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The James Brand Midland Minimal Titanium Key Hook

Whether you’re talking about pocket knives, chef’s knives, rulers or other EDC capsule pieces, there are few brands doing it as well at The James Brand. Case in point, The Midland EDC key hook you…

The post The James Brand Midland Minimal Titanium Key Hook first appeared on Cool Material.

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This Rugged Toolbag Carries All the Essentials


Constructed from tough, 20-ounce waxed canvas to handle years of abuse, Readywares’ 18” tool bag is a carry-all for your hand tools and features 19 different pockets to keep everything […]

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The Core 100 Keeps Your Tent Lit Up After Dark


Easy to use & light enough to take on the trail, the compact Core 100 Tent Light is a 100-lumen lantern powered by 3 AA batteries. Three power settings: high, […]

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Retreat from Summer Sun with the Inflatable Aeri Sun Shade


Aeri is an inflatable outdoor canopy that inflates in just 3 minutes to provide shade and shelter for beach, park, or backyard chilling. With SPF 50 sun protection on the […]

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Triumph Introduces Limited Edition 2022 Street Scrambler Sandstorm


Triumph’s 2022 Street Scrambler gets a fresh powerplant, a 900-cc parallel twin found in the latest Bonneville models, as well as some sweet styling upgrades, including this limited edition paint […]

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Rolls-Royce reveals the one-off Phanbtom Oribe

Commissioned by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, the Phantom Oribe features a fully customized interior and exterior by Rolls-Royce and Hermès. Inspired by Maezwa’s private plane, the Phantom Oribe was designed to recreate the luxury and exclusivity of the aircraft to the road. The two-tone …

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Aston Martin reveals a DBR1 specification for the V12 Speedster

Owners of the Aston Martin V12 Speedster will have the opportunity to celebrate the company’s most successful race car with an optional DBR1 specification. The spec features an Aston Martin Racing Green paint finish with Clubsport White pinstriping and roundels, a Satin Silver anodized grille with …

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Nomad shrinks its wireless charger with the new Base Station Mini

Nomad’s new Base Station Mini brings a new wireless charging option for those who want a compact charger that not only saves space but gives you scratch-free surface for your favorite device. Wrapped in a zinc frame with a black leather charging surface, the Base Station Mini can charge iPhones up …

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If you want sellers to sell more, embrace AI

30-second summary:

  • The shift to virtual selling has put more pressure on to be successful and accountable to eliminate risk from the pipeline
  • Only 47 percent of digital sellers say their CRM is a go-to tool and it didn’t make the list of top five tools used daily by sellers
  • AI is a game-changer for sales technology, but it’s not used to its greatest potential
  • There is a massive opportunity to deploy AI in sales organizations that can help sellers prioritize, focus and sell such as removing the burden of data entry and automating time-consuming tasks
  • If you fully embrace AI and take certain steps outlined below to realize the potential of the technology, you’ll reap the rewards of better CRM adoption, cleaner data, and more accurate forecasting

The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) was said to be coined in 1953 – a time when the idea of a machine being “intelligent” was far-fetched. But today, we see AI in our everyday lives: when we unlock our phones using our face when we ask Alexa what the weather forecast is and when we use Google Maps for directions. AI makes our lives easier because it automates mundane tasks and allows us to focus our time on more important activities. Now, think about being able to have that same reality in your job. Especially if you are in sales, it’s a game-changer. I’ve certainly never heard of a seller wishing to do more customer relationship management (CRM) updates.

Why AI’s current application in sales technology is negligible

Sales technology today does use AI, but most vendors – and therefore, customers – don’t use it to its greatest potential. Point solutions that are centrally built around AI and machine learning (ML) as a differentiator tend to have a very narrow focus compared to wholesale systems such as sales force automation (SFA) or CRM tools. For those, AI is often a bolt-on, run outside CRMs rather than being embedded as a native and pervasive element of the whole solution. Simple probability and prediction scores are overhyped as deep machine learning, or ML models are designed using standard data and broadly inclusive features, making the algorithms inherently generic.

