For the past 15 years, B2B revenue teams have been generating enormous volumes of data, in tracing the steps towards digital transformation. However, effective use of that data has, until now, lagged far behind.Â
There are two big reasons for this: First, while the majority of B2B buyer, seller and customer interactions are digital, collection and storage of interaction data have been inconsistent, and that has left significant blindspots in the collected data.Â
Second, the capabilities required to derive insights and action from the data had yet to be productized and made available for the masses of B2B organizations. AI is changing that and more in the revenue technology landscape. That will mean huge advances in what revenue teams can accomplish in the year to come.Â Â
1. AI Will Unlock Insights and Illuminate Blind Spots
AI is now making it possible to collect and log nearly every buyer interaction, illuminating blind spots and enabling a much more complete, high-definition view of the B2B buying process.Â
With this will come new insights about things like the volume and intensity of buyer interactions, the length of solution research, decision-making processes, and much more.Â
Plus, AI is now embedded in a wide variety of B2B go-to-market tools. That means improved decisioning and insights across everything from content management systems to sales engagement platforms.Â
So all that data we’re collecting? It’s about to get a whole lot more actionable.
2. AI Will Make Emails Infinitely More Effective
Over the years, there have been plenty of developments in how revenue teams email their prospects and customers. But even as we’ve seen countless new tools for the deployment of emails, we haven’t seen much tech that makes the emails themselves better.Â
What does â€œbetterâ€ mean in terms of email? It’s all about relevance. Relevance is the difference between spam and helpful communication that advances the customer journey. But deploying relevant emails at scale has been more than most teams can manage.Â
An email has the potential to be an incredibly effective tool, but it’s often ignored because it’s irrelevant. In some cases, the problem is targeting (i.e., it’s sent to someone who doesn’t care about the message). In other cases, the problem is timing (i.e., it’s sent to the right person, but not at the right time).Â
Organizations have long focused on honing subject lines to grab attention and improve open rates. But while the best subject lines may get someone to look, they won’t engage that person if the timing and targeting are off. The best way to improve email response rates is not primarily by tweaking subject lines but by better timing and targeting. AI is poised to help with both.
In 2022, AI will help revenue teams shift away from generic email cadences delivered to broadly targeted accounts and contacts. Instead, they’ll be able to target much more relevant emails to audiences identified as not only being the right people inside the right organizations but also those for whom now is the right time.Â
And they’ll be able to do it at scale â€” no spam required.
3. AI Will Make Forecasting More Sophisticated, Accurate, and Aligned Across the Revenue Team
In B2B, sales leaders have long been held accountable for their sales forecasts. In recent years, the accuracy of these forecasts has been greatly improved by AI-based data capture and analysis techniques.Â
In 2022, these expectations and the AI-driven capabilities to support them are migrating up the funnel to the first forecast, the pipeline creation forecast. Applying the same forecasting techniques to the top of funnel marketing interaction data, marketers will be able to plan and forecast pipeline creation, enabling even better longer-term revenue forecasts.
AI will take the guesswork out of pipeline prediction for CMOs, which will help them future-proof bookings and work more collaboratively with their counterparts in sales.
AI and the Future Of Revenue Technology
According to IDCOpens a new window , in the next five years, the world will create more than twice the amount of data that has been created since the dawn of digital storage.Â
As data becomes exponentially more prolific and available, the challenge and the opportunity for B2B revenue teams will be to turn all these terabytes of data into a strategic advantage that will give them a leg up on the competition. AI is the key to making that happen.
AI is already delivering benefits in terms of optimization, insights, cost efficiency, and more. But in the coming year, forward-looking B2B marketers and sellers will take advantage of solutions that take AI to the next level and accelerate returns across the whole organization.Â