This week we speak with Bastiaan Janmaat (CEO and co-Founder of DataFox) about the current and future applications of artificial intelligence in the CRM.

No matter what business you’re in, there’s a high likelihood that managing relationships with customers, wholesalers, suppliers, or affiliates is important to your daily operations. Artificial intelligence is currently being employed to help with automating data entry, automating email and phone reminders, and even prompting salespeople with the right phone scripts in real time.

In addition to covering “what’s being done now” – spend the end of the interview asking Bastiaan about his predictions of the most likely AI-for-CRM capabilities that will become commonplace in the next 5 years.

Listen to the full interview below on Soundcloud:

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Guest: Bastiaan Janmaat, CEO and co-Founder of DataFox

Expertise: AI applications for CRM

Brief recognition: Before founding DataFox, Bastiaan was an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs for three years. He completed his MBA at Stanford Business School in 2013, and holds a Master’s and Bacholer’s degree from ESADE Business School and Universiteit van Tilburg, respectively.

Big Idea

Sales forecasting will become a “must” for the CRMs of the future, and machine learning will probably be essential to make forecasts accurate.

Bastiaan tells us that sales data can involve tons of edge-cases and unique scenarios that can lead to challenges in applying artificial intelligence – which can make AI applications difficult to transfer from one industry to another. Bastiaan believes that sales projection data tends to involve smaller data sets that are easier to manage, and companies in the future (regardless of industry) will likely be able to forecast sales with AI. Within 5 years, he’s optimistic that most robust CRM offerings will have some kind of forecasting ability.

In addition, Bastiaan believes that sales “coaching” will be another common feature in the next 5 years. “Coaching” within a CRM includes:

  • A system that notifies a salesperson if they are about to send a redundant message to a contact
  • A system that reminds a salesperson to contact leads who need to be contacted again (and by what channel)
  • A system that provides feedback on phone sales performance, including: Tonality, handling rejection, and other elements of the pitch

Interview Highlights with Bastiaan Janmaat of DataFox

Listed below are some of the main questions that were posed to Bastiaan throughout the interview. Listeners can use the embedded podcast player (at the top of this post) to jump ahead to sections that they might be interested in:

  • (2:35) What are the most important AI-based CRM features that are already in action today?
  • (6:15) (At this point, Bastiaan walks us through a series of examples of what it’s like to use AI-based CRM tools)
  • (8:10) How can AI help “route” a lead to the best salesperson or contact person at a company?
  • (11:10) How does automated follow-up (with email or phone) look like in real life? Where does AI play a role here?
  • (15:00) How do we set up and “orchestrate” a CRM to fit our goals? This seems like it would take a lot of forethought – how do companies set this up?
  • (22:00) What are the inevitable AI capabilities that CRMs will have 5 years from now? What AI applications will become “normal” within CRMs?

Related Material on TechEmergence

Our goal at TechEmergence is to be the #1 source for business and government leaders to learn about the practical applications of AI in their organization. We call it “staying on the right side of disruption,” making the right strategic plans and being prepared to use (or deal with) the technologies that will disrupt important industries and business functions.

Interviews with top executives and experts is part of what lets us help our readers “see around corners” and get a sense of the trends that matter. Each week, our AI in Industry Podcast (all episodes here) brings on a new AI executive or researcher to explain the applications and implications of AI in their domain of expertise.

If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, you might enjoy some of our other interviews and articles about AI for sales enablement:

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