25 April 2023 |

Enter the Age of Intelligence

By Alex Alleyne

AI is revolutionizing the way we work and live, and sales is no exception. It’s the simulation of human intelligence processed by machines and it has the ability to learn, adapt, and make decisions. AI-powered tools can analyze and interpret vast amounts of data to help sales teams make better judgements.

It is pretty incredible when you think about how far we’ve come as a generation. I had a conversation with my Mother about this recently; she’s now lived through the era of black-and-white televisions, through the dawn of the internet, to now, when you can automate an email to your Manager, prospect or customers.  The world is moving forward at an incredible rate and shows no signs of slowing down. 

The question now becomes, how much appetite do you have to embrace the pace by leveraging these inventions to help you to go further and faster than ever before?

The AI Advantage

Over the past year, I’ve seen a significant increase in the adoption of AI-powered sales tools like Clari, which can quickly identify patterns and trends to inform revenue forecasts. Machine learning algorithms can now analyze tons of data from past deals, customer interactions, and external sources to predict buying behavior. This can make an immediate difference on a sellers’ ability to connect with a customer during prime moments, ramping up their prospecting conversion rates.

In addition, AI-powered tools can automate many of the repetitive, time-consuming administrative tasks that have often slowed us down as leaders and sellers. I’ve come across tools which can automatically enter data into a CRM, schedule follow-up emails, and even generate personalized content for sales outreach, allowing our teams to focus their time and energy on high-value activities that we will unpack in the next section.

According to a survey by Salesforce, 62% of sales teams are already using AI in some capacity, and that number is expected to continue to rise over the next few years. As AI continues to evolve and improve, there is no doubt that this will be a case of getting involved or getting left behind.

Leveraging AI As A Second Line Leader

As a second-line leader, I use AI to enhance my productivity and forecasting accuracy. We recently invested in revenue intelligence tooling with embedded AI capabilities, which allows me to quickly unpack the state of an opportunity based on trending customer activity.

One key aspect that I’ve found incredibly helpful is its ability to identify and flag deals that are at risk of slipping. AI can analyze historical data and customer behavior patterns to identify deals that are stuck or have a low likelihood of closing. These insights facilitate effective 1:1’s and development plans with my team’s to get ahead of in-flight deal risks.

Another way I’ve leveraged AI is to aid with my forecast. By analyzing historical data and external factors like seasonality and industry trends, AI provides a point of view around where it expects me to land at the end of a quarter. This acts as a useful aid from which I can validate any subjectivity in my own forecast through data. 

This is a notable difference when compared to traditional forecasting tools that only facilitate you manually entering your own forecast, with little/no steer around how to reach an informed projection.

The potential of AI is enormous – but the picture isn’t all roses and sunshine. Next week, I’ll expand on where I see the risks and vulnerabilities of leaning into AI too much during its infancy.
Until then, it is worth following Zain Kahn on LinkedIn, who posts regular content around the topic of AI with actionable insights to empower your day to day.