The Artificial Intelligence Sales Maturity Model
If you are in the Sales world you are not new to the concept of a Sales Maturity Model. Comparing your sales team and your sales process to a Sales Maturity Model can be helpful in assessing “where you are at” and “what needs to be done” to improve your sales processes.
Most of the Maturity Models are based on scientific states of energy for some reason:
Chaotic, Organized, Coordinated, Collaborative, Optimized and Predictive.
These are not bad models to compare against – but these models are antiquated. They are based on linear structures from left to right. Sure, they provide a clear roadmap for you to follow and strive for and measure against – but they are leaving out the impact that AI and Machine Learning could have on your sales process.
The reality is that your sales process isn’t a neat chart that explains each step from left to right. Your sales reps are interfacing with customers on multiple platforms, multiple channels and with multiple people. No documented sales process can account for the nuanced differences that occur ON EVERY DEAL.
One rep might send a proposal via email as a PDF file attachment; another rep might send it as a PPT; another might send the proposal via a trackable link that the customer clicks to download it; and yet another might schedule web meeting and personally walk the customer through the proposal.
One rep might talk to customers while at her office using her desk phone; another might talk to customers on their mobile phone while others might communicate frequently with customers via text or social media.
How do you account for all of these chaotic, unpredictable interactions? How do you build a process that accounts for all of variations?
One way is to enforce strict rules that all of your reps only send proposals one specific way and that they only talk to customers at their company desk phones – this would allow you to track sales rep activities. You might break the spirit of your reps or demotivate them but heck, you’d get your metrics! But what good are metrics if you have a demotivated, depressed sales team? Besides, strict rules and processes like this don’t work in the field or for reps that travel a lot.
Another way of addressing this chaos is to adopt an Artificial Intelligence Sales Maturity Model.
AI and Machine Learning algorithms thrive in chaotic environments – some algorithms were created especially for these situations.
By leveraging AI and Machine Learning, systems can watch the variant activities of your reps and draw conclusions about whether or not those activities are aligned with your sales process.
At SalesDirector.ai we’ve applied AI technology to help you navigate and make sense of your chaotic sales process. When applying Machine Learning and AI models to your sales process it can take on a variety of forms – Random Forest, Bayesian, Gaussian, Multivariate Adaptive Regression, etc. all which help account for the chaotic and random activities that your reps are performing.
We’ve also broken it down into 3 Levels of Sales Maturity that make it easier for you to adopt over time.
We understand that you can’t flip a switch and start leveraging all of the AI capabilities of our platform at once so we’ve staged the AI capabilities to align with 3 Levels of Sales Maturity.
Level 1 Maturity
This first level of sales engagement is designed to answer basic questions about your sales team’s activities.
Are my reps engaging with the prospects at all? If so, are they engaged “enough?”
How recent was the last customer engagement and what is the historical frequency?
How many people is the rep engaged with at the prospect’s company?
What is the sentiment of these relationships?
Is my relationship Balanced or is this a One way Conversation?
Is the deal following my “normal” deal cycle?
At Level 1 Sales Maturity you are just trying to understand “what are my reps doing and are we doing the right things?” At this Level you are mostly looking at activity reports, sentiment analysis reports of emails and discussing it with your sales team. You have more fodder and information about their activities to have informed discussions about the sales process.
SalesDirector.ai is using AI to monitor your sales team’s email correspondences with customers, score their activities (based on the sales process you’ve defined) and track the level of engagement they have with your prospects. Level 1 Sales Maturity will tell you WHAT is or IS NOT happening and what to do about it.
Level 2 Maturity
Level 2 Maturity graduates you beyond the tactics of activity and into the strategy of Personas and Relationships. At Level 1 Sales Maturity your team has mastered the basic activities and habits of engagement and are successfully updating the information in the CRM but at Level 2 Maturity they are focusing their engagement on Relationships. At Level 2 your sales team will map their relationships to your sales process. For example do you need to engage with a Economic Buyer or Technical Decision maker in Stage 3?
SalesDirector.ai will scan your emails and your CRM contacts and identify new contacts to ensure that you are engaged with the right people. This enables your sales team to start associating their activities (Level 1) with the key relationships at your target prospect.
This is all mapped to YOUR Sales Process – so it keeps your reps aligned with the process that you already designed.
Level 3 Maturity
Gets you everything from Level 1 and 2, and introduces Verifiable Outcome based selling. At Level 3 Maturity we introduce semi-structured milestones and communications with the prospect. But don’t worry, it is up to the sales rep to calibrate where YOU are versus where the BUYER is in their journey or process.
At Level 3 Maturity, you know you are doing the right activities and you know that you are talking to the right people……but now you can tie specific activities (Milestones or Customer Verifiable Outcomes) to specific stages of your sales process.
For example, for an Opportunity to be in Stage 5, your sales process defines that the Sales Rep should have sent a proposal to the prospect. At Level 3 Maturity, SalesDirector.ai makes it easy (one click) to send the proposal and update the Opportunity to Stage 5. This is also automatically updated in your CRM without any additional data entry.
Alternatively, if the rep has the Opportunity in Stage 5 but SalesDirector.ai didn’t notice that a proposal was sent – then the sales rep can associate the specific email in their Sent Box that fulfills the Customer Verifiable Outcome. From that point forward, the artificial intelligence within SalesDirector.ai will know (will have learned) to associate that type of email as a fulfillment of “Stage 5.”
When you are at Level 3 – you are automating the mundane parts of your sales process. At Level 3, artificial intelligence and machine learning is helping your reps focus on the art of sales – instead of trying to figure out the science of the sale – leave that to us.
The purpose of the different levels is for you and your team to step into adopting artificial intelligence into your sales process. Most companies are not ready to do it all at once – they need some time to fine tune their process before fully embracing artificial intelligence. The Artificial Intelligence Sales Maturity Model at SalesDirector.ai gives you the opportunity to immediately take advantage of the new technology without having to overhaul your sales process.