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How to Use AI For Sales to Outsell Competitors With Ease

Wondering how to use AI for sales? Learn how high-performing sales teams are using it and read up on the benefits of implementing AI sales solutions.

Published on Feb 14, 2024

What would it mean for your career if you could hit every sales quota from here on out? What would it mean for your organization if you could reach every quarterly forecast (instead of missing them as over 90% of B2B companies do)? More commission, bonuses, promotions, job security, and the list goes on. 

But what does it take to accomplish this in the current climate where all of the following are true?

  • Many salespeople spend less than a third of their time selling by some estimates.
  • Many industries are more competitive than ever.
  • Many companies are more resource-constrained than ever.

In two words: artificial intelligence (AI). 

What are the benefits of using AI for sales?

Michael Nemeroff, the CEO and co-founder of RushOrderTees, summed up some of the top advantages: “AI has helped to speed up our sales team’s workflow by automating repetitive processes such as customer outreach and follow-up, sales process execution, and contract completion. This has freed up our sales reps to be able to spend more time engaging with prospects.”

Besides optimizing how sales reps spend their time, there are other benefits, including significant improvements in the following: 

  • Sales teams’ understanding of customer needs and their ability to personalize interactions based on those deeper insights
  • Sales teams’ understanding of the competition 
  • Forecasting accuracy (which we’ll talk about later)
Impact of using AI for sales (Source)

As a result, sales teams who’ve already embraced AI are seeing more engagement, increases in lead volume and close rate, and higher rates of satisfaction with the customer experience. Not to mention that they’re able to make savvy decisions faster thanks to AI’s ability to analyze large amounts of data and produce insights, forecasts, and informed recommendations.

How to use AI to boost sales: 7 opportunities

What other sales teams are doing can provide you helpful clues on where to start with incorporating AI into your sales processes. Here are seven ways you and your team can use artificial intelligence to get ahead. 

1. Roleplay sales conversations

AI can help you roleplay real-life selling situations, improving your ability to build rapport with prospects, identify deep-seated needs, and overcome objections. Ryder Meehan, a co-founder of Upgrow, found this to be true, saying, “I recently came up with a new discovery call script. Since I'm the only salesperson at my company, I didn't have anyone to roleplay it with before using it on a live call. I prompted AI to roleplay the script with me, and it helped me refine the script. The new, AI-tested script has improved my close rate from 22% to 33% after using it for three weeks.”

2. Automate lead generation

Finding potential leads can be time-consuming and tedious, but AI can make it less so. 

AI-powered LinkedIn prospecting tools can sift through profiles and identify potential leads based on predetermined criteria. Many can also send personalized initial and follow-up messages to get conversations started. There are various tools for automating and even personalizing outbound email campaigns. And while cold-calling may not be everyone's cup of tea, there's even AI-powered software that can suggest responses in real-time to help you get and keep potential leads interested.

3. Automate lead scoring

More than likely, you score leads on several criteria, right? You might look at factors like demographic info, website activity, previous interactions with your company, and so on. Even if you've been in the sales game for a while, this manual multi-faceted analysis takes time. And, potentially, time that you don't always have. 

In contrast, AI-based lead scoring technology can analyze these and countless other data points nearly instantaneously.  Many can even learn from previous leads that have converted into customers and adjust scoring criteria accordingly. Not only can these systems save you time, but they can result in a higher degree of accuracy. That way, you know which leads to prioritize following up with.

4. Generate, qualify, and nurture leads with chatbots

Conversational AI chatbots can serve several purposes. They use natural language processing (NLP) technology to understand common questions or requests for assistance and respond appropriately. 

They can help generate leads by providing personalized product or service recommendations, gathering contact info, and scheduling appointments or demos. Not to mention that they can ask questions to qualify potential customers—you’ll know which leads are worth your time and seal those deals faster. And that’s not just a hypothesis. McKinsey confirmed the value of chatbots, finding that 64% of companies that grew market share by adopting advanced sales tools use them.

5. Place recommendation engines on your website

A recommendation engine is a type of data filtering tool. These engines use machine learning algorithms to analyze customer data, such as past purchases or browsing history, to provide personalized product recommendations. You can embed a recommendation engine on your website, helping potential customers quickly discover and learn about the most relevant products or services for them. By the time they reach you, all you have to do as the sales professional is address any lingering questions and close the deal. 

