Many are quick to say that certain technology trends are little more than buzzwords in the market, and artificial intelligence (AI), for some in the business-to-business space, is just that. But David Elkington, CEO and founder of InsideSales.com, links the disconnect between AI and enterprise solutions to a widespread confusion as to what artificial intelligence truly is. As an umbrella term, AI describes the data, science, and applications that meaningfully create outcomes for individuals or groups of individuals. Currently, this covers machine learning, decision trees, and expert systems; but the technology is far more prevalent in consumer markets than it is across business sectors.
“If you think about it, we all interact with AI as consumers on a daily basis, through a variety of technologies and applications like Nest, Waze, Amazon, and Yelp,” Elkington explains. “But in business, our lives are not yet as integrated with artificial intelligence, and that leaves room for misunderstanding and mistrust.”
"The InsideSales AI platform uses billions of cross company data points to deliver extraordinary customer value"
It is common for AI to be defined as an algorithm, working to optimise information and the impact that information has on a certain activity. While the math is part of the equation, Elkington and InsideSales.com as a company are bringing to light the more important aspects of artificial intelligence and its ability to create value in the business environment. By tapping into artificial intelligence as a more robust, comprehensive driver of outcomes for enterprises, InsideSales.com is shaping the way individuals and companies accelerate the sales of their products in the B2B space.
Harnessing AI Elements
Elkington has built InsideSales.com on the back of artificial intelligence by honing in on the three aspects of the innovative technology: data, science, and applications.
“For artificial intelligence to produce the types of outcomes that have value for businesses, there must be a large quantity of high-quality data involved,” he says. “As an example, in 2008, Amazon had just under 90 million unique customers each month and several hundred million transactions from which data could be extracted. In the consumer space, that’s relatively simple to gather, but in an enterprise environment, the quantity isn’t always there.”
In addition to the quantity, businesses leveraging AI must also have quality data. Elkington explains, “The elements of data that matter in AI include having a global data set that provides an accurate representation of people. Data must also be cross-company so that the biases that come from a single view of a single company are not inherent. Data must also include an element of human behavior, and it must be understood within context and outcomes for the business.” InsideSales.com labels data that encompasses each of these aspects as “neural data,” and this is what is used to create its powerful engine for driving more efficient growth in sales organisations.
For AI to produce the types of outcomes that have value for businesses there must be a large quantity of high-quality data involved
Artificial intelligence in any capacity has the element of science, or math, built in, but Elkington points out that this component is the least important. “The math has been around for 60 years, and while algorithms have evolved, the changes are nominally different.” There are several open source platforms that offer many of the algorithms used in today’s AI, so it is necessary for companies wanting to leverage the space to focus in on the data and the applications.
“AI without an application or a defined purpose has minimal value,” Elkington says, “and the applications used in AI must also be seamlessly integrated into the consumption workflow. That’s the key to success.” When high-quality data is provided in enough quantity, and then combined with the right science and intuitive applications, enterprises can utilise AI to impact outcomes both in the immediate and long-term. InsideSales.com understands that this is where the value lies for businesses, and within sales organisations, the technology of AI has the potential to offer the most help.
InsideSales can effectively shift the thinking around AI and its potential because of the company’s vast amount of global, cross-company, human behavioral, and contextualised data sets.
“The AI platform InsideSales.com offers encapsulates roughly 100 million unique worldwide profiles,” says Elkington. “These are groups of people that buy, engage, or interact in a common way. There are also between 30 and 40 million company data sets, along with more than 100 billion behavioral interactions, which include anything that occurs between a buyer and seller.”
Taking into account phone calls, conversations, website interactions, purchases, e-mail click-throughs, and online searches for a defined topic, InsideSales.com can incorporate all the ways buyers are digitally engaged with a brand. Similarly, InsideSales.com collects billions of points of contextual data, such as regional weather, sporting events, political changes, and other notable happenings, all of which can be reasonably structured and normalised. With this information, InsideSales. com has created an AI system for growth that leverages neural data to help organisations determine who to sell to, how to engage with them, and the optimal timing for doing so.
Buyer behaviors have changed dramatically with the onslaught of the digital revolution, and InsideSales.com is the only company which can meet the challenges of these shifting buyer needs. Through distinct platforms that run on the company’s neural data backed AI, InsideSales.com customers can drive sales growth exponentially.
With the predictive sales cadence agent, Predictive Playbooks, sales reps are able to seamlessly integrate AI into their workflow, weaving together a highly personalised and optimised engagement engine. With Predictive Pipeline, a sales pipeline management solution, companies can accurately predict the sales outcome of a specific timeframe, based on the sales cycle and the elements and players involved in the sales experience, specific to each organisation.
InsideSales.com also offers Predictive Cloud, which leverages neural data, science, and applications to create predictive questions around pricing, cross-sell optimisation, and custom or additional data sets, all benefit from large sets of data that may be siloed across the organisation in legacy systems.
Through each solution, Elkington explains, “AI is leveraged to create a return on investment, with customers achieving revenue uplift from the high single digits upward of 35 percent. For salespersons using this type of technology, sales optimisation and growth are highly impacted.”
Accelerating Business Momentum
Many of the world’s most innovative, large B2B organisations tap into the power of InsideSales.com to achieve optimised engagement with current customers, prospective buyers, and other leads. One recent success story of InsideSales.com has been its partnership with Pure Storage, a rapidly growing data technology, and business intelligence company.
“We had an overarching challenge of ensuring the solutions provided along with the technology and processes behind it were helping the business scale,” says Yousuf Khan, CIO of Pure Storage. “We sought out InsideSales.com to use Momentum (InsideSales.com’s consulting services) and improve best practices on running a sales organisation.”
Through the engagement with InsideSales.com, Pure Storage was able to assess what it had been doing regarding sales and what it needed to do moving forward. Through a combination of platform engagement, including predictive analytics and dialing, Pure Storage was able to achieve an increased call volume among its sales reps, as well as a much deeper engagement with prospects and customers to help build the pipeline.
“Using the InsideSales algorithms combined with the vast data on buyers, sellers, and customer engagement it has collated throughout years of research, we were able to get a much better viewpoint on how to improve processes with the help of AI,” says Khan.
InsideSales.com thoroughly understands the use of AI in business cases, and its innovation continues as more enterprises recognise the potential of the data, science, and applications involved.
“The company continuously finds value for customers in neural data, and we are always looking at this data differently,” says Elkington. “That creates a lot of opportunities for customers to think about their sales team behavior, the content of their interactions, and how that influences growth across the entire organisation.”
InsideSales is focused on helping its customers succeed by continuing conversations about what value can be driven through AI technology in practice. InsideSales is expanding its footprint into more verticals, like financial services, healthcare, and telecommunications, as well as reaching new heights in mobile solutions for sellers.
“InsideSales is positioned to consistently deliver value to our customers in a sales environment,” says Elkington, “by building on the strong foundation of neural data and our deep understanding of AI.”