Keeping on top of your calls is key to sales success. While many companies are interacting with their customers via email and live chatbots, the telephone still reigns king in the world of sales: 92 percent of all customer interactions happen over the phone, while only 24 percent of sales emails are opened.

If we’re aware of the importance of interacting with our customers over the phone to close those all-important deals, why did these studies find that 93 percent of companies don’t respond within the recommended 5 minutes, and 23 percent of companies don’t respond to their leads at all? Clearly, businesses are so slammed that getting back to customers and possible sales leads is proving impossible. And while many are making use of virtual phone systems, often their features aren’t actually that important in helping them make more sales.

Luckily, artificial intelligence can lessen the workload of sales teams and help them to become more efficient. In fact, 55 percent of telecom companies are already using AI. Here are the top ways integrating AI into your phone system can boost your sales performance.

Drive New Business from Call Data Insights

If you were to look into your company’s call data and try to interpret it, you may spend hours diving into the numbers. While reports can be helpful, without AI, there’s a slim chance you’re going to use it.

AI can notice trends from your phone calls and alert you of any opportunities for improvement. For example, the most common cities your calls are coming from could give you insights into potential new markets for your company. It can also pick up on how long it’s taking you to answer calls and alert you to slow response times, which could help you determine when to hire a salesperson who can follow up while you concentrate on your work.

AI can not only tell you what is your busiest time of day, but it can also recommend when you should stop working and return phone calls. And on top of this, it has the power to analyze call transcripts themselves to evaluate and offer suggestions for improvements how your sales team is pitching to leads.

No More Forgotten Leads

When your business receives a lot of calls, it can feel almost impossible to get back to every single one you missed. AI can recognize when you get over your head and suggest ways to increase the number of callbacks. It can alert you about phone calls, and send a reminder to call them back.

This feature is invaluable, especially since research has shown that companies that reach their leads within an hour are seven times more likely to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited more than 60 minutes. And the more people you get back to quickly, the more likely you are the make the sale and increase revenue.

For when calls don’t need your personal attention, AI bots can take much of this extra workload away. The bot can answer voicemails based on the content of the message transcript, and give information such as hours of operation and directions — so you don’t have to call them back.

AI Can Grade You on Your Overall Performance

So, you’re utilizing the insights and reminders you’re getting day to day, but what about the value of all of that data taken over an extended period? AI can compile it into a detailed profile, helping you to make sure you’re improving on your stats each month and calling sales leads and customers back quickly. Insights into when and where your calls are coming from mean you’ll be able to identify what marketing strategy is the right one and who are the most important customers to prioritize in order to increase customer retention.

It’s high time companies left behind flashy virtual phone systems that are oversaturated with features they don’t really need. The advent of AI in phone management systems has the power to revolutionize your sales process by giving you true insights into the strategy you should be adopting, and helping you keep up with more leads than would otherwise be possible.

Authored by:

Jay Reeder has more than 23 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. He began creating voicemail systems in high school, which led to his first job as a software developer creating voicemail technology. Within the first year, he had completely rewritten the company’s voicemail software platform and at the age of 20 was selected to lead voicemail development for telecommunications giant ITT.

In 1994 Reeder founded his first company, Revox, developing high-end voice platforms for telephone companies. This was followed by Atlanta Voicemail, VoicePlus, Buzzworks and ultimately VoiceNation, a live answering company that has been recognized by PC Magazine, Clutch, and others as an industry leader. His latest product, Ninja Number, is a virtual phone system that helps entrepreneurs increase revenue by improving their communication with customers.