The landscape of marketing and sales has undergone a revolution thanks to AI technology. Now, generative AI is poised to reshape the perspectives of both B2B and B2C players regarding customer experience, productivity, and growth.Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) consistently expand the horizons of what can be achieved in marketing and sales. In the current phase of evolution marked by generative AI (gen AI), open-source platforms are making their way into the forefront of sales, accompanied by increased investments from sales-tech players in gen AI innovations. In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital-first business, these technologies are increasingly becoming indispensable tools.
1. How AI is reshaping marketing and sales?AI is poised to disrupt marketing and sales in every sector. This is the result of shifts in consumer sentiment alongside rapid technological change.
1.1. Having an omnichannel presence is a fundamental requirementAcross various industries, the dynamics of engagement models are evolving. Present-day customers seek accessibility to everything, everywhere, and at all times. While there remains a demand for a balanced mix of traditional, remote, and self-service channels (including face-to-face interactions, inside sales, and e-commerce), there is a noticeable uptrend in customer preference for online ordering and reordering.Companies that successfully expand their market share by at least 10 percent annually typically leverage advanced sales technology, cultivate hybrid sales teams and capabilities, customize strategies for both third-party and company-owned marketplaces, achieve e-commerce excellence throughout the entire funnel, and provide hyper-personalization. This involves delivering unique messages tailored to individual decision-makers based on their needs, profiles, behaviors, and interactions—both historical and predictive
1.2. Step changes are occurring in digitization and automationAI technology is evolving at pace. It is becoming increasingly easy and less costly to implement, while offering ever-accelerating complexity and speed that far exceeds human capacity. Our research suggests that a fifth of current sales-team functions could be automated. In addition, new frontiers are opening with the rise of gen AI.
2. What is generative AI?Many of us are already familiar with online AI chatbots and image generators, using them to create convincing pictures and text at astonishing speed. This is the great power of generative AI, or gen AI: it utilizes algorithms to generate new content—writing, images, or audio—from training data.
3. What does gen AI mean for marketing and sales?The rise of AI, and particularly gen AI, has potential for impact in three areas of marketing and sales: customer experience (CX), growth, and productivity.For example, in CX, hyper-personalized content and offerings can be based on individual customer behavior, persona, and purchase history. Growth can be accelerated by leveraging AI to jumpstart top-line performance, giving sales teams the right analytics and customer insights to capture demand. Additionally, AI can boost sales effectiveness and performance by offloading and automating many mundane sales activities, freeing up capacity to spend more time with customers and prospective customers (while reducing cost to serve).In all these actions, personalization is key. AI coupled with company-specific data and context has enabled consumer insights at the most granular level, allowing B2C lever personalization through targeted marketing and sales offerings. Winning B2B companies go beyond account based marketing and disproportionately use hyper-personalization in their outreach.
4. Six “no regret” AI strategiesThere are six actions you can take in your company today to chart an AI transformation in sales and marketing.
- Conduct a gen AI audit of commercial activities
- Form a commercial gen AI taskforce
- Identify low-hanging fruit in your customer journey
- Launch a gen AI experiment (or three)
- Train your sales team on gen AI basics to fuel experimentation
- Establish gen AI guidelines for your sales team
- Gen AI sales use case
- How to bring gen AI to life in the customer journey
- Some anticipating risks in gen AI