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Using AI for B2B Sales and Marketing Lead Generation

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artificial intelligence in marketing

Using AI for B2B Sales and Marketing Lead Generation

Artificial intelligence might make you think of movies like “Terminator 2” and other similar entertainment. But it’s a very real and growing technology that will continue to impact the marketplace worldwide.

At some point, if not already, it will touch your business in some way or another.

As it continues to plug into our existing technological landscape, it also becomes more and more worthwhile to learn about. Here, we want to share how you can use it to increase both your B2B (business to business) sales and marketing lead generation.

Let’s start off with an increasingly common example:

Many companies are using both intelligent assistants and chatbots. (Both are features of artificial intelligence.) This practice is born out of necessity because customers want a personalized style of interaction, but organizations may not have enough employees to meet those needs.

Chatbot software is used to have an online chat on behalf of an organization. It automates conversations and can help guide people to find the answers they’re looking for. You’ve likely encountered one of these on a website, where it appears like someone wants to help you navigate the site.

An intelligent assistant is similar in the fact that it’s a machine that interacts with people (in a human-seeming way) outside an organization on its behalf. Apple’s Siri is a great example. Or Microsoft’s Cortana.

Woman using iPhone to talk to Siri

Of course, those are just two examples of how artificial intelligence is being used by companies today. Things go further with MarTech. 

Don’t know what MarTech is?

Think “marketing technology.” It’s software marketers use to boost their efforts. And as organizations grow more popular with their customers, they often need to scale, which means making revenues outpace costs.

Artificial intelligence is one way more and more marketers are scaling things like B2B sales and lead generations.

So, let’s talk about it.

What is artificial intelligence in marketing?

AI marketing uses a series of algorithms and machine learning to make automated decisions based on available data.

Let’s look at some quick facts:

  •  It uses data analysis, natural language processing (like those chatbots we earlier discussed) and it can create unique content.
  •  It uses data to help understand customer needs, which is (as you know) HUGE in marketing.
  • It’s wildly popular in marketing and sales industries which had the third-highest rate of AI adoption.

Let’s look at some quick facts about AI (thanks to Semrush). Keep these in mind when considering whether to use it in your marketing and sales approaches.

  • By 2030, AI will lead to an estimated $15.7 trillion, or 26% increase in global GDP.
  • Up to 80% of retail executives expect their retail companies to adopt AI-powered intelligent automation by 2027. 
  • About 80% of marketers in 2020 already had chatbots as part of their customer experience strategy. 
  •  More than 50% of eCommerce players have implemented automation technologies across sales, marketing and customer service teams to ensure a seamless user experience for customers.
  •  About 48% of companies use data analysis, machine learning or AI tools to address data quality issues. 
  • In a survey asking why businesses use chatbots, respondents stated the major benefits are 24-hour service (64%), instant responses to inquiries (55%) and answers to simple questions (55%). 
  • Digital assistant usage worldwide is expected to double to 8.4 billion by 2024. 

What are future trends related to marketing for lead generation?

When it comes to lead generation, let’s quickly establish the difference between MQLs and SQLs.

An MQL is a marketing-qualified lead. This means the lead has engaged with your marketing. Perhaps they clicked on your content. This is different from SQLs.

SQLs are sales-qualified leads. This is when your lead is ready to interact with your sales team. They’ve learned enough and are closer to making a purchase.

Once MQLs are vetted, they are turned over to the sales team and become SQLs.  

Regarding MQLs, you want your target audience to interact with your marketing content. In the future, that may involve social selling and personalization, which are big and getting bigger.

Canned messaging just doesn’t work like it used to. In other words, you need to find what makes each candidate unique and use that information to resonate with them.

And artificial intelligence can play a crucial role in that.

How is artificial intelligence in marketing used for lead generation?

Artificial intelligence can help assist in lead generation. How? To help with chores like:

  • Tracking down leads
  •  Qualifying those leads
  • Putting together customer profiles
  • Crafting personalized messaging for those leads; remember canned messaging is OUT
  • Gathering information from users that will make an impact
  •  Learning lessons using data to improve future lead generation
  • Sending out high-quality emails to generate leads, using optimized subject lines based on someone’s browsing history on your website

Using AI in digital marketing for lead generation will soon be “must” if you want to keep up with the competition.  

What are the future trends for B2B sales?

