Can artificial intelligence directly increase business revenue?
As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to replicate human intelligence in machines, the possibilities for businesses to use this technology seem endless. With this and a steady rate of AI adoption in mind, many executives are asking themselves if they, too, should begin making investments in AI technology.
Several reasons may cause a business to get on board, but the one that should stand out most is the financial benefit in doing so. A 2017 PwC report indicates 72% of business decision-makers agree that AI will create a competitive advantage in the future. This advantage will help you retain your existing customer base, as well as reach potential new markets that competitors may currently claim.
In our view, it’s clear that artificial intelligence can be an instrumental tool for increasing your business revenue when leveraged correctly. And that applies to businesses of virtually any size.
These are the key ways in which artificial intelligence directly impacts revenue today. But let’s begin with a few general processes.
The importance of AI adoption
As time progresses and the technology being used to replicate human intelligence advances, AI will slowly become one of the most powerful tools in a business’s arsenal.
Many people view AI as simply complex robotics systems. However, most AI tools are just computer software programs that run on existing software. Programs are trained to complete tasks that humans would typically complete, but at faster, more accurate speeds.
A few examples of what these programs are capable of include:
Processing large sets of information and translating the data into a format for more straightforward human analysis
Powering machines and robotics in warehouse operations
Automating customer interactions and enhancing their experiences
Creating personalized marketing campaigns
By becoming an early adopter of modern technology that uses advanced AI, your business will be more prepared to meet the evolving demands of the future. Especially when those demands are symptomatic of the competitive landscape that modern businesses face today.
AI to boost sales
Many business executives want to find simplified solutions to boost their sales numbers. Whether that means investing in the right technology, adopting marketing solutions, or undergoing product evaluations, AI can be beneficial to these processes.
1. Targeted marketing strategies
A strong marketing strategy is integral to the success of any organization. Targeting your campaigns to reach your ideal market best is one of the most important aspects of a successful marketing strategy. With AI-enabled marketing tools, such as chatbots, data collection software, and advertising platforms, the possibilities are seemingly endless for marketers.
These tools can help increase sales by reaching the right target market with specific advertisements aimed to meet the needs of new and existing customers.
In marketing AI helps you:
Identify consumer trends from social media and search history
Create target buyer segments
Prepare tailored marketing messaging
Targeted marketing strategies and personalization have been strong trends over the last decade, and a popular strategy for companies such as Netflix and Amazon. Consumers today expect more personalized marketing and advertising, and generic messages are less effective.
Using AI marketing tools to create a customized strategy can also be beneficial in increasing the revenue from marketing efforts you’re already conducting, and evaluating their effectiveness.
2. Refining the sales funnel
Leveraging AI to analyze data can help identify trends and patterns in consumer behavior and sales leads. Computer software can easily process this information and send highly qualified leads to the sales team, versus unqualified leads to the marketing team for further vetting.
That means as the system sorts through large sets of consumer data, AI can score each prospect to highlight those leads which are most likely to be profitable in the sales process.
The more data you have, the more the program learns and the more effective it becomes. These improvements are the at the heart of what makes AI intelligent.
And of course, the outcome is lead qualification in seconds. Sales teams could spend hours researching the information that machines likely already know or could pick up almost instantly.
AI can help cut costs
Evaluating where your business can cut costs is arguably just as important as boosting sales to grow revenue. When AI is used in daily operations, several cost-cutting tactics may begin to emerge.
Through automated workflows, smarter data analysis, and streamlined customer service operations, AI can be a powerful cost-cutting tool.
1. Automated workflows
Automated workflows help employees complete repetitive and time-intensive tasks such as data analysis, employee recruiting, and customer support. Relief from these tasks lets your teams devote more time to targeted experiences that have the potential of yielding higher sales.
Or in other words: they have time to do better work.
Since automation technology began to emerge, it has proven to be a worthwhile investment that could save businesses upwards of $4 million annually.
AI is also known for being vastly more accurate than the alternative. Humans made a lot of mistakes, and these errors often add up to huge operational costs. Machines can significantly reduce the rate of these inefficiencies and errors. For example, recruiters can leverage automated recruiting software to streamline their hiring processes and reduce time filling positions manually.
By using an agile enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that encompasses AI technology, you can more easily identify inefficiencies in production and streamline those processes. An ERP software integrates all of the various functions of a business into one easy to manage software system to help streamline production across the organization.
2. Data analysis
AI can be used to retrieve large data sets within a matter of seconds and translate that information into a more easily digestible format for humans to analyze. Additionally, there is little to no error when using machines, empowering decision makers with the information needed to make intelligent decisions.
The data AI powers can then be used to:
Develop smarter pricing strategies
Highlight areas where operational costs can be reduced
Uncover inefficiencies in production
And once again, this analysis can be done in real time, instantly.
3. Customer service operations
Using intelligent chatbots to power your customer service operations saves your business from spending time answering questions and feedback while remaining authentic with your audience. These chatbots help cut costs by eliminating expensive call centers that have long proven to be ineffective and inefficient for customer service.
Though chatbots cannot replace all important human interactions for customers, they can:
Replicate human-to-customer service experiences to an impressive standard
Provide consumers with 24/7 availability to answer questions and concerns outside of business hours
Offer seamless transactions, helping reduce customer frustrations
Support virtually any language
Understand and separate the intent of each message and mark them appropriately with a priority level
More efficient customer service - especially outside of business hours - can only be good for business.
It’s time to embrace AI - if you haven’t already
Eventually, AI will be viewed as a critical asset to remain competitive in any industry. With cost-cutting tools and sales-boosting capabilities benefiting anyone who adopts this technology, it's a powerful tool, no doubt.
Though it can provide many business owners with feelings of anxiety and complexity, AI may be more simplistic than you imagine. In fact, many of the Saas tools and services you use today likely already incorporate it.
There are many technologies readily available on the marketplace today for businesses of any size to take advantage of. Conduct your research early on by turning to the internet, industry leaders, and other experts who will be able to provide you with solutions tailored to your unique business needs.
Finding AI-driven solutions that fit your business and adopting them early on will almost certainly have a positive effect on increasing your business revenue.