personality detection technology that helps users improve communication.
Cost: Free for basic personality profiles
Crystal analyzes publicly available data to create a personality profile that predicts behavior, motivation, and communication style. Over 75 percent of the Fortune 500 has used Crystal, which can help sales reps tailor communication to the personality of leads they do now know very well, and build relationships based insight into the lead’s personality.
That insight helps users craft messages that resonate with their prospects, said Luke Thomas, head of growth at Crystal.
“Crystal is ideally suited for improving post-conference communication,” he said. “I’ve attended numerous trade shows and when the event is over, the wave of email follow-ups begins. As a vendor, it’s important to cut through this noise. Imagine if you had a coach guiding you to write an email follow-up based on the recipient’s personality?”
Investors are betting big on artificial intelligence, which is set to change the way we live, work, and communicate. AI is one of the top two sectors by capital raised, according to market researcher Quid.