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min read
September 14, 2023

7 Best Ways to Use AI for Lead Generation

7 Best Ways to Use AI for Lead Generation

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Other than creating content, one thing artificial intelligence is really good at is analyzing large chunks of data almost instantly and identifying patterns.

Sales teams can take this to their advantage to streamline and enhance their lead generation process. 

How?

Firstly, sales reps can use AI tools to identify the highest-quality leads in their pipeline.

In addition, these tools can be used to send personalized follow-up emails or messages based on past interactions.

Similarly, sales teams can use AI at different stages of their lead generation process. 

In this guide, we’ve compiled seven different ways sales teams can use AI for lead generation. 

Parallelly, we’ve also mentioned what AI tools are the perfect fit for each specific use case to help you pick the right ones for your sales tech stack.

Let’s get started.

How to use AI for lead generation: 7 effective ways 

Sales teams can use AI across different stages of the lead generation process - whether it’s lead capture, segmentation, qualification, or nurture. In this section, we’ll look at the different ways you can integrate AI into your overall lead generation strategy. 

Here are a few ways you can use AI to enhance the lead generation process:

1. Speed up content creation.

Sales reps spend less than 30% of their working hours selling. 

About 31% of their time (12.4 hours a week) is spent creating, editing, and tweaking sales collaterals. 

This involves PPTs, brochures, product comparison guides, and other promotional materials. 

These documents also need to be tweaked based on the specific needs of each lead, which takes more time. 

Since sales reps need to create/tweak a lot of content, it also impacts the overall quality, leading to missed opportunities and ineffective communication.

Sales reps can cut down the time they spend on creating sales collaterals while also improving the overall quality of these collaterals by integrating AI tools like Wordtune or ChatGPT into their workflows.

So, for example, you’re looking to create a product brochure. 

Instead of starting from scratch, AI tools can provide a template or draft based on the product details and past successful brochures.

Example:

Note: we highly recommend you to edit these drafts and add the element of human touch. AI generative tools are as good as the prompts and information provided to them. 

Sales teams can also use AI tools to draft personalized outreach messages.

Prompt:

First draft:

You can also use an AI tool like Wordtune to tweak your sales outreach messages. 

So, suppose a sales message seems too casual, you can use Wordtune to turn it professional.

One of our customers mentioned on G2 how much they love using Wordtune for this specific use case, “​​Because I am not a native speaker, I had difficulty distinguishing formal writing language while writing sales emails. Now, I spend less time writing emails that sound more professional, and I can come up with more variations.”

You can also use Wordtune’s Read and Summarize feature to summarize long-form content and generate concise reports and presentations.

For example, we asked Wordtune to summarize HubSpot’s Content Marketing Strategy Guide eBook. 

Sales teams can also use this feature to extract key pointers from long-form documents, helping them create powerful sales collaterals. 

Last but not least, marketing teams can also use AI tools to create blog posts, case studies, eBooks, whitepapers, and other forms of content to generate high-quality leads for their business. 

2. Extract valuable insights from sales calls.

AI tools can also be used to extract valuable insights from sales calls. 

Sales reps can further use these insights to draft powerful follow-up emails, address concerns of potential clients, and tailor their future conversations to better resonate with the lead's specific needs. 

This can help increase the chances of converting these leads into customers.

For instance, you can use Gong, a revenue intelligence platform, to capture and transcribe sales calls. Gong’s AI further turns these sales recordings into actionable insights for sales reps to close more deals at a faster pace. 

One of Gong’s customers on G2 quote, “For me, Gong is up there with one of the most important tools in the sales tech stack. A major challenge I always had (prior to Gong) was taking notes on a call whilst trying to listen for snippets to help me dive deeper during my discovery. With Gong, I can be fully present on all my calls with the knowledge I can listen back to the recording straight after (1.5x speed) to take down all my important notes for follow-up / next steps.”

You can also use Wordtune’s Read and Summarize feature to extract meaningful insights from sales call recordings. 

Here’s an example:

These insights can further be used to understand your prospect’s pain points and challenges. 

This enables sales reps to tailor their approach and offer solutions that directly address the needs of the potential client.

Using AI tools to transcribe and generate meaningful insights from sales call recordings:

  • Saves sales reps from manually listening to these recordings again and again.
  • Ensures that no crucial information is missed or overlooked.
  • Allows for a more strategic approach to follow-ups, as sales reps can pinpoint the exact needs and concerns of the potential client.

