This AI-powered assistant helps scale marketing and sales teams

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The co-founder of a tech company shares how his platform is helping companies scale operations.

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January 14, 2021 3 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.

With millions of their employees working from home during the pandemic, many companies have turned to AI technology to improve the productivity of their marketing and sales teams. Ilan Kazan, co-founder of Exceed.ai, says his team built a comprehensive solution that automatically qualifies leads via email, web chat, and SMS, making it easy for companies to scale.

Exceed.ai recently raised a $ 4 million round and is set to grow to $ 13.9 billion by 2025. Kazan spoke to Jessica Abo about how the technology works and shared his advice on improving marketing programs.

Jessica Abo: Ilan, what was the problem you wanted to solve when you wanted to create Exceed.ai?

Ilan Kazan: Companies spend a lot of money generating leads from various sources, websites, inbound leads, webinars and events. Still, they do a very bad job when it comes to working on and following up on those leads. As a result, many wires fall between the cracks. In fact, 44 percent of the repetitions give up the lead after an attempt or two.

The way they are solving it today is by either hiring more people, which obviously leads to declining returns, or prioritizing which leads they actually want to pursue. The problem with prioritizing leads is that you run the risk of cutting the long tail or missing out on potentially valid opportunities.

How does Exceed.ai work?

Kazan: Exceed is a smart AI assistant that works with people to automatically connect each lead to two-way conversations via email, chat, website, and even SMS. Exceed integrates seamlessly with your existing systems, whether it’s your CRM or your marketing automation. It runs automatically and autonomously in the background. And it knows when a lead is ready to speak to a person. It qualifies it and books a meeting directly on the representative’s calendar.

What are the advantages of using AI over manual labor?

Kazan: Robots are very fast, work on a scale, never get tired, never complain, are persistent and can process huge amounts of information. People are good at relationships and have empathy. You are very good at understanding nuances in complex situations. Anything robots are good at, humans hate to do and are actually not that good at it. And everything humans know how to do, robots don’t know how to do. This is essentially a partnership where the robot automates all of the repetitive manual tasks so people can focus on doing what they do best which is closing deals, having conversations, and having relationships.

What’s your number one piece of advice to executives trying to improve their marketing this year?

Kazan: With COVID and its smaller budgets and headcount constraints, you should find ways to automate every single part of the funnel. Because if you really want people to focus on strategic tasks, you need to talk to prospects, derive data and analyze it. You want them to close deals, you don’t want them to do manual unstrategic work.

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