Can AI improve sales operations?

Top Answer : I'm sure the answer is yes, and it's probably yes more than I can even articulate because it's mind boggling what AI will probably be doing in not just 10 years, but 2 years from now. There's some obvious use cases. We probably spend the bulk of our time doing some type of reporting and it's such a time suck. AI is going to, I hope at least, give us so much time back because, A, just the consolidation of data, but then B, telling us what it means instead of having to stare at it for hours at a time.  It’ll automate a lot of our worlds, in terms of some of the fire drills and the tactical stuff that we do day in and day out. This will enable us to spend more time thinking longer term and more strategically. I'm blown away at what it can do today, and that’s  just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure AI is going to come into everything: compensation, forecasting and analytics, trends, and capacity and territory management, etc. I'm excited, but I don't have a lot of real world, hands-on experience with it at this point.

Pink Processor
Sales, Software
I'm sure the answer is yes, and it's probably yes more than I can even articulate because it's mind boggling what AI will probably be doing in not just 10 years, but 2 years from now. There's some obvious use cases. We probably spend the bulk of our time doing some type of reporting and it's such a time suck. AI is going to, I hope at least, give us so much time back because, A, just the consolidation of data, but then B, telling us what it means instead of having to stare at it for hours at a time.  It’ll automate a lot of our worlds, in terms of some of the fire drills and the tactical stuff that we do day in and day out. This will enable us to spend more time thinking longer term and more strategically. I'm blown away at what it can do today, and that’s  just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure AI is going to come into everything: compensation, forecasting and analytics, trends, and capacity and territory management, etc. I'm excited, but I don't have a lot of real world, hands-on experience with it at this point.
0 upvotes
Pink Monitor
CEO, Software
I've been looking at this for a little while, and trying to think through, is there going to be some type of major leap forward within sales operations because of AI? It's hard for me to say that that will actually happen because sales operations is so different from one company to the next. In a lot of ways, it's similar, because a lot of the best practices can be repackaged and rolled out at other companies. But it requires so much explanation and collaboration with other people in the business to help them understand the best practices around it, that even if you had an AI tool to automate so much of that, you would still need someone in the driver's seat to help the rest of the business understand why we want to set forth certain policies. I think AI is going to basically surround sales ops and chip away at a bunch of the little things that we do on a regular basis that consume a lot of time and are heavy lifts. AI is going to take them away, but it's not necessarily going to come in and fundamentally change our role. And I think most people who are going to continue to be successful in sales operations, that go to market operations or revenue operations in the next five years, are going to be really thoughtful around, okay, what pitch do I buy into?  You have to be really thoughtful about discerning what's really value add, and more just hype: is it actually going to save my rep's time, make my information more accurate, save my company money? So we're going to have to be thoughtful about which AI tools we're bringing in. Clari is a great example. And there are other tools that are doing exactly what Clari’s doing, where they're taking the forecasting model and saying, "Hey, you're already doing forecasting. Let's give you an app to manage your forecasting, and then let's layer in AI to help you better understand what historical trends tell us about how future quarters are going to play out." And so that’s one little area where AI is starting to add value. But I think it's going to come at us from multiple angles here, and continue to chip away at some of these different functions over time. What's interesting to me, though, is that AI in sales is an even scarier idea because I can see the SDR function, which often rolls up underneath sales ops, being substantially automated in the next five years with these chat bot type technologies. If you can get to the point where you don't know if you're talking to a computer over instant messenger, and if we can get the Siris and the Alexas of the world to actually speak in intonation and with tone that makes it sound like a real person, then theoretically, you can basically automate an SDR altogether. Which, frankly, has pretty scary implications across not just sales, but all types of things.
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Orange Server
IT, Software
I've sat in so many of these reviews, QPRs and exec meetings, where you suddenly get a question as to why are my ASPs down? Or why is the pipeline looking that way? And then suddenly, depending on how much data you have, you're struggling to go through all of that data at that point of time. Maybe it's quick, maybe it isn't, but you're still having to go through that data and see, okay, what's caused the ESPs to go down, or what's caused my pipeline to suddenly drop? For me, I think that's where AI for sales ops will be hugely beneficial... where I can just ask that question and get that answer right there. Almost like a conversational interface.
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Pink Terminal
Sales, Software
There's AI in a lot of the tools that we administer and give to the sales organization, because we want it to create a self-help environment. But there's not a lot of tools that allow us to leverage AI to make our sales lives easier. And that is a constant struggle. So I've been looking for, across the board, how we can leverage AI to actually make the lives of somebody that works in sales ops easier. I haven't been able to find too much. There's some very basic stuff (e.g., AI can help keep the quality of your data cleaner, automatically find duplicates and anomalies, and bring your attention to it so you can quickly pivot and clean it up). But that's about the extent of what I have found.
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Pink Terminal
Sales, Software
I think accurate data, and some decent level of automation can go a long way. I think AI, in its full sense, will certainly play a role in the future. But today, I think it's at a  very nascent stage, and everybody calls themselves AI, but my feeling is that many of those tools over promise and under deliver. It takes a long time to set it up. It requires a lot of work from the data and workflows perspective. So it's not something that I would call AI in its full sense. So I think this is far in the future still.
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Orange Processor
IT, Construction
Of course. Demand planning and pricing are a couple of good examples.
0 upvotes