Given that this is the experience many sellers have with AI, they don’t find it valuable because the intelligence isn’t new, timely, or specific enough. They trust their gut, their experience, and perhaps even their manager more than a machine. But that’s not scalable when the majority of sales organizations have gone virtual, making it harder to onboard new reps and provide tailored one-to-one sales coaching and guided selling over Zoom. Plus, if the sellers aren’t adopting AI and providing feedback, it all becomes irrelevant very quickly.

And that’s assuming that the AI in your sales technology is delivered to sellers in the first place. Much of the AI available to solve sales problems focuses on helping sales operations with forecasting or helping managers spot macro trends. It’s AI for the sales organization, not necessarily for the seller.

AI holds the key to a spectrum of opportunities for sellers and customer experience optimization (CXO)

The good news is that there is a massive opportunity to deploy AI in sales organizations that can help sellers prioritize, focus, sell, and then sell some more. AI can serve sellers by:

  • Removing the burden of data entry: Flagging stale data or automatically identify and clean up duplicates
  • Automating time-consuming and administrative tasks: Automating activity capture or recurring tasks while also auto-detecting and correcting CRM activity
  • Delivering curated, persona-driven selling experiences: Personalizing content to the account, the contact, the sales rep, and the sales play, helping a rep close a deal with a targeted offer that aligns with a marketing campaign
  • Empowering customers to define their sales engagement, help them self-manage straightforward sales engagements so sellers can work on more complex deals

Sellers were already in need of help pre-pandemic. Now, the shift to virtual selling has put more pressure on sellers to be successful and accountable to eliminate risk from the pipeline. Today’s CRM isn’t helping anyone – only 47 percent of digital sellers say their CRM is a go-to tool and it didn’t make the list of top five tools used daily by sellers according to findings from Beagle Research. It’s time to embrace AI, adopt tools that help sellers, and ultimately increase the bottom line.

Advice to help leaders inject AI into sales for success

Here are a few steps to see AI success in sales.

1. Don’t add another step

AI should just be a native, integrated, and nearly invisible element of the selling process – offering help and guidance when it is useful. It shouldn’t require an extra login or app to manage on top of the CRM. It doesn’t need a lot of extra custom fields on every page, and it doesn’t need a big flashing neon sign screaming “This is AI! Please use it!” Sellers have enough on their plate. Just build AI into intuitive CRM workflows and use it to surface insights in the appropriate context, embrace AI. And for goodness sake, don’t make reps go 4 clicks deep into a record to find an irrelevant probability score.

2. Get your data house in order

This will enable real-time AI which is crucial because the more you use it, the more specific and helpful it gets over time. No one cares about a recommended next best action 24 hours after a lost deal.

3. Remember, one size doesn’t fit all

You need AI to suit your unique business needs. However, building, iterating on and refining AI models is time-consuming and requires expertise. You want ML tools that can speed the model creation and refinement process, or even automatically suggest and select the right model for a problem. But you can still “Bring your own data” and fine-tune those models with the features that matter to you. The brutal truth is not all data lives in the CRM and AI technology experts are not experts in your company’s unique business processes. That’s ok; you just need a plan for how to make the most of it.

4. Deploy AI to first solve common problems

The most common challenges that your sellers’ experience should be the ones that you deploy AI to tackle first. These include: how to plan/organize their day; where and how to focus their energy; how to spot leads and opportunities that are at risk for stalling; understand discrepancies between what they think they will win/close and what the actual likelihood is; and how to grow their pipeline including identifying and reacting to dormant accounts, and scan and conduct white space analysis to unearth cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. If you can free them up from the activities that consume their time, they’ll be more successful. You can always make discovering new sales models or innovating in new markets part two of the plan.

If you fully embrace AI and take these steps to realize the potential of the technology, you’ll reap the rewards of better CRM adoption, cleaner data, and more accurate forecasting. And yes, you can achieve all those goals without the weekly sales manager “account check-in” meetings or mad dashes at the end of the quarter for sellers to call deals with arbitrary win probabilities. That’s reason enough to embrace AI.

Kayleigh Halko is Senior Manager, CX Product Strategy, Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience.

The post If you want sellers to sell more, embrace AI appeared first on ClickZ.

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Brooks Brothers Just Launched an Online Vintage Shop

In terms of vintage clothing from the United States, there’s Brooks Brothers and everyone else. Founded more than two centuries ago, the oldest clothing retailer in the US is a one-stop shop for all things…

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