Did you know? Researchers have been experimenting with the uses of artificial intelligence since the 1950s! Technology is everywhere, and whether you like it or not – it’s here to stay. Thanks to the rise of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and automation, companies can focus on upskilling their workforce. While capitalising on emerging technologies to remain current and competitive. All good companies understand that adapting to change is the most significant defining factor of success. So read on below to explore 3 ways to use AI for sales training.
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What is AI and Machine Learning?
Artificial intelligence in sales is an umbrella term for modern technology that effectively helps machines execute complex cognitive duties. There are numerous smart technologies in artificial intelligence for sales that directly impact the success of your business; for instance, AI includes technologies like deep learning, machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing. When applied well, ai for sales can be an invaluable tool to help your sales company keep track of performance, optimise sales cycles and train sales teams in essential sales skills.
How is AI used in sales?
Studies show that sales professionals spend about 34% of their time actually selling. AI for sales solves this problem by automating everyday repetitive administrative tasks. Now, salespeople now have more time to do what they should be doing. Which is building relationships and selling solutions to prospects’ problems. Not only is AI for sales making it easier to sell, but it’s also levelling up the entire process. From automated lead follow-ups, routine touches and live engagement.
What’s the role of AI in sales training, learning & development?
Today, most organisations have vast amounts of employee, prospect, customer, and product data available to them thanks to the rise of integrated ai software solutions such as chatbots and CRMs. This valuable data can be repurposed and used to create a customised ai sales training program, personalised to suit the individual needs of each sales rep by focusing on their skill and knowledge gaps.
Not only does this allow for a more targeted approach to upskilling and professional development, but it will help to predict learners’ training needs based on their role – helping your sales team stay one step ahead at all times.
Creating a high-performance sales team is becoming even more difficult with a traditional approach, so it’s no surprise that the days of each employee learning the same material at the same time and in the same place are changing. Making way for a more flexible, targeted and convenient way to upskill dispersed and international sales teams.
How do you use AI for sales training?
Now, let’s explore some practical uses for artificial intelligence for sales training below:
1. Sales Roleplaying
Sales role-playing is a vital tool sales leaders use to develop and coach sales teams’ skill sets by closely replicating a real-life selling environment. Further advanced by ai for sales training where sessions are based around a specific scenario that pertains to skills in areas like:
- Objection Handling
- Conflict management
- Assessing needs
- Problem solving/troubleshooting
- Role Reversal
Leaders save time, money, and resources with ai for sales training by gaining rapid insight into how salespeople currently perform by using bite-sized training increments that don’t have time restraints like a typical in-person training session.
2. Sales Coaching
AI software doesn’t replace the human element of sales coaching; instead, it helps augment the experience with artificial intelligence to promote better results. Overall, it allows sales reps to build confidence by practising in a safe space, away from any unconscious bias the coaches may have. It also allows sales managers to save time where they might have before spent 1-1 coaching a sales rep.
Introducing AI Sales Coaching Software: Cogito
Cogito is an AI sales call coach who brings the advantage of behavioural science to every sales call. The AI sales software behind Cogito monitors speech patterns to detect the energy level, interruptions, empathy, the amount of participation, tone, and the speaking pace for all participants. The software then analyzes these different aspects to offer instant feedback on how the sales of can change the way he speaks to improve the experience for the prospect.
3. Onboarding remote New Hires
AI for sales training also revolutionises the way companies onboard new hires, streamlining the process into a repeatable and effective process that equips new hires with all the information they need to be successful. For example, just because new salespeople can answer questions accurately doesn’t mean they understand them or apply them to an effective real-time conversation. AI for sales training helps fill those gaps where sales managers and leaders don’t have the time or resources to focus on.
4. On-demand learning
These days, sales leaders need to deliver training anywhere, anytime to match their growing remote workforce. AI for sales training is starting to fulfil this issue by being on-demand for sales reps to learn when and where they prefer. Rather than planning and allotting time between sales teams and managers to shadow on tasks, artificial intelligence provides additional speed and accessibility for both leaders and the employees they support.
What are the challenges of adopting ai for sales training?
Like all new technology-based implementations, there will be some potential obstacles organisations need to address before getting started with ai software for sales training. Barriers can appear in any of the following areas:
- Management: It may be necessary to build demonstrable use cases to persuade executive buy-in from key stakeholders if your budget is on the lighter side.
- Data: Organisations will need to ensure they possess robust data to secure a 360-degree view of their customers.
- People: Sales teams stuck in their ways might find adopting new processes difficult or even fear becoming redundant in their role as ai for sales technology continues to develop.
How to prepare for the rise of AI-assisted Sales Training
Whether you’re excited, nervous or indifferent, artificial intelligence for sales is very real, and it’s here to stay. Not only is it becoming the go-to answer for sales leaders, trainers, managers and coaches to solve challenges, but it’s also helping organisations make better business decisions and train sales reps better. If you’re all in on adopting new technology for sales into your sales training process, discover how to prepare below:
Evaluate current sales training tech
When considering how ai for sales training can help your organisation, the best starting point is to assess the sales training tech you already have. Begin your preparation by conducting an audit of your current sales training tools to get a holistic view of your in-house capacities. Next, identify any knowledge or skill gaps within management – then educate yourself and them on current ai sales training tools available by reading blog posts, analyst reports and user reviews to understand the current landscape.
Encourage a data-driven mindset
When preparing to adopt ai for sales training, you must be explicitly clear about the metrics you want your team to measure and report. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine where the sales team’s knowledge, skill and experience gaps lay. To achieve this, you should always start meetings by reviewing metrics as a team as part of a larger conversation of deals in progress.
Talk to your team
When salespeople hear about the idea of AI for sales training, they often react in one of two ways. They’re either both feet in, enthusiastic and ready to get started. Or they’re nervous, hesitant and worried that the ai revolution will take over their jobs. That’s why when preparing to invest in ai sales training solutions, you need a complete team buy-in for it to achieve a successful return on investment.
Final word: Simulating the real world is the future of sales training
Artificial intelligence for sales training is only one segment of the available technology for businesses. While VR technology might have been born from gaming, the reality is that virtual reality innovations are shifting more and more into business applications like sales training.
Some VR sales training software incorporates artificial intelligence to analyse the learner’s tone of voice, eye contact with different prospects in the room, the number of filler words used, and speech pace. Overall, taking away the need for a trainer or coach to be present to give feedback – only requiring the leader to read the report from the AI to decide what further development might be needed.
Discover more in our full article “Is VR Training in the Workplace The Future Of Upskilling Sales Teams?” below: