How to Convince Your Sales Reps AI Is Good for Them

Historically, employees have been wary about adopting new tools and technologies.

How to Convince Your Sales Reps AI Is Good for ThemIn some instances, people are simply set in their ways and are uncomfortable learning new things. In other instances—particularly in the case of automation and augmented intelligence—workers worry that the new technologies they’ll be using may end up eliminating their jobs altogether.

While only 15% of enterprises today are using AI today, 31% have indicated AI is on their roadmap over the next 12 months, according to a recent study. Global business leaders understand the need to leverage AI technologies to remain relevant for the foreseeable future. One of the biggest barriers 79% of businesses leaders agree they will face is internal resistance and fear to deploy these modern tools.

To get to the next level, organizations need to better understand technology and convince their staffs that AI will support them—not replace them—and enable them to be more effective. Failure to deploy AI tools will hurt most businesses to some extent.

If you’re having a hard time convincing your sales reps that AI is good for them, here are three points that should make your case more persuasive.

1. AI helps you hit your number

With the right AI platforms in place, it’s much easier for sales reps and leadership to hit their numbers.

Instead of having to guess where to spend their time or which products to offer to which customers, reps can let AI take care of all of that. As it stands, sales reps only spend 36% of their time selling. AI ensures that they spend that time on the deals that will have the greatest impact. By providing data-driven recommendations on how to invest time and which moves to make, AI helps sales reps increase their effectiveness—which, in turn, enables them to close more deals and rack up bigger commissions.

The average sales rep and sales operations team spends 20% of their time tackling administrative tasks (e.g., compensation disputes) that could be taken care of by chatbots. AI can dramatically help sales reclaim time and increase their productivity by up to 40%.

Smart companies already enable sales reps and managers with AI to uncover information they might have missed analyzing data by hand. One recent study, for example, revealed that 61% of organizations that have an innovation strategy are using augmented intelligence to identify opportunities that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Fifty-four percent of deals forecasted by sales reps never close. Put into practice, AI provides sales leadership the true health of opportunities in your pipeline. Sales managers know which committed deals are real, which are at risk of slipping and therefore where to spend their time to rescue deals and meet their number.

2. AI eliminates guesswork

Trying to figure out the right price that is needed to close a deal is a delicate balancing act. Sales reps don’t have time to research the winning price. Come in too high and you’ll scare your prospect away. Come in too low and your company misses out on revenue.

Sales reps can use AI to take the guesswork out of pricing altogether. Instead of turning to their cube mates or manager for advice and then moving ahead, AI provides the data needed to make fast, informed pricing decisions.

The technology can figure out what price and products are most likely to help you win the deal. Armed with that information, sales reps can increase their effectiveness and close more deals faster.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that high-performing sales teams are four times as likely to use predictive analytics than their peers that achieve less.

3. AI listens and learns from you

Some reps might think that AI will take over everything the moment it’s deployed.

That’s not true. Sales reps use augmented intelligence and control what it does. AI can learn and be trained. It doesn’t dictate what must be done.  

For example, instead of sourcing company data by hand, reps can use AI to gather critical information (e.g., annual revenue and number of employees) automatically. Instead of spending several hours searching for content, AI can serve up prescriptive content recommendations at the right time to advance deals forward. AI recommends products and pricing in their quotes which can accept, modify or reject. Sales reps can then use the time they’d previously spent on manual tasks to target more prospects or focus on other mission-critical tasks.

To illustrate, AI listening and learning can be leveraged to optimize sales capacity and territory coverage so reps spend less time traveling and more time selling—the same way delivery truck routes are optimized (e.g., no left turns) to deliver packages and an exceptional customer experience.

Quite simply, reps can leverage AI in any number of ways they believe makes their jobs easier. Over time, even the most obstinate reps will grow to see how AI can be used to enhance their performance and make them more effective in their roles.

AI prepares you for the future

The bulk of business leaders agree that AI will play a critical role in the success of the organizations of tomorrow.

By using AI, sales reps put the customer first and gain new skills that help them in the future. When the world’s leading companies are relying on AI, they will be much more inclined to hire sales reps who have embraced the technology over those who have been reluctant to use it.

If your sales reps aren’t using AI already, they’re losing ground to their competitors who are. To learn more about how your company can use augmented intelligence to get to the next level, check out our Thunderbridge AI³.

By Kevin Markl | June 26th, 2018 | Thunderbridge AI³

About the Author: Kevin Markl

Kevin Markl

Kevin Markl has worked with CallidusCloud for six years, evangelizing the Lead to Money suite to align sales and marketing teams, replace disconnected systems, and drive bigger deals, faster.