How Sales Leaders Can Adopt Generative AI Efficiently, Starting With Prospecting Emails

Published: July 3, 2023

The business world is still adjusting to the rapid introduction of generative AI, and sales is no different. In fact, by 2025, 35% of Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) will establish a generative AI operations team in their go-to market (GTM) organization, according to Gartner, Inc.

Companies are hopping on the proverbial generative AI bandwagon to complete tasks such as automating routine activities, summarizing complex data sets and creating a number of simple business documents. How can sales leaders adopt generative AI quickly and wisely?

Learn The Tools

For sales leaders to adopt generative AI and show immediate results, they must take several steps to ensure success.

  1. Be prompt: The natural first step in adopting generative AI tools is learning the different ways to create a prompt, aka prompt crafting. For example, choosing a specific “voice,” such as persuasive or empathetic, will have different output results. Determining the voice that will likely have better results and provide a better customer experience is key.
  2. Verify for the brand: Once the content is generated, it needs verification for accuracy and adherence to brand messaging and values. Sales leaders have the responsibility to ensure assets are accurate, meaning it’s paramount to set up a review system for any content that generative AI touches.
  3. Train like a champion: It’s imperative that organizations train sellers to use the tool to their advantage while helping minimize potential risk in spreading misinformation. If a revenue enablement platform has been purchased, sales leaders should create role-plays and assignments to create messaging that can be peer-, manager- and machine-scored. Top-tier results should always be highlighted in training content libraries as well to ensure new hires can see “what good looks like.”

Sales leaders must create an AI playbook script that takes them through specific situations and shows how generative AI can transform messaging. Finally, sales leaders should provide sellers an opportunity to practice each newly learned concept in a safe environment and include cadenced quizzing for knowledge retention.

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Apply The Tools

The best area for sales leaders to apply generative AI is toward activities that benefit from its capabilities and streamline administrative tasks to allow sales teams to focus on more high-leverage activities.

At present, sellers spend more than half of their time creating and delivering value messaging across the sales process, which includes crafting and tailoring emails to prospects. Creating customized emails with value messaging that will resonate with buyers can be a difficult task to achieve. AI text generators, such as ChatGPT, are a subcategory of generative AI tools that are starting to appear in major platforms, including Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. Sales leaders should start to take advantage of such tools to augment capabilities in sales prospecting email efforts.

According to the 2023 Gartner Technology and Service Provider Generative AI Survey, one-third of technology provider leaders using or considering the use of generative AI in the next six months will use the technology for email creation. Thirty percent will use it for sales representatives or SDRs developing prospecting emails.

As sales leaders take the training guide above and apply it to these use cases, they can set themselves up for a continuous program that provides dividends while also learning and improving from each project. Look to use standard performance metrics like open rates, click-through rates and conversions to evaluate the effectiveness of the AI-generated emails compared with non-AI-generated emails.

If sales leaders create a plan and exhibit valuable prospecting email use cases, they will drive sellers’ adoption of generative AI to improve efficiency in creating enablement materials and enable revenue generating functions to improve value messaging.

Melissa Hilbert is a Sr. Director Analyst in the Gartner Sales Practice covering revenue enablement and sales technology. Elizabeth Beard is a Director Analyst who also covers enablement, sales motions and sales methodologies.

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