Lead Gen

Lead Generation and Artificial Intelligence

The corporate data provider market is a valuable market. $3 billion a year, to be precise.

Clearly, information is a valuable commodity.

The more a businesses understands and targets their audience, the better equipped it is to tailor an approach that is likely to generate interest.

However, despite the scope of leading players, and the enormous archive of legacy sources that these organisations allow access to, businesses struggle with consistent lead generation.

According to Hubspot, while the average marketer pays around $43 per B2B lead, 80% rate their lead generation efforts as only “slightly successful”.

Now I don’t know about you, but something in those numbers doesn’t add up. How can an industry worth so much generate such poor quality?

The supply and demand gap

Successful demand generation requires precision: it is based on engaging the right audience, at the right time, via the right channel and with the right message. That’s a fine balancing act to master.

And that’s ultimately the problem; it’s just so hard to get those circumstances precisely right. And as you’ll see from the steps below, the current process is hardly the exact science we need it to be…

  • Firstly, huge and complex data sets are filtered by limited, and often arbitrary, criteria
  • Marketers have to determine patterns and connections, which may be superficial
  • An approach that is likely to be successful has to be intuited and estimated rather than accurately confirmed

But this is where AI can help.

Find, attract, nurture

What the market ultimately needs, is a why to finetune the above process to almost microscopic precision. To optimise the three steps of find, attract, and nurture to create higher quality for the same amount of money.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) was made to mine big data; that’s what it was designed to do. Much like IBM’s Watson - the first computer built for big data - AI systems excel at extracting insights from large datasets.

And in turn, businesses can learn so much from AI analyses. They can learn about their customers, find recommended leads to pursue, and discover and target valuable accounts that are more likely to result in a sale.

To put it simply, AI systems are far better at processing data than humans are. Why? Let’s take a look at what happens when humans analyse huge sets of data…

  • It’s time consuming
  • It’s expensive
  • It requires lots of manpower
  • The risk of human error is high

The last point in particular is key; the average marketer may overlook particular nuances and connections or miss important insights that AI can determine relatively quickly.
Now let’s take a look at what AI can do…

Lead generation software that is powered by Artificial Intelligence will use machine learning to source and analyse massive amounts of information across dozens, if not hundreds, of sales channels and existing databases.

Not only does this increase data processing efficiency, it also exponentially increases reach

It’s simple mathematics: because AI has such a wide reach, and can process such large volumes of data, it allows companies to process more leads, which results in more possibilities for contact and closing deals.

Always learning, never forgetting

AI’s insatiable appetite for data, along with its potential for mining infinite relationships, allow it to continually develop its powerful predictive analytics capabilities, and offer strong advantages for lead generation.

As AI processes data and outcomes, it continually learns from this analysis to make accurate predictions about the future.

The more data an AI system is given, the smarter it becomes. And it never forgets.

An AI system has the ability to continuously train itself to understand sales targets, tactics, and its understanding of consumers to recommend user specific campaigns and products that are likely to convert.

By comparing lead databases with financial and marketing data, AI systems can also predict future trends for lead generation and potential spend. The predictive analytics capabilities of AI can also help determine marketing messages and communications that are most likely to engage and convert specific customers.

Everyday AI for Lead Generation

80% of marketing executives believe AI will revolutionise marketing by 2020.

But the revolution has already begun.

We’ve already seen the world of marketing leap from traditional methods to digital ones far faster than we originally thought, and it shows no signs of slowing down. But where does AI fit into all this?

Chatbots - which have been a tried and tested method of lead generation for years - now increasingly rely on AI to power their information collection and guide decision making.

Sales assistants, such as those implemented by Epson, have seen lead response rates increase by 240%.

Salesforce now uses AI driven automation tools, which are the features that makes its CRM software much more powerful.

LinkedIn offers an AI powered Sales Navigator Tool that uses algorithms to identify and engage leads tailored to a unique profile.

Specialising in the financial services agency, Lead Zen designs lead management and delivery apps with CRM connectors, which allow businesses to harness the best of both lead generation and database management.

The list is endless.

What we are seeing here is more and more leading organisations increasingly turning to AI to make the lead generation process so much better.

While AI cannot decipher critical factors that may impact the lead generation process, such as a reference, personal relationship, or insider knowledge of client preferences, it can optimise data analysis and predictive analytics. It helps to process cognitive and informational overload, leaving humans free to focus on making better decisions. And that’s exactly how AI enables sales teams. By increasing efficiency across key components of the lead generation process, AI enables sales teams to connect with leads as individuals, person to person. Exciting times are undoubtedly ahead for the lead generation industry, but there’s one thing that will remain the same. While the best lead generation tools will always be people - AI cannot hope to replace an emotional connection - it does offer a few significant advantages over human intelligence that make the whole process run much more smoothly and efficiently.

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