It was only a matter of time before artificial intelligence was embedded in CRM. Next year we’ll probably see self-aware water coolers. But CRM with simulated intelligence is very much a real thing now, and the implications it has for your business are sizeable. But before you start panicking about your CRM system displacing real people in sales and marketing, let’s take a moment to examine what AI is, what it can and can’t do, and how to work with it rather than around it.
Terminator 2 did a fantastic job of freaking out just about anyone who saw it. If firmly surrounded the belief that an artificially intelligent race of robot death machines was on the cusp of bringing about the apocalypse at literally any moment.
Twenty-seven years later, and with no robot apocalypse in sight (unless you count light jogging and log jumping a threat), the practical applications of artificial intelligence have been decidedly more benign.
Just getting AI to this point has taken almost herculean efforts of programming and hundreds, if not thousands, of iterations before appropriate usable. It turns out that what artificial intelligence is really good at is analyzing data and providing unhelpful suggestions and insights to the humans using it.
When you look at AI in that context, it seems logical that putting it in CRM would be beneficial.
CRM and artificial intelligence are a very powerful combination. As the internet has happened to the backbone of modern sales and marketing efforts, CRM has had to evolve to capture and categorize a constantly growing stream of signals and data points about prospects, customers, and companies.
An employee using a CRM system in 2018 is likely to have access to not just basic contact in turn about a potential sales lead, but also all their social media profiles, job history, and detailed statistics about every interaction that lead has had with his or her company.
This is where artificial brains come to the rescue. CRM with embedded AI gives users things like:
The goal with artificial intelligence in CRM is to let AI handle the analysis, and make chic recommendations about a customer or prospect based on all the data about that person the system has collected.
So now, with AI, a salesperson can open a contact record, see what suggestions the system is making on how to best connect with that person, and make an up to date decision without having to spend half an hour looking through their Twitter comments for clues.
Do you really need artificial intelligence in your CRM system, or is it just another fancy add-on that won’t present real value? As with most things, the answer will depend on your business’s unique situation.
Organizations that are already utilizing the full power of their CRM system will likely find a lot to like about integrating an AI tool. Those who are careworn with CRM adoption, on the other hand, may find it to be overly complicated and unnecessary.