Role of Artificial Intelligence in Sales Enablement
As a tech zeitgeist, Artificial intelligence (AI) is now part of every business in some form or the other. Given how efficient AI models can be, it only makes sense to utilize them in B2B sales — a field traditionally dictated by interpersonal relationships. But the B2B buyers have changed and so are the ways they want to be sold.
B2B sales cycles now take as long as 12 months to close for new and existing customers and they are shopping around more than ever. With so many options and first-party data at their disposal, buyers don't want to entertain sales reps that lack proactive problem-solving skills. And this is where AI comes in.
Below we'll discuss the various ways AI can be integrated to iron out sales battlecards and close high intent deals, but also how it's a natural ally to salespeople, rather than a rival.
1. Connecting marketing and sales collaterals
The success of sales reps depends on how prepared they are for meetings. Along with their own research, reps must be empowered with sales enablement content to engage prospects and expedite the cycle. But the gap between marketing and sales teams often dilutes sales enablement ownership, making reps ill-equipped for a prospect's evolving challenges.
AI-guided selling ensures marketing and sales teams work in tandem to develop and distribute sales enablement content that is more flexible and unique than competitors. To achieve this, conversational AI must be allowed to audit current materials and suggest new playbooks so that sales reps can take swift action. Another challenge marketing and sales teams face while working together is the sluggish flow of information from marketing campaigns to sales battlecards. Instead of wasting hours of time learning and relearning data, reps can use AI to collate insights and include them in playbooks.
2. Better intent visibility and prospect value
AI doesn’t just bring cross-departmental visibility, it also focuses on intent and prospect value. AI tools are designed to identify the high intent deals and suggest content and communication strategies to win them.
Social listening AI can monitor communication history to suggest new selling angles and strategy pivots and detect “at-risk” deals. AI can also use that data to add new attributes to ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and search for new leads. Another way you can use AI to improve visibility is by integrating a smart chatbot that handles initial queries and sorts new leads according to their challenges and goals. A sales rep can manually handle a lot of these tasks but the results are often time-consuming and inaccurate.
By letting AI evaluate sales enablement, you free up salespeople to nurture relationships with prospects and generate buy-in.
3. Accurate decision-making
Did you know that B2B buyers check on average 13 pieces of content before making a decision?
Sales reps today are flooded with lead details, pipelines, content, and sales strategies, which makes it harder for them to offer personalized experiences on the go. When you use AI to improve sales enablement, you also allow salespeople to make data-driven decisions.
AI can help people in two ways: by suggesting content based on probable objections and competitor research and by eventually predicting skill gaps and closing opportunities. When done right, predictive AI can become the brand differentiator in the future.
In the age of data explosion, deriving key insights and putting them into practice is going to impact sales conversions. Since reps are struggling to juggle content, strategy, and actual selling, using AI will help them take better calls.
4. Data models to train future strategies
You can use predictive AI to build sales resiliency and create a competitive edge for your business. Machine learning and especially deep learning are parts of AI that can be used to train models to get better and help train the workforce as well.
The more datasets AI goes through, the more context-aware it becomes. Eventually, it achieves conversational intelligence that will help sales reps to close deals faster. This includes finding challenges before prospects realize, offering tailor-made information that beats competitors, focusing on high intent deals that can improve ARR, and reducing the skill gap in the sales team.
All of these can improve future performance while keeping a firm eye on the present.
5. Alignment with the new age B2B buyers
You shouldn't implement AI just for the sake of it. Apart from efficiency and accuracy, companies that have implemented AI and seen success in B2B sales have done it to cater to the next-gen of buyers. Forrester data shows that 73% of millennials are involved in B2B buying decisions which mean sellers have to meet where the new prospects are.
Millennials are more inclined to text and email than talk to sales reps over calls. They want flexibility in communication and they're not afraid of weighing up options. This is why you need to use a digital sales room that works as an organized and collaborative dashboard for different parties to view and request information. With digital sales rooms, reps can stay on top of content distribution and offer personalized experiences to different buyers. Since interactions are transparent, a digital sales room makes AI audits more effective and fast.
Human touch vs AI-powered: the future of sales enablement
AI in B2B sales is a conundrum. Its impact is undeniable in today's complex processes but reps often feel insecure about the implications. The truth is, AI is never meant to replace salespeople since the job is very much dependent on soft and unpredictable skills.
AI can sort data but it's the job of sales reps to unearth the insights and implement the right ones in conversations. Your sales conversions will skyrocket only when the analysis and suggestions of AI complement the decisions and conversational skills of salespeople. As it processes more data, AI will become more efficient at its job which will put more importance on the decision and accountability of the sales team.
B2B sales platform of 2024
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