AI is changing the sales landscape as we know it. A Harvard Business Review study found that companies using AI for sales could increase their leads by more than 50% and realize cost reductions of 40-60%.
This is only one study that illustrates the enormous potential of AI to automate and personalize sales activities.
This blog post will explore how generative AI can be used in sales processes to drive better results.
We’ll look at what generative AI is, why it’s crucial for sales teams now, and how it can improve outcomes across each stage of the sales cycle.
Are you ready to take your sales game up a notch? Let’s go ahead and get into it.
What is Generative AI?
Generative AI is a relatively new type of artificial intelligence (AI) capable of generating new content, ideas, or products from existing information.
This could be anything from a visual image generated from a dataset of pre-existing images to a fully autonomous virtual assistant capable of generating natural language responses to unpredictable questions.
So how does it differ from other forms of AI? Most of the artificial intelligence technology applied today can be defined as analytical AI. Analytical AI systems use machine learning algorithms to analyze existing data and make predictions or decisions based on that analysis.
This can be used for tasks such as fraud detection, recommendation systems, or intelligent sales forecasts. Generative AI also uses machine learning algorithms but can learn patterns in data and then generate new data that follow those patterns.
Many used to believe that artificial intelligence was only capable of analytical work and not creative work in the near future. Generative AI has crushed that belief, which is also why the excitement about this new technology is enormous.
In its Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar for 2022, Gartner lists generative AI as one of the most significant and quickly developing technologies that will revolutionize productivity. According to them, generative AI will produce 10% of all global data in 2024. It currently produces less than 1%.
Why you should implement Generative AI into your sales process now?
The rapid advancement of the technology
The improvements in generative AI models are becoming more and more noticeable. For example, OpenAI’s GPT-3 had 17 gigabytes of trainings data, while GPT-4 now boasts 45 gigabytes, a 2.6x increase.
Most of the applications built on top of these models were founded just a few years ago and are now storming the market. Despite still being in their infancy, some can already provide tremendous value to companies.
Your competition already invests in AI for Sales
Artificial intelligence is already an integral part of business, with 70% of customer interactions predicted to involve machine learning in the near future. However, Generative AI is a more novel subcategory of AI that has just hit public attention.
This offers sales organizations a unique chance to benefit from being early adopters and provide a cutting-edge buying experience that will set them apart from their competition. By leveraging the power of artificial intelligence today, businesses can enjoy significant advantages over those who wait until it becomes more widespread and industry-standard – gaining preeminence within their markets by delivering extraordinary services to customers sooner than anyone else.
Clear and measurable benefits
As a sales professional who has experienced the benefits of highly streamlined sales operations, I can testify to how vital the right enablement for every sales rep’s performance can be. However, even with a good amount of software and efficient processes, B2B sales representatives still face immense pressure.
They juggle multiple aspects—from strategic objectives to small administrative details — all while carefully managing customer relationships that could tilt the scales on any given sale. Generative AI in sales has massive potential here, freeing up valuable time for high-value tasks while enhancing efficiency through improved communication at every step of the sales cycle.
What are the Use Cases of Generative AI for Sales?
To provide a clearer picture of the potential of Generative AI in Sales, I have identified and organized use cases according to each stage in a typical sales cycle.
While many of these applications could be applied across multiple stages, I listed it only once in the stage where it creates the most value.
Prospecting & Discovery
Jan’s Take: Based on all the use cases discussed in this article, AI tools in the category
“Prospecting & Discovery” could generate almost instant ROI with relatively little effort.
Auto-Generated Social Media Posts & Commenting
Generative AI can be used for sales reps and sales leaders looking to increase their visibility and presence on social media networks like LinkedIn or Twitter (X). Tools like Tweethunter, Taplio or Merlin can generate content or make intelligent write-ups based on the sales professional’s specific industry.
It has the advantage of not only helping sales reps craft informative posts tailored to their customer’s interests but also writing thoughtful comments to engage with potential leads.
For sales professionals looking for a way to maximize their time spent on social media, Generative AI is a powerful technology for saving time and energy while still delivering high-quality content and engaging conversation.
Detailed Prospect & Company Research
AI-powered data enrichment tools have already been developing offerings that go beyond providing only verified contact data. New Generative AI tools enable new capabilities to assist sales teams in automating even more time-consuming research tasks.
In just a few seconds, an AI assistant like Smartwriter + Smartlead or Lavender can access online data sources such as LinkedIn comments or posts, job history, websites, blog posts, case studies, reviews, and more to generate content specific to a lead. These emerging tools already start to offer integrations to leading CRM systems, automatically enriching them with new data without any manual data entry needed.
