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Using AI to help sales teams be more effective in their workflow

Barb Mosher Zinck Profile picture for user barb.mosher August 2, 2023
Summary:
Empowering sales reps to work more efficiently.

profit

In a recent Outreach study, 95% of companies said they are prioritizing investment sales tech. That makes sense. The role of sales in the buyer's journey is getting harder, and it's critical for sellers to implement strategies that show they understand the buyer and speak to them as trusted sources.

Generative AI has a role to play here, and we've seen that already in conversations with Conversica, 6sense, and studies like those from Outreach and Salesloft. But where does it help the most? GTM Buddy, a revenue and sales enablement solution provider, is implementing it in a way that goes beyond creating more relevant emails. And they aren't taking the salesperson out of their favorite tools to use it. 

Where is Sales using AI?

In the Outreach Spring '23 Sales Confidence Index, 63% of respondents said they actively use generative AI in the workplace. The top use cases?

  • Update CRM data (56%)
  • Respond to proposal requests (46%)
  • Generate email (44%)
  • Organize notes (39%)

In the Salesloft State of AI in Sales, 84% say their organization uses generative AI in sales in some capacity. But we know AI has value other than generative AI for both sales and marketing tech. In the Salesloft study, 95% use AI period, particularly for taking over routine tasks. 

This is where GTM Buddy offers a strong solution. Will Kimmel, Regional Vice President (RVP) North America, and Chandramani Tiwary, Co-founder and Head of Data Science, took me through an overview of GTM Buddy's features, which include its new Ask Buddy, a guided selling solution powered by generative AI. 

Taking sales enablement to the sales rep

Kimmel said that most sales enablement solutions tackle two facets of enablement: sales training and sales content. Both are important, but they aren't the only thing:

But there are other things that enablement has to be able to do and provide sales reps in order to make those sales reps have a significant revenue impact. Things like, can they ace the competition? Do they understand the buyers really well? Do they know the internal knowledge on product? On process? On info security?

Those things are very, very important. Customer stories, right? Do reps know who your customers are and how to tell that story to the right buyer at the right time? These things are typically buried in a sales deck somewhere in this sales content category. And so reps typically don't go and dig through them, right? They don't look for this information because they don't really know where to start.

So the question is how to make it easier to find the right information at the right time without digging for it or storing local copies that get out of date. GTM Buddy stores all content a sales rep needs, just like other solutions. But it also leverages AI to connect the dots between all this information and the customer. 

Kimmel said there is a business vocabulary created that AI uses to auto-index and tag content (75-80% is automatically indexed and tagged out of the box), make recommendations, perform semantic searches, and provide contextual intelligence. But the sales rep doesn't go into GTM Buddy to get access to this information; it's brought to them in their everyday workflow:

So all of that stuff I talked about a moment ago is really nice. But if the reps don't use it, it doesn't matter. And that's what we see pretty consistently across this industry is that reps tend to struggle adopting these types of content management systems because it's usually buried again in another tab. And it's in a library of content that I don't really know what's in there. So I tend to use you know, a handful of assets over and over and over again, and that's where it stops.

GTM Buddy integrates with CRMs such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho, Outlook and Gmail email and calendars, Slack and Teams, and Outreach and Salesloft. Essentially, it opens in a sidebar-like experience in the application. For example, if you are looking at a meeting invite in your calendar, GTM Buddy will recommend content to share. It also provides a ten-minute meeting notification for the rep, showing all the information on the customer and suggesting readings to prepare for the meeting, including similar customers, competitors, product information, FAQs, and training. Too much to look at in ten minutes, but it's all there in one place to access. 

If you are in your email, you can bring up information on the customer, including any context on the deal, who you are competing against, buyer persona, demographics, products and services you're selling, and other information. And here, you can also get contextual recommendations on relevant content to add to an email, such as FAQs, PDFs, testimonials, and customer stories. If the customer asks a question in the email thread, GTM Buddy reads that and will surface potential responses you can add with a button click. 

Then there's Ask Buddy

All this contextual content and information is great. But what if you have a question not answered in the recommendations? That's where Ask Buddy comes in. Tiwary heads up the generative AI project at the company and talked about how quickly they were able to build this solution into the software (he said a couple of weeks). 

Here's what Ask Buddy does:

  • You can ask Buddy a question, and it will look across all the documentation stored in the system and generate an answer.
  • It will generate the pitch email by looking at the persona, opportunity context, industry, competition, and more. 
  • It will perform assisted selling by generating prompts for the rep on what they should do.

Tiwary said they are also building a capability where Ask Buddy will recap an opportunity, identify action items, and recommend the next best action. 

Ask Buddy does not use a public large language model. It uses OpenAI's APIs and proprietary models and works with the customer's data and content. Tiwary said they are very good at knowledge extraction and using business vocabulary to understand context. So any concerns about hallucinations or sharing customer data do not apply here. 

My take - in-context guides are necessary

There are many other capabilities in GTM Buddy that I haven't talked about that are important, and you do find in other sales enablement tools. It has a deal room, a learning management component, a library that pulls content from the locations where it's created (SharePoint, GDrive, Box, Confluence), and G2 reviews and web content. Plus, in-depth analytics show sales rep and content performance (marketers would love the content analytics).  

But what I think is most important is that it works within the context of the sales reps' daily tools. They don't have to go into GTM Buddy for their daily activities. All the information and support they need happens exactly where and when they need it. 

This empowers sales reps to work more efficiently because they don't have to spend their time digging for information. It also promotes consistency across sales reps because they have access to the same information across the board. 

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