A lot has been written about AI and sales (some even by AI cough 🙂 ), and recently I published another piece here.
Recently I had a conversation on the Revenue Strategy Podcast with Micael Oliveira, co-founder of Amplemarket and we went deep how AI will impact the role of sales people.
We covered a couple of things:
- the massive impact on performance
- the massive impact on productivity
- balancing automation with human interaction
The biggest conclusion I make is that while automation will help making us sellers better, it is not the moment to take the foot from the pedal and let AI do our work.
Look at formula 1 drivers.
Despite all the technology they cram inside that F1 car, you don’t see the drivers sweating less than before… they probably sweat even more.
Well, here you go.
Sales will become more like that.
The impact on performance
We see a massive impact on performance. A while ago, Tomasz Tunguz launched the 10xAE concept, and Mica and myself strongly believe in this.
The concept is that there will be a moment where certain sales reps (AEs, SDRs, BDRs) are so adept on using the available tools that they are far more effective than they currently are.
And this should also help closing the gap between the A and B-players according to Micael. Thanks to the available tools, B-players will also become much more efficient.
While I do agree their productivity will increase – see below, I see a stretch on the A-player side to people that thoroughly get it and massively boost their performance. Compare it with online games, where you have people that have such a skillset they dominate the game. On the B-player side, I do see it as an advantage that their performance increases as it is very hard to find A-players.
In order to get those gains, I see a couple of requirements:
- understanding of AI and AI powered tools
- correct use of prompts
- continuous enablement (not just on AI prompts, but also on sales skills, as well as becoming more data driven)
- continuous coaching
- practice practice practice
Sales should finally be recognized as it is: top sports.
The impact on productivity
When we look at performance, then productivity is the logical result.
AI is far more better than humans to process huge amounts of data and gain insights out of this. Sales people can use this to increase the speed of researching, analysing, identifying trends and hooks within their prospect -or client base.
While we talk about quality over quantity, AI will help us to send high quality messages and have relevant conversations than going wide an impersonal -or off mark.
This will help us creating more time to build the personal interactions with our clients.
Another result of this, is that AI will help us becoming more proactive, by nudging the sales people, sales leaders, sales ops and sales strategists into performing certain actions or paying attention to certain trends or numbers, all this based on real time numbers, rather than weekly (in the best case) or quarterly consolidated numbers.
While many sales orgs realised sales orgs should be more data-driven, they should already embrace AI and upskill their teams to use AI efficiently.
Balancing automation with human interaction
Within this shift, we covered the impact on human interaction. Personally, even though I have seen multimillion dollar renewals arriving by mail without human interaction, I am 100% convinced a personal touch will remain hugely relevant.
The big winner will be the one that combines machine and man.
Machine for speed, efficiency and relevant insights, and man for creative thought, emotion and creating trust.
For me, the big danger lies in abusing AI.
When a human buyer understands he is dealing with scripts, he will treat them as such.
I think we can all agree building trust with scripts is hard.
When a human buyer receives an automated, generic mail, they perceive it as spam.
And this was it!
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