There’s a lot of talk about the power of AI in B2B sales enablement.
But is that all it is? Just talk?
Or is there something more there?
Something that could upend how sales teams are trained?
There’s a healthy dose of skepticism whenever AI sales tools are involved, especially with something as nuanced as sales enablement. That goes double in B2B, where sellers often have to deal with longer and more complex sales cycles.
But if the power of AI could be harnessed in sales enablement, it would be a gamechanger.
Fortunately, there are a number of use cases for AI sales enablement that are already bearing fruit. So let’s take a closer look at the effectiveness of AI-powered tools for B2B sales enablement and discuss the future of these solutions for the SaaS industry.
Understanding Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is a combination of strategies, tools, and processes designed to improve sales productivity. Done right, reps will be armed with the right resources and knowledge to sell to the right people at the right time.
Easier said than done.
In the world of B2B SaaS, sales enablement is as important as it is difficult. The sales cycle in SaaS is much more complex and time-consuming than in B2C. Sales reps need to engage with multiple stakeholders and succinctly demonstrate the value of their offerings.
Sales enablement leans on a variety of tools and strategies, from the CRM and sales engagement solutions to knowledge bases and more specialized enablement software. These tools, while effective to some extent, often require significant manual effort.
And any time something requires manual effort, machine learning for sales or AI sales tools can help.
The Power of AI in Sales Enablement
As the B2B sales cycle becomes more complex, SaaS companies are seeking more innovative ways to enhance their sales effectiveness and drive revenue growth.
To do that, you need more (and better) insights, and more efficient sellers.
When it comes to insights, AI is unrivaled. It has the potential to revolutionize sales enablement by analyzing vast amounts of sales data, extracting valuable insights, and providing predictive analytics to optimize sales strategies.
Not exactly something a sales enablement professional can do, especially when they’re balancing a million other tasks.
And by automating repetitive tasks, AI also frees up valuable time for sellers to focus on building relationships and closing deals. It enhances sales effectiveness by enabling personalized and data-driven interactions with prospects, leading to improved conversion rates.
The benefit for sales enablement?
No more endless trainings and reminders about manual data entry. Better sales performance. And easier deal analysis and sales performance analysis.
Integrating AI Into Sales Enablement
To integrate AI into sales enablement, you have to look across the sales cycle. AI-powered tools can assist in:
- Lead generation (through sales chatbots, for instance)
- Prospect qualification
- Sales content creation
- Sales forecasting and pipeline analysis
- Customer relationship management
With AI, sales teams can make informed decisions across the sales process. Look for ways sales AI can integrate into existing CRM systems. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to get any real-time data analysis or intelligent recommendations.
Potential Benefits of AI in Sales Enablement
The ways that AI can improve B2B sales runs the gamut. Here are just a few:
Enhanced Lead Generation and Qualification
AI-powered algorithms can analyze customer data, helping sales teams identify high-quality leads and prioritize prospects based on their likelihood to convert. This targeted approach improves efficiency and enables sellers to focus their efforts on the most promising opportunities.
Personalized Sales Interactions
AI enables sales professionals to deliver personalized experiences to prospects through intelligent chatbots, virtual assistants, or personalized email campaigns. By analyzing customer data and behavior, AI suggests relevant content, products, and tailored messaging. The result? Better engagement and higher conversion rates.
Improved Sales Forecasting
AI's predictive analytics capabilities pave the way for more accurate sales forecasting and revenue intelligence. By analyzing historical data, market trends, and customer behavior, sales teams can make data-driven decisions, optimize resource allocation, and identify potential risks or opportunities.
Sales Process Automation
AI can automate time-consuming tasks such as sales data capture, Salesforce data syncs, and report generation. By streamlining administrative processes, sales reps can focus on building relationships and closing deals. This leads to increased productivity and efficiency.
Intelligent Sales Coaching
AI-powered tools can provide real-time coaching and guidance to reps by analyzing their conversations, identifying areas for improvement, and offering suggestions for more effective communication strategies.
For example, an AI-powered virtual assistant can inform a sales rep when to stop talking and start listening during a phone conversation with a prospect.
This helps in continuous skill development and ensures consistent sales performance across all channels.
Is AI Sales Enablement a Gimmick?
AI in sales enablement has sparked debates, and some critics label it as a marketing gimmick. Others claim it hasn’t — or simply can’t — work. And finally, there’s a fear that AI will replace human sellers, either sellers or sales enablement itself.
However, it’s important to remember that AI is designed to augment sales teams, not replace them. It empowers reps with valuable insights and automation, allowing them to focus on building relationships and closing deals.
Still, it’s important to investigate the ways that critics claim AI sales enablement is merely a gimmick.
