By 2025, 75% of B2B sales organizations will augment traditional sales playbooks with artificial intelligence (AI) guided selling solutions, according to Gartner, Inc. Despite current low adoption rates, increasing pressure created by massive amounts of data available to sales organizations and revitalized budgets is driving many sales leaders to invest in AI and machine learning (ML) technology to analyze data and recommend next best actions.
“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,” said Steve Rietberg, senior director analyst in the Gartner Sales practice. “Sellers can no longer exclusively rely on intuition-based selling to push a deal over the finish 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.”
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. This will require the development of new sales playbooks that clearly define how to use AI/ML sales tools in daily sales activities.
“AI guided selling also enables the multithreaded customer buying experience. 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,” said Elizabeth Beard, director analyst in the Gartner Sales practice. “This helps to connect buyers with information to better answer their questions – filtering out the noise – and provides a better customer experience.”
Sales leaders looking at AI-guided selling solutions should consider the following:
- Audit current tech for AI capability: Sales leaders should examine current sales, marketing and customer service technology for existing AI capabilities.
- Prepare playbooks for eventual AI migration: AI guided tools should be deployed through sales engagement and sales enablement technology.
- Increase training and enablement of seller data literacy skills: Sales leaders must work to enable and reinforce sellers with proven guidance on how selling with data leads to more wins in a shorter amount of time.
Gartner for Sales Leaders clients can learn more about this prediction as well as others in the report “Sales Predicts 2022: The Digital Evolution of B2B Sales.”
About Gartner for Sales Leaders
Gartner for Sales Leaders provides heads of sales and their teams with the insights, advice and tools they need to address mission-critical priorities amid mounting pressures to drive growth through new and existing customers. With extensive qualitative and quantitative research, Gartner for Sales Leaders helps sales teams combat commoditization and price-based purchasing, develop critical manager and seller skills, elevate the value of sales interactions, unlock existing growth potential, and optimize sales force enablement. Follow news and update from the Gartner Sales practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerSales.