Now imagine a future, where the hitherto untapped potential of tribal knowledge captured at scale using the power of conversational AI is combined with the already proven and in use AI solutions like deal classification, deal risk computation, lead scoring and others to produce highly contextualize deal intelligence, competitive intelligence and actionable recommendations derived from the learnings of past tribal knowledge. If the story of the ascent of AI teaches us anything, it is that we have just put in place all the blocks to begin of a step function improvement – not a gradual improvement – in how a sales organization functions: how it acquires intelligence, how it learns, how it coaches itself, how it aligns, how it strategizes and ultimately, how exactly it sells.
Also, we cannot imagine the future, without considering the adoption challenges and the resultant data quality challenges ever-present in today’s sales organizations. The fundamental difference of combining unstructured tribal knowledge-based intelligence with structured deal intelligence is that AI is now capable of helping the salesperson with recommendations that are highly contextualized, highly actionable and targeted squarely towards helping the salesperson sell more. This is significantly different from extracting data from sales to help other cost centers like operations and procurement align with the business outlook. As Microsoft’s Matt Hellman further notes, “Salespeople are much more inclined to view AI-enabled CRM as a key to their success rather than a necessary evil. They are motivated to maintain and enrich system data feeds because this contributes to their success and helps them be more productive with their time.”
To summarize, the evolution of AI has always been about combining the latest advancements in independent fields like information processing and decision sciences, automation, communications etc. to fundamentally transform the way business is conducted. The story of AI’s evolution in sales is no different. The combined value of optimally using independent advancements to transform your sales organization is much greater than the sum of individual value that these advancements bring to the table. For sales, the key lies in tapping the full potential of voice-based unstructured data using conversational AI. Further, the key lies in combining the power of this ‘Tribal Knowledge’ with more traditional analytics and algorithmic treatments that have already proven their accuracy and relevance but not necessarily proven to be most effective all by themselves.
Finally, and most importantly the AI that wins out is going to one which makes insights and recommendations actionable, easily consumable and hence, one which fundamentally transforms sales behavior.
What do you think?