Matthew GibbonsLead Data & Tech Writer
- July 28, 2023
- 7 minute read
- Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
One of the most important parts of any company sales process is sales prospecting. Sales prospecting involves searching for, identifying, qualifying, and reaching out to new prospects — that is, potential customers that you think are likely to buy from you.
As with other areas of marketing and sales, sales prospecting works a lot better with the help of some good digital tools — including artificial intelligence (AI). And with the rise of tools like ChatGPT, AI for sales prospecting is a big opportunity for businesses like yours.
But what does AI-enhanced sales prospecting look like, and what’s the best way to approach it? Keep reading to learn the answer. Then subscribe to Revenue Weekly — our email newsletter — to get more marketing tips delivered straight to your inbox.
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Using AI to identify sales prospects
Sales prospecting can basically be divided into two stages: Identifying your prospects, and then contacting those prospects to begin the sales process.
Let’s first talk about how sales prospecting AI tools can help you find and identify new prospects:
Finding sales prospects
The first step to identifying your sales prospects is finding them. That can seem like a daunting task if you’re not sure where to look. Thankfully, there are AI tools out there that can help you.
For instance, one way of finding viable prospects is to use social listening tools, like Sprinklr, which now harness the power of AI. These tools can help you find people on social media who are talking favorably about your brand or expressing a need for your products or services.
Prioritizing sales prospects
Identifying your sales prospects also involves prioritizing them based on which ones are most likely to convert. You don’t want to waste time on weak leads who don’t convert, and then watch your strong leads drift away in the meantime. Instead, you want to focus on the leads who are most likely to convert.
That’s where lead scoring comes in. You’ve probably heard of lead scoring before — it’s the process of assigning numerical values to your leads to rank them based on how likely they are to convert. But many lead scoring tools harness AI capabilities to help you streamline the process.
These tools can significantly speed up the sales prospecting process since you spend less time figuring out which prospects to target.
Using AI to contact sales prospects
Once you’ve identified your top sales prospects, the next part of sales prospecting is reaching out to them. You would typically do this by sending an email or making a phone call. But to do that, you have to decide what you’re going to say to them.
Believe it or not, sales prospecting AI tools can help with this, too. That’s thanks to the most recent AI development — generative AI. Generative AI can produce written text in response to specific prompts. The best-known generative AI tool is ChatGPT.
Ways to use ChatGPT for sales prospecting
So, how can you harness generative AI tools to assist with your sales prospecting process? Let’s look at three ways you can use ChatGPT for sales prospecting.
1. Drafting email and transcript templates
Firstly, ChatGPT can be very useful for helping you write cold email and phone call transcripts. You can simply give the program a prompt like “In less than 150 words, write an informal prospecting email that promotes [your brand] services.” Then ChatGPT will come up with something that matches your request.
As you can see, the above example is a great start to a prospecting email. Of course, you probably wouldn’t want to go with exactly what the AI spits out. It needs work — for example, in the second paragraph, I’d want to rewrite it so that it doesn’t keep repeating the words “motor” and “lamination” quite so much.
Still, it’s a good template to work with. You could take this text and rework it to produce a good sales prospecting email.
2. Assisting with headline generation
Another way you can use sales AI is to let it help you generate email headers. Even though the headline of an email is short, it’s one of the most important parts. Without a good headline, your prospects won’t open the email and read what’s written inside.
Thankfully, ChatGPT has your back. Just like with the email body, you can simply ask it to generate an email headline, and it’ll do exactly that.
When I asked for a headline for the email example in the last section, ChatGPT returned the header in the above screenshot. Overall, this is a passable header. Is it everything it could be? No. I think I would rework it to make it less bland. It has the word “boost,” but that’s basically the only compelling word there.
Still, it gives me a base template that I can work from, which speeds up the process a little.
3. Simulating particular styles and voices
Finally, you can use ChatGPT to help you figure out certain styles or voices. What kind of tone do you want to take with your emails or phone calls? Do you want them to sound elegant? Casual? Formal? Funny? The answer to that question depends entirely on your choice of branding.
Whatever it is, though, ChatGPT can help you get a feel for it. You can simply ask ChatGPT to create a short email blurb in whatever voice, and it will do it. Case in point:
ChatGPT didn’t really adhere to the “short” part of my request, but that’s okay. It gave me what I wanted — a look at what a “funny, but still professional” tone of voice would sound like in an email. Using that, I could then go and write my own separate email, but I could harness that same style that ChatGPT demonstrated for me.
A word of caution about generative AI
Whenever we talk about ChatGPT, I feel it’s worth pointing out its limitations. As useful of a tool as it is, it’s not actually as intelligent as you probably think.
ChatGPT is very articulate — it’s good at mimicking the way humans string words together. That can trick us into thinking that it’s as good at writing as humans are. We see a string of long words that are correctly capitalized and punctuated, and our brains go, “It’s just like a human writer!”
But that’s simply not true. ChatGPT’s great at sounding human, sure. But importantly, it doesn’t understand what it’s saying. It doesn’t know what words mean — only what patterns they most commonly appear in.
So, while the copy it comes up with may be articulate, is it genuinely meaningful? Is it persuasive? Does it contain any truly new or original ideas (something pivotal to marketing, which is always evolving)?
Most of the time, the honest answer is no. So, use ChatGPT for the things it’s good at — drafting basic templates and mimicking certain writing styles. But don’t rely on it to do all your marketing writing for you, or you’ll end up having a hard time earning customers.
Hear from HydroWorx, who saw a 236% increase in organic sessions with WebFX services.
WebFX is a partner businesses trust.
Hear from HydroWorx, who saw a 236% increase in organic sessions with WebFX services.
WebFX can give your sales prospecting a boost
With or without AI-enhanced sales prospecting, you might find yourself struggling to find and convert new prospects. If so, WebFX can help.
We offer top-of-the-line digital marketing services designed to drive conversions and generate revenue for your business. When you partner with us, you’ll get access not only to our specialized services, but also to our marketing software, MarketingCloudFX.
Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
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