AI Cold Calling: Benefits, Best Practices and Tips

Unlocking the benefits of AI cold calling for your team

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AI Cold Calling Benefits, Best Practices and Tips - CX Today News
WFOInsights

Published: December 29, 2023

Rebekah Carter

Could AI cold calling be the key to turbocharging your outbound contact center? In the last year, we’ve seen countless examples of how innovative AI tools can enhance CX. Generative AI chatbots, conversational tools, and advanced virtual agents are taking the world by storm.

However, AI isn’t just useful for the inbound contact center. It could also be an incredible resource for outbound sales, proactive customer support, and more. In fact, by 2026, some experts predict contact centers will unlock $80 billion in savings by reducing labor costs.

AI and automation could be the most powerful way to upgrade your marketing and sales strategies and unlock new opportunities in customer service. Here’s everything you need to know about AI cold calling and how you can access the benefits for your team.

What is AI Cold Calling? The Basics

AI cold calling is an outbound contact center or sales strategy that uses artificial intelligence technology to make calls without human intervention. It’s a way to make cold calling more efficient and less time-consuming so employees can focus on other tasks.

AI cold calling tools don’t just automate outbound dialing; they use intelligent algorithms to gather customer information, authenticate users, score leads, schedule calls, and more. Essentially, they give contact center leaders a way to reduce operational costs without compromising on quality of service or customer experience.

AI cold calling tools aren’t an entirely new concept. Companies have been using automated and intelligent dialing systems for years. However, AI evolution has begun to make these solutions a lot more powerful. Generative AI tools like Salesforces’ Einstein Copilot and Microsoft Copilot for Sales and Service can elevate the cold calling process.

These generative AI tools can converse with customers before passing them over to an agent, gathering context and information before a human interaction begins. Plus, they can automate various processes, like troubleshooting problems for buyers, which can reduce the number of calls human teams need to manage.

Examples of AI Cold Calling Tools

AI tools for cold calling might seem like a relatively new concept, but plenty of solutions are already available to contact centers and their team. Today’s AI cold calling software can feature everything from automated dialing and scheduling features to CRM integrations and call recording capabilities. Some even come with conversational intelligence options.

Here are some quick examples of AI cold calling tools available today:

  • Klenty: A sales engagement platform with parallel, power, and normal dialing options. Klenty includes conversational intelligence and AI summarization capabilities, voicemail drop options, call recording, call notes, and call reports.
  • Close: A CRM and cold calling solution in one, Close offers an end-to-end solution for salespeople. It includes automatic diallers, call recording, sentiment analysis, and call forwarding features. Plus, it allows users to send and receive text messages.
  • RingCentral Engage Voice: RingCentral’s all-in-one outbound CX tools allow users to set up proactive outreach campaigns and empower agent productivity. You can speed up lead generation with AI, create calling scripts, and leverage in-depth reports.
  • Dialpad AI: Dialpad’s AI-powered CX platform includes tools for intelligent outbound dialing, lead scoring, sentiment analysis, and more. The company even offers call recording, generative AI coaching, and virtual agents for sales teams.
  • AirCall: AirCall is a robust cloud-based phone system that supports automated workflows, call transcription, and analysis. It can automatically update call logs with contextual information and streamline notetaking in contact centers.

The Benefits of AI Cold Calling for Contact Centers

AI cold calling won’t be ideal for every contact center process. Sometimes, it’s essential for human beings to still get involved in the outbound process to ensure they’re reaching the right people at the correct times. However, AI cold calling can deliver a host of unique benefits, such as:

1. Automating Outreach

AI is fantastic at automating repetitive tasks. This is one of the main reasons many contact centers adopt generative AI agents. Contact center and sales reps are rarely at their most productive when dialing endless numbers and qualifying leads.

With AI, you can follow up with or present offers to thousands of prospects daily without requiring professionals to initiate a conversation. This is particularly useful in sales, where 48% of professionals dread cold calling.

You can create bots that can start a call, present an offer, collect lead information, and then route a call to an agent if a prospect is interested. It’s even possible to use “AI cold calling” in the omnichannel landscape, reaching out to customers across live chat, email, and social media.

2. Lead Qualification and Validation

Using AI cold calling to support the sales team is a great way to validate and qualify leads quickly. Around 63% of sales agents hate cold calling because they struggle to reach leads and pinpoint suitable leads for their sales pitches.

AI tools can leverage intelligent algorithms to evaluate leads and opportunities before making a call. The right system can pinpoint the best leads based on your ideal customer profiles and reach out to them in order of priority.

Plus, AI tools can use NLP capabilities and sentiment analysis to determine how likely a lead will convert into a customer before passing a conversation to an agent.

3. Improving Team Productivity

Agents in both the outbound and inbound contact centers are often overwhelmed by the many tasks they need to complete each day. The more time they spend on cold calling, the less time they have to focus on more valuable jobs.

