AI sure has come a long way from the primitive chatbots of yesteryear. Long ago, you’d be lucky to get a coherent AI response to a question like “What’s the weather today?”

Modern AI tools are so advanced that you might mistake their content for something written by a real human. If you’re in sales, that’s great news for you. AI can help with all the nitty-gritty details of your job, from writing email campaigns to tracking down new leads.

Let’s take a look at the bright future of leveraging AI for sales professionals, plus a few CRMs with built-in AI features to help you take your sales numbers to the next level.

Uses in CRMs

Before we get into what AI can do in CRMs, let’s pump the brakes and explain what a CRM actually is.

A CRM, or customer relationship management system, is a set of tools that helps you manage, track, and store information about your customers. You can use this software to manage marketing campaigns, uncover service issues, find new sales opportunities, and so much more.

If you’re not using a CRM yet, that’s okay. We’ll cover a list of CRMs that include AI integration below. For now, let’s discuss a few ways that you can take advantage of AI with CRMs.

Organization

Have you ever spent hours sifting through your files trying to find a list of customer contact information? That’s time you could be spending on something better, like finding new leads.

AI tools excel at organization and efficiency. Instead of spending ages organizing your leads and sales numbers, you can have an AI-based CRM handle the job for you.
It’s kind of like having an assistant to deal with all the stuff you’d rather not do. Who could say no to that?

Hand gesture with business target concept

Targeted Recommendation

If you’ve been in sales for long enough, you’ve probably come up with at least a few different buyer personas. Your “Spendy Sam” persona might buy the latest gadget, no matter the cost. “Budget Betty” is a stay-at-home mom who’s looking for the best possible deal.

How can you know which of your products and pitches will work with each persona?

Normally, you’d need to go through a lot of trial and error to figure it out. But with the power of AI, you can get targeted recommendations based on hundreds of different data points, allowing you to tailor your message to each persona.

Automation

Is there anything more boring than handling time-consuming administrative tasks? You’d rather be out there building relationships and selling, not stuck in a cubicle doing a bunch of busy work.

If that sounds like you, then an AI-based CRM is just what you need.

AI tools take care of the drudgery, so you don’t have to. That means you’ll spend less of your time on things like emails and appointment reminders and more of it on what really matters.

Would you believe that you can even automate SEO? It’s true — leveraging AI for automation can benefit your business beyond sales!

Reporting

Sales may be all about relationships, but don’t forget about the data. This data tells you important things, such as:

  • Whether your pitches are working
  • Which ad best suits which buyer persona
  • How many units you need to sell to meet your quota
  • And so on

Breaking down all of that data into easily understandable chunks is a seriously time-consuming task. Enter AI-based CRMs.

You can train your CRM on the metrics you want to study and get customized reports for almost any dataset imaginable.

List of CRMs With AI Integration

If you haven’t purchased a CRM yet, here’s a list of our favorite CRMs with AI integration that make leveraging AI for sales professionals easy.

Salesforce’s Einstein

You’d be hard-pressed to find a salesperson who doesn’t know about Salesforce. This company offers one of the most robust CRMs on the market, and it’s taken things a step further with the introduction of Einstein AI.

With Einstein, you can deploy AI assistance natively in Salesforce, allowing sales team members and customers to solve problems and get answers faster.

Einstein can:

  • Write emails personalized with customer data
  • Boost customer service agent productivity
  • Automatically customize outreach
  • Create seamless buying experiences

Zoho’s Zia

Zoho’s Zia is an AI-powered assistant with a standout feature: its lead prediction tool, which predicts which deals are most likely to close. With this data, your sales agents can prioritize their efforts on the highest-value leads.

Zia’s other features include:

  • Efficient delegation to sales reps based on how they’ve handled similar leads in the past
  • Detection of anomalies, such as a sudden increase in calls or a rapid drop in sales
  • Automatically generate reports on the fly

HubSpot AI

HubSpot is another huge player in the CRM space, and its AI assistant is just as powerful as its sales CRM software.

Using HubSpot AI is like having your own personal assistant. It can write your emails, create high-value blog posts, craft captions for social media, and even generate one-page websites with nothing more than a prompt.

HubSpot AI also comes with a conversational bot called ChatSpot. With ChatSpot, you can get real-time insights derived from sales data, discover keyword rankings, do research on your competitors, and more.

Zendesk Sell

Zendesk Sell is simply named but incredibly powerful. One big feature we like is its API integrations, which allow you to connect your favorite apps for ultimate customization.

