Arun Shastri co-wrote this blog post with Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha and Sally E. Lorimer.
There is tremendous buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) and its power to transform business. Sales is no exception. AI is associated mostly with online selling at companies such as Amazon and Netflix. Lately articles have reported sky-high ROI from AI designed to boost field and inside sales force performance. From all the success stories, one might conclude that most sales forces are well on their way to realizing value from AI, and that the going is easy.
Many companies struggle to deliver a consistent and easy buying experience for their customers.
Consider the following scenario: A manager wants to purchase some computer software for her business. She asks an analyst on her team to do an online search for information. The analyst recommends a particular software company’s solution. The manager peruses that company’s website and requests more information by entering data about her needs through a webform. The software company emails relevant materials, which the manager reviews before reaching out to an inside salesperson with questions.