Artificial Intelligence Is Not The Future Of Sales & Marketing
The hype around the use of AI in sales and marketing is indeed real, but has been greatly exaggerated. Artificial intelligence won’t eliminate sales and marketing jobs, and it’s not the silver bullet many think it is. Is AI becoming a powerful tool and growth accelerator? It absolutely is. But artificial intelligence alone is not enough to truly move the needle. For sales and marketing leaders to realize the increases in effectiveness and efficiency, they are hoping for the answer does not lie with artificial intelligence. The answer will be found in the effective use of hybrid intelligence.
In order to realize the potential benefits AI can provide there must be an element of human intelligence as part of the equation. That combination of artificial intelligence and human intelligence (hybrid intelligence) is what will produce measurable results. And this will require business leaders with domain expertise and an understanding as to when and how to utilize enterprise AI technologies to achieve a desired business outcome.
AI technologies essentially benefit sales and marketing in one of two ways. They either provide insights that we otherwise would not have been able to discover, therefore enabling us to make better decisions. Or they automate certain processes, saving us time and eliminating the element of human error. The goal for the use of artificial intelligence in sales and marketing should not be the replacement of resources but instead the augmentation of resources. At the end of the day there are things a machine can do better or faster than a human can, and conversely there are tasks that require human intelligence. This symbiosis is something business leaders must understand and embrace in order to maximize the benefits of artificial intelligence in the enterprise. And combining these two variables with the right strategy will produce the business results sales marketing is hoping for.
Randomly cobbling together “AI powered” sales and marketing tools will have a minimal impact. And those who cling to false promises made by vendors touting out-of-the-box AI that will transform performance will struggle. Instead, there must be a clear strategy and roadmap in place that outlines business goals and determines how artificial intelligence will help achieve those goals. And not only must the right strategy and approach be in place, but the ability to translate the insights these technologies provide into the right behaviors across the organization is paramount.
Sales and marketing leaders need to realize that a paradigm shift must occur to capitalize on the benefits AI can provide. It’s a shift to a data first approach to growth and understanding the customer. And a focus on developing the skills and knowledge needed to realize the benefits of these technologies. In the future, the highest performing sales and marketing teams will be those who are able to not only identify AI powered tools that will have the greatest impact, but are also able to use their domain expertise and well designed strategies to augment those tools.