Neural networks in a sales funnel: can they replace people

Neural networks in the sales funnel: can they replace people

Currently, technologies that are based on artificial intelligence are developing at an accelerated pace, affecting more and more areas of human life. AI is also widely used in traffic arbitrage. With its help, you can quickly and easily create various creatives, one-page websites, record deepfake videos, and even enter communication as a real person would do it. Such rich functionality also makes it possible to introduce artificial intelligence into the sales funnel. This is a solution from which not only arbitrageurs, but also many other specialists in their work can benefit.

Now let’s look in more detail at what an auto sales funnel with artificial intelligence will look like. Let's get acquainted with the features of her work and the areas where she can find worthy use. Let us highlight the problems and difficulties that may be encountered in practice in this case. Let's evaluate the prospects of using neural networks in our own funnels.

Let's get to know how a sales funnel works

Before moving on to specifics, let’s take a closer look at what a sales funnel is and how it works, let’s highlight the main stages.

The sales funnel itself represents a scenario through which a specialist will be able to bring a potential buyer to make a purchase. Accordingly, the same process is called an auto funnel, but only when it occurs without the direct participation of a manager. That is, calls and emails are not expected here — the entire process during which a person himself realizes the need to purchase a particular product or service occurs automatically. Auto funnels are widely used in the information business. You can read more about what an auto sales funnel is and how to set it up here. Now let's just give an example of how it can work in practice, let's say you sell outdoor products.

In this case, an example of gradually attracting a client to purchase a travel package will look like this:

  1. Attracting the attention of the audience, also known as a lead magnet. At this stage, the client is unobtrusively shown an advertisement depicting beautiful mountain landscapes and next to it a small inscription: Isn’t it time to go on a trip? And then next to it is a new message of the following kind: we invite you to get acquainted with the new travel kit, which contains everything you need for a comfortable and exciting trip. This will be enough to arouse a person’s interest and make him think not only about the trip itself, but also about purchasing your set.
  2. Tripwire. This is a fairly cheap product that the client can receive literally immediately after subscribing. It is advisable to include it in the auto sales funnel in order to buy part of the traffic and encourage the potential client to start paying you money little by little. So, at first you can offer to buy a camping lantern that charges from the sun at a good discount, say for $5. Such an offer will certainly interest a person who already has the idea of going on a similar tourist trip. This is not the money you are expecting. But at this stage, your task is not to earn money, but to force the person to take the first step – buy goods. As a result, you get a more loyal customer than one who didn’t buy anything from you. This means that the chances of subsequent cooperation in this case will be higher.
  3. Main product. At this stage, you now have a client who clearly intends to go on a trip and already has one accessory he needs for this — camping lantern. At this stage, you need to send the client a letter in which you tell them that you have a travel kit, including a high-quality tent that will protect from rain, wind, heat, two comfortable sleeping bags, a small set for cooking and other accessories that will make the trip comfortable and unforgettable. The effectiveness of the launched funnel depends on how colorfully you describe the features of your set. Show that with such accessories a person will feel comfortable somewhere on the sea coast, in the mountains, and in the forest. And if you also offer an additional discount, then there is a high probability that the completed order will soon end up in the cart of your website.
  4. Additional sale. This is something that will help increase your profits even more. So, for example, you can additionally offer your client a navigation compass, which will help him navigate anywhere during a trip, an additional set of gas cans for the gas burner on which food will be cooked, etc. That is, at this stage you show that you have You have other products that may interest the buyer. At the same stage, you can offer the client a discount on additional products if he leaves feedback about your previous cooperation.

If you analyze this example, you can understand how the buyer will move step by step through the sales funnel, how it is necessary to create his interest in the product and create a desire to purchase it.

And the most remarkable thing here is that all these stages can be completed without the participation of a manager. It will be enough to connect a chatbot. Then the program itself will carry out the mailing, conduct basic communication with clients, systematically moving them towards the main task — making a purchase.

