Generative AI for Sales: How AI is Optimizing Sales in 2023
Picture this: You’re a seasoned sales trainer or learning and development professional — tirelessly generating content to coach your team and help them reach their sales targets. But what if there was a way to make your job easier while increasing your team’s efficiency and win rates? Enter generative AI sales training tools.
AI is once again the hot topic setting the tech world ablaze. Set to shake up everything, sales training included — generative AI is automating tasks, creating content, finding leads, identifying customer preferences, and even drafting emails.
But before we get into all that, what exactly is it?
What is generative AI?
Generative AI definition: Artificial intelligence that uses machine learning to create new outputs. In short, Generative AI can produce new things — like audio, images, text, and video — based on patterns learned from training data inputs.
So what does this mean for sales training?
Generative AI is like a helpful assistant willing to take on tedious tasks like writing emails or fine-tuning pitches. Essentially, an AI sales tool that frees up time to build customer relationships and tailored solutions.
AI’s role is evolving, but one thing is for sure: it will change how we work in the foreseeable future.
In this post, we’ll cover the following topics to help you adapt to this tech and drive your sales success:
- The potential impact of generative AI on sales tools: Unleashing unprecedented efficiency and effectiveness in identifying leads, understanding buyer behavior, and delivering personalized customer interactions.
- Generative AI’s role in sales training: How to create fresh, impactful training content to reduce the strain on trainers while personalizing learning for your sales team.
- Case studies of AI in sales training: From pitch practice and custom coaching to onboarding remote hires and just-in-time learning, discover real-world applications of this technology.
- Prepping for AI-assisted sales training: How to bring AI tools into your existing tech stack, encourage a data-driven approach, and spot the most impactful use cases for your organization.
Let’s dive in!
The emergence of generative AI and its potential impact on sales training
Think of generative AI like the telephone or the internet. It’s on course to change the world — except it does more than just connect us together, it enables us to create and innovate like never before.
And, it is already transforming the way sales teams sell.
AI sales tools create a harmonious blend of efficiency, personalization, and accuracy. They can improve multiple sales areas, from spotting potential leads to deeply understanding buyer behavior.
The potential impact of generative AI on sales tools
Thinking about bringing generative AI into sales training? Want to learn more about where it can fit in your business?
Let’s explore five AI sales tool use cases and how they can benefit your business.
#1 Identify potential leads & new markets
Just like a lighthouse guides ships toward the shore, generative AI can help businesses navigate toward prospective customers and untapped markets.
Thanks to machine learning algorithms, these AI sales tools can analyze huge volumes of data to spot potential leads and new markets.
It’s like having a 24/7 market scout, tirelessly working to identify new business opportunities.
#2 Predict customer preferences
Imagine reading your customers’ minds like a book, instantly knowing their likes and dislikes.
Generative AI can predict what products a customer prefers by analyzing past purchase patterns and behavior. Use AI to recommend products that customers are more likely to buy and spend less time guessing.
#3 Suggest products tailored to customers
With generative AI, recommending products is a calculated decision.
AI sales tools can tailor product suggestions to individual customers based on their purchasing history and online (and in-store) behavior.
Think of it as a personal shopper who knows each customer and recommends the perfect product.
#4 Write emails to prospects and customers
Crafting personalized emails can be as time-consuming as crocheting a sweater or mastering a sourdough starter.
But with generative AI, businesses can create customized emails for prospects and customers, saving them precious time and effort.
Generative AI tools can write emails that resonate with each customer. It’s like giving your sales team 24/7 access to a skilled writer who tailors their story to their audience.
#5 Understand buyer behavior
Buyer behavior can be as tricky as solving a Rubik’s cube.
But with generative AI, businesses can analyze customer interactions, predict their behavior, and decipher the motives behind each purchase.
AI in sales tools provides a reliable sidekick to your sales team — one that continuously learns and adapts with you. These tools enable you to be more productive, focus on building relationships, and tailor right-fit solutions.
And help businesses reduce costs and see better returns on their tech investments.
How might generative AI impact sales training?
Generative AI is transforming sales training.
And while there are some skeptics, most sales organizations are quick to adopt it.
McKinsey research found businesses “that invest in AI are seeing a revenue uplift of 3 to 15 percent and a sales ROI uplift of 10 to 20 percent.”
So how and where AI is impacting sales training?
Crafting dynamic training content
Creating new and engaging training materials takes time and creativity — because everyone learns differently. That’s where AI comes in handy.
Generative AI uses machine learning to make new and useful training materials based on the information it’s fed. Use it to give your creativity a boost and keep learners engaged with fresh content.
Personalized skills improvement
Traditional training can feel like a one-size-fits-all shirt. Only designed to fit some perfectly.
Generative AI brings personalized training to each sales rep.
Using historical performance data and patterns, AI can identify each team member’s strengths and weaknesses. And can recommend tailored exercises to sharpen their skills.
Like personal trainers, AI sales tools can prescribe the right exercises to help your teams reach their performance goals.
Easier training developer workload & boosting win rates
Generative AI can take over repetitive tasks and free up your training developers.
