Opinion | Commentary
Growing up, like many of my generation, I have seen significant technological advancements from the age of computing to the cellular phone. At one point in my childhood, we felt connected because we had a cordless telephone, a TV with remote, in-home appliances, and a Nintendo.
Fast forward to 2023, and most households are highly connected environments with various devices, including smart thermostats and door locks, computers and tablets, smart appliances, and even more innovative smartphones. In addition to physical devices, one of the most significant technological changes is the rise of Artificial intelligence (“AI”). In this article, I will touch on reasons why B2B sales teams can benefit from AI and some of the challenges teams may encounter.
B2B sales are often complex, with many stakeholders, intricate decision processes, and high-stakes negotiations. AI is a powerful tool that can help B2B sales teams navigate the ever-changing landscape by enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness. Below are a few ways in which AI can benefit the Sales team:
Improved Lead Quality – In many cases, there is an abundance of leads for B2B sales, so many that it can be challenging to determine which leads to follow.
According to a report by LinkedIn Business, AI is making a tangible impact on B2B sales, as demonstrated by a series of case studies. For instance, AI chatbots are four times more effective at selling than inexperienced workers. These real-world examples validate the benefits discussed and provide actionable insights for businesses considering AI adoption. (source)
Although AI provides significant opportunities, its adoption in B2B Sales comes with challenges. Below are a few of these challenges.
A challenge gaining attention from tech giants like Google is the phenomenon known as ‘AI hallucinations.’ These are instances where AI systems produce incorrect or deceptive data. This issue is increasingly alarming as companies and individuals lean more toward AI for crucial decisions and data interpretation. Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, has openly stated that these ‘hallucinatory occurrences’ are a formidable obstacle in the AI sector. (source)
The emergence of AI hallucinations emphasizes the critical need for a balanced approach to AI adoption. It serves as a warning that AI holds immense potential for enhancing B2B sales, but it should refrain from supplanting human discernment and skills. Companies need to exercise due diligence in double-checking the data and insights AI systems produce to steer clear of the pitfalls of AI-induced inaccuracies.
As the commercial environment shifts, B2B sales teams must weigh the pros and cons of integrating AI into their operations. Begin by scrutinizing your existing workflows and pinpointing areas where AI could offer immediate value. Engage with industry experts and initiate pilot projects to assess ROI and make data-driven choices.
As the commercial world evolves, AI will undoubtedly serve as a potent instrument for maintaining the relevance of sales teams. By judiciously employing AI, these teams can more effectively meet customer needs and engage them at various stages of the buying process. However, it’s crucial to remember that irresponsible use of AI can result in severe business disruptions.
Consultant with SalesGlobe
Result-oriented, dedicated leader with tactical and strategic compensation experience.