Sell allows you to:

  • Build targeted prospect lists
  • Send bulk emails to a filtered list of customers
  • Build trigger-based actions to automate your workflow

Its forecasting tools are impressive as well. You’ll never be hit with unexpected surprises when you have Sell on your side.

Robot with bright yellow headphones and laptop on blue background

AI Chatbots

AI chatbots are everywhere these days, and they have so many uses. From scheduling product returns to booking a doctor’s appointment, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t do using these handy tools. Plus, they hold such realistic conversations that customers sometimes can’t tell they’re talking to a robot.

You may already be familiar with rule-based chatbots. Also called decision-tree chatbots, these tools respond to questions with a predetermined set of answers.

AI chatbots are a step above. They use machine learning or natural language processing (NLP) to adapt to a conversation and provide answers on the fly.

Benefits of AI chatbots for your customers include:

  • Access to 24/7 support
  • Available via phone, email, social media, and messaging apps
  • Convenient self-serve options
  • Multilingual support

AI chatbots have plenty of perks for your business, too, such as:

  • Can handle repetitive tasks and reduce support agents’ workloads
  • Allows you to collect customer feedback
  • Boost customer engagement
  • Increase lead generation

Best Chatbots

You’ll find dozens of chatbots out there, but which should you pick?

Our top vote goes to the aptly named ChatBot. This high-tech tool instantly scans your website or knowledge base to provide answers in a flash. Plus, it has no dependencies on third-party providers such as OpenAI. We use

ChatBot on our own website, and we’re sure you’ll love it too.

Other good picks include:

Copywriting and Emails

You’ve been stuck at your desk staring at that blinking cursor for well over an hour. You need to come up with a message for your latest email marketing campaign, but you’re drawing a blank.

Sound familiar? Let AI copywriting and email tools come to the rescue!

With just a simple prompt, you can craft AI-enhanced EEAT copywriting for emails and ads that mimics human writing. Try copywriting prompts such as:

  • Write a sales letter that convinces [target audience] that [product] solves their problem.
  • Write an ad with a strong call to action that convinces users to buy [product].
  • Write a description for [product] that appeals to readers with emotional language.

Finding Leads Using ChatGPT

One of the hardest parts of sales is finding leads that will transform into buyers. If you’d like to make your life easier, why not have ChatGPT generate leads for you?

When leveraging AI for sales professionals, try prompts like these:

  • Summarize [long blog post] in 100 words or less. Include a call to action based on the content at the end.
  • Rewrite this article so that it appeals to [target audience].
  • Create an attention-grabbing headline for [product].
  • Write an ad for [product] that incorporates storytelling.

Using AI for Email Campaigns

Did you know that the average response rate for cold emails is a mere 8.5%? If you’ve been sending out cold emails only to hear nothing but chirping crickets, consider upping your game with the help of AI.

A person checking emails A phone with envelop folder hologram on the top

AI-based tools allow you to craft customized campaigns based on personalized datasets. They also automatically send emails at the perfect time to boost the open rate.

Here are our top picks for AI-based email campaign assistants.

Hunter Campaigns

Hunter Campaigns includes everything you need to run the perfect cold email campaign. This tool natively connects with Outlook and Gmail (integrates with other providers via IMAP/SMTP), so it’s a snap to set up.

Using Hunter Campaigns, you can automatically create personalized emails with highly effective templates and then add visual appeal with videos and images. Hunter writes emails so they end up in your prospects’ inbox, not their spam box.

We also like Hunter for its excellent reporting tools. It identifies open rates, click-through rates, and the overall performance of every campaign.

Lemlist

Lemlist bills itself as an all-in-one outreach solution, and given its robust features, it’s easy to see why. This AI-based email tool finds purchase-ready sales prospects for you and allows you to craft highly personalized multichannel campaigns that are sure to stand out in buyers’ inboxes.

Lemlist is always adding new features, too. Soon, you will be able to send automated voice messages to prospects through LinkedIn.

Smartwriter.ai

Over 12,000 companies (including Facebook and Stripe) use and trust Smartwriter.ai, so you know it must be good. This tool does in-depth research into prospects’ bios, articles, blog posts, and case studies to create personalized messages that’ll have them opening their wallets.

You can also craft emails based on a prospect’s recent social media activity, find unlimited leads for any niche, and book meetings with decision-makers in seconds with the power of emotion-driven copy.

