Automated Negotiation for your Digitized Seller

How could it be if you have a system that scales your sales force, encodes the knowledge of your sales representatives, contracts deals and negotiates the best terms and conditions on your behalf, with no effort and no waste of time?

I wrote it on https://cxlabs.sap.com/2019/11/04/automated-negotiation-with-zefiro/

Negotiation is ubiquitous in our lives. We negotiate with friends, employers, partners and of course car dealers, the business domain of choice for Zefiro.

Negotiation is a method for finding an agreement in the presence of conflicting preferences and goals.

What could be the preferences and goals in the sphere of commerce? For the buyer - let’s give a name, John - the objective values are the price and the qualities of the product. Other more subjective values are the emotional and social ones. The seller, on the other hand, is concerned on reaching targets and attaining them efficiently by reducing sales cycle time. But how differently their objective might appear, both of them want to close the deal, and get it under satisfactory terms.

Let’s come back to John. He’s looking for a car and starts his purchase journey when he’s searching for information on the internet. He reads reviews, customer’s feedback. The opinions from his friends are surveyed for making up his mind about what is suitable for him. Then it’s time to pay a visit to the car dealer, and that’s where the game with seller begins.

“…isn’t it amazing? I think we also have the ‘midnight blue’ color off-the-shelf. It arrived just yesterday.”

“I agree, blue is much better! Even better with 18 inches wheels.”

“I’m quite sure we have it, but I need to check in my computer, would you come?”

“Yes… but.. roughly, how much it costs?”

“Well, what monthly payment best fits with you? Let’s sit down in the office…”

The seller grasps everything is important to know about John. The needs, the expectations, the preferences and values will shape the desired car the seller will recommend. The perception of John’s financial status might exclude some product offerings in favor of others. The seller observes John’s expertise about cars and his ability in negotiating and he adapts the selling approach accordingly. The experienced salespeople leverages any tiny detail for driving the purchase process towards their goals.

Let’s assume a different scenario. John goes to the car dealer on Saturday afternoon and there are already ten customers, but there are only three salespersons. He roams in the showroom waiting for a seller… You might think at this point, what if we can give John a tablet with an application that carries on the preliminary phase with a digitized version of the car dealer’s salespeople?

What might be the characteristics of such software application?

Real-time Learning

Zefiro will learn at every interaction something more about John. His requirements, intentions, his car usage, his status and even whether he has kids or not. Do you know the “Guess the Celebrity Game” in which you try to get your team to guess which celebrity you are? Zefiro plays the celebrity seeker role and capitalizes all clues John will communicate directly and even indirectly. If tomorrow John would come back again in the showroom, Zefiro - and consequently the marketing and the sales department - already knows a bit of John. When employed at the car dealer, Zefiro has acquired all relevant expertise for conducting the negotiation. It’s prior knowledge comes from marketing research, sales analytics and everything which distinguish that business. Several sources will feed its knowledge graph.

Adaptive Selling

John, exactly like you, is different from anyone else. Zefiro will adapt its selling strategy according to John’s personality. Adaptive Selling is a flexible approach to the negotiation. The selling method will be the optimal one for that type of customer and for that sales situation. Is that worthy? In case of wrong strategy the probability of purchase might drop down to -60% and the price concessions might rise up to +30%. Definitely, yes.

Self-learned Decision Making

There are many tools for helping salespeople to do their job. Analytics tools come in rescue of the sales process. Correct me if I’m wrong, but all interactions with clients, even the back and forward of EMails are manually responded. That’s a bottleneck Zefiro doesn’t have. Zefiro plays against many “virtual Johns” a considerable number of simulations, and it learns. It optimizes the selling process in its favor. It takes all decision steps, automatically.

Automated Argumentation

The system will stimulate, persuade and convince John that the car dealer proposal is the most convenient, advantageous deal he can’t get from another competitor in the area.

Zefiro could be able to meet expectations of sales even though it will be used just to relieve the sales force of the burden to serve the first line of contact, which is well known to have low conversion rate, and therefore very time wasting. The articulation of the system and the resolution of its actions might scale to a high level of negotiation management, and if properly expanded, the system would be able to handle complicated processes thanks to its unbounded optimization capabilities.

I didn’t write about other business cases so far. Are you curious to know how it can fit with yours? Drop me a line, and let’s sit down in the office…

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