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Salesforce surveyed over 2,000 sales and service professionals as part of its Generative AI Snapshot Research Series, finding that more than 50% of sales and service teams don’t know how to get the most value out of generative AI. The research suggests that sales and service teams lack the training and trust in the technology to successfully use it at work.
Read on to learn more from the research.
Sales and service professionals identify customer experience as a clear benefit of generative AI
Respondents identified generative AI as a tool that they believe will help them deliver better, more efficient customer experiences.
61% of salespeople believe generative AI will help them better serve their customers
61% of salespeople believe generative AI will help them sell efficiently
63% of service professionals say the technology will help them serve their customers faster
Among respondents who are already using the technology, generative AI has already proven successful — 84% of salespeople using generative AI say it helps increase sales at their organization by enhancing and speeding up customer interactions. Service professionals currently using generative AI agree: 90% report it helps them serve their customers faster.
The early adopters who report using generative AI say it is helpful for tasks such as content creation and automating communications. However, they believe the technology would be most transformative around more dynamic, complex use cases, like sales reporting, and improving self-service scenarios, such as onboarding new customers.
“Generative AI will completely reshape the field of customer service, said Clara Shih, CEO of Salesforce AI. “We’ll have the ability to automatically generate personalized responses for agents to quickly email or message to customers, freeing human agents to spend more time deeply engaging on complex issues and building long-term customer relationships.”
We’ll have the ability to automatically generate personalized responses for agents to quickly email or message to customers, freeing human agents to spend more time deeply engaging on complex issues and building long-term customer relationships.Clara Shih, CEO of Salesforce AI
Employees in sales and service report low generative AI adoption
For all of the early adopters, however, there are many sales and service professionals who haven’t used it at all. These groups also report being less likely to use generative AI than their peers in other departments like marketing.
Skills gap holds back sales and service adoption and instills job fears
The reason why sales and service pros are hesitant to jump onto the generative AI bandwagon may lie in fear of the unknown. Sales and service teams report a lack of confidence that they can use generative AI effectively or responsibly.
And, 48% of service and 39% of sales professionals worry they will lose their job if they don’t learn how to use generative AI at work.
Data skills are also hyper-relevant with 63% of salespeople and 58% of service professionals saying their company data is not properly set up for generative AI. Comment end
Customer-facing teams report trust gap with generative AI
Companies have an opportunity to help alleviate these concerns and close the skills gap with training. Currently, many do not provide training, despite employees wanting and even expecting them to provide it.
Both sales and service professionals also agree that trust in the technology is a critical precursor for them to successfully use the technology in their role. For both sales and service professionals:
- 56% say human oversight is critical in successfully using generative AI in their role.
- 55% say enhanced security measures are critical in successfully using generative AI in their role.
- Tune in to World Tour London on Salesforce+ to learn more about the future of generative AI for sales and service
- Learn AI skills on Trailhead
- Read employees’ perspectives on generative AI trust and ethics
- Read marketers’ perspectives on generative AI
Salesforce conducted a generative AI survey in partnership with YouGov May 18 – 25, 2023. The data above reflects responses from 1,036 full-time sales employees and 1,023 full-time service employees. The respondents represent companies of a variety of sizes and sectors in the United States, UK, and Australia. The survey took place online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US, UK, and Australian full-time employees (aged 18+).