I have worked with hundreds of sales VPs over my career, and none endorsed the notion of peddling products or services. In fact, all of them wanted their salespeople to become trusted advisors to their customers, because sales executives have long known that long-term, sustainable business growth comes from this approach. However, the reality is that salespeople only have so much precious time to learn about customers’ unique business challenges and industry trends, or to provide consultative direction on how to improve their business standing. To bridge the gap, organizations will sometimes hire account partners to conduct research for salespeople, but quickly find it doesn’t scale. Today, new research finds that the answer to increasing sales knowledge without sidetracking salespeople from their precious selling time, or hiring an army of support resources, is artificial intelligence.
A new Salesforce Research report, its second annual “State of Sales,” reveals that savvy use of emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies holds great promise for sales teams that are moving toward smarter sales strategies instead of impersonal approaches that customers loathe. Here are some findings from the report that I find extremely important for the modern-day sales leader.