Using AI in Sales Training

No matter how good of a salesperson you are, more training never hurts. It’s a must-have for the rest of your team, too, especially new hires. Here’s how you can use artificial intelligence in sales to improve training for your team.

Call Evaluation

Customers don’t appreciate talking to a grumpy, disinterested agent. They want to speak with someone who’s empathetic and truly cares about solving their problem.

If you’ve had some complaints about the attitude of your team, an AI call evaluation can help. Here at Connective, we use AI to measure and evaluate calls using built-in call metrics.

AI-assisted coaching software can monitor and analyze calls for sentiment, tone of voice, rate of speech, and much more. Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, you can train agents on how to do better.

Onboarding New Hires

Onboarding new hires is normally a time-consuming process. You’ve got to provide prompts, listen to pitches, and offer feedback so your employees can hit the ground running.

AI assistants can automate much of the onboarding process for you. These tools suggest prompts and analyze the employee’s response, then provide actionable feedback that they can implement immediately.

Roleplaying

Many sales happen online or over the phone, but don’t forget about in-person presentations. These events can be nerve-wracking even for experienced sales team members, especially if there’s a big client with deep pockets on the line.

Roleplaying allows employees to practice their pitches in a low-stakes environment. With AI training tools, team members can set up virtual roleplaying sessions to practice conversations in real-time.

On-Demand Training

Members of your sales team are busy, and they don’t all have time to attend training sessions at the drop of a hat. The beauty of AI sales training is that it’s available on-demand, 24/7, whenever your team needs it.

Using AI, agents can brush up on their skills whenever they have a free moment or get some last-minute pointers before a meeting with a big client.

People Discuss About Graphs and Rates

Sales Forecasting

Which item will sell better next year: product A or product B? Which leads are most likely to buy? AI software can answer questions like these to give you a more accurate picture of your future sales.

Here are a few ways sales teams use AI for forecasting:

  • Lead grading and predictive analytics to determine how likely leads are to convert
  • Improving customer retention
  • Maximizing customer lifetime value
  • Processing large volumes of sales data

Best Practices for Using AI in Sales

If we’ve convinced you of the power of leveraging AI for sales professionals, you’re probably eager to put this technological marvel into practice. Before you do, check out these best practices for a smooth transition.

Does Your Team Support AI?

Talk to your team and learn how they feel about using AI. Some will be all for it, while others might be more reluctant. If people have been doing things the “old way” for years, they might not see a reason to switch things up now.

For a successful AI adoption, you need your entire team on board. Hold a meeting with your team to listen to and address their doubts. During this meeting, play up the benefits of AI and how it can make your sales reps’ lives easier.

Decide on Your Metrics

Even the most powerful AI tool won’t be useful if you don’t train it using the right metrics. Decide in advance which metrics you’d like to track, such as lead quality or how many sales each agent gets per month.

Assess Your Current Tech Stack

AI isn’t going to totally replace your current tech, no matter how advanced it is. Rather, it should integrate with the tools you’re already using, including your CRM, video conferencing software, and communication platforms.

Make sure that the AI tool you choose plays well with your existing tech. The best AI tools allow you to connect your favorite software with customizable APIs.

Magnifiying glass on the laptop A person finding something in the internet

Research the Perfect AI Solutions

Before investing in an AI tool, make sure it’s the right one for your sales team. Most good AI tools come with a demo mode or free trial, so you can decide if the software will work for you.

Customer support is another factor to consider. Does the company offer training and onboarding? Will support agents help you set up the software, or will you have to figure out the setup yourself?

Also, look at the cost and make sure it suits your budget. Most AI sales software costs a set fee per agent and per month. Many companies offer tiered plans with progressively more advanced features. With Zendesk’s Sell  Professional plan, for instance, you get up to 20 customizable sales pipelines, lead scoring, and advanced permissions.

I hope that you found this article helpful. Ever since I began to integrate AI into my marketing and sales strategy, I have seen an increase in efficiency, quality, and ease of performance like never before. I hope that you can find the same levels of benefit if you decide to use any of the information in this article.

I wish you good luck and have a great rest of your day!

Rodney Warner

Founder & CEO

Rodney’s two primary responsibilities are business development and marketing strategy. He produces highly effective marketing campaigns for our clients and works tirelessly to bring new opportunities to Connective and our connections. In his off time, he produces music, plays video games, enjoys his family, and eats way too much ice cream!

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