A top 3 global cloud services provider approached us with a unique problem. Due to the dramatic growth in their product and services offerings, they needed to increase their inside sales team’s productivity without hiring more team members. These reps have an extremely challenging role with little in the way of automated support. They sell over 100 discrete products and must stay abreast of frequent updates and varying pricing models. Their responsibilities include deciding on opportunities to pursue, initiating custom client contacts, scheduling meetings, leading client calls, and updating systems. With so much information required and so many information sources, inside reps were referring to themselves as “Professional Googlers” who spent up to 50% of their workday trying to pull together relevant information to do their primary jobs – selling to customers. In addition, the company also wanted to track conversion rates and capture “opportunity lost” intelligence to improve its services.
Milestone’s Cognitive Automation team developed a Digital Sales Assistant to support both inside sales team productivity and external customers, providing an incremental revenue play. The system design resulted from thorough job shadowing and interviewing of inside reps to determine essential information needs and guidance on “the art of the possible” leveraging an AI-based assistant coupled with integrated data sources and an interactive, in-context live dialogue during calls. Digital Sales Assistant functionality helps the inside reps identify opportunities to pursue, prepare for client calls, prepare client messaging customized for each client’s situation, schedule client meetings, make suggestions and provide detailed and accurate answers to technical questions during client calls, prepare notes during and after client meetings, update company systems of record, and create tracking metrics for key performance indicators.
Milestone’s Digital Sales Assistant has allowed each inside rep to gain up to 3 hours of additional selling time a day, a 30% productivity improvement. Reps now provide richer and more effective customer engagement during sales calls, resulting in more closed opportunities and increased revenue. It has significantly shortened the training and onboarding process for new reps. Finally, since our client’s customers and prospects also have the ability to work with the Digital Sales Assistant through Alexa and other channels, it helps them navigate, select and sign up for services, as well as get technical help.
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