In the world of business, artificial intelligence (AI) is a subject that is gaining more and more attention. This is especially true in the world of B2B startups. Two such startups are Red Sift, the AI cybersecurity experts, and Cognism, the AI sales acceleration solution. We have partnered to bring you some insights into AI, and how it can be used to power B2B growth and sales.
As an example of how AI is transforming business, check out these statistics from a 2017 survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI):
- 78% of the 160 businesses surveyed believed that AI could lead to greater efficiency.
- 49% of the 160 businesses surveyed believed that AI was going to “fundamentally transform their industry/market”.
- 68% believed that AI could lead to greater profits.
What Is AI?
When we talk about AI, what we mean is the ability of computers or computer programs to copy what humans are able to do. But the purpose is not for AI to replace human workers. If you think about CRM technologies like Salesforce, they haven’t replaced humans- they have enhanced how we work, and made parts of our working lives easier. AI will perform the same function: not replacing us, but supporting us. This is especially true when it comes to B2B startups.
What Has AI Done So Far For B2B Startups?
AI has become an important asset for B2B sales, and especially for startups. Here are the most important areas where AI has helped B2B startups:
- Made customer monitoring more accurate
- Made lead generation faster
- Freed up time for employees
How Can AI Use Data In A Useful Way?
The biggest challenge facing a B2B startup is in finding new customers. Usually, they have small sales teams and finite resources. Sales reps can spend hours trawling through LinkedIn and clicking through company websites. Through buyer personas, AI can speed up this process, making lead generation faster and easier. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on real data. AI can take the data, analyze it at speed, and continually update the persona in real-time. This makes sure your buyer personas stay relevant over time.
Another obstacle for growing B2B startups is knowing when your customers would be most likely to buy. Again, without resource, it can be difficult for startups to find the time to analyze data and look for patterns. AI has assisted growing B2B companies through its ability to rapidly examine and interpret vast quantities of data. Monitoring prospect and customer data are useful when it comes to the next important element- sales triggers.
A sales trigger is the most useful AI device for B2B sales. The idea of a sales trigger is based around the fact that people are more likely to purchase products at special moments- for instance, if they change jobs, or are promoted. Sales triggers can be set according to different criteria (e.g.: company funding, job join or leave, event appearances). The data that informs the sales trigger is updated with AI, so it never goes out of date. For example, if you wanted to search for Marketing Managers that have joined companies in the UK in the last two months, AI can provide you with that data. Or if you wanted to search for B2B startup founders that have received funding in the last year, AI will sift and sort that information for you.
Many B2B startups have found that sales triggers backed by AI have had a positive effect on their growth. By targeting the right people at the right times, the sales process becomes smoother and more lucrative. The time it takes for a sales team to generate prospects can be cut by up to 52%!
AI has proved a useful tool in helping B2B sales teams identify the best or most lucrative prospects, in the fastest possible times.
In terms of growth and sales, AI is an essential tool for B2B startups. It helps companies maintain competitiveness in the face of larger, more dominant rivals. At Cognism and Red Sift, we encourage all B2B startups to embrace AI, and the tremendous opportunities it can offer.