Based on the insights extracted from the call above, let’s create a follow-up email using Wordtune’s Editor:

Here’s the generated first draft by Wordtune Editor:

Similarly, sales reps can use AI tools to generate follow-up emails to their calls with potential clients. 

3. Implement a 24/7 virtual sales rep on your website.

Implementing an AI-powered chatbot on your website can help answer customer queries, solve their problems, collect lead information, and even schedule demos or calls - without requiring human intervention.

Unless you’re a part of an enterprise company, it’s very less likely your customer-facing teams are available 24/7. However, today’s customers’ behavior is unpredictable.

What if a potential customer lands on your website at 10 PM and wants to know more about your product, yet there’s no one to assist them? 

Or what if they want to schedule a call with someone from your sales team?

If there’s no one to assist them, they might bounce off.

For sales teams, implementing an AI-powered chatbot can:

  • Proactively engage with potential customers as they explore your website. Sales teams can set triggers to initiate chatbot interactions based on user behavior, like time spent on a page or specific actions taken.
  • Capture lead information even outside of business hours.
  • Offer personalized product or service recommendations based on user interactions and queries.
  • Provide instant responses to frequently asked questions, reducing the time potential leads might spend searching for information.
  • Give potential customers the ability to directly schedule a demo or call through the chatbot interface, thereby streamlining the lead generation process.

Also, if one of your potential customers wants to speak directly with a sales rep immediately, a chatbot can also help them do that. 

There are several AI-powered conversational platforms in the market but Drift is our personal favorite. 

Drift is an AI-powered conversational platform that does this really well. Using Drift, you can implement a smart chatbot on your website that acts as your 24/7 sales rep. 

Wesley Anderson, one of Drift’s customers, mentioned in his G2 review, “We're a global team working all hours of the day. Drift's website chat functions make it near impossible to miss a site visitor with a simple question, a hot lead asking for a demo, or an existing customer in need. Love that prospects are able to quickly book a meeting right in the chat function.”

Whether your potential customers want to know more about a specific feature or book a demo with sales, they can do so with the help of the chatbot implemented on your site. 

4. Incorporate video messaging into your sales process.

There are no exact numbers on how many sales reps use videos. 

However, Vidyard, in one of their reports, mentioned that using video for sales outreach has increased response rates for more than 60% of sales reps

Moreover, sales reps have reported that buyers are 50% more responsive to messages when at least one video is included as part of the sales cadence.

Whether it’s sales, marketing, or customer service, there’s no denying that video is a powerful content format. 

Using personalized videos during outreach can increase your response rate. 

That’s because when potential customers see that your sales reps have made the extra effort, it makes a very good first impression.

Just think about it - would an outreach text-message or a personalized video message grab your attention more?

However, it’s easier said than done.

Creating videos is time-consuming, especially if you produce them at scale. And you don’t even know whether your prospects will respond back or not. 

Of everything that goes into producing sales outreach videos, writing a personalized and highly engaging video script is very time-consuming.

Using an AI tool like Wordtune, you can create excellent first video script drafts for sales outreach videos.

Prompt:

Output:

You can also save a template draft in Wordtune, which you can modify later for individual leads. 

Once you’ve recorded your video, you can further fine-tune and edit it using incredible AI video editors like VEED and Descript.  

But that’s not all.

There’s another challenge with this approach. 

It’s very hard to create personalized sales outreach videos at scale. Your sales reps would have to spend a lot of time in front of the camera to record these videos. 

While you can hire a dedicated freelance video creator or a team to help with the production, it still doesn't solve the scalability issue and would also require your sales reps to collaborate closely with them.

To solve this challenge, you can consider using an AI-powered video platform like Hippo Video

This platform offers a wide collection of pre-built templates and also allows you to stitch personalized intros with pre-recorded videos. 

This means, sales reps only have to spend time focusing on recording personalized intros. These intros can be combined with pre-recorded templates that further help them convey your point. 

This hybrid approach ensures that each video feels personalized but without the need to record a new video from scratch every time.

One of Hippo Video’s customers on G2 quote, “There is nothing else on the market like Hippo Video. You can make and edit long form videos, or short email marketing videos, you can personalize videos, you can make video sales templates, and send video email campaigns while tracking opens, clicks, etc. I have tried others like Dubb, Bonjoro, etc., but Hippo has many more features and is better overall. Emails get delivered. Price/value for money is very good. Support is also very good.”