According to some reports, companies using AI to handle prospecting and administrative work save about two or more hours daily. AI cold calling doesn’t just eliminate repetitive tasks and automate workflows; it also boosts efficiency and performance in other ways.

AI tools can collect context and combine it with information from a CRM system or database before passing a call over to an agent. This means professionals can access all the information they need to handle a call rapidly or convert a lead with minimal time spent searching.

4. Increasing Personalization

The ability of AI bots to collect information from different sources about a customer’s preferences, purchasing history, and sentiment does more than enhance productivity. It also ensures agents can “hyper-personalize” every conversation with potential and existing customers.

These tools can analyze millions of data points in seconds, surfacing information about a customer’s interests, demographics, and more. This means agents can rapidly adapt their sales, marketing, or service strategy to the needs of each contact.

The result is increased customer satisfaction levels, improved retention, and a higher chance of sales. Some tools can even suggest opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.

5. Enhancing Data Insights

Like many other contact center AI tools, cold calling solutions can provide valuable insights into customer journeys, sentiment, and employee performance. The information bots collect about who answers calls and how calls evolve can drive massive benefits for companies.

AI can help businesses determine which deals are more likely to close, which prospects they should target, and even what strategies they should use for sales and marketing.

These insights can lead to more effective outreach strategies, better employee training initiatives, and even the creation of more valuable chatbots and virtual agents.

How to Use AI Cold Calling (the Right Way)

Now you know how beneficial AI cold calling can be in the contact center; the next step is implementing tools correctly. Like any new CX solution, an AI cold calling system must be carefully implemented to generate the right results.

Here are our top tips and best practices for AI cold calling.

1. Choose the Right Tools

First, you need to select the right solution for your company’s needs. As mentioned above, AI cold calling software has come a long way in recent years. If you want to leverage the latest capabilities, it’s worth looking for innovators in everything from generative AI to natural language processing.

Ensure your AI cold calling software can do more than just automate Outreach. It should also be able to collect insights and context, support your agents through conversations, and validate leads.

The right software should also integrate seamlessly with your existing contact center software, CRM platform, and any other crucial tools your teams use.

2. Leverage AI for Pre-Call Planning

AI cold calling tools are excellent for boosting contact center efficiency and productivity. However, they can’t always convert a lead into a sale for you or address every consumer need. With that in mind, it’s worth expanding your collection of AI tools to help with pre-call planning.

AI solutions can assist businesses with everything from coaching agents on improving customer experience to creating personalized cold calling scripts. Tools that collect information from your existing business apps or customer data platforms are extremely useful here.

Generative AI tools can design scripts in seconds based on a customer’s preferences and history and your brand’s tone of voice. Plus, virtual agents can work with employees throughout the customer conversation, guiding them through each stage of the interaction.

3. Target the Right People

In cold calling for sales or proactive customer service, ensuring you’re reaching the right people at the right time is essential. In the sales landscape, your AI cold calling tools can connect with your CRM system and other tools to validate and qualify leads, ensuring you know which customers to reach out to for the best chance of conversions.

Based on historical data, these tools can also identify the right time to contact customers. In the customer service landscape, AI cold calling tools can detect the best time to reach customers to follow up on an onboarding experience or provide service updates.

If something goes wrong with your technology, these tools can also quickly determine which customers you need to contact and inform about the issue. AI tools can even help you keep your prospect and contact list up-to-date with contextual information.

4. Automate More than Dialling

One of the best ways to use AI cold calling tools is to automate the repetitive process of connecting with customers in your outbound contact center. However, today’s intelligent tools can do far more than just dialing.

They can also automate various processes, such as pitching products and new services or upselling and cross-sell deals to customers. Generative AI systems can assess customer issues and determine where to route a call based on their needs.

There are even tools that can automate customer journey analytics and reporting. These tools can offer insights into everything from the demographic data of your target audience segments to the best times to make outbound calls.

5. Keep an Eye on the Metrics

Finally, staying informed is essential when implementing AI cold calling strategies into your business processes. You need a clear insight into which tactics are helping your employees and your business. This means generating regular reports and watching the right metrics.

Pay attention to how many calls you can handle without human interaction and how often AI cold calling efforts translate into leads and conversions. Monitor how effectively your AI tools detect and qualify leads and how often they route customers to the correct agent.

It’s worth gathering feedback from your employees to find out whether your AI solutions are making them more efficient and productive in their roles. The more data you have, the more effectively you can upgrade your future strategies.

Unlocking the Power of AI Cold Calling

AI cold calling could be a powerful tool for any contact center investing in outbound campaigns.

As AI solutions grow more advanced the potential they hold for the contact center will continue to evolve. If you’re not investing in AI cold calling strategies, now could be the time to dive in.

If nothing else, these tools will help to reduce repetitive tasks in your contact center, improve your reach, and even give you some valuable business insights.

Artificial IntelligenceCCaaSConversational AIDigital TransformationGenerative AIWorkforce Optimization
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