How to Prepare for Sales AI and the Future of Work

By Miko DiGiacomo-Castillo | Updated August 12th, 2020

Start preparations for sales AI by having honest conversations with salespeople and knowing what digital tools are available and easily integrate with CRMs. Preparing for sales AI is not only easy, but also a wise decision for sales teams that want to ensure their future success by using the most intelligent tools available.

What's inside this article:

Prepare for AI and Prepare for the Future

Preparing for sales AI also means using AI to prepare for unpredictable futures. Let's break that down. When your business decides to adopt sales AI tools, you are also preparing for economic uncertainty. AI analysis and recommendations further support retention and cross-selling by expert salespeople. The kind of automation and insights afforded by AI are the kind of strategic planning that best prepares sales teams for the future.

Start Sales AI Conversations Now

After the initial idea to learn more about sales AI technology, the first step in preparing should be reaching out to the sales team and other relevant employees. Salespeople will have the most direct insights about the reality of adopting sales AI tools. They can imagine what kind of tools could best elevate their workflows and may have legitimate concerns about automation or AI. Approach these initial discussions with curiosity.

Thinks of the Sales AI Implications for Salespeople

When preparing for discussions about sales AI, already begin to consider how it can benefit key people of the sales teams. After all, the only reason to introduce new tools is so that it improves workflows,not distracts or complicates them. One of the first benefits that should come to mind is how AI for sales acts as an additional intelligent toolkit for salespeople to take advantage of. That's why salespeople should be centered in conversations about preparing for sales AI tools.

Figure Out Who Else to Consult About AI for Sales

In addition to salespeople, consider the CRM data scientists and other roles who regularly interact with CRM systems. Because sales AI is so intertwined with these systems, they will be an important part of the development process. For example, certain AI tools like intelligent market monitors can transform CRMs into digital sales machines. Because many of these tools can be added directly to Salesforce, Dynamics, or Oracle platforms, it makes sense to keep them in mind when preparing for sales AI.

Integrate Sales and Marketing

A final suggestion for what to bring up during initial sales AI conversations—the importance of multi-team integration. Successful sales and marketing teams are in tandem with goals and practices. Preparing for sales AI shouldn't change that. Both teams offer particular insights about the potential and reality of AI for sales.

Introduce Sales AI to the Toolkit

As sales AI is first considered, make sure that it gets a proper introduction. A sales team's first reaction may be to reject AI due to fears of job loss and robotic replacement. Ensure this doesn't happen by framing AI for sales as what it is, a set of digital tools to help salespeople. Of the different types of sales AI tools, there are two major kinds to prepare for—task management tools and data processing tools.

Streamline Workflows With Task Management Tools

Task management tools are rooted in automation and can help streamline workflows to increase productivity and improve client experience. Automated scheduling, document management, and intelligent communication tools can take care of the simple, yet time-consuming tasks. These tools are best to help with the tasks required to keep the sales process moving but aren't directly related to the act of salespeople having important conversations with clients. Learn more about how task management tools fit into sales AI in the complete guide to the topic.

Process More Data Than Ever Before

Sales AI shines when put to work on research and data processing. This is where artificial intelligence can do more than a single salesperson. In digital tools that analyze billions of data points to offer recommendations about, AI is the key to getting all of that work done. Again, this isn't to replace expert salespeople, rather offer them these insights to perform their most informed selling.

Identify What Data Is Important to Sales AI

After initial conversations about sales AI and its tools, the next step in preparations is to evaluate the data your business has. It's this demographic and behavioral information about clients that will begin processes like predictive lead scoring. The best sales AI tools can process this sales data and use machine learningto gain even more insights about what kind of results are most relevant for your work.

Focus on Specific Goals

Once you overview the data you have that will begin the sales AI process, you're ready to think about the specific goals your sales team intends to work on. This could be saving time or extending budgets. AI for sales tools that perform important research can save 5-10 hours per month compared to extensive manual sales research demands. Tools like these can also save $500-1k monthly on research expenses.

Sales AI Should Seamlessly Integrate

As mentioned, a seamless CRM integration is critical for sales AI preparations. Any considerations about AI for sales will mention the importance of choosing digital tools that compliment your existing platform. Salesforce Einstein, Dynamics 365 Sales, Oracle CX Sales, and SAP C4C are all major systems that welcome additional sales AI capabilities to maximize your investment. Intelligent market monitors are simple and effective tools to transform CRMs by creating dynamic digital sales playbooks.

Key Insights Straight From Salesforce Einstein

A deeper look at the different types of CRM platforms and their integration capabilities is a good idea during the preparation stages of sales AI. First, Salesforce Einstein. Certain intelligent market monitors can provide key insights straight from your Salesforce CRM. This means it can help with opportunity identification, product-centric talking points, or relationship mapping.

Supercharge Channels With Dynamics 365 Sales

Working with Microsoft Dynamics 365 has never been easier. It integrates with intelligent sales tools to supercharge channels. When preparing for sales AI, consider the kind of tools that find and build stronger relationships through contextual AI. These tools can detect demand and risk systematically and in real-time to ensure that salespeople are getting the most accurate and up to date information to accomplish smarter selling.

Identify Hidden Opportunities in Oracle CRM

Oracle CRM systems are another ideal partner for sales AI. In this preparation stage, make sure you're finding the tools that not only seamlessly integrate, but also identify hidden opportunities and generate leads in net new markets. These kinds of sales AI tools go further to enhance existing dashboards and analytic reports.

Elevate Performance With SAP C4C

Perhaps your sales team uses SAP C4C for its CRM system. In this case, like the other major platforms, it also easily accepts additional sales AI tools into its system. AI for sales tools that create action cards at the point of impact can notify salespeople at critical stages of the sales process. From the identification of relevant buyers to detection of new opportunities not otherwise found in CRM, these sales AI tools can elevate any sales team's performance.

Revaluate and Readjust Your Sales AI Plan

The final suggestion for sales AI preparations is to create the time to reevaluate and readjust once the new processes are in effect. By planning for this ahead of implementation, your sales team will have the mindset that this is an ongoing process, not a final solution. Just like onboarding any new employee, it takes some startup time to introduce and fully integrate new AI tools into the sales process. Instead of shying away from this reality, embrace it and plan for it.

Now Is the Ideal Time for Sales AI

As part of the final preparations for sales AI, remember that it's both not an entirely new concept, nor has it reached its full potential. As artificial intelligence becomes more mainstream, the technological leaps and bounds will slow down. This means that it's probably an ideal time to make sure your business understands what it can do now and how you can best integrate it.

The Future of Work Will Have AI

Ultimately, it's clear that the future of work will include artificial intelligence. For salespeople, this means that an understanding and appreciation of automation and machine learning will go a long way. By starting these preparations now, sales teams are positioning themselves for current and future success. AI for sales is best started now to ensure that businesses aren't left behind.

Prepare With Intelligent Market Monitors

In preparing for sales AI, the last recommendation is to consider intelligent market monitors that understand how to harness the power of sales AI tools to fuel efficient growth. Our Aptivio Intelligent Market Monitor for Sales creates simple dynamic digital sales playbooks from billions of buying signals to maximize your CRM investment.

Our impactful action cards generated by analyzing 150 proprietary signals from billions of external data points can transform the performance of expert salespeople. With seamless integration directly into your CRM and business intelligence platforms, Aptivio is the missing link to creating a digital sales machine. Ready to learn more? Get started for FREE today!

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