6. Predict behaviors and trends using analytics

AI can also analyze customer data and predict trends. This enables sales teams to make better decisions about which products or services to promote more heavily and adapt based on customer behavior. Interestingly, McKinsey found a link between market share growth and using analytics to hyper-personalize sales interactions. The numbers are as follows: 

  • “77% of companies using direct one-to-one personalization [informed by analytics] observed an increase in market share.” 
  • “59% of companies whose market share grew by more than 10% in the past year simultaneously introduced new sales technologies (for example, chatbots and dynamic territory modeling).”
Market share gain of companies with advanced sales tech

The McKinsey study concluded that “share growth is strongest when deeper levels of sales tools and personalization capabilities are deployed in unison.” Artificial intelligence—and, specifically, its data analysis and predictive analytics capabilities—lets you check both boxes and gain an edge over the competition.  

7. Forecast sales figures

Getting your sales forecasts right is critical for everything from wisely allocating team resources to managing cash flow to ensuring that you have enough inventory to keep up with demand. AI-powered sales forecasting software uses sophisticated machine learning algorithms to analyze historical data, industry trends, and other factors that affect sales. As a result, it can often predict future sales revenue with higher accuracy than traditional methods. Salesforce found that a total of 84% of sales teams that use AI have seen moderate to major improvements in forecasting accuracy.

And these are just some of the use cases for AI in sales. Others include automated pricing optimization, automated customer segmentation, and sentiment analysis.

Be sure to check out A CMO's Guide to Responsible & Results-Driven AI to learn how to start a pilot, scale out the program, and achieve ROI

What common challenges arise with AI sales?

Clearly, artificial intelligence can be a valuable addition to your sales toolbox. But, as with any technology, it can present challenges.  

The risk of becoming too AI-reliant

Will the continued rise of AI make customer experience and the sales process too impersonal and add unnecessary friction? Some sales reps and consumers share this concern, so you’re not alone if the thought crossed your mind. 

Artificial intelligence can help with a wide range of sales activities and, as a result, some organizations may get carried away trying them all. But you don’t have to. Set firm standards for what you and your team will use it for. Define what aspects of the process still require a human touch—whether because certain AI technology isn’t yet advanced enough to provide the best experience or because certain interactions are pivotal for closing deals.

Make sure that ifyour reps are using AI to create content that they're injecting it with plenty of the human touch. AI can speed the sales process up but only a human can sell something to another human. Check out our 9 Tips for Adding a Human Touch to AI Outputs to learn more about how to edit AI work properly.

"Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in your writing when you can," said Jasper Content Marketing Manager Alton Zenon III. "Don't just settle for the output given by the AI. Add your tone, style, and humor to AI outputs and to your piece at a high level. Use the context of, well, being human to offer examples and anecdotes that an AI could never.

"If you need an example of something blatantly non-human, look at how Microsoft’s AI bot wrote that the Ottawa Food Bank was a must-see tourist attraction in the city. A human writer or editor after the fact wouldn’t be so careless (I would hope)."

Proper model training is required for personalization 

Personalization is becoming less of a nice-to-have aspect of the sales process and more of an expectation—especially for products and services that require a significant investment. To ensure that AI mirrors the type of high-quality personalization you would provide, you need to train the AI model. The more data you can provide from real, human-to-human interactions, the more the AI will learn how to handle and personalize various interactions.

Jasper's central nervous system can be loaded with all your company intel like brand positioning, product information, style guidelines, and numerous types of brand voices. This customization based on company knowledge can ensure all your reps are building content that's aligned with the most up to date details of the business and its offerings.

Lack of rep training could be a disadvantage

In and outside of the sales world, what’s one of the top reasons professionals hesitate to use AI? Not knowing how to utilize it to the fullest. Even if you and your team are enthusiastic about adopting sales AI technology, there may still be some gaps in your knowledge. Ariav Cohen, VP of Marketing and Sales at Proprep, experienced this firsthand. 

Ariav said, “When we decided to introduce AI into our sales funnel through automated support and lead qualification, we fell short on the talent front. Even as we compared tools and explored how they could nurture leads through our customer journey, we realized we had no one on our team with the AI expertise needed to maximize the value of the tools we were comparing. 

The solution came in the form of a helpful AI onboarding team. Choosing the SaaS that offered us a start-to-end integration and training program meant our team received the first-hand support needed to use the tools and ensure seamless integration into our existing sales process. Surprisingly, the learning curve wasn’t as steep as we expected, and our entire team was soon confidently exploring all that the new AI tool could offer us.”

This highlights the importance of seeking training and support early on. The sooner you do, the sooner you can reap the rewards.

What AI sales tools should your sales team try?

If you’re thinking of implementing an AI solution for sales, where do you start? Here’s a quick overview of three popular and well-rated sales assistants that are powered by AI. 

