You can buy the biggest, most expensive sales weapon in the world, but without proper training and practice, you just might shoot your own foot. That holds true for the tools you use in the rest of your business too. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful weapon when properly used which can hit many targets simultaneously. Companies use AI to monitor, manage and respond to the massive volume of transactional data while your human intelligence can focus on what the machines cannot.
The evolution of AI in business is like most things. It began with baby steps where a person came up with a concept. Then they asked someone to create a system to handle that concept and then implemented it. I will show my age, but I remember when ledger cards were used to track customers debts in 30-60-90-day columns. You could visually see when your individual client was not paying you within your agreed terms. The first program I implemented had AI built in that would not only track the debt risk for me but added them all up so I could predict if I was going to run into a cash flow issue because of slow paying customers. Yep, that was a form of AI.
Today’s predictive and prescriptive analytics has improved our abilities to hit targets. It helps us select the best targets. It can lock, load and, even fire the weapon for us should we wish for it too. The results can be staggering. We are seeing companies increase sales by large percentages without sacrificing profits. These are sustainable increases because they are built on insight, not sales gimmicks or short-term campaigns.
For example, many people today still throw discounting at attempting to increase sales. Discounting works but too many people use it as a sledgehammer response when it should be a finely targeted tool. How much to discount and to whom can now be answered by implementing AI. That way we don’t increase sales in the short term only to sacrifice it in the midterm because the customer will now have ample on hand and not need to reorder as quickly – losing profits along the way. This demonstrates a current AI model can hit multiple targets at the same time and when trained, will adapt to not miss them in the future when things change.
Want to hit more targets? Employ my friend and yours, Artificial Intelligence.