Personalized Email & Social Media Outreach
New AI email assistants can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of sales reps by enabling them to create personalized content quickly and at scale. By analyzing customer data, these tools can generate effective cold messages with subject lines, introductions, and pitches tailored to potential customers’ interests with minimal human intervention.
In addition to fully automated content generation, these assistants can assist with crafting well-written emails based on a few bullet points or enhance already-written emails. Some applications also use data on best practices in sales outreach to suggest or automatically generate adjustments for the greatest likelihood of positive responses.
Personalized Video outreach
Sales reps are always looking for new ways to bring in more leads, and video prospecting is one of the most effective methods. HubSpot ran a 45-day test with five of their Business Development Reps, and they increased sales opportunities by 4x using video prospecting . I can also confirm the effectiveness of personalized video outreach from my personal experience.
However, creating videos for each lead is time-consuming, and distribution requires a lot of work. Now, Artificial intelligence-powered video prospecting tools like Hippo Video help sales teams break through the inbox noise by generating personalized videos at scale. Sales reps can quickly build AI avatars of themselves, create personalized scripts, and send out human-like personalized videos for every prospect with very little time needed.
Selected AI Tools in “Prospecting & Discovery”
Tweethunter – grow and monetize your Twitter audience
Taplio – grow and monetize your Linkedin audience
SmartWriter – create engaging, personalized cold emails
Lavender – create engaging, personalized cold email
Tavus – Create Personalized Outreach Videos
Potion – Create Personalized Outreach Videos
Presentation & Evaluation
Fast Presentation Creation
Professional branded sales collateral is an essential component of any successful sales organization. But the traditional methods of creating such materials can take time and effort. Fortunately, with the introduction of new applications powered by artificial intelligence, such as beautiful.ai, it’s now possible to create professional branded sales collateral in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods.
Sales reps can quickly generate branded materials with a few simple clicks, and no advanced design skills are needed. This saves time and gives every sales rep the ability to quickly create materials tailored to the prospects’ needs.
Real-Time Conversations Analysis & Coaching
By leveraging conversational artificial intelligence, sales reps can access real-time analysis of their customer conversations and get instant guidance, such as recommended responses to questions or common objections.
With sales tools like Balto, guidance can be based on the company’s sales playbooks or pre-determined checklists to recommend the best action for each call. This helps sales reps not only to increase the chances of moving the deal forward but can also significantly support sales managers in reducing ramp time for new hires.
Note-Taking & Summarization
Generative AI can support each sales team with one of the simplest but most crucial tasks in every deal cycle, note-taking. Gen AI tools such as Fireflies.ai or Otter.ai can not only transcribe phone calls, but they can also summarise and filter out action items, tasks, questions, and other vital topics. Niche tools such as Fluint can also transcribe calls and automatically generate the narrative for a business case in your buyer’s language. Salespeople no longer have to manually document their calls and spend hours combing their notes for important information. With generative AI, this process can be automated.
This makes it much easier for sales teams to identify areas to focus on and prioritize tasks quickly. As in the previous section, AI can additionally analyze transcripts and generate recommendations based on factors such as talk time, sentiment, and other key metrics helping sales managers to coach their teams more effectively.
Improved Access to Internal Documents and Knowledge
Sales reps don’t need to reinvent the wheel in many deals, as collateral or knowledge about similar deals is often already available within the sales organization. However, finding this information can often be challenging and time-consuming.
Generative AI can help sales professionals be more efficient by enhancing general search capabilities through natural language understanding. New workplace search tools like Glean or Hebbia.ai powered by Generative AI models can understand context, language, behavior, and relationships to provide faster and more accurate results for sales reps’ search queries.
Assisted Proposal Writing
Have you ever participated in an RFP process? Writing sales proposals can be tedious and takes up much of a sales professional’s time. Fortunately, AI writing tools can help make this process much easier by auto-generating content with little human involvement needed.
Instead of spending hours formulating persuasive paragraphs, sales teams can leverage generative AI to create well-written content based on quick prompts or a few bullet points. AI writing tools also enable users to enhance existing content, help finish sentences, summarize texts, correct grammar, and support writers to stay consistent with a specific kind of tone.
Selected AI Tools in “Presentation & Evaluation”
Jasper – Generate Quality Copy For Emails, Ads, Websites, Blogs & More
Writesonic – Generate Quality Copy For Emails, Ads, Websites, Blogs & More
Beautful.Ai – Create Presentations Quickly, With Minimal Effort
Revenue.Io – Real Time Guidance During Every Conversation
Firefly – Automatically Record And Transcribe Meetings
Glean – Search Across All Your Company’s Apps To Find What You Need
Negotiation & Closing
Legal discussions and contract reviews are often among the most significant risk factors for sales professionals looking to close deals quickly and without unnecessary delays. The potential of generative AI for legal teams is enormous, and the first applications have started to enter the market.
Using artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and deep learning, AI software can assist legal teams with the traditionally time-consuming task of reviewing and approving contracts. Legal experts can get assistance in various jobs, from replacing language based on the company’s playbook to suggestions for editing and deleting clauses.
Retention & Upsell
Customer Onboarding & Product Training
Generative AI offers new ways for companies to create informational content for onboarding or training to engage customers more effectively. Modern AI video creation platforms such as Colossyan or Synthesia offer simple yet professional video editors that make it easy to produce high-quality videos with little effort.
Generative AI further enhances this process by allowing users to select virtual avatars and voices to build human-like videos in multiple languages. This makes them ideal for training courses or short how-to tutorials. Companies can save on costs associated with traditional professional video production while also having the ability to quickly update their content as products or processes evolve and localize their videos with different languages using various avatars and voices.
Generative AI offers multiple use cases to help customer support & success teams handle the vast amount of requests and workloads they face daily. One option is a new class of chatbots powered by natural language understanding. Tools like Ada or EliseAI can understand sentence structure, meaning, tone, and nuance, making conversations with customers more natural and enjoyable.
Furthermore, conversational AI tools like forethought.ai automatically analyze sentiment and intent to prioritize tickets based on urgency, helping support teams triage more easily. As in previous examples, Generative AI can also assist customer-facing teams in every interaction with suggested responses and internal best practices.
Selected AI Tools in “Upsell & Retention”
Colossyan – Create Videos With Human-like AI Avatars In Minutes
Synthesia – Create Videos With Human-like AI Avatars In Minutes
Ada – Automating The Most Frequent Interactions With Customers
EliseAI – Automatically Respond To Inquiries With Human Touch
Forethought – Manage Your Incoming Support Requests More Efficiently
How you can get started using Generative AI in your sales processes
The above listing of the various use cases and AI software should give you a good overview of applying generative AI in your sales process. Make sure you check out as many tools from above as possible. You can test a few of them for free or watch demo videos. This will help you understand the possibilities for your sales organization in more detail.
After that, you may start conducting a needs assessment to determine what areas of the sales process could benefit most from generative AI. You can use the different sales stages above as a framework to support your assessment. Once the areas of focus have been identified, you can either research and evaluate different generative AI tools yourself or check out my other articles and reviews to find the best AI tools for your needs.
Generative AI is still in its infancy, but it has the potential to be revolutionary. As outlined, It can generate value and enhance every aspect of a typical buying process.
While AI has the potential to do some amazing things, it can’t replace a fully-fledged salesperson, especially in more complex roles such as enterprise sales. Generative AI is not a replacement for B2B sales professionals; it’s a complementary technology that can help them boost efficiency, speed, and continuous improvement while freeing them up to focus on more strategic and high-value activities.
To fully leverage the potential of this new development, sales organizations must carefully choose AI solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into their existing IT systems to ensure full scalability. This allows businesses to significantly enhance their sales efforts while saving valuable time.
What are the benefits of using Generative AI for sales teams?
Generative AI can improve sales outcomes in several ways. It can automate tasks, personalize customer interactions, and generate new ideas or content to win prospects’ interest and trust. This can increase sales productivity and efficiency, generate more leads and sales, and reduce costs. Generative AI can also enhance the customer experience, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty. Overall, generative AI can drive better sales results and give businesses a competitive edge in a digital world.
How will AI change sales?
Artificial intelligence (AI) for sales is expected to significantly impact the industry by automating various tasks and processes, enhancing personalization and customer experience, and providing businesses with valuable insights and data. This will likely lead to increased efficiency, better decision-making, and improved customer service, ultimately helping companies increase their sales and revenue.
What is conversational AI in sales?
Conversational AI in sales utilizes natural language processing (NLP) to comprehend and analyze customer input through text or voice interactions. It then provides a natural and immediate response. In essence, conversational AI for sales refers to any program that enables customers to communicate with a company in a manner that feels human, even if a computer program handles part of the conversation.