July 29, 2019 | Written by: Kevin Gray
Categorized: Sales Performance Management
Share this post:
Digital assistants today can deliver far more services beyond sophisticated call routing. Infusion of artificial intelligence (AI) functionalities adds the potential to increase seller field time, improve sales performance and help lift HR productivity. These enhancements mean that digital assistants can positively affect business results.
What it does
A digital assistant with powerful AI capabilities does the job of quickly and efficiently accessing detailed information across various systems, geographies and databases for large sales forces or complex organizational matrices. It also automates time-intensive processes. Ask Watson Inquires, a digital assistant designed for sales performance management, is an example of this type of solution. (See the Ask Watson Inquires solution brief).
For instance, it is a given that sales leaders and administrators want to keep their sales people focused on field time. Time spent deciphering complex variable compensation tables or questions, manual administrative tasks or workarounds, or on any other issue that takes away time from selling is suboptimal. So when sales people are trying to find out which products to sell, which offers provide the best commissions and which customers will respond best to what offers, automated AI digital assistants can be used to supply immediate answers. When sales people are researching their variable pay, commissions or the bonuses owed to them – or other involved compensation questions – digital assistants can provide fast and accurate information.
At the same time, AI-driven digital assistants help HR, compensation and other administrative service staff to focus on higher value activities by automating time-intensive sales performance management activities. Service agents can perform their tasks faster by providing more personalized, real-time answers to queries with the help of digital assistants. The assistants deliver greater context about users, conversations and related issues. The goal is to help enterprises focus on optimizing sales processes and performance.
Definition: A digital assistant is a virtual aid that understands questions posed in natural language to perform specific tasks.
How it works
One of the capabilities behind IBM Watson AI-supported digital assistants is natural language processing (NLP). NLP understands and interprets human language. It uses unstructured spoken and written human languages, rather than programming languages, to interface with technology and execute technical tasks. For example, it can make sense of historical chat or call logs.
Another capability is machine learning, which means digital assistant programs will self-learn and automate time-consuming tasks without further human programming. These kinds of advanced AI functionalities can create substantial time savings and new efficiencies within HR, administration and IT processes which support the sales force in the enterprise.
Ask Watson Inquiries
Embedded directly into the IBM Incentive Compensation Management platform, Ask Watson Inquiries helps HR and compensation professionals provide immediate answers to questions, supply links to documents and reports, or forward inquiries to the right stakeholder. It knows when to automatically search for an answer from a knowledge base, when to ask for clarity, and when to direct users to a human.
The Ask Watson Inquiries digital assistant leverages Watson Assistant, an IBM end-to-end conversational solution that builds conversational interfaces into any application, device, or channel. Sales organizations that take advantage of digital AI capabilities like automated workflows and self-learning capabilities to improve operating models and create new efficiencies are building competitive advantages that help them win in the marketplace.
About IBM Sales Performance Management
A one-stop shop solution for sales performance management, IBM Incentive Compensation Management helps organizations improve sales performance and gain operational efficiencies with better management of incentive compensation plans, and smarter administration of sales territories and quotas.
Read the Put AI to work with IBM Ask Watson Inquiries Solution Brief here.