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The Future of Sales Enablement in an AI-Powered World

The era of AI-driven sales is here. More than 60% of sales and service professionals believe generative AI will help them better serve customers. And AI-powered tools are already disrupting how sellers work by automating mundane tasks and boosting productivity, ultimately driving sales and improving customer experiences.

AI is going to completely reshape the sales function — including how we train and educate sales teams.

Traditional sales enablement

Historically, organizations relied on generic sales enablement programs that delivered ‘set it and forget it’ content to the entire sales organization, regardless of the business challenges sellers were trying to solve. While some training may have been tailored to specific roles, content couldn’t be personalized at scale and organizations generally expected sellers to learn the same foundational content, at the same pace, in the same way.

Enterprises have been willing to spend significantly on these programs, yet had little ability to measure the impact of their investment. ROI was measured solely by whether or not sales team members completed training courses – not if they successfully applied new learnings to close deals.

No surprise then that sales reps often saw enablement as a box to check, not a path to growth. Thanks to AI, that is no longer the case.

No surprise then that sales reps often saw enablement as a box to check, not a path to growth. Thanks to AI, that is no longer the case.

AI-powered enablement in action

With the power of AI and data, enablement is delivering more personalized and effective training, and helping organizations understand the true impact these investments have on their bottom line. Companies can now monitor and adjust enablement programs in real-time, using metrics like win rates, pipeline generation, ACV value and customer satisfaction to continually shape their programs to drive business results.

AI enables sales reps to access enablement programs in the flow of their everyday work, and can help with hyper personalization – aligning training to an individual’s past performance, strengths, and growth areas. And companies can take a data-driven approach to understanding the challenges individual sellers face, then automatically provide them with personalized guidance to increase productivity or help close a specific deal.

The groundwork for AI-powered enablement

Companies are understandably eager to reap AI’s benefits, but their approach must be thoughtful, outcome-focused, and powered by a strong data strategy.

Effective AI-powered sales enablement requires robust data that is connected and organized. An effective data strategy is key to helping organizations understand what works and what doesn’t when selling their products. Data helps companies identify the most effective sales tactics and impart those learnings to their team – from targeting the prospects most likely to buy, to crafting the most compelling offer for a specific individual or listening for cues to help them overcome objections.

An effective data strategy is key to helping organizations understand what works and what doesn’t when selling their products.

Companies must take a values and human-first approach to integrating AI into their sales and enablement processes. Leaders must also understand and proactively communicate to their teams that AI cannot replace the human connections that drive sales. Rather, AI can support salespeople by offering real-time feedback to perfect sales pitches and follow up notes to customers, and perform mundane tasks – giving sales teams more time, resources, and brain space to do what they do best – understand customer pain points, present solutions, and build trust.

To thrive in this AI-powered world, organizations must invest in both AI technology and continued people development, especially for the teams directly impacting the bottom line. 

More information:

  • Read about how organizations can sell faster with Enablement built directly into your CRM here
  • See how Salesforce drives productive and personalized sales interactions here
  • Learn how your organization can turn every sales professional into a Salesblazer
Jody Kohner EVP of Global Enablement at Salesforce More by Jody
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