ChatGPT and dozens of other artificial intelligence (AI) products have made a big splash for AI a bit of a novelty recently, dominating the conversation around productivity and efficiency in the B2B world. Its many evolutions and the powerful AI of today make it an irresistible tool to many.
Many writers use AI to spark ideas. Customer success leaders leverage chatbots to lighten workloads. Even musicians use AI to create catchy tunes. And now, savvy sales leaders are using generative AI, too. AI is streamlining workflows, increasing productivity, and helping sellers close bigger, better deals faster.
All you need is the right sales enablement AI tool.
Ready to dive into sales enablement AI? We’ll explore how AI can be a relationship seller’s best tool to automate the mundane so you can focus on more important things… like building relationships with your prospects.
What is sales enablement AI?
Like other forms of AI, sales enablement AI helps sales teams automate everyday tasks… tasks that take away from the actual selling. These include the more tedious aspects of selling that can take hours to complete. Things like:
- Sourcing, scoring, and prioritizing warm leads
- Gathering and processing data
- Presenting data and insights and analyzing it
- Creating content, like compelling pitch decks or sales email
A McKinsey study revealed that AI can increase the effectiveness of your sales team by “automating many mundane sales activities… [it frees] up capacity to spend more time with customers and prospective customers.” One of the most time-consuming and mundane activities is collecting and analyzing data. With AI, sellers can save valuable time and resources.
Recorded phone calls, emails, and virtual meetings create mountains of data. Unstructured data that would take weeks to go through. But with generative AI, sales teams can analyze data fast and uncover actionable insights. It frees them up to do what they do best—sell, sell, sell.
Generative AI does far more than simple automation, though. It takes data analysis a step further by using that data to generate text, images, sounds, and more. It can create new leads in your CRM and listen to sales calls to write scripts with a high chance of converting. The possibilities are only limited by your data.
According to Hubspot’s 2023 State of AI report, 79% of salespeople using automation say they can dedicate more time to actively selling.
How does sales enablement AI work for sales teams?
Before we dive into how AI can add value to your sales team, let’s talk about the human element. AI is a powerful tool, but it’s just that: a tool.
Sales still requires a team to apply empathy and creative thinking. A team to know what parts of AI are worth using. A team to lead strategy… alongside artificial intelligence platforms. AI and humans—working together—can do more.
So, how does it work? Without overcomplicating it, generative AI involves training algorithms to understand and analyze data. It then creates new content based on that data.
Machine learning (ML) and neural networks help AI create human-like content. AI learns from patterns and relationships within training data to create that content. Its content capabilities make it an indispensable tool for your sales team.
- Using natural language processing (NLP), it can create text for tools like chatbots. Sales teams can use chatbots to talk with prospects using context-relevant phrases. They can gain information in those conversations to later score those leads.
- AI can create sales-focused collateral to aid in the selling process. Educate your leads using AI-generated content for product descriptions, blogs, and sales decks. And if you train it on different audiences and industries, it can tailor that content. More relevant content can help move them through the pipeline.
How does AI help sales teams with account-based selling?
- Understand business motivations
- Gain clarity into the target account and decision-makers
- Find unique ways to position your product or service to help them reach their goals
AI can help uncover intelligent insights and automate parts of the process. Here’s how.
Finding key accounts
Building a target account list? AI can help through data analysis. It reviews different industries and company characteristics, like size and revenue. AI then uses these factors to determine which accounts you should target.
AI can also score leads based on previous behavior that shows their level of buying intent. And with predictive analytics, AI can forecast which accounts are most likely to convert. You can take that data to focus on those accounts.
Getting a complete picture of decision-makers
Do you know everything about the decision-makers in your target accounts? Probably not. But as your team works through the account, gathering insights and mapping relationships, AI can assist in uncovering hidden insights and fill in crucial gaps in information. It can help your sellers answer questions like:
- Who are the key decision-makers?
- What are their roles?
- What’s their contact information?
- What are their buying behaviors?
- What are their company revenues?
Information like this—delivered at the speed of light—equips your team with what they need to build relationships and grow revenue.
Automating the sales process
AI allows revenue teams—not just salespeople—to automate parts of the sales process. It automates tasks like data entry, scheduling sales calls, and writing follow-up emails. Automation allows your team to focus on building relationships and selling.
Personalizing marketing efforts
Marketers should be part of your revenue team for an account-based selling approach. They send targeted messages and create the content to get key accounts to convert. Savvy marketers use AI data analysis to create highly personalized content.
AI looks at historical data and account behavior to curate and create content. The personalized marketing materials or follow-up emails ensure value throughout the process.
