Get ready to stop crunching numbers and hiring interns to do the tasks you’d prefer not to spend your time doing. It’s time to start focusing more on what you love about your work and thinking of ways to become more efficient and effective.
In just 30 days of AI adoption, one could transform the workflows and operations of an entire organization. From the sales department to accounting, this article will teach nontechnical minds to go from automating simple customer service tasks to automating tasks as complex as stock trading.
What is Artificial Intelligence? What is AI?
Let’s start with the basics. If you’re very familiar with what AI is, then feel free to skip to the next section. If you need a refresher, you’re in the right place.
Basically, artificial intelligence (AI) is ‘manufactured smarts.’ It’s a form of computer science that seeks to recreate the human brain, or really, improve upon the human brain.
Traditionally, the way that AI has been created is with the heads of software developers and software engineers. Software teams would write algorithms, laying out a set of rules for a software to follow and produce an answer. This type of AI is called ‘rules-based’ AI.
Today’s AI algorithms have advanced beyond the production of ‘rules-based’ AI. Today, ‘learning-based’ AI can teach itself to solve more complex problems because it has the capacity for memory. With server ‘clouds’ serving as a hippocampus, today’s artificial brains are learning from large data sets and producing answers that would take a very long time for a human to produce.
This begs the question: if we have AI, do we even need humans to work anymore? Of course. We need humans to build and enhance AI, to be there when AI is wrong, and to take the information provided by AI and share it with other humans.
At Spire, we call this “human in the loop.” It’s the process of automating processes up until the point where a human is needed. And you’ll come to understand this concept as you think about the processes that you could start automating with AI.
Your First Week Of AI Adoption: Automating Compliance
For your first week of AI automation, we’ll focus on talking about the AI tasks that could be accomplished in 5 days of time, or roughly 40 hours of work (depending upon your job). Let’s start with everyone’s favorite department: compliance.
Day 1: Today you’ll automate correspondence with your compliance department. If you’re in the healthcare, financial, or aerospace industry, you probably interact with your compliance department quite regularly. So what does that workflow currently look like?
Let’s say you have a compliance question or a list of compliance questions. Today you may write an email to someone in the compliance department, setup a meeting for next Tuesday morning, and then create a calendar invite for that meeting. Oops! You have a meeting run long on Tuesday, so you missed that meeting. Now you have to reschedule.
Instead of going through this whole process of meeting with a member of compliance, and instead of members of compliance having to spend their days answering everyone’s questions, why not automate?
On day 1 of your AI adoption, a member of compliance will create a list of the most frequently asked questions and write answers to those questions. Then those questions and answers can be programmed and integrated with an SMS system so that members of your organization can simply send a text to a compliance phone line and get an answer to their question instantly. No more missed meetings.
On days 2, 3, and 4 of AI adoption, your compliance department will write answers to all of the possible questions that they could think of being asked. Ever. They will then program and integrate the same way they did previously, and voila!
Day 5: the last day of your first week of automation can be spent relishing. Or you and the compliance department could each calculate all of the hours of time you just saved both of your departments.
Weeks 2-3 of AI Adoption: Automating Sales Lead Qualification
Sales can be a complex process. Each lead comes to you with unique needs in terms of personality, budget, timeline, etc. So to some, the automation of a delicate process doesn’t sound doable… but it is!
Currently, you probably get leads via email, referral, social, or phone call. Someone in your sales department probably responds to that lead, setting up an initial call, and then learns more about that lead in 30 minutes of time. If the lead isn’t qualified, that’s 30 minutes of wasted time. If the lead is qualified, it goes to the next step in the qualification process.
After the initial call, your sales department typically sets up another call with a lead, learns more about their needs in another 30 minute to 60 minute call, then sets up a lunch to really get logistical. If the lead isn’t qualified, that’s another 30 to 60 minutes wasted. If the lead is qualified, well, congrats. But still, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just skip right to that ‘wine and dine’ portion of the sales process and save your company up to two hours of time? It’s possible, you just have to automate…
So here’s what weeks two and three of your AI adoption are going to look like:
- First you’re going to list all of the inquiries that you see coming through your sales funnel. You’re going to do this for every stage of the sales process, up until the point where you’d like to meet with a lead or create a very personalized response.
- You’re then going to create answers to all of the possible inquiries that you think you could see. Again, you’re going to do this for every stage of the sales process that you’re automating.
- Next you’re going to sync these inquiries and responses to AI software that is linked to your phone, email, and social accounts. With OneReach.ai, you can do that in 30 minutes or less.
- Now you’re going to test the process and make sure that your AI bot is responding to all the different types of inquiries on all of your platforms, in the manner you intend.
If you have no trouble mapping out your sales process from start to finish and know exactly what parts of the process you’d like to automate, this process will likely take you less than two weeks. But sometimes testing and optimizing your automated responses takes a few days, and some companies need more time to consider what parts of the process they’d like to automate. If that sounds more like you, consider these other sales automation ideas:
- Automate the scheduling of meetings and the booking of conference rooms
- Automate contract renewals
- Automate project status emails
- Automate followups with clients or account health-checks
Week 4 of AI: Automating Sales Trades and Company Investments
What’s cooler than a 401k for employees? An AI bot that invests a selected amount of money for them based upon market and economy indicators. What’s cooler than investing company profits by hand each quarter? Having an AI bot that invests without your financial department having to lift a finger.
Since you may not be very up-to-date on the use cases of AI, an investment bot may seem like a very complex automation project. That’s why we have it as our final task in this article, but we promise: after 23 days of automation, creating an investment bot will seem like a walk in the park.
Like most learning-based AI today, all you have to do is teach a bot and let them run. You tell a bot what indicates a stock that’s ready to boom, it will buy. You tell it what market is getting ready to bust, it will steer clear. Even if investing isn’t a part of your company’s growth strategy, this is a great chance to reconsider.
To employees, a 401k is pretty typical of most employment packages, today. But tell them you have an AI bot that can invest a percentage of their paycheck for them each month, now you’re standing out from the crowd.
Automation as a Company Culture
Once you start thinking about AI, it’s very easy to start rattling off automation use cases. But once you start creating AI bots for your organization, it’s even easier to start reallocating resources and driving value.
Think about the job satisfaction level of your organization if no one had to do the tedious tasks that they don’t currently like? Think about the extra time that your department heads could have to implement more strategy? Think about the time saved in these 30 days alone, for three different departments…
For the compliance department, you’re probably saving those folks 20 hours of time per person, per week, depending on the size of your company. For the sales department, you’re saving your sales team upwards of 40 hours a week as well. For your finance department, you’re saving them time but also making your company a ton of money. And you’re helping your human resources department hire!
The value is there for those companies who want to spend just 30 days adopting AI and automating processes. For those who decide to refocus their entire company culture around automation, there’s even more value to be had.
Looking to read more from this author? View another AI tech article.