“Am I going to be replaced by a Robot?”
The elephant in the room for Sales Enablement professionals at SES (Sales Enablement Society) meetings is the question, “Will AI take over my job?”
The panelists included Sales Enablement expert, trainer and program designer Cheryl McCurdy Christensen,(CEO of Data2Develop), Parth Mukherjee (Head of Product marketing, chorus.ai), Babar Batla, CEO (SalesDirector.ai) and Krystan Resch (Director of Partnerships, DiscoverOrg/Zoominfo). All are engaged directly in implementing AI in the Sales process, using their various programs/services to create consistently in accomplishing routine tasks, improve analysis and discovery of findings through data, and improving the hiring, onboarding and ongoing training services for sales professionals and the management and execution of the sales process. This wraps into Customer Service as well, realizing that retaining customers/clients is a primary goal for most businesses once an initial sale is made.
Each panelist had a different but complimentary set of ideas or principles to drive implementing AI solutions in Sales. These all reflect that sales must draw on human talents and emotional connections that create trust, and while the humans who are probably not replaceable because of their ability to engender trust as no “robot” can, natural limitations or the irregularities we all exhibit can be removed or overcome through thoughtful implementation of task-based AI tools.
Some tools enable massive aggregation and sorting of data that improves success by finding better matches to criteria. Other tools can take over the drudgework of unengaging but vital data entry that many sales people shirk because of boredom or disinterest. Even a simple reminder system that’s fine-tuned and personalized to the sales person is more effective when it “learns” the habits of the individual and can adjust accordingly.
Where there is a current flurry of negative feelings over using AI in the hiring process, Cheryl Christensen carefully responded to qualify that, “No more than 30% of your hiring decisions should be made strictly by AI.”
It will always take people with a combined knowledge of Sales techniques, the psychological makeup of the sales people and team, company culture and, over all of this, the “soft skills” to produce successful sales professionals. Enabled and enhanced by AI, of course.
For more content from the panel discussion, please read the graphic recording below: