AI

AI Powered Personalization to Improve Customer Experience in 2024

Anand Venkatraman
May 2, 2024
5
min read
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61% of customers expect personalized experiences based on their buying preferences from businesses. But imagine the manual effort required to align each interaction with individual needs and preferences. You’d agree it can be quite overwhelming. 

The sheer volume of data you need to process to create personalized responses (at scale) makes it impossible for businesses to rely on manual processes. 

And that’s why artificial intelligence (AI) is lusciously eyed by sales reps and managers. We observed that from the responses of 1477 sales professionals (in Hubspot’s State of Sales report), AI is implemented to reduce time spent on manual tasks, better understand customers for prospecting and provide increased personalization. From generally being more efficient to saving costs and impacting the bottom line, the reasons are simply surplus.

This article will explain how AI-powered personalization works and how you can add it to your sales function. 

Understanding AI-powered personalization

Whether it's deciding what to watch next on Netflix or ordering something from Amazon, personalization today helps guide most of our customer’s choices. 

AI is the superhero behind all the personalized suggestions we see every day. It can analyze large datasets, learn from past behaviors, and predict future preferences accurately. Regarding sales, AI allows businesses to understand their customers at a granular level, qualify them better, and maintain a hot sales pipeline.

AI algorithms can process data and find patterns in customer behavior and help businesses match their offerings with individual preferences. AI’s capabilities go beyond simple recommendations, and can help sales managers and reps with predictive analytics, automated lead qualification, customer journey mapping, rep training, and outreach customization.

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Why are businesses adopting AI for personalization in sales?

According to a report by Twilio, a whopping 92% of companies are using AI-based personalization to drive growth. Here’s why businesses report that  AI can produce better business outcomes. 

  • Improved customer experience: By analyzing past data on customer sentiment and preferences, AI can easily anticipate needs, helping businesses upsell, cross-sell, and deliver targeted messages and promotions. These personalized experiences make the customers return to you and create a lasting brand impression in their minds.
  • Higher conversions: For quite some time now, sales reps have dealt with highly educated buyers. In his book They Ask You Answer, Marcus Sheridan, says that 70% of purchase decisions are made before the buyer talks to a sales rep. However, with AI, the scales are starting to tilt towards the selling team.

66% of sales reps report that AI tools help them understand customers’ preferences before their first call with a customer. AI-powered personalization tools are helping sales teams with in-call recommendations, competitor insights, and messaging insights to deliver high-quality sales interactions. This, in turn, translates to higher conversion rates as customers are more likely to engage with offerings that solve their problems. 

  • Effort and cost savings: AI automates tasks that would be time-consuming if done manually, such as content personalization, email campaigns, and customer segmentation. This saves human effort and scales processes without extra costs, allowing teams to shift focus to aspects that can’t be done without human expertise.
  • Laser-focused targeting: Businesses using AI can segment their audience with precision, allowing for highly targeted sales efforts instead of broader sales campaigns that yield minimal ROI. This ensures that the right messages reach the right audience at the right time, increasing the response rates.

How are businesses using AI-powered personalization?

Businesses across industries, particularly those in direct contact with customers are speeding up the adoption of AI-driven personalization into their strategies because of the many benefits it brings to the table.

Here’s how most customer-facing teams use AI in their interactions. 

1. Product upsells & cross-sells

Hubspot’s survey reports that sales professionals are already using AI-powered sales personalization to upsell (86%), cross-sell (86%), and down-sell (92%).  AI algorithms can analyze customer behavior, purchase history, past interactions, and preferences to intelligently recommend products. 

By understanding individual preferences via AI, businesses can smartly position upsells and cross-sells. This adds to the shopping experience of the customers and also maximizes the revenue potential of the business.

For example, the AI algorithm of an e-commerce store may analyze the past purchases and browsing behavior of a customer who frequently purchases athletic shoes and recommend complementary items such as premium socks. 

2. Email campaigns 

In the words of Matt Blumberg, the founder of Bolster, “Reaching the inbox isn’t your goal. Engaging people is.” 

AI can personalize multiple aspects of sales outreach emails, from initial contact to follow-ups. By assessing recipient behavior, it can adjust the content and optimize the timing of email delivery. 

Using historical data and A/B testing, AI ensures that your audience's most effective messages are populated. Additionally, businesses can trigger personalized follow-ups based on predefined criteria for a more efficient outreach, like follow-ups for unanswered emails.

3. Chatbot and SMS interactions

AI-driven chatbots can help offer real-time sales assistance by analyzing customer messages, understanding context, addressing FAQs, and sharing relevant information. This creates a more responsive environment for your prospects. Business leaders claim that on average, chatbots have increased sales by 67%.

Besides chatbots, AI can trigger personalized SMS messages based on customer actions and behaviors to deliver value to the recipient.

4. Customer journey mapping 

By analyzing touchpoints and interactions across email, SMS, calls, and other channels, businesses can gain insights into customer behavior that can assist them in accurately mapping their customers’ journeys. This journey mapping allows for personalized yet automated experiences at every stage of the lead lifecycle. 

5. Rep training

Continuous training is an important aspect of maintaining a high-performing sales team. Sales reps who get at least 2 hours of coaching per week have a win rate of 56%. AI can assist in doing just that – it can offer real-time suggestions to reps during live interactions, record and transcript calls, take notes, identify key moments, and score conversations. 

It assesses sales reps’ performance keeping in mind specific factors such as language, tone, and customer responses across different channels. Using these scores, managers can customize training plans for each sales rep.

6. Call sentiment analysis 

AI has the ability to understand customer emotions and reactions in verbal conversations. By understanding the sentiment behind interactions, businesses can gain valuable insights into what’s driving customer satisfaction and identify potential issues and areas where customers seem frustrated. 

This way, corrective measures can be taken early to prevent extreme consequences like churn. 

Generate emails, messages, & pitches in the your buyer's natural lingo.

Steps to add AI-powered personalization to your sales interactions 

We will quickly turn to the practical steps for seamlessly integrating AI capabilities into your sales strategy. 

Step 1: Define your goals 

First and foremost, understand why you need to add AI-powered personalization into your existing sales workflows. Is the primary goal to boost rep productivity, generate more leads, or boost upsells or cross-sells? Clearly defining the objectives or KPIs can lead to the successful implementation of AI. 

Step 2: Identify gaps in sales processes

Next, use AI to learn where you are and where you want to reach. Identify gaps in achieving your set objectives. For example, you could use AI-powered personalization to improve rep productivity. For that, you need to find out what’s hampering their efficiency and which tasks are more time-consuming and then bridge these gaps using AI.

Step 3: Choose an AI tool 

Once you know your goals and have specific action items in your plan, the next step is to choose the tech that aligns with them. You can automate the email follow-up process with email software or simply deploy an AI note-taker to save valuable time for your reps. 

Also, determine if the AI tool you are choosing offers flexibility for smooth integration into your existing sales workflows.

Step 4: Train your sales team 

When the AI tool is integrated into your tech stack, start training your sales workforce on how to make the most of this AI tool. Offer a demo, share best practices, and conduct scenario-based training with your reps so that they know how the deployed tool can help them. Finally, allow your team to share their inputs, including challenges, successes, and improvement areas. 

Step 5: Measure performance

Now, when the defined timeframe has elapsed, track the set KPIs and metrics that you established in step one. Whether it's conversion rates or response times, compare it with the data from day 1 of deploying AI. 

Remember to collect rep and customer feedback, particularly when the tool directly influences your customers’ experience. 

Which AI tool should you invest in for personalized sales outreach?

Choosing an AI tool that aligns with your set objectives is important. We will help you with a list of AI tools below that can assist you with personalized outreach and automated prospect follow-ups.

1. Happysales

When it comes to researching and writing personalized emails in seconds, Happysales should be your go-to tool. It allows you to extract prospect information from a large database and effectively reach out to them. 

Key features include

  • Accurate and most updated prospect database 
  • AI-based prediction and suggestion 
  • 100+ company triggers 
  • Auto-generated personalized emails
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2. Outreach 

Outreach is an AI-powered sales execution platform that equips your sales reps with the information they need right when they need it. This way, they can take the actions with maximum ROI and continuously learn and improve responses over time.

Key features include

  • Deal health score
  • Smart email assist for auto-generated emails
  • Automated speech recognition and sentiment analysis 
  • Auto-pause email sequence when prospects are out-of-office 

3. Lemlist 

Lemlist is another AI-backed cold outreach tool that allows you to build a lead list with verified emails, write and personalize at scale, and send cold emails unique to your value proposition and target prospects.

Key features include

  • Lead database 
  • Email finder and verifier 
  • Integrations with existing tools 
  • AI multichannel campaign generator 
  • Avoid spam folder with warm-up and deliverability booster

4. Lyne.ai

Lyne offers AI-powered sales personalization for cold emails. The platform's AI capabilities ensure every prospect sees content specific to them, and integrations with other tools make scaling outbound a breeze. 

Key features include

  • AI-powered prospecting data 
  • AI ice breakers to connect with prospects
  • Twelve different personalization points
  • Chrome Extension to scrape prospect emails 

5. Reply.io

The last one on our list is Reply.io. It is a sales engagement platform that includes Jason AI, powered by ChatGPT, which acts as your personal assistant to build outreach sequences, address prospect responses, and book meetings for your reps. 

Key features include

  • Filters to target suitable prospects
  • AI to create entire sales sequences across different channels
  • Auto-respond to basic customer inquiries and book meetings
  • AI handles “Not Interested” responses and provides counter-offers

How can Happysales make both your prospects and reps happy

There you have it! We have covered the A to Z of AI-powered personalization in sales. 

If your current outbound sales motion is still a mess, then AI-backed cold email tools can help you declutter it.  Specifically, tools like Happysales stand out and can help bring your A-game in sales outreach. The platform has a database of 650M people and 20M companies to conduct prospecting effectively. 

You also get access to the following 

  • 100+ real-time triggers to keep your outreach strategy hyper-personalized 
  • Prospect challenges to better position your offerings 
  • Talking points and recommendations to achieve sales excellence 
  • Auto-generated yet personalized emails and messages

Plus, the platform is flexible enough to integrate with tools like Salesloft, LinkedIn, Gmail, and more. All of this ensures your reps are highly productive and your prospects receive messages and emails that they resonate with instantly leading to higher conversions. 

Wish to get your hands on the exclusive beta version of Happysales? You’re just a click away.

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