  1. Gong: This tool for sales leaders provides AI-based insights on the impact of strategic initiatives and the productivity of your team. Gong also uses AI to offer guidance on reducing churn, closing more deals, and making more accurate forecasts of sales performance.
  2. Outreach: Outreach describes itself as “a single platform that unlocks seller productivity to help sales teams efficiently create and close more pipeline.” It does this via its machine learning models, which have been trained on over 3 billion sales execution signals. As a result, it provides data-driven, reliable deal health scores, sentiment analysis, forecast simulations, and more. 
  3. ZoomInfo SalesOS: Specifically for B2B, this tool is a popular option for prospecting. It provides data-driven insights on things like buyer intent so you can focus your attention on companies that are ready to buy. It also uses proprietary machine-learning technology to analyze sales calls, sales meetings, and emails. The insights from these analyses provide transparency, enabling you to spot patterns and influence behavior. 

Two practical sales use cases Jasper can help with

Besides the sales AI tools above, there’s one more worth adding to your arsenal. Nick Johnson, Head of Global Sales Development at WalkMe, said: “Our sales teams use Jasper to speed up content production without over-reliance on the marketing team. We use it for everything from writing outbound email sequences to drafting personalized video response scripts. It’s allowed our team to spend more time focusing on what matters most—building relationships and scheduling meaningful meetings." 

Let’s see two ways you can leverage Jasper to do the same.

Email campaigns

There are several ways to create emails and email campaigns in Jasper, including the personalized cold email template and the personalized email campaign recipe. But let’s try the Email Campaign Workflow, which is a series of templates that will guide you through the process of generating email copy. 

To start, enter a context description to inform what Jasper writes, and fill in your company information in the Company Description template for step one.

 Step one of Jasper’s Email Campaign Workflow  

Click “Generate” and Jasper will create a company description. It will automatically be filled into the next template, which Jasper will use to create a description of your target audience. 

Target Audience Template in Jasper Email Campaign Workflow

Click “Generate” again, and you’ll get AI-generated target persona descriptions like these:

Target audience descriptions generated by Jasper 

Next is the Pain Point template, which will have your company description already filled in.

Pain Point Template in Jasper Email Campaign Workflow

Jasper will use it to generate a list of pain points like these: 

Pain points generated by Jasper

From there, your company will be filled into the email template for each pain point. You can edit the description, pain point wording, and tone of voice as needed, and Jasper will write accordingly. 

Email Template and output in Email Campaign Workflow

Rinse and repeat for the remaining pain points, and you can have first drafts of five or ten pain point-based emails within an hour. You can then tweak them as needed, personalizing the emails for certain prospects or adding more details about your products and services. 

This workflow also helps with creating cross-selling or upselling emails, follow-up emails, and more. 

"One of the biggest challenges for email marketers is stale email lists or emails that go to nonresponsive subscribers. With AI, outdated emails can be purged away while keeping customer details & contact information updated. Businesses can also use AI to segment these email lists based on demographics, browsing habits, and purchase patterns, thus helping to improve content customization and, in the long term, conversion rates." - Emma Bukowski, Founder and CMO at Noserider Surf Club.

Cold-calling scripts

Besides emails, you can also draft cold-calling scripts with Jasper. For example, I gave Jasper Chat the same company we generated for the outbound email campaign above and provided this instruction: “Create an example cold call conversation between a sales representative for Eventful and a marketing manager based on the company description below. The marketing manager recently held a successful online event and may want to migrate to in-person events. The call should introduce Eventful's event planning services in a friendly and conversational way.” 

Here’s what Jasper generated: 

Cold call script generated using Jasper Chat

Of course, the conversation would likely go differently in real life depending on the potential prospect’s responses. And you’d need to tweak your parts of the script to sound more natural and provide more granular company information. But Jasper Chat can give you an excellent head start and streamline the process of creating scripts for all sorts of scenarios. 

Here’s the bottom line: Sales teams that use AI and machine learning technology have a growing advantage over those that don’t, and it goes beyond just saving time. These teams will be able to focus on building strong relationships that not only lead to more closed deals but also higher deal values. To avoid being left behind, your best option is to start testing AI solutions now. Start for free today with Jasper and try out the use cases above for yourself. 

Meet The Author:

Nia Gyant

Nia Gyant

B2B SaaS Writer

Nia Gyant is a B2B SaaS content writer with an affinity for martech. She specializes in writing product-led content that generates leads and revenue, and loves tackling thought leadership projects on rapidly-evolving topics like AI.

Marketing Strategy

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