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The next wave of insurtech disruption will overtake yesterday’s startups faster than the click of an app.  Case in point is Sales GPS, an AI-based app developed by Emplay to help insurance reps close more deals faster. Part personalized sales coach and part indefatigable, smart-as-a-whip intern, the bot behind the app is the brainchild of Emplay CEO, Sanchita Sur. She shared her vision with me during the launch of the SAP Next-Gen Innovation Community for Financial Services at the SAP Leonardo Center in New York City.

Bots plot best route to meet quotas

Sur founded California-based Emplay after her own experiences as a performance analytics consultant and salesperson. Emplay is a member of the SAP Startup Focus program.

“I was part of the problem and the solution, and knew that it was easy to advise how to sell, yet difficult to actually close,” she said. “But I saw that senior sales colleagues had the secret sauce, and thought if we can replicate the quality of the decisions that top performers were making, we could figure out much more quickly what every salesperson needed to do to meet their quotas.”

Recommendations that get results

Sales GPS provides step-by-step guidance to reps based on massive amounts of structured and unstructured data from inside and outside the company. The app, which is available for mobile devices and desktop, runs on the SAP HANA in-memory platform, using its predictive analytics library and text analytics. It provides recommendations at each juncture of the sales process such as how likely the rep is to make quota that quarter, risk levels by each deal, and what steps they should take to close the most deals. The suggestions include which prospects and customers to pursue, who to contact, which promotional materials to send, what to sell at what price, and what to say when.

Real-time closes gap between data and action

SAP was Emplay’s first customer and remains its largest. Sur was justifiably proud of having won awards with SAP, recognized by the Association for Talent Development and Brandon Hall. She said that Sales GPS helped reduce sales ramp-up time for SAP SuccessFactors new-hires by 50 percent.

“There’s a difference between intelligence and action,” said Sur. “You can have graphs and tables, but you have to cognitively process the information to come up with the right decision. Our Sales GPS provides reps with the actions they should take without having to search in multiple places to find out about the customer. Using real-time data, the bot keeps pinging prospects and customers, augmenting the sales rep’s bandwidth until there’s enough response to pass on to the rep for action. It’s like a highly intelligent sales intern that never gets tired or gives up.”

Intelligence brings customers closer

Additional algorithms include a prospecting bot with content and collateral engines. This allows sales reps to send personalized emails to prospects based on a deeper understanding of who the customer is, and which products best match their requirements. Sur said there’s also a chat bot for customers in development.

“Research shows that many customers don’t want to talk directly to salespeople at certain stages, and large companies are doing business with smaller ones. Instead of having inside sales reps spending their time on numerous low volume transactions, customers can go on the website and chat with the bot which can answer questions in natural language covering anything from products available, benefits, pricing and competitive data,” said Sur. “The bot understands the customer’s intent, and can respond with all the information from the database.”

Never-ending learning loop

Sur looks ahead to expanding the sales bot concept to automate the entire B2B sales process, relying on people when it matters most. Machines could mine data from emails, calendars and other sources in any department, constantly learning and sharing what high performers are doing.

“AI helps employees by sharing the right information and actions, then starts augmenting workflows, is able to conduct some transactions, replaces humans in smaller deals, and when it gets stuck, the process goes back to humans,” she said.

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