It’s like having an automated production line that handles the heavy lifting and trainers to focus on more strategic aspects of the process.
For example, trainers can dive deeper into sales analytics and conduct skills gap analyses to identify areas for improvement and develop tailored training materials.
It can also help to ramp up onboarding new sales reps, monitor sales goals, and collect feedback on training courses more quickly.
Use cases for AI sales training tools
What are the main ways sales leaders are using AI sales tools?
The old saying, “practice makes perfect,” also rings true in the sales world.
The more a sales rep rehearses their pitch, the better they get at it.
AI sales training tools have a crucial role here. These tools can provide a platform for salespeople to practice their pitch in a safe, judgment-free zone.
The AI technology can analyze the pitch, provide real-time feedback, and suggest areas for improvement.
Whether modulating voice, refining the language, or optimizing the pitch’s content for better clarity and persuasion, AI sales training tools can guide salespeople to perfect their message and delivery.
They also can provide repetition and consistency, which is crucial to nailing a sales pitch.
Giving sales coaches valuable insights
AI sales training tools aren’t just beneficial for the sales reps but also the sales coaches.
With these tools, sales trainers gain valuable insights into their sales reps’ performance. They can monitor progress over time, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and deliver customized coaching to each person.
AI-powered sales tools can analyze a vast range of data, from the content of a salesperson’s pitch to their confidence and communication style.
These data-driven insights can drastically improve the quality of coaching, as trainers can tailor their advice to each individual’s needs, allowing them to personalize and scale training while saving time by tapping into patterns faster.
Onboarding remote hires
Onboarding new hires can be a challenge in remote work.
But AI sales training tools can simplify this process by delivering interactive and engaging training to remote hires.
They also empower new hires to learn independently and revisit training material when needed. This self-paced learning is particularly beneficial for remote workers who cannot get hands-on experience in an office.
Just-in-time learning is delivering information right when needed. It makes the learning process highly relevant and efficient.
In sales training, this could mean giving insights or tips to a salesperson right before a client meeting or a sales call.
On the other hand, generative AI plays a crucial role in creating customized training material based that caters to each sales rep’s unique learning path.
It can potentially create new training scenarios, pitch examples, or even role-play scripts for a dynamic and memorable learning experience.
Together, just-in-time learning and generative AI create a powerful sales training approach that is timely and drives one-to-one personalization at scale.
As these AI-powered solutions evolve, we can expect them to deliver even more sales training benefits.
How to prepare for the rise of AI sales training tools
AI is rapidly transforming business. One area where it is increasingly impacting is sales training.
As we prepare to navigate this promising terrain, here are four steps you can take to reap the benefits of AI sales training tools.
1. Evaluate your current tech stack and roadmap
Start by taking inventory of your current sales tech stack, including CRM, sales enablement tools, and communication platforms.
Salesforce, a CRM tool, has gradually integrated AI into its platform. Einstein is already helping sales teams by providing predictions and recommendations. And exploring these in-built AI capabilities might be worthwhile if your sales team is already using these platforms.
Next, you should scrutinize your technology roadmaps.
They should be flexible enough to accommodate new AI-powered tools. Make sure your IT team is ready and has the skills to support these advanced technologies.
2. Encourage a data-driven approach
Data is the backbone of AI.
That’s why fostering a data-driven culture is a must for AI in sales training. The key here is to make sure your sales teams are comfortable with data analysis and interpretation. Maintaining high standards for data quality will also be an essential piece to focus on in your sales team’s processes.
An example of a company doing this well is Amazon. Their sales teams are encouraged to leverage data in their decision-making processes.
With these data insights, sales reps can better understand customer behavior, track performance, and identify potential sales opportunities. This approach not only boosts training but drives overall sales performance.
3. Familiarize your sales team with generative AI and share best practices
Generative AI — (like OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4) — can create human-like text. Use it to simulate customer interactions and generate responses to customer questions.
But before you get too excited, make sure your sales team is well-versed in how to use these AI tools. And understands their potential and limitations.
Invest time and resources to train your teams. Share best practices, organize training sessions, and provide hands-on experience.
One company that has done this successfully is Google. They have used their AI technology, Google Duplex, to train sales teams by simulating customer calls and providing appropriate responses.
4. Identify impactful AI sales training use cases
Not every aspect of sales training will benefit equally from AI tools.
So pinpoint the areas where AI can deliver the most value. This could include lead scoring, pipeline management, or personalized customer interaction.
Look at your teams’ current skills and identify friction in your sales training and sales cycles to see where to prioritize generative AI.
How will generative AI impact your sales team?
Ultimately, that is up to you — but we can be sure that more and more, incorporating generative AI into your sales training tools and processes will become table stakes. If you aren’t planning for how they will impact your business, you may be setting your team up for a competitive disadvantage. The time to begin thinking about your plan is now.
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About the Author
Mandy is a Marketing leader with over a decade of experience leading high-performing teams and building incredible B2B SaaS brands by creating meaningful connections with customers and prospects. Follow her on LinkedIn here ->