This AI-Powered Assistant Helps Marketing and Sales Teams Scale
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With millions of their employees working from home during the pandemic, many companies have turned to AI technology to improve their marketing and sales teams’ productivity. Ilan Kasan, the co-founder of Exceed.ai, says his team has built a comprehensive solution that automatically qualifies leads through email, webchat and SMS, making it easier for companies to scale.
Exceed.ai recently raised a $4 million-round. Kasan spoke with Jessica Abo about how the technology works and shared his advice for improving marketing programs.
Jessica Abo: Ilan, what was the problem you were trying to solve when you set out to create Exceed.ai?
Ilan Kasan: Companies spend a lot of money to generate leads from multiple sources, websites, inbound leads, webinars and events. Yet, they do a very bad job in working those leads and following up with them. As a result, a lot of leads are falling between the cracks. In fact, 44 percent of reps will give up following up on a lead after one or two attempts.
The way they're solving it today is they either hire more reps, which obviously has diminishing returns, or they prioritize which leads they actually want to follow up with. The problem with lead prioritization is that you're running the risk of cutting the long-tail or maybe missing out on valid opportunities.
How does Exceed.ai work?
Kasan: Exceed is an intelligent AI assistant that works alongside humans to automatically engage every lead with two-way conversations over email, chat, website and even SMS. Exceed seamlessly integrates into your existing systems, whether it's your CRM or your marketing automation. It runs automatically and autonomously in the background. And it knows to identify when a lead is ready to talk to a human. It will qualify it and book a meeting directly on the rep's calendar.
What are the advantages of using AI over manual work?
Kasan: Robots are very good at speed, working at scale, they never get tired, they never complain, they're persistent and they can process huge amounts of information. Humans are good at relationships, feeling empathy. They're very good at understanding nuance in complex situations. Everything the robots are good at, humans hate doing and actually are not that good at doing. And everything that humans know to do, robots don't know to do. This in essence is a partnership whereby the robot will automate all the manual repetitive tasks so the humans can focus on doing what they know to do best which is closing deals, having conversations and having relationships.
What's your number-one piece of advice for leaders out there trying to improve their marketing this year?
Kasan: Given COVID and the lower budgets and headcount constraints, find ways to automate every single part of the funnel. Because where you really want people to focus is on strategic tasks, is on talking to prospects, inferring and analyzing data. You want them to be closing deals, you don't want them to be doing manual unstrategic work.