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How Artificial Intelligence is Expanding the B2B Sales Funnel

In recent years, innovative uses of artificial intelligence have exploded, from robot bees to big data beer. The power of machine learning, with its ferocious capacity to crunch data and spit out solutions that would otherwise take countless hours of manpower to accomplish, can be applied to almost any industry. B2B is no exception, and the B2B landscape is already being altered by dynamic AI tools that help marketers optimize their sales funnels, make better business decisions, and produce hyper-focused marketing materials.

However, if you’re new to these tools, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the potential uses of AI—and particularly the task of sorting out the revolutionary applications from the costly gimmicks. A lot of things might cause B2B marketers to struggle with adopting AI:

  1.     Not understanding how AI can be useful for marketing
  2.     Lack of budget
  3.     Insufficient skills and resources
  4.     Reluctance to adopt unproven new technologies

In this blog, we’ll go over some of the ways AI has become a reliable partner for B2B marketing, and make recommendations for options that may be right for your business. After all, knowledge is power!

How Artificial Intelligence Creates Value in the B2B Sales Funnel

1.    Improved lead generation

Capturing high-quality leads is always a nail-biting and critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to growing your business. Part of the issue lies in the labor-intensive process of collecting and analyzing data. AI can massively speed up this process, capturing quality data across myriad channels and databases. With lead generation being such a time-consuming task, automation is a powerful optimizer.

2.    Better customer insights

To get the most out of your marketing budget, it’s essential to have a strong Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to help you focus your efforts on the best companies. AI leverages various social listening and analysis tools to gather insights about your customers’ pain points, buying patterns, using this collected data to structure a well-rounded, accurate ICP.

3.    Personalized B2B marketing

You’d be forgiven for assuming that AI would dehumanize your marketing content—after all, shouldn’t the sales process have a human touch? However, AI has the potential to make your marketing feel more human by giving you powerful, cost-efficient ways to personalize your approach for each customer. Clients of all sizes want to feel that you understand their unique needs, and one way to demonstrate that is by offering content that’s relevant and interesting to them. AI-driven marketing tools simplify this process by analyzing your clients’ buyer behavior and creating accurate personas to help you give each and every client the personal touch.

4.    Image automation

No matter your specific industry, your clients are likely time-poor and overtaxed. They expect content to be snappy and easily digestible, which makes strong visual content essential—photos and graphics enhance written work and convey information far more quickly than words. But compelling, professional, and original photos don’t always come cheap. This is where AI-powered image editing tools can help you boost your visual game at a fraction of the cost of hiring professional editors. They also make it quick and simple to repurpose your existing images for different sales channels—for example, swapping out photo backgrounds with just a couple of clicks.

5.    Website performance optimization

How often do you monitor your website to identify issues and areas that need improvement? Most marketers don’t have all day to scrutinize their web performance. Experts in the industry use AI-powered tools like Google Analytics to automate the grunt work and keep a constant eye on their website operations. These tools help catch problems before they become critical—for example, if there is a spike in your website’s bounce rate, the software will automatically notify you and send real-time data and other relevant information to help diagnose the issue.

6.    SEO simplification

AI tools do a lot more for SEO than sourcing keywords. Their algorithms can identify trending topics, uncover competitive gaps, predict high-value keywords, insert dynamic keywords in your ads, and more. They can also help you optimize old content, keeping you ahead in the SERPS and ensuring you have a relevant and compelling web presence.

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on B2B

AI has already impacted nearly every field of business, and its footprint will only increase as machine learning grows more and more sophisticated. In B2B, AI is here to stay—it’s just a matter of how well you leverage it. Take a look at some of the following statistics about AI in B2B:

  1.     54% of B2B executives say that implementing AI in their workplace boosted their productivity
  2.     40% of businesses say that customer experience is their top motivator for using AI

A study by Harvard Business Review also showed that companies using AI for sales increased their leads by 50% and found a cost reduction of 40-60%

Why is there such a need for AI in B2B particularly? Well, B2B sales are typically complex. AI can be instrumental in revealing hidden sales patterns, prevalent purchasing paths and identifying high-quality prospects in your funnel. AI-enabled sales processes also help marketers to launch predictive customer analysis and design targeted customer journeys to effectively increase their satisfaction and your ROI. You can also see the influence of AI in:

  1.     Improving cross and upsells
  2.     Accelerating sales cycles
  3.     Reducing customer churn
  4.     Improving forecasting and pipeline hygiene
  5.     Improving ad campaign effectiveness

With purposeful, data-driven marketing, a world of possibilities can be found in the massive volume of interactions businesses have with their customers every day. AI can not only consolidate and analyze this data into valuable insights but enable you to take customer-centered marketing to the next level.

Bottom Line

Artificial intelligence isn’t just transforming the B2B sales industry—it’s revolutionizing it. When leveraged properly, AI can eliminate monotonous tasks from your every day and help you focus on what you do best. In the age of big data and machine learning, the applications of artificial intelligence are legion, and we expect to see more and more reasons to adopt AI tools into your marketing as time goes on. The perfect time to start exploring what AI can do for your business is now.