Innovative Strategies in Artificial Intelligence for Operational Performance Consulting to Businesses

Innovative Strategies in Artificial Intelligence for Operational Performance Consulting to Businesses

by Jeremy Doukhan • 2/7/2024, 12:00:00 AM

The Unique Approach of List Consultants

As associates of List, we have also historically been consultants to businesses, and for us, being responsible for decisions, often strategic ones, is a new and interesting complement to our consulting activities. However, this also poses a significant challenge!

Prioritization Challenges in the Development of the First AI Capsule

Among the most representative current issues is the challenge of prioritizing the features of our first AI Capsule, which is tied to improving the process related to Commercial Proposals. To do this, we try to focus on the promised value ultimately delivered by this capsule: improving the outcome of the sales process for businesses.

Distinguishing Between List Solutions and CRM Software

But in internal and external discussions on this subject, a question has arisen: this promise of value may strongly resemble that of CRM software, especially in their original and core functionalities, around managing the “sales pipeline” or other “sales funnels.” How do we explain our difference? Psychologist Daniel Kahneman writes in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, in Chapter 19, The Illusion Of Understanding: “The ultimate test of an explanation is whether it can predict future events accurately.”

Prediction Assumptions as a Differentiation Key

Therefore, to explain the difference in List’s approach compared to CRM software, while the value propositions seem identical, perhaps we can highlight differences in the underlying “prediction assumptions.” Indeed, for CRM software, the implicit assumption is that a user company will improve the results of its Sales process (thus the Gain for the client company) by better following and managing the structural unfolding of its Sales process. In other words, the proposed lever is that of assistance through KPIs, by clarifying roles and responsibilities within the process, and by prioritizing actions.

Efficacy and Efficiency: List’s Dual Promise

The Sales process is then primarily improved on the parameter of evaluating the Timeline, since the company will presumably have succeeded in accelerating its process flow. More specifically, CRM software, therefore, has a promise related to efficiency: the company, with equivalent resources, will be able to speed up its Sales process, and thus, presumably, increase the volume of Sales opportunities handled. At List, with this capsule improving the operational performance of the Commercial Proposals process, we also enhance the Sales process on the dimension of efficiency. But through very different levers than those offered by CRM software: the reduction in sending times for Commercial Proposals is achieved thanks to Artificial Intelligence, which contributes to their construction, and thus reduces team efforts, and accelerates the process flow in the end. But by focusing on the key object of the Sales process, namely the Commercial Proposal, rather than on process management (as CRMs do), we are also able to improve a second dimension of the process, beyond its efficiency: its efficacy! That is, increasing the “quality” or “value” of the content of the Commercial Proposal. And this, again, thanks in part to the contribution of AI.

Complementarity and Competition with CRMs

Thus, functionally and technically, the “Commercial Proposals” capsule from List is complementary to CRM software, for example through APIs. However, by addressing the same Gain objective for client companies, but with differences in terms of approach (efficacy and efficiency rather than efficiency alone) and means (AI on content versus process management), List’s capsule is potentially competitive, strategically, with CRM software!… Clearly, advising is one thing; deciding is another!

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