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February 13, 2020 | By

AI IRL Podcast Episode 49: Using AI for Mid-Funnel Customer Responses


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Responding to high-quality leads who raise their hand and are ready to buy is the icing on the sales cake. But the actual cake is made up of mid-funnel prospects who have some level of interest, but aren’t ready to talk with a sales rep … and this part of the cake is thick with plenty of leads.

But how do you respond to massive influx of mid-funnel leads and determine buyer intent … without spending your sales team’s valuable time on sifting through thousands of emails?

It’s a problem Ilan Kasan saw while he worked at billion-dollar companies (like Cisco), and he also saw it when he worked at smaller startups. So, he founded Exceed.ai, which helps solve mid-funnel issues with better AI/human relationships.

Ilan came on the AI:IRL podcast to share more about how AI is capturing mid-funnel leads, responding, determining intent, then passing them off to sales reps.

How Exceed.ai responds to customers

“Everything that robots are very good at, humans actually hate doing. And all the things that humans do well, robots can’t.” — Ilan Kasan

Exceed’s AI works across various communication platforms to respond to customer questions and objections when a prospect is in the early stages of buying. Further, their AI can determine intent, and knows when to kick a prospect up to a human, who will always do better with closing.

Using massive amounts of data (over 2 million data points), Exceed’s AI has learned how to respond to buyer questions, even complex 2-tiered questions within the same email. Further, their AI knows how to contextualize email replies — if the AI replies on a Friday to an email someone sent on a Monday, the bot knows to open with, “Hope you had a great week!”

Also — considerations are made for the type of vertical. B2B buyers, for instance, will usually say something like “I am no longer interested,” to signal the end of communication. But some of Exceed’s customers are in education, and the terminology a student would use to end communication within that context would actually be, “I’m going to a different college.”

Secondary benefits of using AI responses

This type of AI approach to solving the mid-funnel lead issue is ideal for companies with a high inbound leads, allowing the bots to read through them, determine intent, and begin to reply.

Further, here are some of the secondary benefits of using AI in the mid-funnel:

1) Add qualification questions to automated responses

You can make the AI respond to customer inquiries with a specific question:

“We saw you signed up for this demo; excellent! Just a quick question …”

2) Pushing data to your CRM

Bots can read the signatures of incoming emails, pulling addresses, titles, and company names, and then feeding all that info fed into your CRM.

3) Analytics

Using AI in your mid-funnel helps with analytics, because you can, at the touch of a button, analyze common objections and recognize communication patterns.

Now, that’s some cake worth eating.

This discussion with Ilan Kasan was taken from our AI: In Real Life podcast. If you want to hear more AI episodes like this one, check us out on Apple Podcasts.


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