😺 The future of AI in sales

PLUS: Introducing DEEP DIVES!!!

Welcome, humans.

We're thrilled to kick off a new series: deep dives into pivotal AI topics we believe will shape the future.

Over the next few months, you might see an article or two from us on Sundays. Don't fret, we're not taking over your weekend—we just can’t contain our excitement about AI!

Our mission remains laser-focused: to provide you with the latest information, tools, and trends to stay ahead of the AI revolution.

Quick note: These deep dives will be sponsored, but rest assured, our editorial content remains completely independent from ads.

Today's deep dive? It's all about AI revolutionizing sales. Let's dig in...

Our sales pitch to you on the future of sales!

Right now, everyone from hedge fund managers to your neighborhood dry cleaners is wondering how AI will shake up their world. It's the question on everyone's mind: "How will AI impact my job, my industry, my future?"

The truth is AI's impact isn't universal. For some sectors, AI might barely cause a ripple. For others, we know it's coming, but the "how" is still a mystery. Then, there are those fields where AI is already rewriting the playbook.

Sales is firmly in that last category.

We're all too familiar with how much of the sales world is stuck in the dark ages.

  • Those annoying promotional emails clogging up your inbox?

  • The LinkedIn DMs that feel about as personal as a robocall?

These spray-and-pray tactics will become the dinosaurs of the sales world. (Though, to be fair, at least the dinosaurs didn't try to sell us an executive coaching service “to help you reach your career goals.”)

Here's the first area where AI is flipping the script: hyperpersonalization. One of AI's strengths is generating endless versions of the same content tailored to each individual.

And because sales reps send A LOT of emails, email personalization should get a major upgrade from AI. This doesn’t just mean slapping a {First_Name} at the top of a template. AI can dig one level deeper:

"Hey Sarah, I saw your tweet about scaling your sales team after that Series B round. Congrats! Given your SaaS background, I thought you'd be interested in how we're using AI to boost sales productivity..."

It's like having a super-stalker on your sales team but in a helpful way.

AI avatars could be interesting, too.

Tools like Heygen and Synthesia are creating personalized video outreach at scale, and it's pretty wild stuff. Here's how it works: 

  1. These tools use AI to generate realistic human-like avatars or manipulate existing video footage of someone on your team. 

  2. You input a script. 

  3. The avatar delivers your message as if it's a real person talking directly to your prospect.

Imagine this: You open an email and find a video of "Sarah" saying, "Hey, John! I noticed your company just launched that eco-friendly packaging line. Congrats! I thought you'd be interested in how our AI-driven supply chain tool has helped similar companies cut waste by 30%..."

Don’t believe us? Check out these demos:

These aren't just some fringe tools, either. Heygen just raised $60 million, and Synthesia pulled in $90 million last year. Big money is betting on this tech.

FROM OUR PARTNERS

Want to stay ahead on AI in sales? Attention is your ticket.

All the fancy future stuff coming to AI in sales—email personalization, transforming call data into actionable insights, auto-updating your CRM—Attention's (NEW) AI assistants are already doing today.

And it’s not just an AI tool that automates one piece of the funnel—their AI assistants do it all:

  • Ana (Sales Manager): Creates scorecards, ensures compliance, and boosts team performance.

  • Dax (Data Analyst): Transforms call data into insights, identifies successful strategies, and creates performance visualizations.

  • Tessa (Sales Ops): Updates CRM automatically, prioritizes important data, and generates sales collateral.

They've already helped 100+ sales teams close more deals and generate more revenue. 

Alright, so your funky AI avatar and eerily personalized email finally got someone to bite. Now what?

You've got a sales call. Cue the confetti. (Just kidding, we know sales calls are about as exciting as watching paint dry.)

But here's where AI is making things interesting again: meeting prep. Gone are the days of frantically skimming your prospect's LinkedIn profile five minutes before dialing. 

Now, an AI can dive into your CRM, extracting all the relevant details from past calls, notes, and activities. Some AI tools even play internet detective, scraping the web for the latest info on your prospect—recent news, social media activity, industry updates, you name it.

Based on this analysis, AI can suggest tailored talking points, potential pain points to address, and even the best time to call.

This isn't just some futuristic concept, either. Microsoft (yes, that Microsoft, which serves 330 million businesses) already offers this feature in Outlook with their "Sales Copilot."

Meeting prep is cool and all, but TBH, it's low-hanging fruit. What's really got us jazzed are the AI tools that provide real-time coaching and feedback during calls.

Yes, during sales calls. 

Imagine having an AI assistant listen in on your call and recommend when to pitch certain features, when to back off, or when to address specific pain points. 

This is all becoming possible thanks to faster speech models AND vision models that can actually see your customers and pick up cues based on their faces, postures, etc. We're particularly stoked about how GPT-4 with vision could shake up sales tools—if they ever actually release it, that is.

But here's the real kicker: this AI feedback isn't just generic advice. It can be trained on the behaviors and strategies of your company's top-performing sales rep. Suddenly, every mid-level sales rep on your team gets tips from your star closer during every single call.

The result? Your entire sales team starts to level up, with everyone benefiting from the insights and tactics of your best performer. It's like cloning your top salesperson and giving them to every team member.

Another low-hanging fruit in the AI sales world is meeting summaries. Now sales reps can focus on closing deals without playing stenographer.

Here's what this looks like in Teams:

Microsoft Sales Copilot

And here's what one consulting company said about this feature:

"Using Copilot for Sales for meeting summaries has saved me at least 30 minutes per meeting. Now I can copy, paste, adjust a few things, and quickly send. It has increased my velocity tenfold; my opportunities are closing faster, and my closing rate has climbed."

Some AI tools are taking this one step further, not just summarizing meetings but offering feedback, insights, and advice based on the call. Imagine your top-performing sales rep listening to your call and then giving you a masterclass afterward with 5 ways to improve. 

This AI can also help you craft follow-up emails, create engaging GVMs (Guided Video Messages) for digital sales rooms, cross-sell emails that convert, and make solution recommendations.

That's not science fiction—it's a feature that exists today.

This AI assistant transforms raw meeting data, decodes what your customers are really saying, and spots what's broken in seconds.

Check out this demo, where a team asked, "Stack rank the reasons why we are losing deals to our competitors," and Attention responded with three areas of feedback based on 435 conversations.

This feature integrates with Teams calls, Zoom calls, you name it. 

*This is sponsored content. Advertise in The Neuron here.

OK, OK, so you think all of this will turn the sales world upside down and change everything overnight, right?

Well, not quite, and not yet.

One thing that's clear in AI right now is that while the promise of these tools is there—84% of salespeople using generative AI say it helps increase sales at their organization by enhancing and speeding up customer interactions—adoption isn't quite there yet. 

A Salesforce survey found that most sales and service professionals (76%) haven't used AI...at ALL.

The reasons are pretty telling:

  • 53% of these folks say they "don't know how to get the most value out of generative AI at work"

  • 49% say they "don't know how to safely use generative AI at work"

  • 67% say "their employer doesn't provide generative AI training"

So, what will be the bridge between potential and actual usage? Probably the consulting and training services, admittedly.

The bottom line: The AI sales revolution is coming, but it might need a few user manuals first.

Related reading:

  • How Generative AI Will Change Sales (link). 

  • How AI tools are changing the sales world (link). 

  • How to Drive Sellers’ Adoption of Generative AI (link). 

Sales, Service, and Generative AI: New Research on What’s Holding Teams Back (link).

Let us know what you thought of this deep dive and what you’d like us to cover next!

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