Debates about artificial intelligence (AI) cover a lot of theoretical ground, from whether smart robots will eliminate jobs (and/or the human race) to how we’ll all fit neatly into a computer simulation after the singularity. There’s a lot of philosophical meat on those bones to gnaw through.

But before we let our imaginations run too wild, let’s take a practical look at how AI is already transforming the way salespeople are connecting with prospects and closing deals.  

1) Writing Emails

By detecting patterns in your emails using natural language processing, AI-enabled CRM tools can begin to anticipate your own responses and write emails for you. These systems can learn to pay attention to names of contacts, relevant dates, addresses, and key phrases (“Ugh, another meeting?”) and begin to fire off responses for, at first, simple things like availability, and eventually more complicated bits of business like finding answers to specific questions or selecting appropriate attachments to send.  

2) Managing Your Calendar

This feature merges seamlessly with email: image having all your meetings, lunches, and client calls scheduled for you. You see the fledgling version of this technology now when your phone automatically links phrases like “tomorrow morning” in your texts to your calendar. But it’s getting much more interesting with new emerging tools that can automate time-consuming admin tasks (like figuring out who’s available when) for your whole company. Business AI solutions will essentially give everyone a digital personal assistant.

3) Discovering Your Best Leads

There’s a lot of data flying around during the early stages of a sale, and it can be a challenge to organize, parse, and analyze all that information in a way that actually helps you identify and prioritize the best leads. AI-enabled CRM solutions can assemble the data and, with predictive lead scoring, indicate for you where you should focus your attention, when, based on the frequency and type of interactions leads have had with your company, how likely they are to buy, and how desirable they are as customers.

4) Enhancing the Customer Relationship

Companies have a lot of blind spots when it comes to their customers. They get to know them when the customer buys or subscribes, and then again when it’s time to update or when there’s a customer-support issue. While companies would like to build deeper relationships with customers, the resources haven’t been there. Until now. New AI tools can learn about customers based on the massive amount of online and company data that’s available, and then surface up these insights in a consumable format, giving companies a richer understanding of their customer identity and needs.

Discover the many more ways AI is transforming sales in our e-book, AI for CRM: Everything You Need to Know.