It’s fair to say that if you’re involved in sales and marketing, you’ll likely have social media feeds and an inbox full of “news” about the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it will revolutionise your world. Let’s break this down.
Firstly, AI isn’t new.
In fact, it’s been actively used since the 1960s in a whole manner of ways, and some of our team members have been working on intelligent chatbots since the 1990s.
At Broadley Speaking, we’ve been using it to enhance our B2B new business development programmes over the last six years, and we’ve been talking about the “digital paradox” for the last four.
So, what have we learned from all this experience?
AI has proven to be extremely useful in super charging our buyer intent programmes, behavioural analysis tools, and SEO work. AI has also enhanced our ability to use advanced data tools to build complex buyers grids. In fact, these tools play a fundamental role in driving our Total Prospect Management (TPM) approach that delivers high value new business for our clients. It’s one of the ways that we bridge the “digital paradox”.
Understanding the “digital paradox”
The “digital paradox” in B2B sales and marketing refers to the challenge of using AI, digital technology, and marketing and sales automation to improve sales and marketing efficiency while still maintaining a personalised and human touch in the sales process.
On the one hand, digital technology, like AI, clearly offers many advantages, such as the ability to automate repetitive tasks, collect data about prospects and customers, and reach a wider audience through digital channels, more quickly. Yes, it’s getting to feel more intuitive.
However, in the complex sales environment in which we work, there is a huge risk that relying too heavily on AI can lead to a loss of human connection and personalisation in the sales process.
Prospects in the buyers grid responsible for high value and critical purchasing decisions may feel they are being treated like a number rather than an individual with unique needs, communication, and buying preferences.
To overcome the “digital paradox”, businesses need to find a balance between using digital technology like AI to improve efficiency, and using human interaction to build real world relationships with customers. Total Prospect Management (TPM) does this. TPM is a critical part of Broadley Speaking’s approach to bridging the “digital paradox”, as it’s a holistic approach to B2B sales and marketing that focuses on understanding the entire sales process, from lead generation to conversion, optimising each stage for maximum effectiveness.
Why is the human touch so important?
At the heart of Total Prospect Management is the idea that B2B sales and marketing is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of the customer journey. By taking a holistic approach to the sales process, we can identify areas of weakness and opportunities for improvement, then develop targeted strategies to address these issues. So, whilst AI helps us with building intent views and buying propensity intelligence, it still cannot mimic the common sense, intuition, and fuzzy logic of a skilled and experienced salesperson able to interpret this in the context of their offline conversations and interactions with individuals in prospect accounts.
For example, at the lead generation stage, Total Prospect Management involves identifying the right channels and tactics to reach target audiences, while ensuring that lead quality is high. This involves a combination of data analysis, research, and human expertise to identify the channels and tactics that are most effective for each target audience, which then helps us develop campaigns that are tailored to their specific needs.
At the conversion stage, Total Prospect Management involves developing personalised and targeted campaigns that are designed to engage prospects and move them through the sales funnel. This involves a range of tactics, including personalised messaging, targeted content, and account-based marketing, all of which are designed to deliver a personalised and engaging customer experience.
Whilst we use AI within our Total Prospect Management approach, it’s just one of the many ways that our solution bridges the digital paradox. Anyone who adopts AI as a complete solution will be bitterly disappointed, and it could in fact damage their brand reputation. But by taking a holistic approach to the sales process and leveraging the latest digital tools and techniques, Total Prospect Management helps B2B companies achieve their sales and marketing goals while delivering personalised and engaging customer experiences.
If you’re puzzled about how AI might enhance your B2B sales and marketing activities, or you are being barraged by sales folk telling you that their AI solution is a universal panacea, why not give us a call, fill in our contact form or reach out to @brookepinkney to benefit from our experience. We’ll talk you through how we have boosted the sales pipelines of major B2B business across Europe and North America.