5. Build customer personas

Understanding your customer personas is crucial for any sales team. 

Otherwise, they risk putting the wrong message in front of the wrong people and missing out on opportunities. 

In fact, sales teams that use customer personas acquire 24% more leads and reduce their sales cycle by 36%. 

Here’s an example:

Customer personas can help sales teams understand what challenges different customer personas are facing, and based on that, they can tailor their messaging for these personas.

For example, a SaaS company that sells project management software has different customer personas like founders, managers, and end-users. In this case, a founder may be concerned about the overall cost, scalability, and efficiency of the software. 

Whereas managers may want to focus on features that help in team collaboration and increase their efficiency. End-users would be interested in ease of use and integration capabilities.

As you can see, different customer personas have different needs and priorities. That’s the reason it’s important to create relevant messaging for each customer persona.

But most importantly, if your team hasn’t created customer personas in the first place, that should be your #1 priority. 

You can use AI tools to create these personas. 

Just provide these tools with the exact specifics of your business and ask them what your potential customer personas are.

We used Wordtune to create potential customer personas for a SaaS company:

Note: these personas may not be exactly accurate. Hence, it’s very important to evaluate each customer persona generated by the AI tool of your choosing and discuss them with relevant stakeholders to ensure their relevance and accuracy. You can further fine-tune these personas depending on your research and discussions.

6. Filter high-quality leads from low-quality ones.

Sales teams spend a lot of time on low-quality leads. 

Many reps don’t have the slightest idea of which leads to focus on and which ones to avoid. 

In fact, you’ll be shocked to know that about 50% of leads might not even be a good fit for your product.

Chasing low-quality leads is an expensive mistake that sales teams need to avoid. 

To avoid making this mistake, sales teams can introduce AI tools like HubSpot’s Predictive Lead Scoring into the mix. 

These tools study the behavioral patterns of previous leads and identify patterns in terms of which ones converted and which ones didn’t. 

Alongside this, these tools take several data points and custom scoring criteria into consideration to better understand the nature of the leads. 

Based on this analysis, these tools can identify the highest-quality leads in the pipelines by assigning every lead a score based on their likelihood of converting. 

Sales teams can use this data to prioritize and even disqualify leads, helping them save their valuable time and effort. 

However, for this to work, you need to feed the lead scoring AI tool with a lot of past customer data. That’s the only way it can learn and make accurate predictions. 

You can fine-tune these tools such that if a specific account’s score is higher than set criteria, then your sales reps will instantly get notified. 

8. Create follow-up emails that match the sentiment of each response.

A big challenge sales reps face is understanding and responding to the sentiment of leads. 

What if a lead is skeptical? 

Or what if they’re annoyed? 

Responding with a generic follow-up email can be counterproductive. Especially if you don’t take the sentiment of the lead into consideration.  

AI tools like Wordtune are equipped with sentiment analysis capabilities that can scan responses from leads and determine the underlying sentiment. 

Whether it’s an email or chat message, these tools can gauge whether the lead is positive, negative, or neutral about your reach out and product/service.

You can also use an AI tool like Apollo that automatically drafts follow-up emails or messages based on the sentiment of the previous responses. 

Apollo is a sales intelligence platform with a database of 60M+ companies and 260M+ contacts. 

Recently, the platform introduced its AI assistant, Apollo AI, with impressive sentiment analysis and follow-up capabilities.

The tool allows sales teams to automate follow-up processes and send hyper-personalized responses that match past responses.

One of Apollo’s customers on G2 quote, “As a dedicated sales professional, I have found Apollo.io to be an invaluable tool that truly optimizes my workflow. The platform's comprehensive features and user-friendly interface have significantly elevated my efficiency and success. Apollo.io's standout feature is its powerful lead generation capabilities.”

Conclusion

There are other ways to use AI for lead generation besides those listed in this post.

You can also use AI to qualify leads, monitor brand mentions across social media platforms to identify potential leads, and optimize your existing content to generate more leads.

AI sales tools like Wordtune, Gong, HubSpot, Drift, Hippo Video, Apollo can be an incredible addition to your sales tech stack. However, that’d be dependent on your specific needs and requirements. 

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