Providing sales analytics
Want to become a better seller? Sales analytics inform where you can iterate and improve. AI-powered analytics provide insights into your ABS strategy (much faster than a human can). Your revenue team can leverage these insights to solidify their approach.
Enhancing your account-based selling approach with AI provides deeper intelligence into target accounts. It also boosts efficiency through automation, so sellers can do what they do best: sell.
Why sales enablement AI increases the need for relationship selling
As the name implies, relationship selling is about building relationships with customers with the aim of becoming a trusted advisor to them. It’s a stark contrast to the transactional selling approach of yesteryear. Instead of simply trying to sell your product, sellers focus on providing value.
While it may seem contradictory to think of AI as a driver of relationship selling, that’s exactly what it is. AI can help your sellers do many things, including making more out of their most valuable asset – time.
“It doesn’t happen on day one. It took about two years to move into the role of a trusted advisor. It took time for our account managers to really work with the team. It took time to make the right introductions and build the right relationships” – Jason, Head of Sales Excellence, Johnson Controls
Get to know your leads faster than ever
Artificial intelligence uses vast amounts of data to reveal prospect details. What are their pain points? What are industry market trends? Who are the key decision-makers? AI can assist sellers in finding the answer to all these questions as they work through the account.
Instead of spending hours researching prospects upfront, AI can help sellers do this in minutes… opening up time for genuine relationship-building activities like uncovering insights or strategizing over winning over a buying group. You have all the information on your leads to treat them as more than a transaction.
Sure, AI gives you prospect details that help tailor your outreach and how you sell to them. But its ability to make that personalization scalable is the game changer.
AI analyzes your leads and customizes content to make it more relevant:
- Marketers on your revenue team can create campaigns aligned with each prospect’s challenges. Instead of a blanket marketing campaign, AI lets you focus on specifics per prospect. It offers a level of scalability that isn’t possible without AI.
- Sales reps can use AI to hyper-personalize outreach or follow-up emails at scale. No need to send generalized use cases or less valuable content to everyone. Send personalized outreach and follow-ups to individual prospects—without sacrificing selling time. That’s more time to forge a partnership with future customers. And more time to show you value their time by only sending content that matters to them.
- AI assists sellers with sales and marketing collateral, including images, text, and articles. Content creation is time-consuming for one customer, let alone dozens. Sellers are able to leverage data to deliver high-impact content per prospect in minutes.
Sharing hyper-relevant sales and marketing materials with prospects provides immense value. This value builds stronger relationships before, during, and after the sale. With AI, relationship selling can be scalable, valuable, and quick.
Build and maintain your relationships
As McKinsey points out, AI can help build relationships from the prospect stage through onboarding. Before the sale, it arms you with data and content to provide value to prospects. It prepares you by sharing pain points, what they care about, and more.
After the sale? It can write personalized training documents to onboard customers. Chatbots can answer customer questions in real time. AI can analyze customer data and suggest upsell opportunities that provide real value.
As mentioned, AI gives your team hours—or even days—back through automation. Spend less time on mundane, time-consuming sales activities. Spend more time building value-based customer relationships.
It also reminds us that, no matter how good AI is, it can’t replace the human element. Salespeople add perspective and context to AI outputs. They engage with prospects in a way AI can’t—as humans. They are the people who build relationships. AI is their toolkit.
Benefits of sales enablement AI
The possibilities with AI are endless, especially in the sales world. Let’s uncover some of the most valuable benefits you can realize with AI.
- Automation. More time for higher value activities, like building relationships, selling, and closing deals.
- Data entry. AI updates leads, contact information, lead status, and more. It’s a high-powered virtual assistant for all your admin tasks.
- Lead generation and scoring. Vast data analysis to identify prospects and score warm leads who are more likely to convert. Prospecting is time-intensive—AI exponentially cuts time spent prospecting.
- Personalization and content creation. AI outputs personalized marketing materials, product recommendations, and sales collateral. These tailored communications increase engagement and your likelihood of conversion.
- Builds better relationships. AI can transform sales insights into actionable steps to deliver value with every interaction. The consistent value you provide creates solid relationships with customers.
- Sales forecasting. Using data from previous sales and existing customers, AI can assist sales leaders with sales forecasting to deliver more accurate predictions.
- Make salespeople even better. AI can create custom training programs to help your sales reps improve performance.
What sales enablement solutions are out there?
You know AI can help sellers create a more efficient, personalized sales process. You know how it can optimize your approach to account-based selling. You know it’s one of your best tools for relationship selling.