Focusing on building relationships is a wise thing to invest in when it comes to B2B relationships. With each client relationship worth a lot of money, it is crucial to guide them along the journey.

These buyers seek a healthy mix of in-person meetings and phone calls versus digital contact.

Why should I use artificial intelligence in B2B?

It turns out leading B2B organizations use software that helps buyers make purchasing choices, allowing these consumers to quickly get the information they want.

And click-to-chat support programs are a solid way to offer that “personal” support. And this is where experts suggest a hybrid chat.

Don’t know what a hybrid chat is? It’s one where an artificial intelligence program can suggest things that a human employee can simply approve. If a further human touch is required, that employee can take over from the AI.

In the meantime, here is a list of how AI can help with B2B sales — leaving you with more time and resources to offer additional personal, human interaction to your customers.

  • It can effectively track campaigns, including monitoring the outcomes of various customer touchpoints.
  • You can more easily predict how well a campaign will do.
  • It can help you optimize campaigns to reach your maximum return on investment.
  • It can help you isolate the most valuable insights and act upon them quickly.
  • In fact, you can make many decisions more quickly, thanks to automation.
  • Predictive analytics can help you better see purchasing patterns that will help you estimate purchasing decisions.
  • It shrinks the chances of incorrect data interpretation.
  • It helps support optimal data integration.
  • It gets rid of data silos.

At this point, we anticipate you may have a question we’ve seen multiple times…

How is artificial intelligence different from automation?

Artificial intelligence seeks to simulate how people think. It uses machine learning. It’s more interactive.

Automation, on the other hand, doesn’t attempt to “solve” problems. It just follows previously programmed steps to accomplish goals. It doesn’t “learn” or “adjust.”

What tools can I use for artificial intelligence in marketing?

We’ve established some important background information. Now it’s time to look at a number of tools that will help you bring artificial intelligence into your marketing endeavors.  

PhantomBuster can assist with lead generation.  It allows you to:

  • Source qualified leads from all over the internet
  • Fill in the gaps within your database using contact enrichment building out valid phone numbers, emails addresses, and more to your contact lists
  • Create personalized outreach campaigns while monitoring your business and staying one step ahead of the competition

SeamlessAI is another recommended tool to pursue sales leads using artificial intelligence. With this tool, you can:

  • Directly connect with ideal customers
  • Craft effective messaging that will resonate with the right target at the ideal time
  • Build lists anywhere on the internet with a special Chrome extension
  • Enrich your data with your leads’ most updated information
  • Use automation for building out your pipeline
  • Directly export your existing tech stack in one click

Zoho’s Zia is a virtual assistant. This is a tool that:

  • Analyzes sales patterns and recommends what to cross-sell for your customers
  • Predicts which of your customers is likely to make a repeat purchase
  • Helps you quickly find all communications and details regarding specific leads
  • Acts as a bot on your website to help answer common questions from visitors
  • Analyzes visitors’ sales histories and other patterns to recommend other items

AgencyAnalytics helps you scale your marketing agency with automated client reporting. With this tool, you can:

  • Automate your reports
  • Create customer dashboards
  • Manage all your team and user activity
  • Analyze call sources and recordings

We hope this quick preview of these tools helps you on your path toward considering artificial intelligence. But AI, while useful, is still being developed. And it’s not something you need to rely on entirely for things like marketing for lead generation or help with B2B sales.

There is a wide variety of important components in marketing, and you may need assistance outside of artificial intelligence. 

Interested in learning more about how MarTech can improve your company?

JSMM is at the forefront of MarTech and is an ideal resource to guide you to the information and services you need. We can also assist you with a wide variety of services, including social media marketing, content creation, public relations & influencer marketing, SEO/SEM, digital advertising, growth marketing, digital and competitor audits, reputation management, branding and more.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Written by

Valerie Jennings, founder and CEO of Jennings Social Media & MarTech (JSMM), is a trailblazing entrepreneur who established her agency in 2003 at just 24 years old. A pioneer in leveraging social media for marketing since 2005, Valerie has transformed JSMM from a niche PR firm into a globally recognized digital marketing powerhouse. Her strategic foresight and commitment to innovation earned her accolades such as the Top Women in Media Honoree and Marketing Executive of the Year by the Stevie Awards. An advocate for AI in marketing, Valerie holds an AI Certification from Coursera, led by Andrew Ng of Stanford University.

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