AI and ML Revolutionizing Marketing and Sales Through Generative AI
Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are constantly reshaping the marketing and sales sector. The innovative shift in generative AI (gen AI) is leading to the adoption of open-source platforms in sales operations, with increased funding by sales-tech players into gen AI developments.
In the face of an ever-quickening pace of business in the digital era, these technologies are emerging as crucial assets. They impact your operational procedures, customer relations, and service delivery. C-suite leaders are assessing adjustments to adapt to this evolving environment.
This article explores opportunities and potential pitfalls in this dynamic domain and suggests fruitful ways forward. Research indicates that about 20% of current tasks handled by sales teams can be automated.
The Impact of AI on Marketing and Sales
AI is on track to revolutionize marketing and sales across all industries. This shift corresponds with changes in consumer sentiment and fast-paced technological development.
Multichannel is the New Normal
Engagement models across sectors are evolving. Modern customers demand seamless access to everything, everywhere, at all times. While they still appreciate a balanced blend of traditional, remote, and self-service channels (including face-to-face, inside sales, and e- commerce), we see a steady increase in customer preference for online ordering and reordering
Companies that are outpacing others in their market share by at least 10% annually tend to use advanced sales technology. They build hybrid sales teams and capabilities, customize strategies for third-party and company-owned marketplaces, achieve e-commerce excellence across the entire funnel, and deliver hyper-personalization.
Significant Shifts in Digitization and Automation
AI technology is progressing rapidly. It’s becoming increasingly straightforward and affordable to implement, while providing a complexity and speed that surpass human abilities.
Our research suggests that a fifth of current sales-team functions could be automated. Moreover, new horizons are emerging with the advent of gen AI. Venture capital investment in AI has grown 13-fold over the last decade, leading to a surge in “usable” data and accessible technology.
Implications of Gen AI for Marketing and Sales
The advent of AI, and gen AI specifically, promises significant impacts in three areas of marketing and sales: customer experience (CX), growth, and productivity.
For instance, in CX, highly personalized content and offers can be based on individual customer behavior, persona, and purchase history. Growth can be accelerated by employing AI to stimulate top-line performance, equipping sales teams with the right analytics and customer insights to capture demand.
AI can also enhance sales effectiveness and performance by automating many routine sales tasks, freeing up capacity to devote more time to customers and prospects, while reducing costs.
The Role of Gen AI in the Customer Journey
There are many specific gen AI use cases across the customer journey that can drive impact.
At the top of the funnel, gen AI surpasses traditional AI-driven lead identification and targeting that uses web scraping and simple prioritization
Within the sales motion, gen AI extends beyond initial sales-team engagement, providing continuous critical support throughout the entire sales process, from proposal to deal closure.
With its ability to analyze customer behavior, preferences, and demographics, gen AI can generate personalized content and messaging.
The View from Commercial Leaders
We solicited views from a group of commercial leaders on use cases and the role of gen AI in marketing and sales more broadly.
Our research found that 90 percent of commercial leaders expect to utilize gen AI solutions “often” over the next two years.
Risks in Gen AI
Despite the compelling business case for AI, the pace of change in AI technology is incredibly fast and not without risk. Commercial leaders have identified internal and external risk factors as the main barriers to AI adoption within their organizations.
From intellectual property violations to data privacy and security concerns, there are several issues that demand careful risk mitigation strategies and governance. The necessity for human supervision and accountability is clear and may necessitate the establishment of new roles and capabilities to fully exploit the opportunities ahead.
Moreover, leaders should strategically contemplate long-term investments in AI commercial excellence. Identifying which use cases are essential and which ones can help differentiate your position in the market will be crucial. Prioritization should be based on impact and feasibility.
The AI landscape is swiftly changing, and today’s leaders may not remain competitive tomorrow. Although small start-ups are often innovative, they might not have the ability to scale as required or develop sales-focused use cases that meet your needs. It’s advisable to test and iterate with different players, but pursue partnerships strategically based on sales-related innovation, the speed of innovation versus time to market, and the ability to scale.
AI is evolving at a staggering pace, and while predicting the trajectory of this groundbreaking technology is challenging, it’s clear that AI will play a central role in future marketing and sales. Current leaders in the field are leveraging gen AI to optimize their operations, taking advantage of advances in personalization and internal sales excellence.