As a salesperson in today’s business landscape, you’ll need to better optimize your time and efficiency. Luckily, new artificial intelligence technologies are transforming the industry. You can now more easily meet sales targets, close deals, and foster customer relationships.
Additionally, AI can help you focus on the parts of your job that you enjoy most. You’ll spend less time on repetitive tasks and spend more time on creative work.
If you haven’t integrated AI into your sales processes, this article will give you all the reasons you should. We’ll also recommend tools and offer insights from pros who made the leap into a more fulfilling sales career thanks to AI.
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How Sales Teams Use AI to Save Time
Sales teams using AI for prospecting and manual tasks can save up to four hours daily. AI has the ability to take over many mundane, repetitive tasks — so you can get back to the parts of the job you love.
Here are some common ways in which AI is changing the sales process.
Arguably, the most used AI is the chatbot (hello, ChatGPT). However, for sales, your chatbot is more than just an email composer or content machine. AI can integrate with your CRM so you can pull data faster. These tools can help you keep track of prospects and report on your progress.
HubSpot CRM includes ChatSpot to help you do your job faster. You know that report you have to create every week? Just ask ChatSpot for it. You’ll spend less time faffing with your CRM and navigating to a particular report. You can use your extra time to do what you love.
Sales teams are using AI tools like ChatGPT to conduct research faster. Adrian Dalldorf from StudySmarter uses ChatGPT to identify potential prospects. He asks the AI questions like “What are the biggest creative agencies in Germany? Which companies have the largest media budgets?”
“Chat GPT is a perfect solution for research work and to get templates for certain mailings, which allows me to use more time for cold calling,” Dalldorf says of ChatGPT for sales.
ChatGPT helps get the tedious research done. Dalldorf now has more energy for cold calling and the human interaction that prospective customers need.
Prospecting is a time-consuming task for a human. You need to find a lead and then check they fit your ideal customer profile. The process can be tiresome, and it can take a lot of outreach — and time — to find the right person to contact. What’s worse, manual prospecting can burn out your sales team, decreasing the quality of your outreach.
Before AI, Marcus Overend’s team spent time manually sifting through LinkedIn to find potential clients. Now, the head of sales at Salience says, “We brought in an AI lead generation tool to assist with this, and within a few clicks, we can create full lists of prospects…to reach out to with something that resonates with them.”
With the time this has freed up, the team has dedicated more effort to relationship building. The team can now schedule more in-person prospect meetings.
“Ironically, AI has helped us to be more human,” Overend says.
A good salesperson can get a feel for the hottest leads. While AI can’t get that positive gut feeling, it can quickly analyze a lot of data.
Your closed deals will have commonalities such as industry, company size, and project value. Your prospects with higher levels of engagement — like email opens, meeting attendance, and emails sent — are likely to be among your highest converters.
But who‘s got the time to analyze all that data and assign a score? Not you. So, it’s time to turn to AI.
AI is no replacement for that innate knowledge that sales teams come to learn. However, the tool can take a load off and give you a helpful measure of the accounts most likely to close.
As well as lead scoring, many CRM systems include AI for predictive analytics. If you can understand what journey led a prospect to conversion, you can repeat it. With AI, you can get incredibly nuanced with your UX, providing tailored experiences to prospects who are most similar.
AI tools analyze trends to predict future sales patterns and customer behavior. It’s not surprising to hear that when surveyed, HubSpot found that 53% of sales teams already use AI tools offering data-driven insights.
Lekshmi Baskar, who works in enterprise business development, uses AI tools like inFeedo to plan her day. She can then reach out to the prospects that AI recommends based on the lead scoring, as mentioned above. On top of that, AI can advise exactly how to reach out to the lead.
Baskar says, “You get to pre-plan, plan, and post-plan on reaching out to your prospects effectively. AI tells you which prospects to reach out to today and how.”
On the impact on productivity, Baskar says, “When you automate the basic things in your day-to-day tasks, you can focus more and more on your prospecting reach outs, [and] have a focused and well-researched approach. You lose less time planning and apply more time to actions.”
AI can generate personalized sales content, emails, articles, landing pages, and proposals. AI can even create a sales landing page with contact forms, downloadable assets, and more.
For those tricky emails, generative AI like HubSpot’s Content Assist can help you adjust the tone of your messaging. This makes sure your email comes across exactly as intended.
Call recording software analyzes sales calls and creates automated transcriptions and meeting notes. But it doesn’t stop there.
43% of sales professionals are using this data and AI simulations of sales calls to train the sales team.
There’s a reason why some of your calls convert, and some don’t. AI allows you to dig deep into that quantitative data to build a better picture of your buyer, their needs, and your approach to close.
Sometimes, your prospective buyer needs a well-thought-out, personalized follow-up with a human touch. But there are also times when AI can take this task off your list. You can then keep your prospects nurtured without you lifting a finger.
AI can trigger an event, such as an email, at intervals or after specific actions, such as a download. If you want to get smart with AI, you can look at AI email assistants like Seventh Sense. This tool will send an email at the perfect time based on the recipient’s engagement to increase chances of an open.
AI-Powered Meeting Scheduling
Organizing meetings is painful, especially if you’re handling multiple clients. AI-powered scheduling makes light work out of these tasks. Your prospective buyers have a streamlined experience. All they need to do is hit a link showing them your mutually available slots.
