Artificial intelligence, it seems, is everywhere these days. From depictions of AI and sentient robots in Hollywood, through to the launch of a multitude of seemingly intelligent apps, AI is definitely a trend that isn’t going away fast. Even if Elon Musk warns against it.

And today Fusemachines, a sales technology company, has launched its artificially intelligent assistant for salespeople, called SAM. SAM, according to the makers, assists with a company’s inside sales process. How?

SAM uses machine learning and natural language processing techniques, rapidly sifting through millions of qualified leads and appointments. It then ranks these with a buying intention metric, which it uses to create automated communications, drafting the correct response to the prospect.

In turn, this frees up the sales development rep’s time for booking appointments and closing deals, rather than manually finding and nurturing the best leads. And if you think “time” is an irrelevant metric, you might be interested to hear that sales force automation solutions, by an order of magnitude, have the highest cost of ownership of all marketing technologies. Time truly is money — sales role salaries and other burdened costs add up fast.

So where does SAM find all this information, and how does it help to identify purchase intent?

“SAM is finding its leads from internal databases as well as external sources,” Sameer Maskey, CEO at Fusemachines, told me. “SAM constantly crawls the Web to take snapshot of leads, companies, and events associated with them. The external sources include many publicly available sources including social media sites, personal web sites, company websites, and job sites.”

That information feeds the algorithms SAM is based on, which have been developed during both an internal project and a private beta phase.

One concern I had was understanding how SAM works in a team. What if you have ten salespeople working inside sales, and they end up competing with each other for the same high-intent leads?

“Yes, ten or more salespeople can use the platform — it is designed to be collaborative,” Maskey said. “But they can’t use the same leads at the same time for multiple campaigns. Whenever someone ties a lead to a campaign, SAM automatically sets a flag that doesn’t allow anyone else to attach the lead to his/her campaign until the original campaign is completed.”

And SAM has a smart approach to understanding, and tying, lead sources with the marketing campaigns sent to those leads.

“Most platforms have no notion of how to optimize sourcing parameters based on marketing/outreach results besides making intuitive guesses,” Maskey said. “Our system optimizes sourcing parameters based on data generated from outreach experiments. We look at the whole process as a data-driven optimization problem that [our] machine helps you perform rather than ‘build me this list, send these emails, and see what happens’ approach.”

Currently, SAM integrates with Gmail to mine all the leads and opportunities in progress.

“Gmail integration allows SAM to not only build the list of previously contacted leads, but also automatically score the new leads based on similarity with old leads that turned into meetings,” Maskey said.

Fusemachines has not connected SAM to any existing CRM solutions yet, although those integrations are in the works. SAM is available today from Fusemachines, for both new and existing customers.