Sales EnablementCRM and Data PlatformsEmerging Technology

How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is a holistic process that follows sales development from lead to close. It identifies critical points along the sales journey, builds client trust and product knowledge, and enhances the decision-making process.

In the past few years, as artificial intelligence (AI) has improved, data-driven AI has become an integral part of sales enablement. The use of data-driven AI enables salespeople to deliver exceptional relationship-based experiences while automatically moving new leads up the sales pipeline.

Key Points:

  • Sales enablement using AI has made the sales process much more efficient.
  • Data-driven AI augments salespeople’s efforts, helping them deliver better experiences.
  • Salespeople will increasingly rely upon AI, but AI will never replace salespeople.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

AI programs are a type of software that imitate human intelligence to accomplish basic tasks that typically require human intervention. 

In sales, AI-driven data systems respond to new leads, help qualify those leads and guide them forward in the sales process. This frees up time for salespeople and enables them to concentrate on areas of sales that require a strong human touch.

The backbone of AI is machine learning (ML). With ML, computer programs can adapt to new information without the need for human intervention. Additionally, deep learning enables those same programs to learn from additional data, including videos, texts, or images. Sales teams benefit from this technology as new automated systems learn patterns, objections, and pain points of potential clients. New leads that are assigned to sales reps come with a wider variety of information that can be used in the sales process.

Some businesses are using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as part of their sales enablement automation. However, AI software is more sophisticated than RPA software. RPA is built around attended automation, which covers repetitive processes with clearly defined data sets. In contrast, AI covers repetitive processes and non-repetitive processes because it can respond to data that changes over time. Most platforms use both AI and RPA in their day-to-day functioning.

Sales teams that use AI in their sales enablement process are growing revenue at twice the rate of the gross domestic product GDP, as opposed to their non-AI user counterparts.

Forbes

AI Is Improving Our Lives

AI is a widely-used solution that has already benefited your life. Beyond the obvious benefits to the world of sales, if you’ve ever played chess against a computer, used any social media, or flown on a commercial airplane, you’ve used AI. It’s made your world safer, more efficient, and more fun. Google, Siri, and Alexa all use AI to help you organize your life. If you have a new car, your automatic braking, collision avoidance systems, and many more safety features, use some degree of AI to improve the human experience. 

AI Use In The Sales Enablement Process

As touched upon before, data-driven AI is dramatically improving the sales enablement process. With the enhanced data that is captured, the sales journey becomes more efficient. AI provides an extensive series of benefits, including:

  • Quick response – Where it used to take hours or days to follow up with a lead, AI can begin generating responses, find client needs within seconds, and reply within minutes. AI use in chatbots means an instant response. Salespeople are notified, and these captured leads move quickly up the sales pipeline.
  • Prioritized leads – With data-driven AI, leads can be prioritized based on how complete their data set is. The data captured from inbound or other sources helps build a better understanding of the potential client. The more complete the data, the more opportunity is available for sales teams to discover pain points and offer relevant solutions to clients. 
  • More accurate forecasting – Sales forecasting was once a very manual process, but with data-driven AI many different factors and data sets can be applied. Different algorithms can show ranges of results and have higher accuracy factors. 
  • Individualized data insights – Sales is far more than the “sell sell sell” that it used to be. Highly informed customers or potential clients need individualized solutions and expect salespeople to be experts. AI can “data-mine” to create insights that matter to clients and provide tailored experiences.
  • Lead Management – AI can help automate the process of lead management. Instead of having a manager distribute and oversee new leads, data-driven AI can take care of the process. This frees management to concentrate on continuous improvement for sales teams and makes follow-up times much faster.

Why AI Will Never Replace Salespeople

Just like email and texting, AI is one of many tools available to salespeople. AI is being used and will continue to improve and augment the sales process. But AI can never replace good salespeople.

A significant part of the sales process is understanding the customer and putting yourself in their shoes. AI simply isn’t capable of this. Reacting to input and understanding concerns are two very different things. 

Personality matters too. It’s been said that people buy from people they like—just one of many reasons why salespeople always try to find commonalities with their clients. AI isn’t going to comment on how you both go to the same golf club or that your kids go to the same school. Finally, AI won’t understand empathy. AI doesn’t have feelings; humans do. 

Like every other job, AI will be involved and improve the process. But sales careers will continue to be a human-focused endeavor. 

Sales enablement using AI is the all-in-one solution for sales teams that want to see more closed deals, optimize their sales process, and empower their sales reps to improve their performance.

Business owners who have not considered using a platform that features data-driven AI for their sales enablement platforms are at a severe disadvantage not only to enterprise-level organizations but also to other small and medium-sized competitors. AI in business isn’t the future; It is the now.

The Next-Gen Sales Tool for Winning Sales Teams

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Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and recognized expert on digital transformation. Doug is a Keynote and Marketing Public Speaker. He's the VP and cofounder of Highbridge, a firm specializing in assisting enterprise companies to digitally transform and maximize their technology investment utilizing Salesforce technologies. He's developed digital marketing and product strategies for Dell Technologies, GoDaddy, Salesforce, Webtrends, and SmartFOCUS. Douglas is also the author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies and co-author of The Better Business Book.

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