This article comes from Stewart Townsend’s talk, ‘Boosting revenue performance with AI: Real-world strategies and use cases’, at our Virtual Chief Revenue Officer Summit 2023.
If you feel like your revenue engine is stuck in neutral, AI may provide the boost needed to accelerate growth.
As a fellow revenue leader, I know how challenging it can be to hit increasingly ambitious targets in competitive markets. But I truly believe AI can provide that missing spark to drive performance.
I've seen firsthand how strategic applications of AI can ignite revenue growth and help teams blast past expectations. This isn't theoretical - it's practical, real-world use cases that are transforming sales, marketing, and customer experience operations today.
In this article, I'll share strategies and examples of how AI can pump up lead generation, increase conversion rates, deepen customer intelligence, and automate tedious tasks. These solutions help good revenue engines start humming like a Ferrari.
If you're looking for ways to take your revenue to the next level, tap into the power of AI. Let's rev up!
- The AI revolution is here
- How to utilize AI in your workflows
- New capabilities for small teams
- Risks to consider
- Start small, think big
- The future with AI is bright
The AI revolution is here
What we call "AI" refers to machine learning models that can generate images, text, audio, and more, trained on massive datasets.
But AI isn't entirely new. For over a decade, businesses have used machine learning for predictive lead scoring, data modeling, and more. However, capabilities are accelerating incredibly fast, with systems continuously getting better at generating content and automating tasks.
Tools like ChatGPT for example, showcase advanced natural language capabilities and the possibilities that lie ahead.
Across roles from sales to marketing to customer success, AI is poised to revolutionize business. Revenue leaders who embrace this shift will have a decisive competitive advantage.
Though it’s our duty as revenue leaders, to start developing an AI strategy now, identifying use cases to pilot, and evaluating risks like data privacy and IP concerns.
How to utilize AI in your workflows
Generating content and ideas
Quality content is the fuel for revenue engines - it brings in visitors, converts leads, and nurtures opportunities. But creating content fast enough to feed campaigns is challenging.
AI excels at creating content and ideation, reducing delays for campaigns and content development. Rather than spending days writing a blog post, I can provide a few prompts to AI writing tools like Shortly and Jasper to generate a draft in seconds.
This works for blogs, emails, training materials, and more, and while the output isn't perfect, it provides a strong starting point.
For social media, AI can generate hundreds of optimized posts and creative captions by ingesting relevant data sources and prompts about our offerings.
I've used tools like Rytr AI and Splice to quickly create a month's worth of social content. AI can also create videos; we used synthesized AI voice and video clips for YouTube Shorts.
By alleviating creative barriers and bottlenecks that slow down campaign velocity, AI lets us develop content faster to feed our revenue engines.
Automating sales prospecting
Prospecting is tedious but essential work. AI can help automate these time-consuming tasks to increase sales productivity.
With the right tools and frameworks, AI can generate personalized, engaging email sequences, call scripts, LinkedIn messages, and videos at scale.
For example, our sales reps record short video introductions that AI tools like D-ID and Synthesia can convert into photorealistic videos tailored to each prospect with their name and company details seamlessly integrated.
This level of personalization and automation enhances outreach while saving reps hours of manual work.
We've also used AI like Gong's Reach tool for automated email personalization and Seamless.ai's conversation intelligence capabilities to analyze sales calls and automatically generate smart follow-ups.
Customer intelligence and hyper-personalization
Understanding customers is critical, and truly understanding each customer is impossible at scale without AI. It provides instant insights into customer behavior, purchases, and preferences that can power 1:1 messaging.
By connecting datasets and leveraging predictive analytics, we can build detailed customer profiles and micro-segmentations.
Our marketing team uses customer intelligence platforms like AgencyAnalytics, and Personalization.com to target users with personalized content, offers, and experiences tailored to their needs.
In sales, we leverage conversation intelligence and interaction data to hyper-personalize follow-ups. Our account executives use tools like Chorus.ai to capture calls and Gong to analyze them.
This all allows us to drive higher engagement and conversion. Based on what prospects say and do, we can also tailor future outreach for better relevancy.
AI doesn't replace human intelligence but provides all the customer insights needed to have meaningful engagement.
New capabilities for small teams
Leveraging AI, small teams can gain enterprise-class capabilities that typically require an army of specialists.
A few examples:
🧠 Conversational intelligence to analyze customer engagement
🔮 Predictive lead scoring to identify high-propensity prospects
👀 Customer data integration to build 360-degree views
💡 Automated outbound campaigns with personalized text, email, and video
💻 Content creation for blogs, emails, social posts and more
With the right strategy and tools, small teams can leverage AI to drive enterprise-level results on a startup budget.
Democratization of these technologies truly levels the playing field!
Risks to consider
While promising, AI has risks around data privacy, IP, and legal compliance that require diligence.
Output may contain biases or problematic content if the underlying training data has issues. Continued human oversight is absolutely key.
When developing an AI strategy:
- Vet AI providers carefully.
- Review output initially before full deployment.
- Have people involved in key decisions, not fully autonomous systems.
- Consult legal counsel on liabilities.
- Store training data securely and comply with regulations.
AI done right mitigates risks while unleashing benefits. But unmonitored AI can potentially create legal exposure or PR issues, so make sure to manage risks appropriately.
Start small, think big
I'm still early in my AI journey, but I’m already seeing major benefits. My advice is to start small with a few use cases, track results diligently, and expand from there.
With the right vision, AI can transform revenue operations. But approach implementation gradually and thoughtfully. You don't need leading-edge AI to gain advantages - even simple automation delivers value.
Prioritize mundane tasks as the first place to apply AI. Content creation, data entry, customer research, lead list development, appointment setting, and call/email workflows are all areas ripe for automation. Productivity gains compound over time.
Monitor impact, address risks, and educate staff as you scale usage. This ensures you apply AI judiciously and strategically. With the right oversight and governance, AI will provide your revenue engine rocket fuel.
The future with AI is bright
These are still early days, but AI is already enhancing revenue performance. As the technology advances, and best practices evolve, I expect AI will become an indispensable part of our stack.
I don't have all the answers yet on AI - it's a journey. But the use cases I've shared demonstrate real, tangible value in areas like content creation, sales productivity, and customer intelligence. There are so many more applications to explore.
If you're skeptical about AI, I encourage you to dive in and run small tests. See for yourself the time and workload reductions these tools enable. And get ahead of the curve, because your competition is definitely exploring AI already.
Done right, AI will boost revenue, delight customers, and future-proof your business. I can't wait to see how this technology transforms our capabilities and catalyzes results.
The future is bright, and AI will light the way!
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