In a perfect world, the lead generation process would’ve been seamless. You generate leads via inbound and outbound marketing campaigns. You have a good conversion rate from Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). You convert customers and do business with them happily ever after.
But the world we live in isn’t even remotely perfect now, is it? Businesses are still struggling with just the first aspect of acquiring new customers as 61 percent of marketers rank lead generation as their number one challenge.
Fortunately, we have hope in the form of Artificial Intelligence. Just like how AI is aiding businesses and media houses in a lot of areas, lead generation is no different.
But since this is still a novel concept for most industries, a lot of marketers are confused as to how to implement AI in the lead generation process.
Lucky for you, you’re about to find out.
#1 Predictive lead scoring
In a lot of instances, it’s not really the lead generation process that is challenging per se. You run ad campaigns and you get a good number of leads. But the issue arises when only a handful of these leads are sales qualified leads—ones that are actually eligible to buy your products/services.
So instead of chasing leads that are not going to convert, you can use AI to predict lead scores based on historic and current customer data. This type of data is designed to utilize analytic data to find prospective customers.
For your sales team, it’s a blessing because the model also predicts the time needed to close deals. It assigns a score to each lead and the higher the score, the higher chances of the lead getting qualified. The sales team can prioritize to get the maximum value from the lead qualification process. It eliminates considerable guesswork to pursue a lead and increases their win rate.
#2 Chatbots powered by AI
All our conversations about lead generation are incomplete without the mention of chatbots. While any chatbot can help you generate leads, AI chatbots help you qualify them and also recommends products and services based on user conversations.
Conversational AI-powered chatbots engage customers 24*7 across multiple channels in multiple languages.
Chatbots don’t just converse but based on the conversations analyze the real-time interactions, intent recognition, and qualification. All you need to do is program them to only add qualified in your CRM integration. It will easily segregate leads from your contacts for the sales team. As it converses, it can recommend products on the chat interface based on customer preferences and leverage upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Although implementing AI chatbots may sound expensive, they’re actually not. A lot of chatbot providers offer reasonable chatbot pricing and allow businesses to leverage AI in their lead generation process. More so, even building an AI chatbot doesn’t require any technical prowess. Just an NLP integration like Dialogflow with your chatbot is all you need to build an AI chatbot.
#3 Gather customer insights
Conventional marketing decisions were taken on assumptions. Maybe the customers like solving their issues via a call. Maybe the website is the best channel. Maybe most of our customers are the youth. Although marketers used historic data, it never gave the surety of why a customer behaved a certain way and how to target new customers based on this behavior.
Research suggests that 57 percent of brands are still incorrectly interpreting data and getting incorrect results.
AI is changing that. It provides deeper insights into why a customer behaves the way they do. It helps you automatically gather data from a wide array of channels and analyze their online behavior, that is from their channel preferences, and language preferences, to their demographics, purchasing habits, etc.
This saves immense time and effort in building customer profiles and creating targeted campaigns. AI-backed insights provide unbiased reports on customers that help you narrow down your lead generation efforts.
#4 Personalized experiences
Since customers are evolving, doing the basics don’t work anymore. No customer today wants to be spammed with irrelevant emails or calls or be fed content that doesn’t relate to them in any way. If you want your visitors to turn into leads, you need to deliver personalized experiences to them. This means showing them content they want to see, using the tone they’re used to, etc.
Using AI, you can display hyper-personalized content to the visitor based on their browsing profile or previous consumption habits. AI can also target specific users with advertisements that are meant to drive them to specific landing pages. This creates a pool of prospects that are already engaging with your brand but haven’t been reached out to by the marketing or sales team yet.
For example, you can utilize content experience software to engage the audience with meticulously drafted content that is specific to a type of user rather than a one-for-all fit content. An example of the same can be ads and copies that speak to a specific user’s interests or pain points, thus providing value-added content that leaves a lasting impression.
#5 Accurately segment leads
The success of a lead generation campaign largely depends on your lead segmentation. Segmenting is breaking your audience into groups based on their demographics, purchasing power, purchase history, and so on.
Segmenting leads sounds great. Until you have an extensive customer base and it seems almost impossible to divide your prospects into smaller sets that help you target them better.
Enter AI and machine learning.
With machine learning, you can automate the segmenting process by editing variables such as email subject lines, copies, colors, CTAs, images, and so on. You can have different combinations of each variable.
All you need to do is choose the initial set of options such as writing the copies, CTA, and headlines and let AI handle the rest. This way, you can optimize your subscriber lists and optimize your campaigns to suit individual segments regardless of how complex or lengthy they are.
Lead generation is challenging in all industries, be it a media house or a manufacturing company. And everyone can use a little AI in their lives. They simplify a lot of issues relating to generating traffic and site conversions. They strike the right chord of personalization and amplify user engagement on all your channels.
Since many service industries are already at the forefront of implementing AI, you need to catch up too to keep up with the changing customer expectations and evolving market conditions.