As technology advances and becomes more accessible, businesses are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their sales processes. AI has the potential to revolutionize the way sales teams operate, giving them valuable insights and predictive analytics to drive more revenue.
However, not all sales teams are investing in AI, as many people have mixed feelings about incorporating the newfound tech. In this blog post, we'll explore why some sales teams are investing in AI, why others aren't, and which companies are leading the way in AI adoption.
Are sales teams investing in AI?
The short answer is yes — sales teams are increasingly investing in AI. According to HubSpot's very own State of AI survey data, 71% of sales professionals say AI/automation tools have impacted how they plan to sell in 2023, and 60% say these tools are important to their overall sales strategy.
Several factors drive this trend, so let's break down how we know from survey data and insights collected in the State of AI 2023 Report.
Why Sales Teams are Investing in AI
The three most popular use cases for AI and automation in sales are automating manual tasks (35%), offering data-driven insights (34%), and helping write sales content or prospect outreach messages (31%).
Automating manual tasks allows more time for selling.
79% of salespeople using AI/automation say it allows them to spend more time selling. This isn't to say that AI does their job for them, but it can shorten time-consuming tasks such as data entry, scheduling, and lead nurturing.
For example, AI can automatically update customer records and capture new leads from website visits, freeing up sales reps' time to engage with prospects and nurture relationships. AI can also handle routine customer inquiries or scheduling requests, allowing sales reps to focus on higher-value activities.
After all, sales professionals save over two hours a day using AI to automate manual tasks/for
AI makes prospecting efforts more effective.
According to survey findings, 86% of sales professionals using generative AI to write messages to prospects say it's effective.
Leveraging predictive analytics to identify high-potential leads, improving targeting and segmentation. AI can scan vast amounts of data to identify prospects who match specific criteria, such as industry, company size, and buying behavior. This can help sales professionals focus their efforts on prospects more likely to convert, increasing their chances of success.
AI can also analyze customer interactions and purchase behavior to pinpoint relevant topics or pain points that can improve messaging and engagement. In summary, AI can provide valuable insights that enhance the accuracy and efficiency of prospecting, enabling sales teams to make better-informed decisions and achieve higher conversion rates.
AI can help to build rapport faster.
With AI, sales professionals can analyze customer data to identify demographics and commonalities and tailor their approach to align with the prospect's needs and interests. This allows sales reps to quickly establish a connection with prospects and build rapport more efficiently.
AI can also help sales reps automate certain tasks, which can free up their time to focus on building relationships with prospects on a personal level in exchange for time spent on busy work.
Why Some Sales Teams Still Aren't Investing in AI
Generative AI cannot guarantee accuracy.
25% of sales professionals that do not currently use AI/automation will not because AI tools sometimes produce inaccurate information.
Using incorrect AI responses can harm a sales professional's reputation and credibility with their prospects and customers. If the AI provides incorrect or inconsistent information, it can create confusion or frustration for clients and damage the relationship.
In addition, unreliable results can turn into missed opportunities or poor decision-making — potentially jeopardizing business goals and budget. Sales professionals must make informed decisions and provide their clients with the best possible experience, and many don't want to take those chances.
Salespeople don't want to become overly reliant on tech.
39% of surveyed sales professionals that don't use AI/automation claimed not to do so because they want to avoid becoming overly reliant on it.
While AI can be a powerful tool for sales professionals, it's important to note that it does not replace human interaction and intuition. Sales professionals know the importance of building relationships with their customers. While AI can help automate specific tasks and provide insights — it can't replicate personal interaction, empathy, and emotional intelligence needed for developing trust with clients.
Over-reliance on AI can also lead to a lack of flexibility in the sales process. Every customer is unique, and AI algorithms are based on patterns and data averages, which may not account for varied individual behaviors. Sales professionals must remain adaptable to different situations and be able to pivot their tactics and messaging as needed.
Companies Investing in AI
HubSpot: ChatSpot.ai and Content Assistant
ChatSpot is a new conversational CRM bot that acts on chat-based commands to accomplish everything you already do in HubSpot — even faster. It allows HubSpotters to skip manual data entry and let ChatSpot do it. This bot can send follow-up emails, pull reports, create new segments, and more from your account.
In addition, HubSpotters can enjoy even more generative AI capabilities through the HubSpot Content Assistant. While it may seem like a marketing tool, sales professionals can use this OpenAI GPT model to write prospecting emails, create compelling calls to action, and other creative processes to elevate the quality of communication.
Google developed Bard, a conversational generative AI chatbot, to push the boundaries of what is possible with AI-powered creativity and to explore new ways to augment human expression and productivity.
Bard uses machine learning algorithms to analyze vast amounts of poetry, learning patterns, styles, and structures, to generate its unique verse in response to prompts. Google uses generative AI in Bard to create an engaging, new way for people to express themselves, solve problems, and streamline their thought processes.
Users can interact with Bard by inputting a topic or prompt, and the tool will then create an original poem based on the user's inspiration. Not only does Bard reveal the tremendous potential of AI to assist with creative endeavors, but it also provides an exciting new tool for poets, writers, and artists to explore.
Twilio's CustomerAI technology couples the power of large language models (LLMs) with real-time customer data flowing through Twilio's Customer Engagement Platform, helping companies better understand and unlock the potential of their customers while providing deeper value using predictive artificial intelligence capabilities.
By using this technology to better serve users' target audiences, Twilio has an AI tool built to provide personalized, effective strategies.
Your sales team can benefit from AI, too.
Using AI-powered solutions, sales reps can streamline their workflows, automate mundane tasks, and receive valuable insights to inform their sales strategies. With the right mindset and resources, sales teams can leverage AI to their advantage and lead the way to a more innovative, efficient, and profitable future.