As AI continues to grow and permeate seemingly all facets of business, it is important to cut through the noise and focus on where AI fits in your organization and how to best implement it.
I am the founder and CEO of an AI-based customer relationship management system. Through this experience, I have learned a few ways leaders may determine their own approach to AI.
A Brief Overview Of AI Application
Broadly speaking, AI is a branch of computer science concerned with replicating human intelligence in machines. Based on if you operate a business-to-consumer or even business-to-business provider, you may come across some kinds of AI more relevant to your business than others.
In B2B, AI is about data and analysis to produce better-informed decisions. For instance, if you have sufficient sales and client data, you may use predictive analytics to find out your perfect client profile and/or potential customer base and adjust your marketing strategy and efforts accordingly.
The machine then attempts to match this goal.
As its name implies, there are no directions given before the analysis. For example, it can study your customer information and decide that you have a cluster of customers in the manufacturing industry that looks quite promising.
Finally, in reinforcement learning, which will be much more sophisticated, the algorithm examines the information and comes up with a set of conclusions. You don’t offer a predefined dataset or any advice; it’s more of a trial-and-error method. You examine the outcome and tell it whether the decisions are right, and it continues to fortify the right actions to reach an endpoint.
How does AI benefit your small business?
For businesses that collect a lot of consumer data at each point, having the capability to use AI to derive meaning from that data will help get ahead of their competition. You may spot trends early and identify areas where you’re losing revenue or where you could potentially acquire revenue. After that, you can make data conclusions and quickly adapt to fluctuations.
AI can also affect your CRM system and staff productivity by helping identify prospects, building effective nurture efforts, or enhance the customer experience. (A number of businesses, my own included, offer CRM and marketing AI solutions.)
Even though there’s some concern about AI replacing jobs, I believe there is an opportunity for AI to assist, not hinder, the performance of entrepreneurs, salespeople, and customer service agents. But, taking steps to present it successfully is critical.
How can you introduce AI in your small business?
Ensure you are clear on where in the business that you would like to use AI and what you hope it will solve for you. Remember that you must have enough data to make your AI investment worth it. When you’ve done this, train your workers on how it’ll work.
When introducing any new technology, it is always good, to begin with, a small project and work from that point. Begin with a hypothesis and a target, and at the conclusion, analyze how well you did and if you reached the proper conclusions. The first project is really about the journey more than the ending goal.
Last, consider any challenges which may come your way. For example, there are two sides to handling AI expectations. Some individuals on your team may think it’s amazing and will address lots of problems. Others may get scared, believing it is going to replace their own jobs.
Attempt to deal with expectations and concerns about both extremes. AI is not going to solve everything, and at a B2B business, it most likely won’t replace tasks. You need to tamp down both the enthusiasm and worries surrounding AI to ensure buy-in until you make it part of your company.
What technology do you want to implement AI for the first time?
You may start by utilizing available cloud computing tools, which can be great for small to midsize companies since you don’t need to know a lot of underlying methodologies.
As an alternative, you might decide to set up AI technology on-premises. If you go this route, remember that you’ll need some hefty horsepower and someone with a great deal of comprehension of the inherent analytical algorithms and data to run through big datasets and get the maximum ROI from AI.
More importantly, I believe it is not a matter of if, but if you must implement AI in your company. The sooner you determine your AI strategy, the sooner you will start reaping its benefits.