By 2025, 75% of B2B sales organizations will augment traditional sales playbooks with artificial intelligence (AI) guided selling solutions.
Despite current low adoption rates, increasing pressure created by massive amounts of data available to sales organizations and revitalized budgets is driving many sales leaders to invest in AI and machine learning (ML) technology to analyse data and recommend the next best actions.
“Advancements in sales technology, particularly in the areas of AI and ML, are forcing sales enablement leaders to rethink seller skills they will need to teach and enable,” said Steve Rietberg, senior director analyst in the Gartner Sales practice.
He opined those sellers can no longer exclusively rely on intuition-based selling to push a deal over the finish line. “Tomorrow’s sellers must learn to use data today to effectively manage their sales cycles as the use of information will become more critical to their success over time,” he added.
Gartner research shows that sales training will become more than just teaching seller skills, evolving to include more critical thinking skills, specifically in data literacy. This will require the development of new sales playbooks that clearly define how to use AI/ML sales tools in daily sales activities.
Elizabeth Beard, director analyst in the Gartner Sales practice, commented that AI guided selling also enables the multithreaded customer buying experience.
In fact, progressive sales organizations are already using AI to determine what content resonates with buyers and then recommend tools and content to share with the buyer now. This helps to connect buyers with information to better answer their questions – filtering out the noise – and provides a better customer experience,” she continued.
Sales leaders looking at AI-guided selling solutions should consider:
Audit current tech for AI capability: Sales leaders should examine current sales, marketing and customer service technology for existing AI capabilities.
Prepare playbooks for eventual AI migration: AI guided tools should be deployed through sales engagement and sales enablement technology.
Increase training and enablement of seller data literacy skills: Sales leaders must work to enable and reinforce sellers with proven guidance on how selling with data leads to more wins in a shorter amount of time.