AI in Sales: The End of Sales Reps – or The Perfect Partner?

September 25, 2023
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 min read

Let’s begin with a story.

Consider an average Monday morning as one of your sales reps, Jenna, is prepping for her day. The centerpiece: a sales call with a potential Fortune 500 client.

Jenna reviews her pitch. She remembers the CEO loves chess, the CFO is concerned about scalability, and in their last meeting, they mentioned that they're considering moving from a competitor.

As she plans her approach, she reviews the information in her sales intelligence platform. It provides data-driven suggestions on talking points based on data gathered from a wide range of sources.

This is sales in the modern world - a hybrid of human intuition and AI analysis.

With AI technology rapidly evolving in 2023, there's no doubt it will transform the enterprise sales landscape. And that's led to an intriguing debate: can AI ever truly replace the nuance and personal relationships built by human salespeople? In high-stakes enterprise sales, where success hinges on trust, understanding, and human connection, this question looms larger than ever.

In this article, we'll explore this question. We'll look at:

  • What AI can do
  • What AI can't do
  • The human touch in sales
  • How AI enhances enterprise sales teams
  • Closing thoughts

What AI can do

In enterprise sales, every interaction can make or break the deal. Make the wrong move, and you've potentially lost the customer. That's why AI has become such a vital partner.

Building relationships is more important than ever – but now that we’re in the world of data-driven everything, relying on gut feelings and guesswork is a thing of the past. Modern sales motions must be a careful dance of data, insights, and automation – which is only made possible by AI.

AI excels at processing massive amounts of data that no human could handle on their own. Just imagine the tidal wave of customer interactions, purchase histories, and market trends that your company needs to make sense of on a daily basis. AI can detect patterns and surface insights within this sea of data that even the savviest sales pro might miss. The predictive power of AI helps sales teams anticipate when leads are ripe for conversion or what customers will need next.

But AI is way, way more than just a number-crunching tool. 

Auto-Pilot products like Regie.ai have transformed initial customer engagements, handling the repetitive parts of prospecting, like list building, email creation and sequence management, so salespeople can focus on building relationships and closing deals.

Moreover, AI is making it possible to send better, more personalized outreach. Instead of blasting generic messages, Regie.ai enables enterprise sales teams to send custom, targeted messages at scale. AI understands each recipient and tailors the message accordingly. It's like having a dedicated, sales-focused writer who can craft customized pitches for a startup CEO versus a Big Pharma CFO – but with the wide reach needed for enterprise sales.

The key to all of this? AI is augmenting human sales teams – not replacing them. It arms your sales pros with powerful insights that allow them to be more efficient, yet also more human than ever before.

What AI can't do

AI can help your sales team seriously level up their game – but it can't do it all. At the end of the day, sales is about human connections. And that's where AI falls short.

AI doesn't understand emotions

Salespeople can pick up on subtle cues - a client's hesitation or excitement. They adjust strategies on the fly based on emotional undertones.

But at heart, generative AI is a massive predictive text algorithm – so while it can often produce compelling, human-like language, it often misses subtle emotional nuances that humans pick up on instantly.

AI can't build relationships

As incredible as AI's predictive capabilities are, human interactions are notoriously unpredictable. We make decisions based on moods, experiences and subconscious judgments no algorithm can capture.

That's why enterprise sales will always be a human-led endeavor. AI can provide insights into customer behavior, but it can't replicate the personal touch of a human salesperson.

AI misses communication nuances

To successfully persuade high-level decision makers, you often need just the right touch – the perfect balance of expertise, authority, and likability that makes people confident in their buying decision without feeling that they're being sold.

AI often stumbles over these nuances. AI can be incredibly helpful in speeding up the process of creating targeted content for enterprise audiences. But when it comes to nailing a voice and tone that balances persuasion with authenticity, it needs the help of an expert human salesperson.

The human touch in sales

Selling is more than just a financial transaction – it's about understanding prospects and forging meaningful connections with them that lead to lasting business relationships.

That's why today's best sellers still rely on skills like:

  • Emotional intelligence. Salespeople need to read between the lines, pick up on reservations, and build excitement. AI can provide background information, but it can't replicate the human ability to understand emotions. And that can make or break a sale.
  • Empathy and trust. Without empathy and trust, it's almost impossible to establish the kind of deep, long-lasting relationships that are at the heart of successful enterprise sales. Great salespeople do this by getting to know their prospects' needs and pain points over time and offer solutions that address their specific challenges.
  • Delivering a personal touch. Great salespeople build relationships that last long after the deal is signed. They remember a client's daughter is graduating from college, ask about their vacation to Croatia, or sending a thoughtful gift to stay top of mind. Those genuine gestures strengthen bonds with clients.

Especially in enterprise sales, people buy from people. And while the tech that drives enterprise sales continues to evolve, it can never replace the human connection that's at the heart of the sales profession.

How AI enhances enterprise sales teams

You can't open your LinkedIn in 2023 without seeing an apocalyptic thinkpiece about how AI is an existential threat that's going to replace human jobs.

But the reality is less dramatic – and frankly a lot more exciting! For enterprise sales teams, AI is a powerful enhancement that levels up the capabilities of your sales reps rather than replacing them.

For enterprise teams, AI is a brilliant, ultra capable assistant, researcher and writer who can give you all the information you need to make the right decisions. Sales reps still take the lead, but AI provides the data, gathers research, and speeds up writing – enabling them to sell better and close deals faster.

Let's look at a real-life example. 

One of your sales reps, John, is preparing to send a cold email to a number of prospects who match a new customer profile you've decided to target. John knows the product cold, but he needs to adapt his message to be relevant to each prospect.

That's where Regie.ai comes in. With the help of the Regie.ai Chrome extension, John can gather insights on each prospect in seconds – and use the power of AI to craft targeted emails that stand out in the inbox and increase his chances of getting a response. And with the Regie.ai CMS, all his content is available at his fingertips, so he can easily send along assets that deliver value to clients and position him as a trusted partner.

Closing thoughts

As AI technology continues to advance, the way sales professionals work will continue to evolve – into a collaborative relationship between AI and human sales pros.

Winning sales teams will see AI as a teammate – not a threat. AI will equip sales teams with the insights they need to drive more revenue. But irreplaceable human skills like emotional intelligence, empathy, and relationship-building are what will really close the deal.

Working together, AI tools and human sales professionals are poised to bring enterprise sales into a new era – one where tech enhances the art of selling.

Take your sales team's skills to the next level. With Regie.ai, you can generate AI-driven insights and personalized email campaigns in seconds – and make your best reps unstoppable.
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