Some claim that the promises made about AI in sales enablement are exaggerated, leading to unrealistic expectations. It’s important to approach AI implementation with realistic goals and a clear understanding of its capabilities.
It’s also important to do your due diligence. Is the tool you’re considering actually using AI in a meaningful way? Are actual customers vouching for the company’s AI?
If you rush implementation or opt for the wrong tool, you can stymie revenue growth and fall into the trap of “overhyped promises.”
Lack of Human Touch
Skeptics say that AI-driven interactions lack the human touch necessary for successful sales. It’s a fair point. Purely AI-written emails can harm more than they can help. That’s why we suggest using AI to enhance sales interactions, never replace them.
Empirical evidence and counter arguments highlight the tangible benefits of AI in sales enablement:
- Improved Efficiency and Productivity. AI automates repetitive tasks, freeing up time for sales professionals to focus on building relationships and closing deals. This leads to increased productivity and efficiency across the sales process.
- Enhanced Personalization. AI enables personalized interactions by analyzing customer data, allowing for tailored messaging, targeted content, and relevant product recommendations. This leads to higher engagement and conversion rates.
- Data-driven Decision Making. AI-powered analytics provide valuable insights into customer behavior, market trends, and sales performance. This data-driven approach allows sales teams to optimize strategies, make informed decisions, and improve forecasting accuracy.
Studies indicate that AI sales enablement is far from a gimmick. Empirical evidence shows that AI helped increase sales for over 70% of companies worldwide. Its abilities are improving every year, giving B2B sales teams all over the world an opportunity to enhance their tactics.
Real-World Examples of AI Sales Enablement
Many leading organizations across various industries are already using AI for sales enablement. These examples highlight the tangible ways B2B SaaS companies are taking advantage of AI in “the real world.”
Salesforce is among the many sales tools using an AI-powered assistant for sales teams. Salesforce Einstein, for instance, automates administrative tasks, prioritizes leads, and suggests personalized recommendations, empowering sales teams to make data-driven decisions and improve productivity.
Salesforce is also starting to introduce generative AI to help sellers write better emails and increase prospecting efficiency.
Gong uses AI to analyze sales conversations and provide insights. By transcribing sales calls, Gong can flag missed opportunities and offer coaching suggestions to improve seller performance.
Gong is also using generative AI to summarize calls and single out any action items.
SetSail is an AI analyst for revenue teams. It uses AI to capture and tag sales interactions across the go-to-market tech stack. It then takes that data, normalizes it, and mines it for insights that help you make better coaching and forecasting decisions.
SetSail’s latest AI innovations involve the ability to summarize deals according to specific methodologies like MEDDICC or send notifications before meetings with the key information they need to move the deal forward.
The Future of AI in Sales Enablement
As AI becomes more advanced, it can provide more and more benefits for B2B sales enablement. In the future, B2B companies may be able to benefit from:
Advanced Predictive Analytics
AI will continue to evolve its predictive analytics capabilities, enabling sales teams to gain deeper insights into customer behavior, market trends, and sales performance.
This will empower sales professionals to make more informed decisions, optimize strategies, and identify new revenue opportunities.
Seamless Integration with CRM Systems
AI will become seamlessly integrated with all customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This integration will enable real-time data analysis, personalized recommendations, and automated workflows, enhancing sales processes and overall efficiency.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
NLP technology will advance, enabling AI to understand and respond to natural language queries and conversations. This will facilitate more natural and intuitive interactions between AI-powered assistants and sales professionals, enhancing collaboration and productivity.
Your sales team can adjust to the future AI capabilities by:
- Enhancing Continuous Learning. Sales teams should prioritize continuous learning and upskilling to stay ahead of the latest AI technologies and best practices. This will enable them to leverage AI tools effectively and maximize their potential in sales enablement.
- Fostering a Data-Driven Culture. Sales teams should foster a culture that values data-driven decision-making. This involves leveraging AI-powered analytics and insights to guide sales strategies, optimize processes, and drive revenue growth.
By embracing AI tools and collaborating with them, sales teams can leverage the strengths of both human expertise and AI capabilities to deliver exceptional customer experiences and drive sales success.
Keep in mind that implementing AI for sales enablement may require organizational and cultural changes. Sales leaders should proactively manage the transition, providing proper training and support to help sales teams adapt to new AI-driven workflows.
Taking Full Advantage of AI for Sales Enablement
AI in sales enablement is not a passing trend or a gimmick, like some claim ChatGPT for sales to be. Purpose-built AI sales tools are already begun transforming sales processes, offering increased efficiency and productivity. B2B leaders must consider AI as a key component of their sales strategy.
To stay competitive in the SaaS realm, decision-makers must remain open and adaptive to emerging technologies like AI. The future of sales lies in embracing these digital disruptions and leveraging them to achieve business objectives effectively.