Auto-funnel in arbitration: features and nuances

The auto funnel that is used in traffic arbitrage is essentially not much different from the solution we talked about above. That is, it contains some kind of offer, creative, landing page, designed to receive all the traffic. To make it more clear, let's return to our example about outdoor products.

Despite the fact that the buyer has already purchased the basic set from you and additional accessories, it would be unreasonable to let him go. You can transfer it to the permanent category. And implementing this in practice will not be as difficult as it might seem at first glance. The most important thing you need to do for this is that you have already achieved — aroused interest and made you trust yourself so much that the person turned to you for a purchase.

All further work that will be introduced through the chatbot is aimed at maintaining interest and making new purchases. So, let’s assume that along with travel sets, your store also has clothes for hiking in the mountains or going on fishing or hunting trips. In its next message, the chat bot can show these products and start a new dialogue. Thanks to the introduction of artificial intelligence, the bot will adapt to the communication style of the interlocutor, his manner, will ask his opinion, be interested in his desires and continue to build the most trusting relationships. But at the same time, certain products that are available in your store will be unobtrusively offered.

An interesting feature, which also works on the basis of artificial intelligence, will be the so-called “Virtual Mirror”. You can invite the client to upload his photo to the bot, and the program itself will “try on” it. on it, certain things from the store will help you choose the right size. Seeing a clear picture of how he will look in a new look, a person on a subconscious level will want to make a purchase.

You can continue this topic for quite a long time, especially if your store has a lot of products that can interest the client. But we have already shown how you can guide a person through the sales funnel, ensure long-term and fruitful cooperation, which will have a positive impact on the level of income of your company. But here the question is different: is it worth involving artificial intelligence in interaction with customers or is it better to entrust this work to managers?

Now let's try to understand this issue in more detail.

To solve what problems in arbitration can artificial intelligence be used

One of the main areas in which artificial intelligence has received the greatest application today — This is automation of the sales department. This is exactly the direction we talked about above. But the capabilities of AI don’t stop there. It can also be used to automate financial accounting, speed up the work of the marketing department, and create advertising creatives.

We will separately highlight the functions of modern neural networks, which today are in high demand among the user audience:

  • Quick search for information. If not so long ago, ChatGPT was mainly used in this niche, today the market offers a huge variety similar tools. One of the worthy options — Perplexity AI. This is a kind of search engine that works in conjunction with artificial intelligence. They not only provide the user with a direct answer to his questions, but also provide a set of links to competent sources that are directly related to the topic of conversation.
  • Image generation and upscale. Artificial intelligence has proven itself quite well in this niche. Yes, some inaccuracies are possible, but with a competent approach it is quite possible to get a good result. In this case, it is worth using basic recommendations: select simpler and more understandable words when describing pictures, do not use the prefix “not”, try to generate the same picture in several services, which will ultimately allow you to choose the best solution. You can also use specialized resources to search for goods. This is something that will allow you to obtain unique graphic content with minimal time and effort. Neural networks can also be used to create avatars without human intervention.
  • Formation of designs and creatives. Using artificial intelligence technologies, you can quickly, and in some cases even completely free, get the desired result. Along with images, neural networks can add captions to them, add voiceovers, and generate original content. One of the interesting solutions in this segment — generation of emotional voices. In the case of videos, it is possible to add adaptation of the hero’s lips to the neurovoice. This means that you end up with truly professional and unique content that will be indistinguishable from what a real person would make. This is something that will significantly simplify the work, speed it up, and increase efficiency.
  • Generative filling. In this case we are talking about the use of so-called generative artificial intelligence. The same ChatGPT, MidJourney can be included in this category. So, generative filling — This is an innovative tool that will literally allow you to finish drawing an existing image, remove certain elements from it, and add new ones in just a couple of clicks. Thanks to this, you can get the kind of graphic content that was originally in your imagination. Also, the generative capabilities of neural networks can be used to store various hypotheses, develop concepts for one-page websites, presentations, logos, and big data analysis.

