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How to find use cases for sales AI in your organization

May 08, 2019 by Jessica Munday

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One of the biggest challenges sales leaders face is the productivity and performance of their sales teams. Both SDRs (sales development reps) and AEs (account executives) put many processes and tools in place to help streamline their workload, but what happens can be the exact opposite. It’s a productivity paradox.

This is an even bigger concern when you consider the cost of operating a sales team. Some companies spend up to half their revenue on sales alone. Salesforce, for example, spends 53% of its more than $10 billion in revenue on its sales team.

Inefficient processes take a toll on a company’s bottom line. Sales reps spend 63.4% of their time on non-revenue generating activities. The results are missed quotas, lost revenue and poor ROI for the whole company.

Smart sales leaders are looking to artificial intelligence for ways to help to solve this. In fact, Forrester found that 46% of companies are looking to implement AI in their sales and marketing teams in the coming quarters.

So what does sales AI have to offer? It can automate repetitive processes that waste sales reps’ time so they can focus on connecting with their customers and generating revenue. Intelligent automation can also augment sales reps’ actions to help them make smarter decisions.

Sales AI is poised to change the industry in the coming years:

  • IDC predicts that between 2017 and 2021, AI-powered CRM activities will boost revenue by $1.1 trillion.
  • At Dreamforce, McKinsey shared that currently about 40% of sales tasks can be automated, but by 2020, 85% of sales tasks could be automated.
  • Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of B2B businesses will have AI augmenting at least one of their primary sales processes.

With statistics like these, it’s no wonder that companies are expecting a lot from these new technologies and are eager to implement. But many are unsure where to start.

It’s critical for sales organizations to identify the inefficient processes that are holding their teams back from success and costing them money. Once the major business problems are pinpointed, your team can implement sales AI to solve it.

Holding a use case discovery workshop does just that. Our format assists your business in identifying the highest value and lowest effort use cases so you can learn where sales AI is most valuable for your team.

What is a use case discovery workshop?

A use case discovery workshop helps business leaders create impactful change by bringing stakeholders  together to collaborate on how to put real applications for sales AI into motion.

Use cases are easily taken from an idea into reality as the members of your team identify the problems they face on a daily basis. Having them identify their problems allows you to find a solution that will impact them directly.

How to host one

What makes hosting one of these workshops so valuable is that it is a bottom-up approach to finding where AI can help the organization. The point is to give everyone a voice.

Invite members from every level of your organization to bring their own challenges and insights and hold high-value, cross-departmental conversations.

What often occurs in large group situations is that people in lower-level positions tend not to speak up and let management own the conversation. This workshop encourages small group discussions and individual participation across the board. Both the Bystander effect and conformity psychological phenomenon disappear and your organization gains the “wisdom of the crowd.”

Bring your employees together to share their own inefficiencies and learn about what other team members are experiencing throughout the organization. Make sure that they understand the goals and expectations of this workshop, which is to find use cases that will directly apply to their role.

During the workshop, it’s important that you ask your participants to assume there are no barriers to implementation so that you can find a full spectrum of potential use cases. The sky is the limits here — assume there are no financial or technological restraints. You’ll have time later to assess and prioritize once these ideas have been generated. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with that could have a significant impact.

Why it’s important to find sales AI use cases

Implementing AI is a top business priority across all industries. In one survey by MemSQL, 61% of respondents say that machine learning (ML) and AI are their company’s most significant data initiatives for the upcoming year.

This workshop helps you find the easiest and most beneficial use cases for your team so you can get up running ASAP.

The correlation between AI and performance is also apparent, as top-performing sales teams are 3.4 times more likely to already be using AI within their processes. Get the ball rolling now for your sales team by holding your own Use Case Discovery Workshop.

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