The sales landscape is evolving rapidly. With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the traditional ways of doing sales is getting a much needed revamp. As we move into 2024, sales professionals are embracing AI tools to reinvent their sales processes and strategies.
In this blog, we will talk about how AI is transforming sales and different ways in which you can use AI tools to meet your sales quota efficiently & help you with four key aspects of lead generation and qualification: scoring, segmentation, personalization, and engagement.
So, let’s dive in.
What Is AI in sales?
DeepMind’s CEO, Demis Hassabis says: “AI is the science of making machines smart.”
We know AI is more complicated than that but, at the end of the day, AI is about making better tools for everyone, for sales, it would mean making tools for sales professionals to sell more, be more productive and in turn, more profitable.
Artificial intelligence in sales would mean use of AI tools to enhance the roles of sales professionals & help them close more deals by automating repetitive tasks, analyzing customer data, predicting sales forecasts, creating tailored pitches, crafting sales emails and more.
The evolving Sales landscape
Every day brings a new tech headline and sales is affected by it as much as the other fields. 2 major changes that might affect sales professionals are changes in buyer behavior and the AI competitive advantage.
Let’s look at buyer behavior. Gartner’s B2B buying journey shows the increasing complexity a B2B buyer observes while making a decision. According to Deloitte, 68% of B2B buyers prefer to do individual research online than involving a sales rep. 90% of B2B buyers research 2-7 websites before making a purchase.
Earlier, the amount of information and the touchpoints were limited. But now, with websites, podcasts, social media and more, the information fed to a prospective buyer has increased by multifold. Which means, now sales professionals need to do more research to impress the prospective buyer.
In case of using artificial intelligence for sales: 95% sales leaders say their organization is currently using AI in sales in some capacity, which in turn is affecting their performance. A Harvard Business Review study found that companies using AI for sales increased leads by more than 50%, reduced call time by 60-70%, and cut costs by 40-60%.
Thus, a combination of buyers becoming more informed and competitors harvesting benefits of using AI in sales, companies that won’t integrate artificial intelligence in their sales processes have a lot to lose. Inability to do so might result in sales burnout, buyer disconnect & loss of deals.
Sales teams must adapt and innovate to meet these evolving expectations and stay competitive in the AI-driven era.
Traditional Sales vs AI Sales process
The integration of AI into the sales process enhances efficiency and effectiveness as compared to the traditional sales process. Here, we see a side by side comparison of traditional sales processes and AI in the sales process.
The traditional sales process is heavily dependent on the manual efforts of the sales person in every step, from prospecting to post-sale relationship building. This makes the sales cycles longer and lowers productivity.
Comparing it to the AI-enhanced sales process, much of the manual tasks are automated and optimized. The major shift here is the redistribution of roles, where AI handles the data-heavy and repetitive tasks, allowing sales professionals to focus on strategic, relationship-driven aspects.
This synergy helps sales teams to be more effective in their roles.
How does AI help sales teams?
Artificial intelligence is probably the most overused term of 2023. But, in the right context, it works wonders for sales teams.
Businesses that use AI to assist sales teams gain a huge competitive advantage. Sales executives have mentioned that AI not only helps in selling, but other admin tasks too, reducing the sales burnout and making sales teams efficient. Here are some relevant use cases for AI in sales in 2024:
- Sales Prospecting
- Sales Outreach
- Sales call preparation - Pitch creation & prospect research
- Objection Handling
- Follow up Emails
- Updating CRM
[If you feel you’d want a deep dive on any of the use cases, let us know]
Let’s explore every important use case for artificial intelligence in sales in detail below.
Use Case 1: Enhancing Sales Prospecting with AI
Sales prospecting is a vital part of the sales process but is often a grueling and time-intensive task.
Salespeople spend about 6 hours each week researching their prospects.More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. The traditional prospecting process for sales professionals is time consuming and labor intensive with steps like:
- Reviewing CRM data
- Conducting research on the company & person
- Sifting through company websites, LinkedIn profiles and more.
- Identifying qualified leads that fit your criteria
Undoubtedly, this requires a lot of time and effort.
With AI sales assistants like Alltius, sales teams can cut down their sales prospecting time to minutes. Here’s how prospecting using an AI sales assistant will look like:
- You can connect Alltius to sources like LinkedIn, Apollo, ZoomInfo, CRMs like Hubspot, Salesforce and more.
- All the incoming leads will be fed to Alltius.
- Alltius will research based on the company website and connected resources to identify the high-value prospects to go after.
You can also converse with the AI assistant to provide you more information about the prospects and gain a better understanding.
Use Case 2: Personalizing Outreach emails with AI
We’ve all seen our fair share of sales emails. What do most people hate about it? It’s the generic sales emails that aren’t even relevant to us. According to Experian, personalized emails produce 6X more transactions than non-personalized emails. Personalizing outreach is effective but is time consuming, often making it a bottleneck in the sales process. Thankfully, AI can be helpful here.
Generative AI sales assistants can help sales teams to hyper-personalize their outreach at scale without losing context. AI solutions like Alltius gather prospect information from CRM, map prospects to proper customer profiles & craft emails that speak directly to prospects’ pain points within seconds. We’ve worked with sales teams and saw their open rates increase by 50% and conversion rates by 3 times.
Use Case 3: Using AI for Sales Call Preparation
According to IDC, sales representatives spend about 7 hours each week preparing for their sales calls. Preparation for sales calls is a key determining factor of a successful call. It involves understanding client backgrounds, use cases, pain points & developing pitch to speak to customer needs.
How would you use Generative AI sales assistants to speed up sales call preparation?
