Pending Business: AI Meets Sales
By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
Have you picked up the most recent buzz around Artificial Intelligence? It’s hard to miss it.
Seems like the AI buzz is getting louder as more companies face the pressure to improve efficiency and profitability during this roller coaster economy. From Silicon Valley’s tens of thousands of layoffs to Steak ‘n’ Shake closing 30 locations, the heat is on.
Companies vested in the terrestrial radio business have known this pressure for years as we function in a world of single-digit growth and AM radio stations going dark as the real estate is worth more than the FCC license. For the first time, some of the players on the podcast side are feeling the financial heat as the congested podcast world fights for highly competitive ad dollars.
How can AI be a resource in the broadcast radio and podcast ad sales world? Here are two examples of what could be around the corner on your next sales email, Zoom or from the office phone pitch.
— AI audio/phone recognition. Imagine software tracking your phone pitch or Zoom call collecting phrases that identify rate objections, efficiency objections, competitive objections, talent objections, even content objections. Management teams skilled in reviewing the “phrase data” analyze everything from the number of times the objection is raised to the category or tenure of advertiser raising the objection(s). Fast forward to solutions. If your team is made up of multiple sellers with various levels of experience and similar objection(s) appear frequently, management responses and adjustments happen faster, with less stress as the numbers tell the story, not the seller in a confessional. Those adjustments appear in coaching bubbles on your screen as you engage.
— AI shows us the phrase that pays. By now you should know many of the key words and phrases that are sales friendly, grab attention and move you to a close. As well as the opposite – those dreaded turn-off words that turn a warm conversation into stone-cold ghosting. What if the AI software interfaces with your emails? AI could be programmed to identify the key phrases that help close a deal as well as those that are deal busters. I once attended a sales seminar that coached away from using the word “contract.” Not a good takeaway for me. All I could imagine was the legal team slapping their foreheads.
Something tells me the AI software discussed already exists working in the field somewhere helping a sales team become more efficient and crushing the earnings barrier. It’s only a question of when our radio/audio world will be smart enough to adapt the tools for a smarter sales path.
Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com