But what AI solutions are out there? And how do you know which is right for you? One of the best options for sellers already using Salesforce is Salesforce’s Einstein GPT.
Your sales reps spend much of their day in Salesforce or another CRM. They generate data there, so it only makes sense to combine it with the power of AI. Salesforce Einstein trains AI on your unique customer data—straight from Salesforce.
Einstein automates almost every aspect of your sales process:
- Create personalized emails—automatically. Introduce yourself, schedule a meeting, or send a follow-up in seconds.
- Get sales call summaries to identify areas of improvement, next steps, objections, and more.
- Automate prospect research and let AI update your leads or contacts in Salesforce.
- Einstein uses predictive analytics to score leads based on their likelihood to convert.
- Let Einstein take care of the admin duties. It tracks sales activities and logs them in Salesforce.
- AI-powered forecasting predicts revenue using historical data. Manage your pipeline based on these predictions and make data-informed decisions.
- Don’t guess what your next step should be. Einstein suggests next steps to keep your deals moving through the funnel.
An added benefit of Salesforce Einstein is the “Einstein Trust Layer.” Built natively in Salesforce, the Trust Layer was designed as a security guardrail. It follows enterprise security standards, so you can leverage AI without risking customer data.
How do I choose the best sales enablement AI tool for me?
There are dozens of sales enablement AI tools out there. But when choosing one, there are a few things to consider. Ultimately, sales tools should help create conditions for effective selling to flourish.
Does it integrate into your tech stack?
Your sales team lives in the CRM—your AI solution should integrate seamlessly. Remember, AI is only one tool in your greater sales toolkit. Before selecting a sales enablement AI product, ensure it connects with vital apps in your tech stack.
For the majority of sales teams, that means Salesforce. For this reason, tools that integrate with Salesforce natively will be hugely impactful for sellers. For example, Altify is a 100% Salesforce native application, and as a Salesforce Partner we will have early access to generative AI features and capabilities Salesforce introduces. With Einstein GPT, for example, you will be able to harness the combined power of generative AI, Salesforce and Altify and embark on an entirely new journey of delivering value across your revenue team and to your customers.
Does it enable collaboration?
Another consideration is how easy it is to collaborate across your revenue team. If you take an ABS approach or have adopted the proven benefits of relationship selling, you’ll have a team dedicated to target accounts. Team members work in different departments, making collaboration even more of a priority.
Does your AI tool make it easy for collaboration across the entire revenue team? Can you share training, sales notes, and lead updates with everyone automatically? The best sales enablement AI solutions will make working together effortless.
The last thing sellers should look into is if the AI tool offers everything they need to help their team do what they do best… selling. It should automate admin tasks, provide actionable insights, and create personalized content.
Think of where your salespeople spend most of their time. AI should help reduce that so they can sell more.
Top challenges facing chief revenue officers in adopting sales enablement AI
While artificial intelligence is somewhat new in the sales world, it’s a powerful tool. However, to reap its full benefit, sales leaders need a cohesive strategy in play to make sure its adoption is successful. Here are four key challenges sales leaders need to solve before they can really get the full effect of their sales enablement AI solution.
1. Change management
Change can be challenging—especially if reps are comfortable with established processes. CROs need to help their teams understand the value of new technologies (AI). You’ll also need to emphasize the importance of AI, like allowing them to focus on active selling.
Training your team on how to use AI can ease the anxiousness of change while building their AI know-how.
2. Lack of integrations
AI should make your sales process more efficient and effective. Does it integrate with your essential tools, like your CRM? If not, you might not get the full value. Your team relies on its tech stack to update contacts, email leads, and run sales calls. AI needs to connect with these vital tools.
3. Data quality
AI uses data to score leads, predict revenue, automate tasks—it needs data. But if you train AI on inaccurate or low-quality data, it’s useless. Sales leaders need to address data quality before implementing an AI-powered sales process.
4. Data privacy and security
One of the biggest challenges CROs face with AI is data security. Companies are hesitant to share customer data with AI due to security concerns. AI in its current state is still somewhat new, and security needs to catch up. But some AI has built-in security, like Einstein Trust Layer—another reason to research options.
Lastly, businesses need to consider compliance. There are plenty of data privacy laws, like GDPR, and your AI can’t violate these laws.
Is sales enablement AI the way of the future?
Generative AI for sales enablement has the potential to change sales forever. While there are a few risks, there are countless benefits we can’t ignore. The biggest one? It automates the sales process to give salespeople more time to sell.
With its ability to forecast sales, predict which leads are most likely to convert, and create personalized content, generative AI will be irrevocably tied to the future of sales.