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  • Writer's pictureAlex Alleyne

Avoid These 3 Sales Team AI Pitfalls

With artificial intelligence (AI) poised to transform B2B sales, more and more software firms are evaluating how to integrate AI capabilities into their sales processes. However, based on what I’ve seen working closely with sales teams, AI implementation often falters out of the gate when companies don’t sufficiently prepare.

If you don’t strategise your AI rollout properly and get buy-in across your sales organisation, you’ll likely struggle to realise ROI and could face team backlash.

Here are three key pitfalls I frequently observe when implementing AI practices within your sales team and advice on avoiding them:

Not Securing Rep Buy-in

The biggest mistake I see sales leaders make with AI is essentially forcing it onto their teams without getting them onboard first. Your reps may be experienced sales professionals, so if you don’t consult them early on, address their concerns, and show the clear benefits from AI, you risk internal resistance or even resentment towards the technology. I’d strongly advise running feedback sessions with reps, demoing AI capabilities, openly discussing impacts to their role, tying bonuses to adoption metrics, and perhaps identifying pilot users first before a wider rollout. This approach requires more upfront planning but pays dividends with smoother long term buy-in.

Limited Integration with CRM & Martech Stack

Technically poor integration between your AI applications and existing sales technology stack can significantly hamper usability and adoption. Your data science team may be great at building predictive analytics models but if that tool lacks compatibility with your Salesforce instance, requires constant new data inputs, and produces insights reps find hard to action, its value plummets quickly. Work closely with your tech and ops teams when evaluating AI to ensure it easily and securely integrates with your existing martech and CRM, preferably with turnkey connectors avoiding complex API builds.

Lack Of Ongoing Training

The initial few weeks post any AI implementation requires extra investment in training and user onboarding. But I see many companies neglect ongoing training and simply expect reps to utilise these advanced technologies adeptly. AI apps have nuances to them and also get updated regularly with new capabilities so they necessitate regular refresher training. I recommend sales enablement teams continuously assess knowledge gaps amongst users, address questions as they arise, and run qaurterly power user trainings showcasing advanced functionality. This active rep engagement helps your team extract the maximum value from AI consistently.

Hopefully reflecting on those missteps can better inform your AI strategy. While the technology presents game changing potential, realising it requires upfront planning and continuous guidance across your sales organisation. What steps are you taking to drive adoption in your rollout plans? I welcome any feedback from peers as we navigate introducing more AI into our sales processes.

Written by Alex Alleyne, 19th December 2023

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