For sales reps and marketers, survival skills begin with the ability to separate long-term signals from short-term noise. This influences where reps invest their time, how marketers construct their awareness and demand gen strategies, and the prioritization criteria for sales enablement leaders who need to manage everything from in-context training to playbooks and more.
Today we’re going to dive into AI (Artificial Intelligence) and its evolution from a trend-making concept to a core feature of any modern sales enablement platform.
AI Today: What Does It Mean?
There’s a widespread tendency to associate AI with a range of technology features, many of which fail to capture the full capabilities of today’s AI. AI is not, for example, basic content search functionality, generic usage statistics, or hard-coded content recommendations. It is instead, in a much larger sense, the heartbeat of modern sales enablement. And it has become one of the key factors in sales rep effectiveness.
AI allows reps and marketers to act on real-time insights that are data-driven, self-optimizing, and unique to their specific customer opportunity. It’s ingrained in features such as guided selling, semantic search, and analytics, and is a primary purchase criteria for sales enablement customers. In summary, by fusing inputs from many sources, AI helps reps far exceed what they might accomplish on their own.
What Makes an AI-Driven Platform Great
With AI, sales reps and marketers are able to make massive progress toward delivering the perfect content for every stage of the buyer’s journey. Here are four examples of what makes an AI-driven sales enablement platform great.
- When reps are able to leverage the intelligence of their sales enablement platform to access contextual, dynamically optimized recommendations from directly within their CRM.
- When reps and marketers are able to access an embedded content scoring system – a system that predicts which content will make the biggest impact on winning each deal – via seamless integration between their sales enablement platform and their CRM.
- When reps can search all of their company’s content directly from their sales enablement platform, including: language-specific text in documents, abstract concepts and colors in images, and dialogue in videos.
- When sales enablement leaders can track how content has been customized across their organization and surface unique insights into content quality and effectiveness.
Primary Benefits of Modern AI
- Higher content ROI. By quickly and accurately surfacing their company’s best-performing content, reps close deals faster and marketers are able to make the most of their content investments.
- Faster conversions. Using modern AI, reps are able to access precisely what they need for each stage of the buyer’s journey. This improves customer engagement and helps accelerate sales processes.
- More revenue. With AI, reps and marketers are able to optimize their content strategy based upon insights rather than intuition and achieve higher close rates on their most promising opportunities.
The signals are clear: AI is transforming work (and life) as we know it. Companies harnessing modern AI in their sales enablement solution are not only improving their short-term upside via more powerful search and deeper platform integrations, but also investing in their long-term ability to optimize sales content based upon their own data-driven insights. They are placing a bet that machine learning will complement sales rep insights, not displace them. As a result, they’re setting themselves up for more effective customer conversations and deeper relationships.
If AI is not yet a cornerstone of your sales enablement strategy or if you don’t know how to evaluate whether or not the options you’re considering are a true representation of modern AI, we recommend keeping in mind the following three questions:
- How does this platform leverage machine learning to improve content performance throughout the buyer’s journey? Always ask for detailed demos, and place special emphasis on understanding the mechanics of how future alternatives will outperform your current approach.
- How does this platform use AI to help reps quickly identify the specific content they need, when and where they need it? Run through a battery of custom scenarios and test results in real-time. If results are not swift and conclusive, you’re not working with modern AI.
- How can marketers access detailed, accurate, up-to-the-moment analytics on content usage, engagement, and influenced revenue? Request as many performance metrics as possible, along with self-serve guidance on how to capture them. Modern AI is imminently helpful, not narrow in scope or difficult to use.
Though we remain in the early stages of the AI revolution, its impact on sales processes and content performance is already profound. Our recommendation: invest wisely and soon. The data points you need for breakthrough performance are accumulating every day.