7 Ways AI Can Supercharge Your Personalized Sales Outreach
It's no secret that personalization is a must-have in sales and marketing, with 80 percent of consumers more likely to take up offers from companies that offer personalized experiences.
It’s a big ask for small to medium-sized businesses to keep up with this trend as they often have limited resources and budgets. This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the sales game and reversing the status quo.
By automating repetitive tasks that can currently take a sales team weeks to complete, AI has suddenly created more of a level playing field. It's not the biggest teams that win anymore, it's the most creative.
This article will take you through seven unique ways AI can supercharge your personalized outreach. What is often not discussed is the ethical concerns and limitations around using AI, but don’t worry, we have that covered too!
But before we jump into all of that, let’s take a quick look at the problems of traditional outreach methods.
Challenges with Traditional Sales Outreach Methods
Sales reps face a number of challenges when using traditional sales tools and outreach methods in the sales process. Here are some common challenges that most sales teams face.
- Attention: Difficult to stand out in crowded inboxes
- Time: Time-consuming to manually personalize each message
- Campaigns: Challenging to keep track of every campaign and prospect contacted
- Channels: Reaching prospects through their preferred channels to maximize engagement rates
- Strategy: Measuring and optimizing the sales techniques used to prospect leads
So how can AI personalize sales outreach?
What Is Personalized Sales Outreach and How Can AI Help?
Personalized sales outreach is customizing your messaging to each prospect. That could be their interests, hobbies, professional achievements, or anything unique to them.
It's like giving your family personalized gifts rather than giving them all the same thing. It shows that you care and pay attention to their unique qualities. This helps engage prospects on a personal level and makes them feel valued as individuals.
Artificial intelligence along with machine learning can help with this personalization by analyzing large amounts of data to find people’s hobbies, behaviors, preferences, and buying history. Sales and marketing teams can then use this information to craft personalized messages and campaigns at scale.
Now we understand the core principles of how AI can help, here are the seven unique ways AI can improve your sales outreach efforts.
7 Ways AI Can Improve Your Sales Outreach
In today's digital age, sales outreach has become more complex and competitive than ever. AI has emerged as a game-changer, offering sales teams the ability to supercharge their efforts and achieve better results. This section explores seven ways that AI can transform your sales outreach to help your sales team find more leads and drive conversions.
1. Personalized Email Campaigns
Email remains one of the most effective channels for customer engagement, with an average ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. However, generic email campaigns are unlikely to cut through the noise and grab the customer's attention.
This is where personalized email campaigns come in. According to Campaign Monitor, marketers see an average increase of 20 percent in sales when using personalized experiences.
AI-powered tools like Lyne can analyze personal content such as social media and podcast appearances as well as LinkedIn activity. Couple this with company sources such as news, blog articles, and case studies, personalization at scale suddenly becomes possible.
How long would it take a BDR or sales rep to get that personalized and dig into that many data points for each prospect?
The answer is a lot. But with artificial intelligence, it’s done for you instantly. With just a few clicks, AI can generate subject lines and create a mass personalized email campaign. Then you just need to get the email addresses and execute in days, not weeks!
2. Social Media Outreach
Social media has become a fundamental part of many successful sales strategies. Personalized social media outreach, in particular, can help businesses stand out from the crowd and engage with their target audience more effectively.
AI can be used to analyze the data of prospects as well as existing customers. Information like their interests and behaviors can be captured and used to create personalized messages that are more likely to resonate with them.
Examples of personalized messages on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter can include mentioning a prospect's recent activity or interests, asking specific questions about their industry, or sharing content that will help them professionally.
To create effective personalized social media outreach with AI, it's important to understand your target audience, have access to the right data sets, and craft messages that are both relevant and engaging.
AI is now even capable of "reading" images posted on social media and using that data output to provide an extra level of personalization. Imagine that one of your prospects posts an image of them working in their home office with a stack of books on the desk.
Now imagine that AI could instantly "read" that book, find a unique angle and common ground between you both and then get a personalized social media message created and sent there and then.
Imagine no more, that’s our new reality!
3. AI Video Prospecting
AI video prospecting is a relatively new trend in outbound sales messaging but personalized videos have been shown to be an effective way to stand out in a crowded inbox.
In fact, a report by Vidyard and Demand Metric shows that video for sales prospecting and customer engagement increased by 93 percent year over year and has been shown to increase conversion rates.
AI tools like ReachOut allow sales teams to create 1000s of custom videos that are tailored to the prospect's industry, interests, and pain points within minutes.
But if you don’t want to stretch to a bespoke system, then personalized videos can be automatically generated using the latest AI video generators. By automatically personalizing videos with the prospect's name and other relevant information, they can be more engaging, improve conversion rates and save a ton of time over manual video creation.
