In a groundbreaking move last month, Microsoft unveiled Viva Sales, a revolutionary application leveraging embedded generative AI technology. Aimed at assisting salespeople and managers, Viva Sales empowers users to craft personalized customer emails, gain insights into customer behaviors, and receive intelligent recommendations and reminders. Not to be outdone, Salesforce swiftly followed suit by launching Einstein GPT, indicating a significant shift in the sales landscape.
Historically, sales has lagged behind other business functions in adopting digital technologies, but the tide is turning. Generative AI, the advanced artificial intelligence utilized by OpenAI and its counterparts, is set to become an indispensable digital assistant for every sales professional. With sales being inherently dynamic, people-driven, and data-intensive, generative AI is tailor-made to excel in this environment.
The Potential of Generative AI in Sales
The creative and organic nature of sales generates vast amounts of unstructured data, including text from emails, audio from phone conversations, and video from personal interactions. Generative AI thrives on such data, offering unprecedented opportunities to interpret, learn, link, and customize.
Overcoming Challenges: The Path to Value
However, realizing the full potential of generative AI in sales comes with challenges that need careful navigation. The technology must seamlessly integrate into sales processes, offering natural adoption by sales teams. Moreover, addressing inaccuracies and biases is paramount. Publicly accessible models, while valuable, truly shine when customized and fine-tuned on company-specific data and contexts. This, however, demands expertise in both AI and sales, presenting a hurdle for many organizations.
Unlocking Value: Possibilities with Generative AI
Despite the challenges, the potential benefits of incorporating generative AI into sales processes are immense:
Reversing Administrative Creep: Generative AI can alleviate the administrative burden on sales teams by automating tasks such as email writing, proposal responses, note organization, and CRM data updates.
Enhancing Customer Interactions: Building on existing AI-powered systems, generative AI can provide better recommendations by considering customer sentiments gleaned from language nuances. This fosters interactive, collaborative interactions between the salesperson and the system.
Assisting Sales Managers: Reporting systems powered by generative AI can offer more powerful and forward-looking insights. Sales managers can pose questions to gain valuable insights, streamline sales planning tasks, and allocate resources effectively.
The Journey to Value: Overcoming Hurdles
As generative AI is still evolving, organizations must find ways to harness its potential while mitigating challenges:
Dealing with Inaccuracy and Inconsistency: Users must understand when and how to use generative AI technologies, starting with realistic expectations. Fine-tuning models on company-specific knowledge enhances accuracy and consistency.
Realizing Value Quickly: Integrating capabilities into existing sales systems allows for quick results. Buying existing applications often trumps building custom solutions in terms of speed of implementation.
Delivering Results While Controlling Costs: Outsourcing capabilities while developing a small core of internal AI experts can strike a balance between expertise and cost control. A boundary spanner, fluent in both technical and sales language, can guide the implementation process effectively.
AI: A Productivity Aid or a Substitute for Salespeople?
Generative AI is poised to become an essential digital assistant for sales professionals, boosting productivity significantly. While AI may take over routine tasks, the unique skills of salespeople in identifying needs, tailoring solutions, and navigating complex scenarios remain crucial. As AI transforms sales processes, companies need to adapt and seize the vast opportunities that this technology presents.
In this transformative era, organizations can turn to Change Connect for expert guidance on integrating generative AI into their sales strategies. Our team is equipped to provide tailored solutions, ensuring a seamless and productive adoption of AI in your sales processes. Call Change Connect today to embark on a journey of enhanced sales efficiency and excellence in the age of generative AI. Your future in sales awaits—make the call now!