How AI sales tools can jump-start new revenue growth
AI sales tools help your team find targeted leads, write outreach emails, analyze sales data, improve customer engagement, and drive revenue growth. Here's how.
Sep 29, 2023 • 6 Minute Read
- AI & Machine Learning
- Learning & Development
From Microsoft’s Viva Sales to Salesforce’s Einstein, sales tools boasting AI capabilities are springing up everywhere. Rather than focus on specific vendors and services that change constantly, we look at how you can use AI for sales and impact your bottom line.
Table of contents
- How to use AI in your sales team
- 5 best practices for using AI in the sales process
- Additional AI resources for sales teams
How to use AI in your sales team
Between prospecting, showcasing products and services, negotiating, and building relationships, sales professionals have traditionally done manual, highly customized work. AI tools can change this.
According to McKinsey research, organizations that invest in AI see a sales ROI uplift of 10 – 20%. Whether you’re on the fence or ready to adopt AI tech, here’s how your sales team can use AI-powered tech to generate more revenue.
Simplify workflows with automated processes
Most sales professionals already use some form of automation to streamline repetitive tasks and workflows. AI sales tools can further assist with:
Updating CRM software
Reporting and documentation
Scheduling calls and meetings
This gives sales teams more opportunities to build meaningful relationships with prospects and customers.
Create customer engagement using chatbots
AI-powered chatbots enhance customer service, but they can also augment sales. Chatbots offer a way for customers to self-serve and make purchases without speaking to sales reps. And, according to a study by HubSpot, 47% of consumers are interested in buying products this way. Integrate a chatbot and you can capture this audience (and their sales).
Find targeted leads with AI
Prospecting and finding high-quality leads is an involved process. But 60% of leaders believe GenAI will have a significant impact on real-time lead identification based on customer trends.
AI tools can conduct market research, find patterns and preferences in your existing customer base, and analyze buying behavior to help your teams find targeted leads. It can then segment your audiences and make it easier to create targeted campaigns for each audience.
Write prospect outreach emails and other communications
Writing a personalized message or email outreach sequence for a prospect can take hours. Generative AI for sales can speed up the process without losing customization. It can help reps:
Write outreach emails
Recommend personalized content, products, and services
Generate scripts and product guides
If your organization doesn’t opt for ChatGPT for Enterprise, reps can use their personal ChatGPT account (or Bard or any other generative AI service) to take advantage of these features. Just create a usage policy so they understand the security and privacy risks associated with using AI.
Assist with negotiations using real-time data
Negotiating deals can be a tricky part of the sales process, especially for newer reps. During negotiations, AI can look at data such as past transactions, behavior, and competitor pricing. It can then use this information to give sales teams guidance and recommendations in real time. The result? Smoother negotiations and higher close rates.
Get data insights with sentiment analysis and sales forecasting
A significant gap exists between top sales reps and weaker performers. AI tools can close the divide with robust sales analytics and help teams develop an effective sales strategy.
AI programs can use sentiment analysis to analyze phone calls, chats, and emails to understand how a customer felt during those interactions—and how likely they are to continue to the next phase of the sales process. You can also use it to identify the most effective selling strategies and which products or services customers are most excited about.
AI can also perform sales forecasting to predict future revenue based on existing data, opportunities, and close rates. If you have experts who can train AI models on your organization’s unique data, you’ll glean even more relevant insights.
5 best practices for using AI in the sales process
As you look for the right AI sales tools for your organization, a few best practices can help you and your teams maximize their full potential.
1. Leverage AI-powered integrations with existing tools
It’s important to note that you can leverage AI tech without a dedicated solution. Most vendors are currently building, or have already implemented, GenAI or AI-powered capabilities within their products and services.
Keep an eye out on their product announcements and ask your representative for product roadmaps. You may not need to adopt new tools—the AI functionality you want may be coming to the products and services you already use.
2. Limit the number of AI sales tools you use
With a wealth of AI tools in the market, you may be tempted to try them all. But adopting tools faster than you can train your employees to use them effectively can inflate spending without driving results. Limit the number of tools you use to those that address your team’s most pressing needs. Evaluate their efficacy and then expand your tech stack as needed.
3. Encourage AI adoption in your sales team
Chances are, you have early adopters who are already using generative AI in their sales workflows. But you probably have other sales reps who are wondering, “Will AI take my job?” This fear can lead to uncertainty, reduced morale, and low engagement with any AI tools you adopt.
To mitigate this risk, emphasize where AI can help—and where it can’t. For example, AI can speed up the sales process, but it can’t forge real human connections. Bring in the early adopters to show their teammates how they use AI to make their lives easier. Resistors may be more receptive to their peers than those in leadership roles.
Let’s be clear: AI will change how sales professionals do their jobs. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t needed. These expert change management strategies can help you lead your team through change.
4. Provide AI courses and training
To make the most of any AI solution, your people need to know how to use it. Whatever tools you adopt, your vendors can help you onboard your employees on specific features and platforms.
But it’s also important for them to understand the actual technology behind these tools. If you’re in the tech industry (and even if you aren’t), prospects and customers will ask about AI. Sales pros who understand how AI works will be better equipped to answer those questions, address pain points, build trust, and win deals.
Here are some courses to get them started:
5. Continue to prioritize personalized customer experiences
AI can streamline and improve personalization throughout the sales cycle. It can even hold conversations. But to make a sale, you can’t just hold a conversation—you need to build a relationship. And that’s much easier to do when customers and prospects can connect a real human face to your product and services. Even as you leverage AI tech, you still need human interactions to craft personalized sales experiences.
Additional AI resources for sales teams
When it seems like everyone and everything is moving towards AI, it can be easy to get caught up in the momentum. But adopting AI products just to jump on the bandwagon can end up losing you revenue rather than growing it.
Instead of focusing on the AI tools themselves, focus on what you want to do with them. Then adopt the tools that will drive towards your desired outcomes.
Get your sales teams up to speed with AI training. Browse our collection of beginner, intermediate, and advanced AI and ML courses to give your teams the knowledge and skills they need.