Artificial intelligence can also be used to control the quality of calls. In this case, the audio message is transformed into text, the neural network runs it through a number of predefined criteria and, based on the information received, forms its own conclusion, assigning a score to the level of customer service in the range from 0 to 10. Recently, computer vision has also been actively introduced into many production processes . In this case, neural networks use a special algorithm that helps them classify certain objects in photographs and videos. Computer vision is also actively used in production to control the quality of materials and finished products, minimizing the likelihood of defects.

Will the AI bot be fully implemented into the sales funnel?

Every day more and more representatives of one business or another are introducing neural networks into their production tasks. The use of a bot powered by artificial intelligence was no exception. It creates precise, detailed messages that help increase conversions. Such a bot is able to delve into the context of a conversation with potential buyers; it remembers all previous calls. This means that the speed of response to user requests increases and, accordingly, the level of customer satisfaction. Imagine that a real person is working with a particular client. To answer a user’s question, he needs to read the entire previous dialogue and delve into it. But the bot will provide an answer to the question almost immediately.

Another significant advantage that promotes the introduction of an AI bot into the sales funnel — this is its integration with the CRM system. Data about customers, previous purchases and requests will be automatically pulled from various social networks and instant messengers. In the same way, in the same Telegram, Odnoklassniki, Facebook, VKontakte, Instagram, WhatsApp can communicate with clients.

If at this point in time you are not mentally ready to shift all responsibility for communicating with potential buyers to the AI bot, then you can combine its work and the actions of a real manager. In this case, the network can generate messages, and a specialist can already check them and make certain adjustments before sending, if the need arises. Also, the generation of creative content and the creation of original lead magnets can be partially transferred to neural networks. For many modern companies, combining artificial intelligence technologies and the work of a real person will be the optimal balance. In this case, you will be sure that all business processes will be under the control of a specialist, but at the same time, his time spent on routine and similar tasks will be significantly reduced.

How deeply artificial intelligence will be introduced into your sales funnel — This is a decision that every business representative must make independently. But it’s clearly not worth discarding the possibility of using neural networks. Having studied the functionality in more detail, you will definitely find those moments that can be entrusted to artificial intelligence, thereby freeing up your own time to solve more global problems.

Where will the conversion be higher: from artificial intelligence or from a real person?

When thinking about the feasibility of introducing artificial intelligence into your business processes, pay attention to the fact that in this case you can significantly increase conversion. The fact that communication with a bot increases the number of targeted actions performed by customers is due to a number of factors:

  1. Answers to all user questions are provided by the neural network very quickly. And these advantages clearly should not be neglected. The fact is that if a real buyer is looking for a product or service, he often works through more than one option and sends several messages to the same chatbots. And here, the winner will often be the one who provides the first answer to the user request. It turns out that when you connect AI, you are proactive: while real people are reading the message and thinking about how to respond, your bot will already send a message.
  2. Providing more detailed and expanded answers. If you analyze the client’s communication with a real manager, you can see that the first messages will be more concise. To find out more complete information about those goods or services that interest a person, he often has to ask more than one question and maintain communication for quite a long time. Unlike a real person, an AI chatbot will immediately give the client the entire amount of information that he has in this matter. In addition, a real person will not always know the answers to all potential questions. So, for example, if a client is interested in the technical characteristics of a particular product, and there are hundreds, or even thousands, of these products in the catalog, then, most likely, the manager will need to additionally look at this data in order to provide an accurate answer. And here we can make a reference to the previous point: response speed is a priority.
  3. Strict adherence to a standardized and regulated sales script. The human factor cannot be ignored, in particular the reluctance to consult documentation for clarification of details. Some may think that this is not necessary, others will simply forget about the existence of these same scripts, and still others — They will simply be too lazy to do this work. The neural network will study this script to the smallest detail and will conduct subsequent communication with clients based on the information received.
  4. Minimum learning period. The fact is that you need to teach both a real person and a neural network. But in the first case this process will take much longer than in the second. In addition, the price of a single operation in this case will be significantly lower.

