Let’s start with the numbers and the major problem we face as sales people… or practically anyone who schedules lots of meetings. Sales people spent 20% of their time doing CRM, administrative, and report related tasks in 2015, according to the report State of Sales Productivity.
Of that 20%, we can imagine much of that time comes from scheduling customer meetings. Having had experience as a “sales hunter” closing long-term, six figure software sales, I confess that scheduling meetings with customers was a time intensive part of my sales process. Whether you’re an accountant, personal coach or CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you probably feel the same way I do. Scheduling meetings is time consuming but needs to get done. Period.
I’m going to help you shave down this 20% number with artificial intelligence Insightly CRM integrations for scheduling meetings in-person or via email.
Scheduling Meetings In-Person
First, let’s learn about NLP (natural language processing)?
Here’s a gif to explain…
NLP allows programs to understand human language as it’s spoken or typed like shown with the Insightly Slack Bot. You may have already used tools such as Siri and Google Assistant, which also rely on NLP too. With our integration we’re going to integrate NLP technology with Insightly’s business card scanner to quickly schedule meetings in-person.
Let’s pretend we’re meeting a new customer at the Hard Rock Cafe Networking Mixer…
Hello, John pleasure to meet you.
Nice to meet you too. Hey! My friend told me you do
fundraising for nonprofits. Can you help me with a project?
Of course I can help you. What’s the project about?
We’re looking to build an animal shelter uptown
and we need help with funding. Here’s my business card.
Maybe we should schedule a meeting, so I can give you all the details.
Great! Let’s schedule the meeting right now.
It will take less than a minute. Do you have your calendar on you?
Why yes I do… give me a second to check my phone.
John opens his calendar app to look for an available time slot.
While John is checking his calendar, Susan opens her Insightly mobile app and starts scanning John’s business card.
I am available next week on Tuesday from 10am till noon.
Let’s meet here. Does that work for you?
Susan confirms time slot on her calendar.
Yes, that works for me.
Susan switches back to Insightly and clicks the voice to text button.
Meet with John from 10am to noon next tuesday at the Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix, Arizona.
Susan clicks Save to Insightly.
Perfect! You’ll get an calendar invite soon with all my contact details too.
Wow! You weren’t kidding when you said it would take less than a minute to
schedule a meeting. You’re really on top of things Susan.
As you can see there is no long list of fields to complete using various apps, the conversation barely skipped a beat, and best of all… you made a positive impression with your new customer.
Interested in integrating NLP technology with Insightly’s business card scanner?
I imagine the next big tech advancement for this use case is wearing smart glasses to monitor your conversation and schedule meetings automatically. This would require zero human intervention on your part and only the customer would need to tell you when they’re available. The customer wouldn’t even need to give you their business card because facial recognition and data mining technology would scan the customer’s face to find matching contact information online. While we’re a few more years away from having this technology, scheduling in-person meetings will meet your needs for the interim.
Scheduling Meetings via Email AI
Moving onto scheduling with AI (Artificial Intelligence)… First, what is AI?
According to Wikipedia, AI is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.
Since we’re using AI technology to schedule meetings (or interact with humans), this technology will also rely on NLP and there’s a new AI tool for scheduling meetings that does exactly this. The AI scheduling service is called “Amy” by X.ai.
Here’s a video demonstrating how Amy (and her twin brother Andrew) learns your preferences, solves problems by working out scheduling conflicts, and takes NLP to a whole new level!
As stated on their pricing page, Amy will save you on average 10 hours per month scheduling meetings. That’s a lot of time, but as a CRM Consultant I’m still not satisfied…
If we look at Amy’s and Insightly’s processes, we still have three more activities we can delegate to robots:
- Reduce time spent delegating tasks to Amy by using Insightly’s email templates. The email template insert fields will give Amy everything she needs to know about your contact(s), in order to schedule meetings as fast as possible.
- Automatically sync your event activities to your CRM using Insightly’s Google or Microsoft Exchange calendar sync.
- Amy’s not ready to send event reminders or integrate with conferencing platforms yet, so we’ll add automation tools like Zapier to give Amy a helping hand.
Interested in adding AI to Insightly CRM?
Watch my AI Scheduling Assistant for CRM Setup Tutorial