It’s hard to miss the news and articles about artificial intelligence nowadays, whether it’s the Twitter battle between Musk and Zuckerberg or the 100-0 score in Go against a human.

Though these are impressive feats, the increased publicity has also brought out the more non-scientific consequences, such as AI being chosen as the marketing word of 2017. Inevitably many have already succumbed to the terminology hangover: “Ugh, enough already with AI why should I care?”

Truth is that when working in sales and with customers you should care. You’re lucky, as you’re uniquely positioned to be among the very first to benefit from a new type of services. These services can learn from actions and can translate those actions, or the lack of actions, to contextual awareness of what is, and what should be, going on with your prospects and accounts.

At this point one usually hears two popular counter-arguments, the “we’re not ready” and “we’re too busy” classics.

It’s good to recognize, and it’s no coincidence, that for example Salesforce and IBM have AI based solutions available for sales and customer work. And that these very services have been commercially available since 2016. So no, you’re not anymore an early adopter of an experimental technology in 2018, and part of the reason why you stay busy is that you’re not tackling that challenge with readily available solutions.

Decide to act

So amidst all the hubbub how does one adapt a practical approach to Sales AI? Two very simple principles, start now and minimise time spent on implementation.

Why these two principles matter? Starting now and minimising time spend on implementing will enable you to make more iterative decisions based on actual findings. This in turn means you don’t spend time planning possible outcomes but can focus on analysing results. You can minimise the implementation time by starting with the low hanging fruits, as it’s easy to start with services you already have adapted (Salesforces Einstein) or to use services that work with your current tool stack.

It’s all for a brighter tomorrow

During this, more intimate look at sales productivity, you’re likely to discover deep rooted bottlenecks. Commonly discovered time sinks include reps spending a lot of time looking for information from internal systems, causing extended respose times. It might also be that reps systematically forget sending follow-ups or product updates simply because distractions happen and they forgot to make tasks out of them. Luckily, Sales AI excels at these types of boring and frequent tasks. Mainly because computers don’t get bored or distracted.

At this point, one might think that Sales AI inevitably equals death of the salesperson. That’s simply not true, salesmanship is and continues to be an uniquely human skill, requiring human to human connection.

With help from Sales AI the salesperson can better focus on the big picture and in delighting the customers with impactful communications – while Sales AI tirelessly does the needful in the background.