And now it’s time to say “BUT.” Yes, artificial intelligence can increase conversion significantly, but it will not be able to sell a product or service. This is something only a manager can do. He has a better understanding of all these details, can react to the mood of a potential buyer, will be able to assess his readiness to make a purchase or further stimulate interest by providing an additional discount.

And again we return to the fact that the ideal formula for stable and efficient work — This is a combination of the capabilities of artificial intelligence and a real person. That is, an AI bot — this is the tool that will competently advise a potential buyer and systematically lead him to the final stage — direct execution of the transaction. Thanks to the detailed preliminary work performed by the neural network, managers will receive a fairly impressive amount of data for subsequent analysis. They will have information at their disposal about what exactly interests the target audience and in what ways their needs can be satisfied. This will help scale your business, increase speed and income.

What about the asking price?

Despite the fact that the modern market offers us a huge selection of different neural networks, there is no one universal solution. One that could be used by representatives of every business. In order for your chatbot to conduct competent communication with the user audience and be able to convey the features and advantages of your products and services, it must have this information. But he will be able to obtain it only in the process of training. That is, an individual bot is initially developed for each business, then it is trained, and only after that it can be put into operation.

On average today, the development of such a bot costs about $500-700. And this is a one-time investment. It pays for itself in about 2-3 months of bot operation. The salary of a good manager will be approximately the same. But you will need to pay these funds monthly. This is already a tangible benefit. And if you consider that one bot running on artificial intelligence technologies can do the work of an average of 3-4 managers, then the benefits of its implementation in the production processes of your business become even more tangible.

But again, let us remind you that not a single neural network, even a trained one, can replace a real person directly at the stage of making a purchase.

What problems may arise when using an AI bot at work?

One of the most difficult tasks to be implemented at the stage of introducing an AI bot into the sales process — this is his training. You need to understand that the system will work the way you teach it to. That is, all these responsibilities will fall on the manager.

You shouldn’t expect anything supernatural from neural networks, even well-trained ones. Yes, they automate some of the daily tasks, help with the compilation and publication of certain posts in instant messengers, social networks, and execution of mailings. They will communicate competently with potential buyers, gradually moving them through the sales funnel. But all these processes must be carried out under the control of a real person. This is the only way to get the most out of the use of artificial intelligence.

You will not be able to use neural networks when selling expensive products. This is a task that often involves personal meetings, telephone consultations, that is, live communication. We get that if everything is simple, then no difficulties should arise, but if the task is more complex, then it is clearly impossible to do without a competent manager.

To summarize

Today, artificial intelligence technologies are developing very, very quickly. With their help, you can create fairly simple landing pages literally from scratch, develop original creatives, generate ideas, posts for publication and distribution, conduct competent communication on behalf of the manager with potential buyers, create graphic and video content. But it is clearly not possible to transfer the entire complex of work to neural networks, either today or in the foreseeable future. No robot today can act independently. That is, all those works that are associated with live communication clearly cannot be entrusted to him with money.

In addition, the process of setting up a neural network is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. Often in work you have to set up a combination of 3-4 networks in order to find a solution to a given problem, because one neuron obviously cannot cope with it.

That is, the answer to the question of whether it is worth using artificial intelligence in your own sales funnels will be unambiguous — Yes. But the answer to such a question as “will such a robot be able to replace a real manager and take on the entire amount of work”? will — no.

What do you need in order to put all these processes into operation? Get acquainted with the variety of neural networks that are presented on the market today, choose from them those that will best suit your needs, create a certain combination for yourself and use it in subsequent work. But don’t forget to test new services that will appear on the market from time to time. There is a high probability that you will find more than one worthy option in the foreseeable future.

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