Unless you've been living under a rock lately, there's been a considerable buzz around "AI," specifically generative AI. A product name you've likely heard in this context is ChatGPT. As technology transforms business models, an age-old dilemma resurfaces: in and of itself, technology holds no value. I'll repeat that technology has no value when not applied. Therefore, our focus should primarily be on the application of the technology. Last I checked, using resources, technology, and assets leans more toward strategic thinking than anything else.This week, I wanted to delve into the narrative surrounding generative AI, particularly as it pertains to B2B sales. This technology will transform how we perceive and conduct professional sales. Here are five pillars, each a conversation topic in its own right, that illustrate how and why I believe generative AI will revolutionize the B2B sales models:
- Eliminating Wasted Motion: There's an argument that everything we do is about speed to act, as speed has become the new value driver. Buzzwords like "agile" or "pivoting" are synonyms for acting quickly. One of the best predictors of speed is eliminating wasted motion, a task at which generative AI excels. It's a superior research tool to Google; it can instantly unblock writers - not to replace your writing, but to jumpstart it with ideas or brainstorms. If applied and utilized correctly, it can spark some of the most enlightening dialogue to help your mind wander and be more curious and productive. In relation to B2B sales, generative AI can help eliminate wasted motion in everything from sales processes to customer interactions, not by replacing human intelligence but by amplifying it.
- Rethinking CRMs: Generative AI now has the remarkable ability to analyze various data to identify new patterns or potential avenues. It's a powerful tool for researching an organization. It demonstrates that more than a mere digital card catalog of addresses, contacts, or previous conversations is required for today's business needs. You need to understand your customers' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as well as their social media activity and the current state of their organization. All of this requires time and new tools beyond traditional methods like CRM.
- Headcount: Technology has been employed for years to enhance efficiency and decrease personnel. A company’s most substantial asset and expenditure is its workforce. Leaders have long questioned, “How can we concentrate on, develop, and improve the right people in our organization by utilizing advanced technological methods?” This is where generative AI can significantly contribute, demonstrating to business-oriented individuals with limited technical skills how to refine their current organizational operations, structures, and strategies.
- Better Conversations: Generative AI provides the ability to conduct extensive research and educate oneself rapidly. With a deeper understanding of key topics, you can drive more meaningful, value-based conversations. I use storytelling to enhance communication, but the term "communication" can be nebulous. In the context of better conversations, I'm referring to improving effective communication. Interacting with an algorithm quickly teaches us that our communication isn't always clear, and we often use different words to convey similar meanings. Access to an abundance of information is only meaningful with the right questions. This realization forces us to ask better questions, leading to better conversations.
- Better Engagement with Clients: When applied correctly, generative AI can facilitate engagement and connection with your clients like never before. It can amplify what's worked in the past, clarify your specific audience, and, with all the research and understanding, allow you to connect with the right touch points at the right cadence. This, in turn, enables you to deliver insightful and educational content like never before.
We live in such an amazing time. Think about it for a moment - I never thought I would experience some of the technologies and tools we have access to today. But let me circle back to where I started: technology, in and of itself, holds no value. It's all about how we apply it. I encourage you not to run from it, dismiss it, or be more curious today. Go beyond your level of awareness to truly understand the actions you can take to apply and leverage technology as a facilitator to your overarching strategy, not simply as a cost center. See it for the strategic asset it's always meant to be.