Artificial intelligence has revolutionized our understanding of computers and the relationship between humans and machines in many areas of our lives, from self-driving vehicles to unlocking our phones with Face ID. Yet another industry that is being impacted – for the better – by AI and smart technology is sales. Many tools tailored towards sales enablement (i.e. making selling easier for reps) run on artificial intelligence, providing a number of benefits that are crucial for success in 2023.
Let’s take a look at some of the most promising AI-powered sales enablement trends and tools that are worth keeping an eye on, and even implementing into your own sales tech stack.
- What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
- How is AI currently impacting the sales industry?
- Which AI trends should we be paying attention to in 2023?
- Trend #1: Use of predictive sales AI for business and sales forecasting
- Trend #2: Sentiment analysis across online customer feedback
- Trend #3: Conversational intelligence insights from sales calls
What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence by machines. It has been defined in many ways, but in general it can be described as a way of making a computer system “smart” – that is, able to understand complex tasks and carry out complex commands. AI is a rapidly evolving field, and it is already being used in a number of ways, from medical diagnosis to autonomous vehicles. In the future, it is likely that AI will play an even more important role in our lives, as we increasingly rely on automation to make our lives easier.
As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, the potential implications for work are significant. One of the most immediate impacts is automation. AI-powered bots are already being used to carry out simple tasks like data entry and customer service. As they become more sophisticated, they will be able to take on increasingly complex tasks, including many that are currently performed by human workers. For example, as machine learning enables computers to carry out more creative tasks, such as writing and design, human employees will have to demonstrate their ability to harness the power of AI in order to stay competitive.
What is machine learning (ML)?
Machine learning (ML) is a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on teaching computers to learn from data in order to automate decision-making. Machine learning algorithms build models based on past data in order to make predictions about future data.
For example, a machine learning algorithm could be used to automatically classify emails as spam or non-spam. ML is often used for tasks that are difficult for humans to perform, such as handwriting recognition or facial recognition. ML is also used for predictive analytics, which can help businesses to make better decisions by identifying trends and patterns in data.
How is AI already impacting the sales industry?
Sales is a fast-paced industry that is constantly evolving. Luckily, artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to make its way into the sales industry, and it has the potential to transform the way salespeople work. From customer relationship management to lead generation, AI can help sales teams work more efficiently and effectively. Here are some of the ways in which AI is already helping sales teams work smarter to meet quotas and targets with less stress and fewer long days in the office.
- Strategy and planning: Market research to determine the viability of new products and assess the need for a new solution within a certain sector can already be automated with robotic process automation solutions.
- Prospecting and lead qualification: Gathering new leads and collecting information on prospects that match a specific buyer persona is already made easier with chatbots and LinkedIn scraping tools.
- Pricing and contracting: Request for proposals and quotes can be automatically generated thanks to intelligent software supported by natural language processing and robotic process automation, significantly reducing the time it takes to draft, send, and have both parties sign personalized proposals.
- Order management: Invoicing, AP automation, order fulfillment, digital product activation, and inventory tracking done via bots saves sales and fulfillment teams hours and eliminates human error that can cause order mishaps.
- Post-sale process: Automatically following-up with existing customers via email and text to send offers for up- and cross-selling opportunities and pro-actively solving customer service related issues is already possible, positively impacting revenue and reducing churn.
- Reporting and analytics: Identifying gaps in the sales process with the help of conversational intelligence and optimizing sales agent performance through automatically generated reports already saves sales managers time and effort.
Which AI trends should we be paying attention to in 2023?
From lead generation to post-sale activities, automation can help salespeople save time and close more deals. However, automation can only do so much. There are still many tasks that require human expertise, such as understanding customer needs and building relationships. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. AI can help salespeople by providing valuable insights into customer behavior, essentially sifting through and making sense of extremely large volumes of customer data and information.
Trend #1: Predictive sales AI for business and sales forecasting
Predictive sales AI is an automation tool that analyzes customer data to provide sales teams with predictions about future customer behavior. By understanding past customer behavior, predictive sales ai can identify patterns and trends that can be used to generate sales predictions. This information can be used to improve sales strategies, plan for future customer needs, and optimize resources.
In addition, predictive sales AI can help to identify potential new customers and assess their likelihood of becoming customers. As a result, predictive sales AI can be a valuable tool for sales teams looking to improve their performance.
Trend #2: Sentiment analysis across online customer feedback
Sentiment analysis is a form of automation that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify the emotional tone of customer feedback. The AI system analyzes the text of customer feedback for keywords that indicate positive or negative sentiment. It then assigns a score to the feedback based on the overall sentiment.
This score can help businesses quickly identify which feedback is positive and which is negative. In addition, sentiment analysis can help businesses track changes in customer sentiment over time. By monitoring these trends, businesses can adjust their strategies to better meet customer needs.
Trend #3: Conversational intelligence insights from sales calls
The goal of conversational intelligence is to enable computers to interact with humans in a natural and effective way. In order to achieve this, conversational intelligence systems must be able to interpret the meaning of utterances, detect emotions, and generate appropriate responses.
Currently, there are two main approaches to conversational intelligence: rule-based systems and machine learning. Rule-based systems rely on predefined rules to interpret utterances and generate responses. Machine learning, on the other hand, relies on data-driven models that learn from experience.
While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, machine learning is generally seen as more scalable and efficient in the long run, with greater implications for agent training, evaluating sales call performance, and informing sales playbooks and strategy decisions.
The Future of Human and Artificial Intelligence in Sales Enablement
Sales teams have long used technology to make certain tasks easier, in order to improve productivity and efficiency. However, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in sales enablement is a relatively new and fast growing development.
AI-powered tools can help salespeople in a number of ways described above, including uncovering insights about customer behavior and automating tasks such as lead generation, post-sale follow-up, and performance reporting. As a result, businesses that adopt AI-powered tools for sales enablement can expect to see a significant increase in revenue and a reduction in churn.
While artificial intelligence in any industry sparks concerns of outpacing human intelligence and replacing the need for human workers, the complete automation of the sales industry is far from reality. Instead, AI can be leveraged as a powerful tool, adding to the toolbox professionals can draw from for sales enablement. When used correctly, AI can help individual salespeople and even entire business units make a bigger impact.