Decoding The Current State of SDR Automation Platform Powered by AI
We are using AI in SDR Automation to understand what is the next best question to ask when it’s a good time to close the conversation, and also when to push some marketing content in the conversational form if the lead shows interest.
Sales teams are getting smarter and tech-savvy, thanks to the prolific adoption of AI and automation tools that significantly remove, and in some cases, totally eliminate the labor-intensive work of engaging, nurturing, qualifying and booking meetings with leads. Yaron Ismah-Moshe, Co-Founder and CPO at Exceed.ai, spoke to us about SDR automation technology and how current trends in AI and automation could maximize marketing and sales investments with a cost-friendly virtual sales development rep.
What is Exceed.ai?
Exceed.ai is the next generation conversational-driven marketing and sales platform. We use AI, machine learning and conversational bot technology to generate more qualified opportunities by automating lead capturing, qualification and nurturing. Unlike traditional marketing and sales platforms that rely on forms, one-way email campaigns and manual follow-ups, Exceed.ai automates many of the customer interactions currently performed manually – like a virtual assistant to your sales and marketing teams.
How do you deliver conversations at scale to your customers?
Exceed.ai has vast experience in building conversational UI. We started our journey more than two years ago building and optimizing conversational UI for both B2C and B2B companies. We learned, based on real data, what works and what does not, what navigates a better conversation and what is the right timing to contact a lead.
When our customers buy Exceed.ai, they are getting this knowledge and experience out of the box, as part of our product. Our engine continues to learn and improve the ML models of all customers based on its learning with other customers. When a new customer on boards with Exceed, he gets set of predefined intents such as out of office, interested, contact later, etc., as well as business-related questions like pricing, competition and many more. Our customers don’t need to think about all possible conversation scenarios, we’ve got them covered!
How do you define and build “The Path to Sales Mastery” using CRM and automation?
RM is the system of records for our customers and we are not going to change it soon. This is the place when leads are being created and this is the tool the sales guys, as well as the management teams, are looking at.
Exceed.ai works alongside the top CRMs by pulling the leads or contacts automatically from the CRM. It then works on them, qualifies them and sets up a meeting or hands over to a human rep. The “The Path to Sales Mastery” in today’s world forces companies to use more AI and automation. This is in order to be able to work at scale and make sure their best sales guys are investing their time talking to qualified opportunities and not chasing and answering manually to unqualified leads.
What is the current state of SDR Automation platform? What makes it the go-to tool for sales teams?
Today, there are many great tools which help the SDR to manage their qualification process. However, none of them are automating the conversation between the lead and the SDR. Companies know how to bring leads into the funnel – usually, it’s a function of money. The more money you spend, the more leads you’ll get. Afterward comes the job of the SDR to qualify these leads through the “middle of the funnel”. Many companies struggle in this stage as they have too many leads to touch and process.
As of now, the current solutions are to either scale by adding more SDRs or do lead prioritization in terms of scoring factors. In both cases there is a lack of scaling – hiring more SDRs is a long process of finding the right people, recruiting training and retaining them. While you’re prioritizing your leads, you might miss some diamonds in your long tail of opportunities. We at Exceed.ai let you touch all your leads without recruiting more SDRs or prioritizing one lead over another.
What makes Exceed.ai different from other sales technology platforms?
While other platforms help you manage relevant parts of the sales process and give analytics and insights on the process, Exceed.ai executes the sales playbook on behalf of the rep. The rep can then focus on the actual closure of deals and not waste time answering lead objections, asking qualification questions, capturing relevant information and adding it into the CRM, put reminders to follow up with the lead and even deal with scheduling the meeting with the account executive.
Exceed lets you scale your SDR team and not just managing the qualification process.
What are your B2B sales goals and how do you leverage sales enablement and readiness tools to achieve your goals?
Our goal right now is to onboard more B2B companies which have a digital lead qualification and have a higher ratio of leads to SDRs. This is our sweet spot and where we can show great ROI as we have we have done with some of our customers. We are using HubSpot CRM together with our product to reach out to potential leads and convert them into prospects and paying customers. Almost all of our current customer base passed through this journey and were qualified by our SDR virtual assistant who answered their questions, qualified them and scheduled meetings with a human from our sales team.
How can AI-driven conversational forms and chat deliver much more than their present capacity?
Our AI-driven conversational form generates more leads for our customers. As opposed to the traditional lead capturing form where you need to enter all fields and you have no option to ask questions during the acquisition phase, we let you start a conversation with the lead (and the qualification process in parallel) during the lead capturing phase.
With our AI-driven conversational form, a lead can ask any question about the product, competition or pricing, and answer in the context of objections.
We are using AI to understand what is the next best question to ask when it’s a good time to close the conversation, and also when to push some marketing content in the conversational form if the lead shows interest.
One of the very first pieces of information we capture in the AI-driven conversational form is the email address of the lead so that we can keep the qualification process with the lead over email if he abandons the process. This seamless integration between our AI-driven conversational form to the AI-driven virtual assistant over email is one of the advantages of using our product.
How should sales organizations strategize and deliver on their conversational platforms?
First, we need to understand what the pain points of the sales organizations’ are. Are they not getting enough leads from website visitors? Do they have too many leads they have to qualify?
Once we understand the pain points, we can recommend the right sales conversational strategy. Our customers using our Exceed.ai strategies have seen an almost identical conversion rate for qualified meetings.
Given the current shift in analytics and customer intelligence, what skills and knowledge do sales tech product innovation teams need to close deals faster?
Sales tech product innovation teams need to acknowledge the fact that their buyers don’t have too much time to waste on sales interactions. All of us are super busy – tending to move from one thing to another quickly, expecting to get responses fast, becoming impatient if someone tries to oversell to us, or does not approach at the right time with the right content.
Therefore, sales tech product innovation teams should leverage AI to engage their buyers on time, with the right content and according to their expectations.
How could AI in sales and marketing further disrupt SaaS platforms for sales? How do you prepare for the disruptive sales ecosystem?
AI works the best when you have a large amount of data. This helps the machine to optimize the model and predict more accurately. There is an expensive large set of data in the Sales and Marketing field and we should use it to be able to reach relevant buyers in a personal way at scale. This is why we named our company Exceed AI.
We are using AI to help companies touch their buyers at the right time, in the right way, responding to them immediately and qualifying each group of leads in a different way based on historical data of what works and what does not. AI is playing and will play a major part in the sales and marketing era. Exceed is already there.