With AI meeting scheduling tools like Calendly, you can also dedicate certain times to meetings. You can request that the schedule not place meetings back-to-back, at specific times, or on certain days.
It gets better: Sales teams can use Calendly’s Round Robin feature to distribute meetings across all members. Team relations just got better.
Your brand’s reputation is alive on social media. With social listening tools, you can monitor social media for brand mentions. AI can analyze the tone of a post and aggregate information as positive or negative. You can then see what your customers love about you and what they’d like for you to improve.
This provides a deeper understanding of user pain points or the reasons you’ve kept them as loyal customers. All of this information helps you build a better sales process.
Additionally, brand mentions allow you to share feedback from customers or publications. You won’t miss an opportunity to pass great news on to your prospects. And, you can protect those important journo relations by sharing a message of thanks to them.
And if that’s not enough to encourage you to try social listening AI, you can use it to spy on competitors.
Some tasks are as necessary as they are dull. With AI, there are automated workflows for menial tasks that you’d rather not do.
Automated workflows mean that some of your sales processes simply manage themselves. You can use automated workflows to auto-send emails after your prospect takes specific actions.
Accurate Sales Administration
Keeping track of all those leads can be tiresome, and it’s very easy to duplicate data. Naturally, where there’s human input, there’s room for error.
AI tools within CRM systems can flag potential duplicates so you can merge them at the click of a button. With the right integrations, you’ll save time updating profiles or adding new information, like contact details or new titles. AI can pull contact data from social media, emails, and more.
Tools to Help You Save Time
Most AI tools will offer a free trial, and the data shows that investing your time into building processes with AI is worth it. HubSpot data shows that 92% of sales pros found automation tools are either easy to use or neither easy nor difficult to use. A small time investment in learning and setting up the AI process could save you four hours per day.
ChatSpot AI is a CRM integration that can help you navigate your CRM using natural language processing. Instead of manually creating reports, you can fast-track them with a request via ChatSpot. Just ask the system what you want to view. ChatSpot will find the data for you.
Best for: Navigating your HubSpot CRM and pulling reports
2. Content Assist
Of sales professionals, 32% agree that repurposing existing content is one of the most useful tasks AI can tackle.
Tools like ContentAssist can adapt a message intended for one audience for effective use with another. You might use this tool to turn a message written for a small business owner into a message suitable for a decision-maker at a big corporation.
Best for: Landing page creation, content edits, and content generation
Awario is a social listening tool that you can use to manage your brand. You can watch for instances of brand mentions and analyze posts. With Awario, you’ll build an understanding of your customers across the globe. This can help your sales team develop messages that will resonate with the customer.
Pricing: Plans start from $24 a month.
Best for: International brands
Drift is an AI tool popular with sales and marketing teams. Drift allows sales teams to have real-time conversations with prospective customers. Use Drift to build relationships and turn traffic into qualified leads.
Pricing: $2500 monthly
Best for: Starting conversations with customers
People.ai helps sales teams by predicting deal outcomes. With this AI software, you can monitor your customer journey, identifying blind spots thanks to account maps.
Pricing: Available upon request
Best for: Sales teams looking to save time on lead scoring and data entry
Tips for Saving Time with AI
So you’re ready to give AI a go? Here are some top tips for preparing your team and getting the most out of your time as you go.
Start the time investment now.
Changing processes and integrating a whole team into a new system is a headache. However, the time saved by AI will pay dividends to you and your team. With AI tools, sales pros report doing more of what they love, thanks to AI. A happier team is a more effective sales team.
Work with the tools you’ve got.
The fastest way to get rolling with AI is to work with the tools, systems, and approaches. To begin with, follow the limitations of the tech stack you’re using. As you get used to the new process, you might find it’s exactly what you need. If not, at least you can say you made an informed decision before making drastic changes.
Prioritize key opportunities.
You’ll get overwhelmed if you try and do it all at once. Before you dive into AI, identify areas within your sales process that could benefit the most from new processes. Ideally, you’ll involve your team in these discussions, which brings us to the next point.
Prepare for pushback.
You don’t get to introduce a new concept or change how an entire team operates without some pushback. You’ll find some of your team members won’t embrace AI with the same enthusiasm that you do.
The best way to get buy-in from your team is to communicate. Ask them what they want to use AI for, remind them of their benefits, and have regular catch-ups for feedback.
Use a compatible CRM system.
Your best chance of longitudinal success with AI is working with a CRM system that will keep up with the rapid growth of AI and its offerings. You don’t want to waste time going back and forth with developers or asking for complex integrations.
Take a close look at the systems you’re currently using and ask what their capabilities are. Make sure the tools will continue doing what you need.
Now is the perfect time to create a workflow and update your internal knowledge. With every new process, create documentation that can be shared. This can be used as an internal resource to aid consistency and training.
AI is here to stay.
AI is here to stay. With it, you will likely stay relevant in a fast-growing market. Better, you’ll increase the gap between yourself and competitors. There’s a lot to learn, but the quicker you get comfortable with AI, the faster you can reap the benefits.
And who said you had to do it all immediately anyway? Pick one task, integrate AI, and see how it works. Trust me; you’ll be hooked on that extra time to spend on your favorite tasks that you won’t resist trying AI again.