AI Is the Future of Business: Myth or Reality

AI Is the Future of Business: Myth or Reality

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology mimics human intelligence to perform tasks on machines or systems. Currently, AI uses include chatbots, smart assistants, manufacturing robots, and self-checkouts, among other uses. 

You may wonder how AI will affect your business. Is it the future of business AI? According to research, by 2025, the AI market will be worth $169.41 billion. Industries that will drive this growth are IT & telecom, media & advertising, retail, healthcare, automotive & transportation, and Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI). 

The general outlook of current uses of AI in business

Do you know how to use AI in business? Businesses are currently using AI in many innovative ways. The top application uses of AI are automation, data analytics, and Natural Language Processing (NLP). These three specialties have simplified complex business processes and increased overall labor productivity.

  • Automation

About one-third of work for over half of all occupations is repetitive work. This repetitive work is usually monotonous, prone to error, and drains creativity. Automation frees workers from repetitive work and gives them back their time to do more high-value work.

  • Data analytics

Data analytics is a branch of business intelligence that analyzes business data. This data helps businesses gain insight into their operations, observe patterns, and find relationships in the data. 

AI automates much of this work and helps with predictive analytics like forecasting demand, predictive maintenance of company equipment, and diagnostic analytics like business monitoring. 

  • Natural language processing (NLP)

Natural language processing (NLP) is how computers understand spoken and written human language. It is done through AI that reads texts, hears speech, interprets them, and measures sentiment. 

Current applications of NLP include chatbots, hearing impairment, search engines, translation, transforming text to voice, and vice versa. Keep reading to find out if AI is the future of businesses and how it is being used right now in various industries.

Artificial intelligence in sales and marketing

The success of the sales team depends on marketing. The marketing team gets people interested in the products or services of your business. While doing this, AI can come in handy especially in your marketing campaigns. 

You can use HighLevel which is an alternative to ActiveCampaign with customizable all in one solution for business agencies. Use of AI in marketing comes in data collection, data analysis, audience analysis, and analyzing economic trends. 

With this data, marketing teams can create real-time personalization of buyer personas. They can then create a marketing asset, for example, a web page, social post or email, to fit the customized buyer persona. This can be to click on a link, sign up, or simply encourage them to buy a product.

Another thing AI helps with is media buying. It predicts the most effective ad and media placement to reach their target audience and maximize their marketing ROI. The marketing team does not need to worry about marketing money being misspent. 

AI can boost digital marketing efforts by facilitating content generation. AI content writing tools can create long form and short form content like emails, web copy, blogs, video captions and more. Whereas Natural Language Processing (NLP) can be used for customer service bots.

Intelligent AI algorithms will help marketing teams automate their activities, going forward and speed up the sales process.

Artificial intelligence in accounting

Nearly all accounting tasks can be automated using AI. This includes payroll, taxes, audits, banking, you name it. While boosting productivity, it also results in greater financial transparency, auditability, and using data in forecasting financial statements

Applications of AI in accounting include:

  • Payables/ Receivables Processing: Invoice processing is one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive work in accounting.AI invoice management automates this process, eliminates errors in processing, and improves business relationships with its vendors.
  • Supplier Onboarding: Leveraging AI to do your due diligence before onboarding suppliers makes it easy to catch any discrepancies in vendors, protects you from partnering with fraudulent suppliers, and speeds up your onboarding process from days to a matter of minutes. 
  • Procurement Processes: There is always pressure on sourcing and procurement departments to deliver value. However, the purchasing and procurement process is riddled with a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy. Using AI workflows expedites the process and mitigates compliance risks. When acquiring procurement software, ProcureDesk is a better choice than Procurify as it provides easier tracking and real-time data when approving and submitting expense reports to accounting.
  • Auditing: The process of auditing involves reviewing the business financial statements to ensure they are accurate and represent the true financial state of the business. It is usually a manual process and cumbersome. AI is being adopted for some of the auditing tasks, like running fraud algorithms on financial records.
  • Expenses Management: When done manually, expense management is complex paperwork and susceptible to fraud and/or data breaches. AI expenses management automation makes for almost zero errors and alerts the accounting team in case of a breach. This automation not only streamlines the process but also enhances accuracy and security. By leveraging advanced algorithms and machine learning, AI-powered expense management systems can efficiently categorize and reconcile expenses, reducing the burden on the accounting team. For example, travel expenses can be seamlessly integrated into systems like the Coupa platform, allowing employees to easily submit and track their travel-related expenses.

