AI-based sales assistants are getting increasingly common. They help companies find and secure customers more quickly and efficiently by automatically contacting, engaging, qualifying and following up with leads via natural, two-way conversations.
Conversica is a company focusing on conversational AI for business, and I got to interview Gary Gerber who is Senior Director and Head of Product Marketing at Conversica.
An in-demand speaker and presenter, Mr. Gerber has headed Product Marketing, Development, and Innovation across multiple industries and continents, and is inventor of record on seven international patents.
Now, over to the interview!
What is Your Company’s Background?
Conversica was founded in 2007 and has since become the leader in conversational AI for business and the only provider of AI-driven lead engagement software for marketing and sales organizations.
Used by more than 1,200 companies worldwide, Conversica’s sales assistants are built on a proven AI platform integrating natural language processing (NLP), natural language generation (NLG), and machine learning (ML) capabilities and engage prospects over multiple communication channels and in multiple languages.
What Problem Does Conversica Solve?
The flagship Conversica® AI Sales Assistant helps companies find and secure customers more quickly and efficiently by automatically contacting, engaging, qualifying, and following up with every single one of their sales leads via natural, two-way “human” conversations.
What Does Conversica do, and why is it Important to Your Customers?
Conversica provides an automated sales assistant powered by artificial intelligence software. The assistant works just like a human sales assistant, reaching out to every single one of your leads and engaging each of them in a human conversation. Benefits include:
Maximize ROI on every single lead
Conversica yields far more “at bats” for your sales reps – with both new and old leads – and thereby dramatically boosting their number of closed deals.
Free your reps up for actual selling
Automated sales assistant separates the good leads from the dead ones, so sales reps talk only with prospects who want to talk to them.
Gather critical business intelligence
Prospects not only respond more readily, they also share critical information such as phone numbers, best times to call, and intent to buy.
Improve your sales process
Your sales assistant follows up with prospects again after handing off to a sales rep – to deliver management insight and customer satisfaction.
Deploy a fully trained sales assistant
Your sales assistant arrives fully trained, fully motivated, and already equipped with the experience gained from millions of customer conversations.
This is important to companies because Marketing’s primary job is to create a thick pipeline of leads for Sales, and research shows that to then reach those people, it can take up to 12 attempts each to get their attention.
But with thousands of leads coming in every month, it doesn’t make economic sense to have a human try 12 times to reach someone when there are constantly new opportunities coming in, so they might try two or three times and move on.
Think of all the money and resources being spent on marketing activities to drive that interest, and then not reaching people. So, an AI-based assistant, who will follow up with 100% of the leads as many times as it takes to engage them, makes perfect sense.
And it works – for example, leveraging their AI assistant, the Los Angeles Film School generated a 33% increase in sales pipeline, which wouldn’t have been humanly possible otherwise.
How Does Conversica use AI?
The platform combines natural language processing to understand incoming messages, an inference engine for basic decision-making and natural language generation to create human-like messages.
It integrates with a variety of customer relationship management and marketing automation systems, leveraging a knowledge base of more than 200 million human sales interactions collected over seven years with Conversica customers.
In Your Mind, What is the Future of AI in Business and Marketing?
Today, AI is about empowering humans to do better work. Tomorrow, it’s going to be about the AI interacting and taking a lot of things off our plate so that we can live better lives. It may seem far off to have a company bot interacting with a personal bot to make decisions, but realistically that may be where we are heading.
Do You Think Marketers Will be Replaced by AI Robots?
AI, when applied correctly, doesn’t replace marketers but rather frees them to focus on the parts of their jobs that they typically enjoy most – the creative parts – and lets them sleep easier knowing that their efforts are generating maximum benefit for the business.
Do You Have Any Other Thoughts on AI in Business and Marketing?
AI is going to give us the ability to automate things that we’re already doing and free us up to focus on things that we’ve never been able to do before. This includes personalization at mass scale.
With machine learning and natural language processing, the machine is going to be able to extract insights from all the internal and external data that we have about customers and make the right decisions in terms of what an individual should receive, what that next offer should be, what a web page should look like, etc. in order to best fulfill their needs.
As a marketer, this mass personalization has not been humanly possible, but the machine is going do it for us, and it’s going to be a win-win for the marketer and consumer.
In this interview, Gary Gerber provided fascinating insights into how artificial intelligence can be used to automate consumer engagements, thus making sales reps more efficient.
No doubt, the marketing landscape, and in particular online marketing, will be transformed in the coming year or two!
I am an author, speaker and consultant in marketing automation and artificial intelligence.
Do you need help with marketing automation or AI-based solutions? Contact me and let’s discuss how I can help you!