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Conversational AI and CRM: Combining Strengths to Improve Sales in the Auto Industry

There were many things that the recent COVID-19 pandemic disrupted across various industries. Arguably, one of the most disrupted ones was automotive.

We saw chip shortages, reduced inventories, and increases in fuel prices, but one of the most profound changes was in how consumers shopped, bought and serviced their cars. As people were locked down and were not able to go out, those who needed to buy cars did so from their living rooms.

Automotive OEMs and dealers big and small rushed to learn how to establish digital presences and create truly unique experiences that will drive revenues and increase their ‘digital footprint’ to replace the traditional ‘showroom footprint’.

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Systems of Insights and Systems of Action

The marked changes also drove for better digital insights into consumers looking for cars – were they new to the area, did they purchase from the dealership before, what’s their family profile, what sites did they visit to get to the brand’s site, what cars did they click online, etc. And this created the need for systems of insights such as CRMs and CDPs to be widely adopted in order to allow OEMs and dealers to understand their prospects and customers better.

Systems of insights are very powerful tools, used properly, to give sales, marketing & support teams data needed to create unique experiences that are personalized. What can extend the powers of systems of insights would be a systems of action that help salespeople not only receive data and analytics about their prospects but also the ability to action-ize them at scale.

Combining these two systems could create a powerful solution to offer customers a stellar experience offering them what they want when they want, at the same time, improving how sales teams work. This is why my company, Conversica, a conversational Generative AI platform that has dominated the US automotive dealers industry for more than a decade, partnered with Salesforce Automotive Cloud, a specialized customer relationship management (CRM) platform designed for the automotive industry.

CRM platforms are designed to enable businesses to manage their sales, service, and marketing processes in a single, unified system. The platform stores data and drives insights around household needs, existing cars in possession, warranties & financing information, usage, service history and more.  It marries not only the individual owner a 360-degree view but marries it with the asset 360-degree view.

AI-powered digital assistants, on the other hand, help businesses automate their sales and marketing processes. These solutions that leverage Generative AI  can engage with customers through email, SMS, and chat, and can qualify and nurture leads, schedule appointments, and even close simple deals on behalf of sales representatives.

When a conversation automation solution is integrated with a sophisticated CRM system,  businesses can automate their sales and marketing processes like never before.

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A Powerful Combination

Some of the key benefits of uniting these tools are:

1. Improved lead generation & nurturing:

Generative AI can engage with leads in a personalized and conversational manner, which can help generate more qualified leads for the business. Dealers using an integrated CRM can simply select target prospects, bulk upload and send the AI assistants on their way to go and outreach them based on specific campaigns. It can also follow up with leads on behalf of the sales team, reducing the workload and freeing up more time for sales representatives to focus on strategic activities such as building relationships and closing deals.

2. Increased efficiency:

By automating routine tasks, such as scheduling appointments and following up with customers, businesses can increase their efficiency and reduce the time and effort required to manage their sales and marketing processes.

3. Enhanced customer experience:

Conversational AI provides customers with a personalized experience, engaging with them in a conversational manner and addressing their concerns in real time. As a result, this improves customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased sales and revenue.

4. Better data insights & prompt to action:

When businesses are fed with real-time data insights, they can track their sales and marketing performance and make informed decisions based on the data. This can help companies to identify areas for improvement and optimize their sales and marketing processes. Outdated CRM systems don’t offer these possibilities. However, more robust solutions, such as Salesforce’s, allow uploading existing contacts and leads from a previous CRM system and automatically have the AI assistant do outreaches as the leads are uploaded. All in real-time.

The challenge with purely having systems of insights is that organizations are still depending on the human on the receiving end to act upon the insights.  And many companies today are facing shortages of resources. Marrying systems of insights with systems of actions ensures that valuable insights are not wasted because of a lack of human capacity as insights can generate action triggers for AI to do the work for them.

At a pivotal moment for businesses, a solution so powerful comes as a timely tool to help streamline operations, improve customer experience, and increase sales. As company budgets face constraints and customer expectations for brand interactions continue to rise, revenue teams across the automotive industry are compelled to deliver more with limited resources.

By leveraging Generative AI, organizations can stay ahead of the competition and thrive in today’s rapidly evolving market.

 

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