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How AI is Transforming B2B Business

May 6, 2019

According to a study published by MIT, 80 percent of B2B marketing executives expect that AI will radically change their businesses within the next five years. In fact, B2B marketing researchers believe that soon people will engage in more conversations with AI bots than they do with their own significant others.

Customer Service

Ninety percent of companies surveyed by MIT and Genesys now use AI to enhance customer service. One of the biggest takeaways from the study was that nearly 75 percent of companies surveyed said that AI enables them to engage more meaningfully with customers. That’s attributed to the fact that AI can handle more call volume and resolve customer issues faster than human intervention. Employees are freed-up to focus on working more closely with customers to understand their needs and satisfy their wants.

Risk Analysis

AI is already deployed for financial advisory services, and to analyze risk or reward related to trading stocks and commodities. Insurance companies also use AI to perform their statistical risk analysis. But major banks are now taking advantage of AI and its machine learning capacity to spot money-laundering, fraud, and theft. Citibank incorporates AI, for example, to do threat assessment and alert its customers to potential risk from illegal activity. Thanks to these kinds of applications, AI is expected to save the financial industry more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Solutions

In the manufacturing sector, AI can process extremely high volumes of data to perform predictive analysis regarding equipment failure. By detecting vulnerabilities beforehand, preventative maintenance can be done. That eliminates the costly disruption and time loss related to a break-down of machinery. AI can be leveraged in other ways, throughout the retail and wholesale supply and distribution chain. Siemens AG and Honeywell International, for instance, are creating AI-powered machines that load and unload trucks. A startup funded by Alibaba founder Jack Ma uses AI in its robots, which can load 400 packages per hour. Meanwhile Boston Dynamics already has AI robotics that can open and close doors, leap over obstacles, and sort inventory based on product barcode SKU numbers.

Sales and Marketing

Harvard Business Review published an article last year explaining that much of the B2B value of AI is in sales and marketing, where accurately identifying customers and high-fit leads is a key to success. In a crowded global-sized marketplace that can be harder than finding a needle in a haystack. But AI makes it possible to aggregate and filter data rapidly, to profile and identify likely customers for a particular product or service. AI can also help predict customer demand based on trends and purchase patterns, to make lead-scoring easier and more accurate.

Once an organization is identified as a high-potential buyer, AI can collect and analyze corporate and personal data to learn more about how decision makers within that organization think. In that way, predictive analysis can help a business find a likely business customer and also gain insight into those who make critical purchase decisions at that company. They can then be engaged on a more insightful, personalized, and precisely targeted level.