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IBM - Award for Innovation in Sales

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Company: IBM, Armonk, NY
Company Description: IBM is a values-based enterprise of individuals who create & apply technology to make the world work better. Today, more than 377,000 IBM employees around the world invent and integrate hardware, software and services to help forward-thinking enterprises, institutions and people succeed on a smarter planet.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Award for Innovation in Sales - Technology Industries

Nomination Title: ASK Watson Incentives Cognitive Chatbot

Tell the story about your organization's innovations in sales or business development since the beginning of July 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

ASK Watson Incentives is a cognitive chatbot that provides dialogue and conversational interactions for end users, utilizing IBM’s Watson AI technology. Prior to ASK Watson Incentives, the target audience (sellers/sales managers) could experience wait times of several hours and sometime days to receive a response to their inquiries. With Watson, answers are returned in 1-5 seconds!

ASK Watson Incentives was first introduced in July 2016 with a set of 4 basic topics: Incentive Plan Letters, Challenges, Incremental Incentives, and Incentives Eligibility.One year later, ASK Watson Incentives is answering questions on 25 different broad based incentives related topics on various types of Incentive plans, tools, and concepts, with the capability to answer over 3000 questions.That is a 525% increase!

This year over 11,000 questions have been submitted to Watson Incentives so far, giving our analyst over 5,500 hours back to dedicate to more complex questions. This means that 11,000 inquiries that required an incentives analyst to review and respond are managed by ASK Watson, saving our sellers more than 1,800 hours in the time needed to submit an inquiry to their analyst.

This means that our sellers can focus more time on selling and our analysts can spend more time analyzing the more complex issues. More than 2,500 IBM employees have taken advantage of Watson's time saving ability including sellers and sales support professionals.

ASK Watson Incentives started by supporting only the commissions team. Now it also helps our quota, territory, and design teams within our organization. This means that 100% of incentives related areas are now supported by ASK Watson Incentives.

Additional benefits of ASK Watson Incentives is in the area of education. Our worldwide team of 300 total analysts who support our sellers are now using ASK Watson Incentives to train new team members. Also, the data we review from each user interaction helps us determine gaps in current education that we have available for our sellers and sales managers. We can now make targeted improvements to our education.

ASK Watson Incentives will continue to learn and grow. With every interaction with the users, it enables ASK Watson Incentives to grow into a trusted sales incentives advisor.