You’ve probably heard the saying. Maybe you’ve seen the movie. Either way, if you’re in sales or marketing, you know the push to close, sell, sell, and then sell more. But have you noticed that more brands are adopting tactics in both marketing and sales that, while shiny and exciting, don’t “be closing”? For example, let’s look at how brands have tried to use AI for sales in social media.
When the first brands jumped on to Twitter or Facebook and used social media as a way to interact with potential customers and build a brand identity, they delighted users. This new field was exciting and unexpected. Brands had a new tool to get feedback and offer information to their markets. And since both the platforms and brands were relatively new to the field, it was much easier for brands to reach those users.
As popularity grows on any platform, both old and new, the messaging and opportunity for brands dilutes. There’s too much traffic to cut through! All the users and brands competing for eyeballs and attention are making it harder and harder for brands to make an impact. At this point, many brands have given up on using social media as a tool to close sales. It has been relegated to the list of tactics for building brand recognition, and in many cases, customer service.
Enter the chatbot for “social sales”
The next big frontier for social media is adding a cadre of chatbots to manage the volume of messages. These bots are used for a variety of purposes—from FAQ to appointment setting, sending email and more. While useful in some situations, and surely gathering a lot of attention from media, investors, and more, bots just aren’t the salespeople brands need.
When can bots close a sale? When the interested party knows exactly what he or she wants to buy, without any questions. Well, that’s nice, but what’s the point, then? How does that bot help increase your sales and improve the bottom line? Let’s take pizza for example. A man wants to order a large pepperoni pizza from his favorite joint. He can jump on Facebook Messenger and shoot over “large pepperoni tonight” and the chatbot will take it from there.
Great! You probably saved some time and made things really convenient for him. But that’s not active selling. That’s not closing a new deal, that’s just another channel for closing the sales you already have. How can we use AI for sales in a way that actually works?
Using artificial intelligence to boost sales
So we’re being kind of hard on chatbots, but they’re just not that useful yet. At least for brands looking to find cutting-edge tactics that actually boost sales numbers. While we are looking at an age of never before seen data about when and what people are shopping for, brands still struggle to find ways to use that information.
This is where artificial intelligence makes the difference in sales, not with salesbots. AI is the only way to comb through the millions of users and messages going out through social platforms to identify, engage, and direct those users. The ultimate goal: engaging them in a way that leads to them taking the action you give them! Whether that’s buying a pizza, getting an oil change, or even voting.
For better or for worse, the bots we’ve got access to aren’t really ready for primetime with customers. That’s got to stay in the hands of humans. But, we can use AI for sales to do things humans could never do on a scale humans could never achieve.
ai, artificial intelligence, Hybrid Artificial Intelligence, social media, Social Sales