Sales teams are busy, but that doesn't mean they're always selling. All too often, their time is being spent on managing administrative duties and tracking down answers to routine questions, leaving insufficient time for prospecting and closing new business. AI for sales enablement is emerging as one way to close that gap.
Sales reps today spend less than 30% of their time selling, with most of their time consumed by deal management and data entry tasks, Salesforce research has found. This inefficiency hurts performance and prevents sales teams from reaching their potential. The right artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can help sales teams become more efficient and spend more time on revenue-generating activities.
Learn more about the importance of sales enablement, how AI helps salespeople increase win-rates and close deals faster, and how an enterprise-level AI expertise directory can help.
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement is a strategic approach to selling that equips sales teams with the tools, resources and knowledge they need to effectively engage with prospects, close deals and secure revenue. Sales enablement provides salespeople with the right information, training and support throughout the cycle.
This approach empowers sales teams to deliver consistent and compelling messaging, address customer needs, and ultimately drive revenue growth for the organization.
3 benefits of using AI in sales enablement
Businesses are using AI and machine learning in countless ways, including to automate and streamline processes, extract insights from data, generate content and improve overall performance.
AI in sales is an especially powerful opportunity to improve sales efficiency and shorten sales cycles. By using AI in sales enablement, sales leaders can shape more efficient, productive and successful sales teams. Here are some of the key benefits of combining AI and sales enablement.
More timely access to information
Sales teams can struggle to find the information demanded by prospects and customers, even when it lives inside the organization. When salespeople can’t respond in a timely fashion, they risk losing business.
With AI solutions, sales teams can use natural language processing and machine learning to analyze vast amounts of data and identify key information and trends. An AI-powered enterprise directory takes this a step further — acting as a repository of knowledge and connecting salespeople to internal subject matter experts who can verify information and provide additional insights.
Less time on repetitive and administrative tasks
Sales reps are often burdened with repetitive or administrative tasks such as data entry and management. Automation with AI can eliminate countless hours of manual data entry and updates, as well as time spent updating and analyzing sales pipelines.
AI-powered tools can automatically capture and organize data from many sources, providing sales teams with accurate and up-to-date information at their fingertips. Automation also reduces the risk of human error, leading to more accurate sales proposals and conversations.
AI has also streamlined the lead qualification process by reducing the time needed for sales teams to sort through potential prospects. Algorithms can analyze and prioritize leads based on predefined criteria, such as demographics, behavior patterns and past interactions. This helps sales teams focus their efforts on leads with the highest potential.
Broader access to real-time analytics
Organizations are awash in data, which can be overwhelming for sales leaders seeking to extract meaningful insights and identify next steps. AI can cut through the noise and help sales teams make informed decisions that drive sales growth.
One way AI helps sales teams make data-driven decisions is through the use of advanced analytics and predictive modeling. Algorithms can analyze large data sets, identify patterns and uncover correlations that humans or lesser computing might overlook. This gives organizations a deeper understanding of customer behavior, market trends and sales performance, so sales teams can optimize their efforts and resource allocation.
AI-powered tools can provide real-time sales analytics and other information that helps sales teams answer questions, monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and track progress toward sales targets. With these tools and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, sales leaders can generate comprehensive reports and visualizations to highlight sales performance, evaluate pipeline health and make accurate forecasts.
How to use AI and sales enablement to increase win rates
AI tools help businesses optimize their sales strategies, improve efficiency and ultimately win more business. Here are six ways organizations can empower sales teams by combining sales and AI.
Speed up sales cycles
Preparing for a sales meeting can take hours, especially if a sales representative has to dig through systems, paper and electronic documents, and track down hard-to-access insights. And the challenge is greater still when the rep doesn’t know whether that information is outdated or inaccurate.
With an AI-powered expertise directory, salespeople can ask questions and quickly receive the most accurate and up-to-date answers. Starmind’s AI-powered recommendation engine can also help sales reps connect with internal subject matter experts for additional context, recommendations or data. All of this happens more quickly than traditional methods, helping sales teams get back to work.