On top of that, AI can be used to analyze the engagement data from your video prospecting efforts, providing insights into which videos are most effective and how prospects are engaging with the content.
So if you’re looking to scale and improve your sales prospecting approach, integrating AI-powered video into your strategy would be a great place to start.
From lead generation to follow-ups, these outbound sales tools cover every stage of the sales process.
4. AI-Powered Sales Chatbots
How many times have you been on a web page and a popup comes up on the bottom right with a message like "How can I help you today?". I bet the answer is a few. This is what an AI-powered Sales Chatbot is.
These chatbots use machine learning to engage with prospects in real-time. This provides answers to FAQs to move leads down the sales funnel much faster, as well as offer personalized recommendations, all at scale.
One of the main benefits of using chatbots is that they can engage with prospects around the clock, without the need for manual intervention. This can save time and resources whilst providing a personalized customer experience—a win-win then!
5. Predictive Analytics for Sales Outreach
Predictive analytics is a powerful tool for sales teams looking to stay ahead of the competition. The rise of new lead capture tools like digital business cards and chatbots means there are many datasets that need bringing together to get the full picture of a prospect’s activity and likelihood to buy.
Using artificial intelligence, businesses can now analyze all of this data together to identify which prospects are most likely to convert. This allows them to prioritize their outreach efforts and allocate resources more effectively.
By using the insights provided by predictive analytics, sales teams can create highly personalized and effective outreach campaigns that are more likely to result in conversions.
An example of predictive analytics in action is lead scoring, which uses data to rank prospects based on their likelihood to convert. Another example is AI-enabled sales forecasting tools, which use historical data to forecast future outcomes which helps to target the most lucrative prospects.
To make the most of predictive analytics in sales outreach, you should focus on gathering high-quality data, using the right tools to analyze it, and continuously test and refine your outreach strategies.
6. AI-Powered Newsletters
There are many reasons to start a newsletter, and most businesses have found at least one to make it worthwhile. So with the ever-increasing inbox mayhem, what will make you open one over the other? Usually, it comes down to how relevant you think it is at the point of checking your emails.
So how do we make them relevant to the reader at that point in time? Yep, you got it, AI.
AI-powered newsletters use AI to personalize content for each reader based on their interests, behavior, and past interactions. According to Accenture, 91 percent of consumers say that they are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.
So regularly sending personalized newsletters to your ideal clients that have a high chance of being relevant, is surely a no-brainer marketing move, right?
7. Analyzing Your Outreach Efforts
One of the most significant advantages of AI in sales outreach is the ability to analyze and optimize your outreach efforts. It delivers key insights that human thinking just isn’t capable of creating.
AI-powered tools can crunch data all day long to help sales professionals determine which messages and outreach methods are most effective and then use that data to optimize future efforts.
As an example, artificial intelligence can analyze data such as open and response rates to determine which subject lines and email templates are most effective for what types of people or industries. It can also analyze engagement data to determine which channels are most effective for different types of outreach.
It can also provide real-time feedback to sales reps, suggesting personalized next steps based on customer behavior. If a prospect clicks on a specific link in an email, the AI system can suggest a follow-up action to the sales rep.
There are even AI systems that plug into video conferencing systems like Google Meet and give real-time recommendations and guidance to the sales rep when pitching.
Ethical Considerations and Limitations When Using AI for Sales Outreach
While AI-powered outreach can provide significant advantages over traditional methods, there are also ethical considerations and limitations to be aware of.
One ethical consideration is privacy. At what point it should be considered an invasion of privacy is an open question right now. Some might think my example of the book on the desk is bordering on privacy invasion, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. With aggressive sales targets in most businesses along with more investment in software tools, this will be a hot topic in the near future.
There is also the potential for AI to generate biased content. AI systems can only make decisions based on the data they are trained on, and if that data contains biases, the outreach efforts may also contain biases. To prevent this, it is important for sales teams to use diverse and unbiased data sets when training their AI systems.
There are also some limitations to be aware of. For instance, using artificial intelligence may not be effective for highly complex or nuanced sales interactions, where human intuition and empathy are essential.
This is often the case for enterprise sales or complex organizations that might have more than one selling team targeting the same prospects.
These are all things to be considered when looking at your next AI tool.
Final Thoughts on AI for Personalized Sales Outreach
Artificial intelligence can be used to automate personalized outreach at scale in many ways, but its success always depends on the accuracy and quality of data it's driven from. Therefore, having a robust CRM system like Close is essential for businesses to store their lead and customer data.
Using this data, artificial intelligence becomes more intelligent and adapts its approach to consistently improve the result. Investing in a solid CRM system means businesses will be ready to take full advantage of AI-powered personalization. This is bound to supercharge outreach efforts, get more leads and close more deals.