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What is AI for Sales?

Uncover the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve sales performance management (SPM) and how sales organizations are using AI to succeed. 

6 min read

AI for sales is a revolutionary new tool that removes the guesswork from sales management tasks such as coverage modeling, resource and capacity management, quota planning and territory planning.

Sales is a numbers game, but sometimes, understanding and making sense of those numbers requires processing and decision-making power beyond the capabilities of the human mind. With AI for sales, organizations can take advantage of powerful machine learning and complex, multi-variate data-sets to derive insights that can drive sales and organizational performance.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications allow sales organizations to automate routine tasks, saving time and increasing efficiency. AI for sales can also perform predictive analytic functions and inform sales planning and decision-making at the managerial level. Sales organizations can optimize their processes and increase revenue and attainment in 2019 using AI for sales.

AI for Sales Enables More Efficient Resource and Capacity Management

Employee attrition is a significant concern for sales organizations, especially in industries where compensation is commission-oriented and new sales people face a longer-than-average ramp-up time. Still, the ability of a sales team to reach its monthly, quarterly, and annual targets depends on maintaining the headcount on the sales floor and ensuring that there are enough reps making phone calls, qualifying leads, and closing deals.

Sourcing data seamlessly from an existing CRM system, AI applications for sales leverage pay and performance data to predict the risk of employee attrition, identifying high-performing and underperforming employees based on a number of indicators, and alerting a sales manager when action can be taken to mitigate rep turnover and increase employee retention. AI applications can review CRM data automatically, checking for sales reps whose performance have dropped or who have been receiving low paychecks.

With accurate analytics, sales organizations can leverage AI to predict rep attrition rates based on data from their own organization—meaning no relying on industry averages and no more guesswork.

Improve Accuracy of Quota Planning with AI for Sales

Sales organizations face a major challenge each time they set a sales quota, or target, for a sales team. If the quota is too high, sales reps may believe that failure is inevitable and the motivation to perform at their best is lost. If the quota is too low, the sales organization may find that sales reps aren't pushed to their highest levelsof achievement. Setting sales quotes that are both accurate and realistic is critical for sales team morale and motivation in each quarter.

With AI for sales, organizations can leverage performance data for members of the sales team and use predictive analytics to construct a sales plan that accurately reflects the capacity of the sales team. With the implementation of AI as a predictive tool for sales productivity and the expected ROI of individual reps, sales managers can confidently set targets that motivate each sales rep to reach their full potential.

AI for Sales Reduces Territory Planning Time

Mapping sales territories that are optimized for overall travel efficiency and balanced to maximize opportunity can reduce costs by up to 15 percent. AI for sales can leverage customer data from an existing CRM to construct optimized sales territory plans and even predict the optimal number of sales reps required to cover territories during a new product launch.

AI allows sales organizations to consistently design territories that are balanced, travel-efficient, and give reps equal opportunity to achieve and exceed their quota.

Xactly's SPM Leverages the Best Dataset for AI Operations

Artificial Intelligence applications can provide unique insights that drive effective sales management, but the real strength of AI for sales comes from a robust set of data that can be analyzed to produce useful insights. Xactly's Sales Performance Management (SPM) software is powered by Xactly Insights—the largest and only data set of its kind in the AI for sales industry, containing over 13 years of pay and performance data with 50 unique data elements from hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

Xactly's AI SPM uses machine learning, predictive analytics, and the Xactly Insights data set to predict the risk of future employee attrition. Along with organizations’ sales performance data, Xactly SPM helps more accurately forecast commission payouts and employee performance and automate the construction of more effective sales territories. Together, these functions boost organizational efficiency while reducing financial and operational risk.

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