For years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been the subject of wonder and speculation. From visceral thrillers set in the future of machines taking over the roles of humans to the development of Alexa and Siri on our devices in our home. Fortunately, thrillers like The Terminator and Blade Runner are based in the fictional world and every year, AI has proven to be successful and relevant in many industries.


What is Artificial Intelligence?

In 1955, the term Artificial Intelligence was originally coined by a computer scientist named John McCarthy who described it as being a machine that would be able to simulate human intelligence and solve problems that are typically reserved for human cognition. Unlike robots, machines that are programmed to complete physical tasks, AI uses developed software, machine learning, and sometimes complex algorithms to solve complex problems and interact with humans in a meaningful way.


Generating leads

For the sales and marketing industry, it’s imperative that processes are consistently being evaluated for their efficiency and effectiveness to keep up with the changing times. Not too long ago, sales representatives followed up on every lead via telephone and worked tirelessly to increase their closing rates every month.

At some point, you’ve probably had to make a call and are exasperated to learn that the recipient of your call is a robot rather than a customer service professional on the other end. Developers at Conversica have taken notice to this problem, particularly in the realm of sales and created an AI assistant that interacts with potential clients through email and phone, generating conversations and returning inquiries 24/7. Rather than just patching through a leader to an available sales rep, Conversica assistants are given a human name and participate in a couple or several interactions to qualify the potential lead before their information ever gets sent to the reps.

Generating promising leads is a challenge for any industry, and research vendors in the life sciences industry can especially have difficulty because it’s such a specialized field. Acenna is an up and coming artificial intelligence application that pores over research data to come up with quality leads for the sales department, limiting the amount of time spent sales spends trying to find prospective buyers.

Gone are the days where sales reps can close leads through stale template-style emails that are mass sent to potential leads. Sales reps must be mindful of how they spend their time and what leads they choose to go after, and with the help of AI programs like Conversica and Acenna, reps can rely less on cold-calling and focus their efforts on strong leads.


Gathering unstructured data

AI has incredible potential to gather immense amounts of unstructured data, data that can’t be found in a database, about customers and piecing it together in a way that makes sense. Every sales team has the ability to gather huge amounts of data from their leads through communications like emails and  For example, a single customer may interact with several social media sites, but up until recently, compiling this information would be incredibly time-consuming for someone to do and our machines were not capable of cataloguing these interactions for a single person. AI is beginning to be able to create these types of profiles for customers and potential leads so that the best possible sales rep for that particular client is assigned to their request.

While artificial intelligence still has a way to go before it’s completely seamless between customer and machine, but new developments should be followed by sales teams that want to be on the cutting edge of technology and give customers the best experience possible.