BCG: Get Your B2B Sales Team Ready for the Power of Generative AI

The article emphasizes the transformative potential of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) in the B2B sales sector. It advises sales managers to overcome their skepticism and embrace the power of GenAI to enhance their team’s productivity and effectiveness.

Salesforce’s 2022 State of Sales report highlights that high-performing sales organizations are significantly more likely to already be leveraging AI, suggesting a strong link between AI adoption and sales success. The article forecasts that GenAI could potentially double a sales representative’s productivity and significantly improve their ability to cross-sell and upsell.

GenAI differs from traditional AI in that it can create content and make decisions based on deep learning and GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks), offering a more personalized and effective assistance to sales teams. Instead of merely aiming for efficiency, GenAI should be utilized to boost effectiveness by enhancing sales reps’ ability to build stronger sales pipelines and close more deals.

Sales leaders are encouraged to adopt a persona-driven approach where each GenAI application is considered as a new team member. This includes roles like a sales assistant who can prepare reps for calls, a data scientist who provides insights on prospects, a marketer who personalizes emails, and a sales coach who offers performance-enhancing tips. These GenAI personas are not just tools but partners that grow and evolve within their roles, necessitating proper integration and training.

Trust building within sales teams is critical. Create a supportive environment where the capabilities of GenAI personas are gradually unveiled and aligned with the sales reps’ needs, ensuring that these digital team members enhance, rather than disrupt, the sales process.

Potential risks include the danger of being left behind by slower adoption of GenAI, the possibility of missing out on its value due to overspending or increased technical complexity, and the risk of eroding trust by overestimating the technology’s current capabilities. Leaders are advised to carefully manage these risks by developing a strategic implementation roadmap, optimizing GenAI’s introduction based on the organization’s needs, and ensuring that policies regarding data and AI regulation are robust and clear.

Sales organizations should start preparing for this transformation to not only keep up with but also stay ahead of the competition. This preparation involves both the adoption of GenAI technologies and the cultural shift needed to fully integrate these digital personas into the sales teams.

Get Your B2B Sales Team Ready for the Power of Generative AI

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