Is Generative AI the Future of Sales and Marketing?
The world is buzzing over ChatGPT, the generative artificial intelligence (AI) developed by OpenAI. This simple chat interface uses knowledge from over 45 terabytes of text data to answer questions on demand. Yet, it has far-reaching implications for nearly every industry, including sales and marketing.
Generative AI is the branch of artificial intelligence that produces text, images, audio and other media. It uses algorithms to interpret instructions from human operators when creating new content. For instance, ChatGPT can, upon request, produce a college-level essay in under 10 seconds. Even better, the program can take criticism of its initial output and create a better version.
Of course, generative AI tools can do more than write reports. Their capabilities run from writing working code and generating high-quality images to developing marketing materials.
What Generative AI Can Do for Sales and Marketing
What stands out the most for generative AI tools such as ChatGPT is their hyper-quick turnaround time. When given accurate data and fed the correct instructions, generative AI can produce sales and marketing content in a fraction of the time needed by humans.
The arrival of AI tools is a welcome development for many marketing teams. Instead of spending countless hours grinding over repetitive tasks, they use AI to unburden themselves from manual work. This allows team members to focus on the more creative and enjoyable aspects of their jobs.
According to Hubspot’s 2023 AI Trends for Marketers, 90% of marketing workers believe AI and automation tools help them tackle manual, repetitive tasks faster. For instance, they can automate tasks like getting the right keywords, formatting content and analyzing data. By getting the boring work they don’t like out of the way, they can instead focus on the creative tasks they relish.
The addition of tools such as ChatGPT made marketing even more streamlined. They allow teams to instantly create custom content tailored for specific audiences. Instead of needing a few days to develop content, teams can now churn out campaigns in a matter of hours.
With AI and machine learning (ML) technology improving by leaps and bounds, more sales and marketing tasks will likely undergo automation. This newfound freedom from recurring tasks will enable sales teams to increase their customer visits and gather more firsthand insights.
Generative AI and Sales Enablement
Another aspect of generative AI is its ability to create unique, engaging content that fits the target audience. Sales enablement consists of tools that sales teams use to increase their sales success and efficiency. Utilizing generative AI to boost sales enablement efforts contributes to more success.
For example, AI can analyze various customer profiles and learn more about their preferences, turnoffs and overall behavior. Generative AI can then use the insights to develop custom materials that appeal to the customer’s sensitivities. By receiving personalized content tailored fit to each customer’s profile, a customer’s chances of converting and leaving positive feedback can increase exponentially.
AI tools can also generate insights into what materials capture the attention of certain audiences. Using this knowledge, marketing teams can develop unique content that addresses the specific needs of the market. Not only will this engage existing leads and prospects, but it will also attract new clients.
How AI Helps Sales and Marketing Teams
In general, artificial intelligence simplifies sales and marketing teams’ work processes. When used correctly, AI technology automates tasks. In turn, this leads to a drastic boost in efficiency for salespeople and marketers alike. Finally, AI helps sales and marketing teams learn more about their customers so they can produce better, more tailored content. This results in a highly engaged market and, ultimately, much better revenues.
Specifically, AI helps sales and marketing teams complete tasks that typically require manual intervention or repetitive actions. A particular area that benefits largely from AI is the omnichannel strategy.
Today’s customers can be found all over the place in their search for solutions. They might browse social posts for the latest products and services. Or they’ll launch brand apps, visit online stores or browse online community marketplaces. In addition, customers use email or call a hotline to confirm their purchases or follow-up orders.
AI helps teams follow the conversation flow. It also facilitates the seamless transfer of information from one channel to another. Here are three specific benefits teams will gain by implementing AI:
1. Learning More About the Customer
We know artificial intelligence helps teams learn more about their buyers. Let’s dive deeper into how it does this.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software keeps tabs on each customer throughout their sales journey. Using the collected data, AI can detect patterns in purchase behaviors and customer service interactions. The tool then generates valuable insights that provide salespeople and other employees with tips on how to communicate with each buyer.
For example, insights show a customer makes frequent inquiries about a product but refuses to make a purchase. This might signal the need for a gentle nudge via discounts.
AI can also help with the mundane tasks of testing marketing campaigns and checking their strengths and weaknesses. Details such as marketing copy, layout and images can make all the difference between an engaged customer and a disinterested one. AI and machine learning tools can collect the needed insights to improve each element’s ability to captivate.
2. Reducing Administrative Requirements
When technology improves and evolves, documentation and reporting tasks also expand. Similarly, when software adds a new feature, the accompanying documentation adds another few pages. Meanwhile, adding new technology to the work area can mean additional training, expanded reports and larger oversight.
Implementing generative AI also creates the same additional requirements. However, the technology cancels these additions by automating a lot of manual and administrative sales and marketing tasks. In most cases, automated tasks such as analytics and content generation outweigh the onboarding and training requirements needed to learn the technology.