Gen AI sales assistants like Alltius can help you:
- Understand customer needs
- Provide insightful questions to derive prospect requirements
- Create a custom selling pitch for your sales team on call in seconds.
Using AI in sales call preparation reduces sales workload, improves quality of customer interactions & probability of conversion due to tailored pitches.
Use Case 4: Handling Sales Objections
No sales call is complete without objections. They might be related to your products, integrations, competitor comparison or more. How you handle sales objections determines your trustworthiness to your prospects.
For example, if you’re unable to handle sales objections on call effectively and take over two days to respond, it will reflect poorly vs. if you’re able to handle all the sales objections on call. Most of the time, B2B buyers are talking to multiple vendors at once. 50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first to their queries. If your sales representatives have to scramble through databases, sales enablement content or FAQs for technical queries, it might result in delays and potential loss of momentum.
Generative AI shines in this scenario where you need to collate information from multiple sources. AI sales assistants like Alltius can be trained extensively on your company documents, sales enablement, FAQs and previous sales calls. It can be trained to understand all of your sales documents and during the call, Alltius can provide draft responses for every objection raised within seconds. This improves sales velocity & builds customer trust in your solution. With this AI sales assistant, you’d be the product expert yourself. No more running across channels for answers.
Would you like to see how it works? Book a free demo!
Use Case 5: Streamlining follow-ups with AI
When it comes to sales, it's all about following up diligently. Only 2% of sales happen during the first point of contact. If you don’t follow up, you can miss out on 98% of your sales! And it’s not easy, because on average, companies report 16 touch points per prospect within a 2-4 week timespan.
So how can AI sales assistants help here?
Alltius helps sales teams automate and personalize their follow-up emails on scale with minimum intervention. With Alltius, you can create an AI assistant that is connected to CRM, sales enablement content and your sales inbox. Now, with a simple query, you can create an email follow-up based on your previous conversation in seconds. You can automate it using our APIs. So, with a click of a button, you’ll get a personalized follow-up email. Using AI in sales, sales teams can enhance the sales experience by providing them with relevant information while also freeing up sales reps to focus on more strategic tasks.
Use Case 6: Handling sales admin tasks
“Updating CRM is my favorite task” said no sales rep ever.
According to Salesforce, salespeople spend 18% of their time on administrative tasks like updating CRM, adding notes or other data entry tasks. While it is time consuming, it is an important step to ensure all insights are gathered into a single source. But it often becomes tricky, with an average sales rep working with 10 tools to close one deal.
This is where Gen AI comes into play. AI tools can maintain data continuity and reduce sales workload, by handling data entry tasks thus, freeing up sales resources to focus more on client engagement and closing deals.
Will AI replace sales jobs?
This is a question in everyone’s minds. But at Alltius, we believe that sales jobs have a lot of human elements to it. It depends on relationship building and human connection. While AI is good at data crunching, insight generation or drafting texts, it can’t replace humans in sales. AI will augment a sales person’s job and will help them be better, efficient and confident.
How to get started with AI in sales?
The best advice to use a new technology is to think big and start small. In order to get started with AI in sales, it is best to start ideating the use case. Identify the use case for AI first - do you want to start with sales onboarding? Or do you want to use AI for sales pitch drafting or handling sales objections using AI?
After that, go ahead with defining the KPIs for measuring success, define the timeframe of your AI pilot and build a team to design the AI assistant. You can also take help from AI experts like Alltius’ team.
We’ve written a detailed guide on how to plan Gen AI pilots in your organization, and we explain every step in detail. Download it here.
Alltius - Create AI assistants for sales teams
Alltius is a cutting-edge GenAI platform which effortlessly powers enterprise applications, websites and contact centers with skillful, secure and accurate AI assistants that can 2X sales in weeks.
Alltius increases revenue per sales representative by helping them convert more with
- Tailored sales pitch
- Personalized emails
- Enhanced sales objection handling
- Confidence in product knowledge
And more. With Alltius, sales teams have an expert AI assistant to rely on for their calls and daily activities, reducing the need to be present in multiple channels at once. Alltius’ AI assistants are extremely easy to use and require no training to set up and maintain. You can create your custom AI sales assistant with following options:
- Knowledge : Alltius’ AI assistants can search relevant data from websites, sales enablement documents, Google Drive folders, CRM, Sharepoint, videos, product documentation, images, charts, and more in real-time.
- Skills: Alltius’ AI assistants can take multiple actions like answering queries, creating pitches, comparing, extracting information from websites, drafting emails, compiling sales call information, and more within a single window.
- Channels : Alltius AI assistant can be deployed on websites, internal apps, Slack, Discord, Whatsapp, Teams, Google workspace and more.
Alltius’ team has AI experts from Carnegie Mellon and industry giants like Amazon, Google, and Meta. We understand what it takes to implement AI in sales and how to make it work.
Are you looking to improve your sales conversion ratio with AI?
Book a call with our AI experts today and get an idea about how to implement AI in your organization & how Alltius will help you achieve your team’s sales quota effectively.
In conclusion, integrating AI into sales processes is not just a trend, but a shift in how sales is conducted in the modern scenario. The use of AI in sales, as we've seen, extends far beyond mere automation. AI in sales is about enhancing a sales person’s capabilities, making sales teams more efficient, more insightful, and ultimately more successful.
For businesses, in order to stay competitive, embrace AI in sales, but do so thoughtfully, focusing on how AI can enhance your unique sales strategy. In this rapidly changing sales landscape, the question isn't whether to adopt AI in sales, but rather how quickly and effectively you can do so. Reach out to Alltius team to see how you can transform your sales processes, boost your revenue, and elevate customer satisfaction to new heights in 2024.