By 2025, 75% of business-to-business (B2B) sales organisations will augment traditional sales playbooks with artificial intelligence (AI)-guided selling solutions.
Technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc on Monday (Dec 6) said despite current low adoption rates, increasing pressure created by massive amounts of data available to sales organisations and revitalised budgets is driving many sales leaders to invest in AI and machine learning (ML) technology to analyse data and recommend next best actions.
Gartner sales practice senior director analyst Steve Rietberg said advancements in sales technology, particularly in the areas of AI and ML, are forcing sales enablement leaders to rethink seller skills they will need to teach and enable.
Sellers can no longer exclusively rely on intuition-based selling to push a deal over the finishing line.
“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,” he said.
Gartner research shows that sales training will become more than just teaching seller skills, evolving to include more critical thinking skills, specifically in the area of data literacy.
It said this will require the development of new sales playbooks that clearly define how to use AI/ML sales tools in daily sales activities.
Meanwhile, Gartner Sales practice director analyst Elizabeth Beard said AI-guided selling also enables multithreaded customer buying experience.
“In fact, progressive sales organisations 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,” she said.