3. Enhancing Training Through Generative AI
Imagine having a trainer that knows all about the sales team and its capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. Then, have that trainer subject each team member to specific but relevant scenarios. Wouldn’t that be the ideal training program to help your sales team overcome identified challenges?
Generative AI can easily analyze a company’s entire sales process—including specific case studies—and use this knowledge to teach new employees. AI-powered tools can also produce custom training materials, develop relatable role-play scenarios and create highly specific product knowledge sheets. At the same time, AI can analyze each trainee’s performance during the sessions and generate insights on how they can improve their craft.
With generative AI programmed to avoid repeating itself, trainees won’t have to endure redundant and repetitive training sessions ever again. In fact, layering on generative AI can give the training program a continuous supply of fresh content.
The Limits to What AI Can Do
Despite its many capabilities, artificial intelligence is not the do-all, end-all solution for sales and marketing teams. For one, integrating generative AI into sales and marketing operations isn’t a cut-and-dried operation.
The two departments specialize in promoting interactions that can ultimately result in a transaction. This continuous engagement can generate voluminous amounts of unstructured data that AI-powered analytics are eager to dive into. At the same time, the dynamic nature of conversations between buyers and sellers is a great resource generative AI can use to learn more about customer transactions.
However, integrating generative AI into the daily processes and systems embedded in sales and marketing functions can pose some challenges. Sales reps and marketing staff—who are already burdened with the pressure of hitting targets—likely won’t take too kindly to proposed changes in the daily workflows to accommodate AI tools.
More importantly, generative AI remains an imperfect machine. As ChatGPT shows, coming up with the obvious right answer isn’t yet a guarantee for generative AI tools. With the entire internet available as a source of information, some insights might turn up wrong or, worse, misleading.
At the same time, relying on AI tools to provide answers can sometimes work too well. Theoretically, two competing companies that used the same query can come up with similar AI-generated content. This is why it’s important for users to learn how to frame their questions to AI chatbots. The proper context and framework can heavily influence the replies generative AI gives.
Support Tool, Not a Substitute
When looking at generative AI, the endpoint should be sales team enhancement—not a replacement. AI is a technological game-changer. However, it will still require input from a human before it can come up with the relevant output.
Think of generative AI as a car. It can help you reach your goals faster, but it won’t do so by itself. Instead, you have to take the wheel and steer the vehicle in the right direction. It also helps to know where you’re going.
Setting generative AI loose to completely take over sales and marketing functions can backfire badly. As a wholly computer-generated process, generative AI lacks the warmth and intensity that accompanies emotionally charged campaigns. Without human intervention, many AI-generated campaigns would appear highly impersonal.
Today’s customers covet personalization in their experiences with companies. Running a campaign that lacks soul can significantly damage the brand as lifeless.
Instead of positioning generative AI as a wholesale replacement for marketing teams, consider it a tool for enhanced collaboration. AI greatly depends on input to provide context for its output. Having the team work on the information to feed the generative AI platform can deliver more impactful results.
AI provides better output after every iteration. So, have several teams go over the content with the program to help fine-tune what it’s producing.
By allowing human touch to fill in the gaps set by the more impersonal machine output, you can create content that’s both accurate and engaging. In practice, AI’s data analytics capabilities first handle the content’s factual aspects. Then, human operators help smooth the AI’s edges by adding creativity, emotion and a hint of personality between the lines.
Generative AI isn’t the start of the war between machines and humans. Rather, it’s a collaboration between two complementing worlds.
The Future of Sales and Marketing With Generative AI
The best part of generative AI and other tools is that they’re still evolving. Advances in data analytics and machine learning can lead to even more exciting developments in the future. Who knows, we might soon witness highly personalized marketing activities where generative AI tools injected with personality provide highly customized client experiences.
Advances in technology can also mean cheaper and easier ways to implement AI-powered platforms. Data-driven insights don’t just help sales teams understand customers better. They can also help identify strengths within the sales organization and share these insights with newer and less-experienced members.
AI can also make performance tracking easier and more perceptive. With insightful data reaching them in time, managers can make timely interventions and provide sales team members with the needed assistance.
Generative AI is Just the Beginning
The future is actually here, as we live in a time where AI and machine learning are prevalent in our online interactions. As you commission tools such as generative AI in your sales and marketing programs, don’t leave the human parts out just yet.
When creating presentations designed for specific clients, it pays to know what they think about your content. Thankfully, AI tools can observe and note the reactions of your audience when you present your solutions.
Ingage is interactive presentation software that allows you to collaborate with your team in creating highly interactive presentations. Use the new AI feature, WriteIQ to implement ChatGPT while creating your presentation. What’s more, advanced analytics embedded in Ingage’s software let you gauge how your clients react to your presentation. This feature analyzes button clicks to measure a client’s time spent on each section and their engagement levels. Knowing these metrics enables you to identify which parts of the presentation received great attention and which could use improvement.
Start your own AI revolution with Ingage. We’ll gladly arrange a free demonstration for you and your team today.