Standardize sales processes
Salespeople require consistent processes across the deal cycle, whether it’s managing pipelines, supporting customers or avoiding duplicate work. Centralizing information and best practices is key to achieving this consistency.
An AI-powered expertise directory can be a one-stop shop for salespeople looking for product details, customer insights, sales collateral and more. This single source of truth aligns your entire workforce, prevents silos and helps sales leaders establish standardized processes for each stage of the sales cycle.
Align sales and marketing
Businesses can use AI technology to bring together marketing and sales teams, helping deliver a consistent, proactive experience to prospects and customers. When sales and marketing are aligned and coordinated, companies enjoy improved lead generation, higher conversion rates and increased revenue.
AI-powered tools can analyze customer data, market trends and sales performance to provide a unified view of the customer journey. This enables sales and marketing teams to align their strategies, messaging and targeting.
For example, marketing teams can provide sales reps with up-to-date marketing collateral and case studies that align with their messaging. This enables sales reps to effectively communicate the value proposition to prospects, contributing to higher conversion rates and improved customer satisfaction.
Improve visibility into performance
AI tools that create real-time visibility into sales activity and pipelines help sales teams at every stage of the sales cycle. They can track their activity, monitor deal progress and identify potential bottlenecks or areas of concern. This visibility gives sales managers a better view of the business and their team’s activities and roadblocks, helping them reallocate resources and support their reps as needed.
Along with performance insights, sales reps can access any resources they need — including product information, competitive intelligence and sales collateral — in one place. With less time tracking down information, salespeople can focus on meaningful conversations that position your offerings and address customer pain points.
Information silos hurt efficiency and collaboration in all departments, including sales. AI can break down these silos by aggregating data from across the business and making it easily accessible and understandable.
AI-powered sales platforms can integrate with other systems and tools you already use, such as CRM, marketing automation and customer support platforms. AI can analyze these disparate data sets for insights and patterns you wouldn’t otherwise detect.
This gives sales reps visibility into marketing campaigns, customer interactions and support tickets, allowing them to have a holistic view of the customer journey.
Spend more time selling
Sales reps need as much time as possible to prospect and sell. Anything that gets in the way of that, including administrative tasks and searching for information, needs to be addressed.
AI can automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry and lead qualification. AI can also help sales reps be more efficient in searching for and finding the best possible information. An AI-powered expertise directory can suggest relevant content, sales material and resources based on the query and the target’s needs and preferences. If further information is needed, the directory can connect the sales rep with an internal expert, saving time spent hunting for the right in-house resource.
Transform your sales process with enterprise-grade AI
With all the hype around AI, sales teams must select the right AI tools for their needs.
When looking at AI-powered tools, ask vendors about data security and compliance, analytics and reporting, integrations, scalability and the user experience. While all of these features matter, ease of use is especially critical. Salespeople will resist using tools or software that are difficult or confusing. And without high adoption, you’re spending money on yet another system that doesn’t deliver the expected benefits.
With an AI-powered expertise directory that's secure and easy to use, however, you can win employee buy-in and reap tremendous productivity benefits. Starmind's expertise directory has been shown to cut search time by an average of 75%. What sets Starmind apart is its ability to connect sales reps with subject matter experts when the desired information isn't readily available. This seamless access to expertise empowers sales teams to focus on high-value tasks, such as building customer relationships and generating value.
An AI-powered expertise directory transcends geographical and organizational boundaries, collating and sharing knowledge from across the entire company. Starmind shortens sales cycles by enabling rapid responses to customer queries, helping sales teams gain momentum and close more deals more quickly
Using AI for sales enablement helps forward-thinking sales organizations realize immediate gains in productivity, customer service and deals closed, as salespeople can access the information they need when they need it most.
Are you ready to see how Starmind can help your sales team win more deals and be more productive? Get in touch with us to transform your sales team’s performance.
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Improve win rates with an AI-powered sales team [NEW REPORT]
AI-powered expertise directories are empowering sales enablement by linking sales organizations to the insights they need to increase win rates. Download the report to learn about:
- Why sales teams must put enablement first.
- How to build the sales team of tomorrow.
- What an AI-powered expertise directory for sales looks like.
- The benefits of enabling sales with AI.
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