Skyler360 Uses AI to Personalize CRM and Lead Management
April 1, 2016
Author: David Mario Smith
One of the more interesting trends in enterprise software has been the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and the methods that fall under it such as machine learning algorithms. We are seeing its impact on several business processes and applications. It seems almost every industry and business discipline can be improved by some form of AI to help automate processes and make intelligent recommendations. We are moving into an era of virtual and intelligent assistance that will impact every business process people are involved in.
The other trend we are seeing is a shift to communication and collaboration enabling business processes. So there is a synergy emerging to bring intelligent communications and collaboration to the work processes people are involved in, whether that be in areas such as Sales or Marketing.
One interesting application I saw recently was Skyler360, which is initially being used in Real Estate and some healthcare applications to proactively impact and intelligently automate customer interactions. I had the chance to speak with the CEO and founder of Skyler360, Ron Sasson, and participate in a live demo. What I saw was a forward thinking intelligent CRM and lead management system.
Skyler Uses AI in an automated process to engage leads, then act and follow up on those leads. Around that, you can build business intelligence (BI) and data mining into the process. With the ability to mine data and build intelligence, you can customize the platform to various vertical industries with specific features and capabilities. In my opinion, a key benefit I saw was the ability to keep the customer interaction alive so you avoid scheduling or communications mishaps that may cost you a lead.
Under the hood, Skyler is cross platform compatible and built on mobile first design concepts. While currently patent pending, the platform incorporates AI engines and natural language processing (NLP) into the algorithms to make Skyler faster and more intelligent. Emotion processing can be introduced into Skyler to react differently when it senses, for example, that a lead is annoyed or angry. In a business environment, Skyler can operate as a stand-alone software or be incorporated as part of a larger solution set via integrations with accounting and other business applications.
The platform employs AI algorithms and a predictive model to customize interactions and responses, thus tailoring it for each lead that comes into the system. Leveraging AI, the platform can process a lot of data and scale to meet the needs of thousands of leads throughout the organization.
In The Trenches
So what does all this mean? I spoke with a medical doctor in a private practice who is using Skyler360 to manage his patient and client base. He explained that the automation capabilities of the platform enable him to offer personalized communications with existing and prospecting patients, which would be previously impossible with his time constraints and availability.
One Real Estate broker, which is a residential, investment, and commercial brokerage, runs Skyler with 30 agents. He intimated that 70% to 80% of their work week is spent engaging and qualifying leads either on the phone or online. He estimates that 10% or more of the leads they gather are regularly lost due to human error or schedule conflicts. With Skyler, he says his lead attrition rate is dropping as his agents are spending more time cultivating business relationships instead of qualifying buyers.
The Market Opportunity
If we look at the very crowded CRM market as a whole, we estimate it to be over $30B right now and will grow to around $40B by 2018. While it's very crowded and led by Salesforce, SAP, Oracle and others, there is a large unaddressed market, where specific solutions are targeting gaps in capabilities. This is where AI and predictive analytics is emerging. Emerging providers such as Infer and Lattice are focusing on predictive lead scoring to fill a gap. Then you have sales communications and engagement platforms like Clearslide, focusing again on specific sales outcomes. The opportunity for Skyler is what I would consider this unaddressed market, where sales professionals are looking for targeted solutions to help them achieve business outcomes faster. Whether the going term is sales enablement, sales acceleration or whatever, it's about outcomes. It also requires the realization that sales and marketing have to be in synergy.
So, in looking at the overall CRM market, I think the potential is 20-30% of that market for solutions like Skyler. I anticipate transformative buyers who are willing to act on targeted solutions to enable sales. So early wins for Skyler in each vertical have to be cultivated and leveraged to tell the success story.
In my conversation with Skyler CEO, Ron Sasson, the goal is to target the platform to support a myriad of verticals outside of real estate. I believe Skyler has to focus on and message clearly, integrations with business applications, which will go a long way in helping with adoption. The level of integrations needed will require participating in established enterprise software ecosystems. There is a large unaddressed market that is not being fully served by existing CRM tools. Offerings like Skyler address gaps in incumbent tools and platforms.