STAMFORD, Conn. — A new report shows that by 2025, 75% of B2B sales organizations will augment their efforts with selling guided by artificial intelligence (AI).
Many sales leaders are being driven to invest in AI, including machine learning (ML), to analyze data and the recommend next best actions, due to pressure created by the massive amounts of data available and “revitalized budgets,” according to the market research firm Gartner last month.
Sales training will evolve to include more critical-thinking skills, particularly in data literacy.
Sales playbooks should clearly define how to use AI tools in daily sales activities, Gartner said.
“Sellers can no longer exclusively rely on intuition-based selling to push a deal over the finish line,” said Steve Rietberg, senior director analyst, Gartner’s sales practice.
“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.”
Gartner recommends that sales leaders looking at AI-guided selling solutions should consider the following:
- Audit tech for AI capability: Sales leaders should examine their current sales, marketing, and customer service technologies for existing AI capabilities.
- Prepare playbooks for eventual AI migration: AI-guided tools should be deployed through sales engagement and sales enablement technologies.
- Increase training and enablement of data literacy skills: Sales leaders should work to enable and reinforce sellers through proven guidance on how selling with data leads to more wins in less time.
“AI-guided selling also enables the multi-threaded customer buying experience,” said Elizabeth Beard, director analyst, Gartner’s sales practice. “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 at the moment.
“This helps to connect buyers with information to better answer their questions — filtering out the noise — and provides a better customer experience.”
Gartner clients can access the report online: “Sales Predicts 2022: The Digital Evolution of B2B Sales.”