Artificial intelligence in sales

Sales is a time-consuming and labor-intensive business activity. AI is already gaining traction in automating sales and experiencing success. A study by Harvard Business Review shows that businesses that use AI in sales have seen their operations costs reduce by 40-60%, reduce their call times by 60-70%, and are generating more leads by over 50%.

By adopting AI, businesses make their sales teams more productive and efficient. First, by reducing the administrative burden on the sales rep, and reducing revenue operations by automating sales activities like (meetings, emails, texts, and emails). 

Second, by using AI, the sales team can track and analyze contact relationships, sentiment analysis, and virtual sales coaching among team members. AI makes it easy to analyze your sales data and discern patterns in your sales activities that lead to closed deals. It also helps you identify repeat sales to the same buyers by sales rep instead of targeting higher-up accounts. 

If you’ve struggled to succinctly trace your sales pipeline, AI will help you accomplish this. It will also improve your sales forecasting and self-heal your CRM (no outdated or incorrect data) as it continually updates data in real time.

Businesses that adopt AI for their sales team will see exponential sales results, as they will have real-time access to sales intelligence. Some AI software for sales currently in the market includes Salesforce, Drift, Conversica, exceedand Crayon, among others.

Artificial intelligence in human resources

Findings of The HR’s Future State Report 2021:The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Talent Processes show that 82% of HR teams will use AI tools into human resource management over the next five years and already over 50% of companies are using AI to change their hiring and employee management processes.

Such statistics show that the adoption of AI in human resources is only going to keep growing and businesses who have not caught on to the trend should jump on to stay competitive. Some current uses of AI in human resource include:

  • Recruiting: Going through hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes manually is hard work and time-consuming, even if they are digital. Using AI software, you can key in parameters, for example, education and experience of what you’re looking for. Resumes that don't meet your criteria are disqualified, and only proceed with the interview process with candidates whose resumes meet your parameter. Also, this process helps with unbiased candidate screening and businesses are more likely to end up with a diverse workforce.
  • Onboarding: After successfully finding the right candidate, HR can use AI for onboarding, especially for remote hires. It does not limit the onboarding to a time, date, or location, and HR chatbots can ease the onboarding process. 

Artificial intelligence in customer support

Being able to resolve customer queries quickly and satisfactorily ultimately impacts your customer retention, their lifetime value, and your business reputation. However, as your business grows, it gets difficult to keep up with your customer support. One tool that is helping resolve this is AI. 

These solutions include:

Chatbot-based customer support

Customer support agents are required to handle many customer calls daily. As a result, they are required to resolve each customer's issues within a limited time. They face fatigue, burnout and are prone to making mistakes.

Chatbots are being used to relieve customer support agents of some of this burden by acting as the first line of contact with customers. They are used to resolving most frequently asked questions (FAQs) and queuing a human customer service agent if the questions fall outside the FAQs.

Since chatbots operate on automation, they promptly respond and customers don't have to wait in line to get through to a customer support agent to resolve a small issue. Chatbots also resolve many customer queries with the highest accuracy and are available 24/7.

Voice Bots

Voice bots are voice recognition-enabled AI bots that listen, interpret, and analyze speech and reply with natural language. Just like the chatbot, they program the voice bot to answer most frequently asked questions but in speech form. 

So, when customers call your customer support desk, voice bots pick up the call, listen, and respond accordingly. Voice bots can improve call categorization and put customer calls through to the department that is most appropriate to address their issue.

The data businesses generate from these AI customer support tools can be used to understand customer pain points, and also understand behaviors and patterns of customers

Summing up

As we progress in this digital age, the way businesses operate is going to keep on changing. Technologies like AI will be commonplace and integrated into the day-to-day running of businesses. As a business, ignoring AI right now will be a huge disservice to your business. Automate monotonous and repetitive tasks in your business using AI and ultimately improve your business bottom line.

Author Bio - Cosmas Mwirigi

Cosmas alias Cosii-Riggz is a technology enthusiast and SAAS writer who helps clients understand products by explaining services for businesses. He has been featured in websites such as PV Magazine and Bitcoin Kenya. During his free time, he likes traveling to new places and exploring what's new on the internet.