The Guide to Generative AI for Sales Operations

7 min. read

From the beginning, sales operations were intertwined with technology. Indeed, it was in the 1970s, at Xerox — then a top-notch and innovative company — that the idea of sales ops first emerged. What if, instead of relying only on flair, we used data?

CRMs are the natural result of such logic of "industrialization" of leads, far from the pieces of paper containing the all-important phone numbers of prospects salesmen were fighting for, like in Glengarry Glen Ross. But they aren't the end of the story. New technologies are always reshaping the way we sell, with data at its core — now more than ever.

That's why Generative AI (GenAI) is quickly becoming so important for sales operations, reshaping the sales landscape, enabling businesses to automate routine tasks, gain deeper insights into customer behavior, and optimize sales and marketing strategies.

This comprehensive guide explores the ways GenAI can be integrated into various aspects of sales operations, offering a blueprint for businesses aiming to get their sales machine optimized with the latest trends.

Sales Processes

Any tedious task deserves automation. GenAI takes this concept to the next level, with tools capable of automating tasks beyond what you could have imagined.

Automated Data Entry and Sales Process Automation are notable for ensuring CRM systems remain current with the latest customer interactions and that sales stages are managed efficiently without constant human supervision.

Zapier is the top choice for automated data entry, offering nearly limitless possibilities.

  • The free plan allows for a two-step zap limit, while the Starter plan at $29/month offers more capabilities. However, be aware that the price may increase based on usage: after 750 "tasks" (or zap executions) and up to 1,500 per month, the Starter plan increases to $55/month.

Salesforce has heavily invested in AI, even before the advent of ChatGPT, making Einstein a fundamental element of their sales process management.

  • AI feature plans begin at $330/user/month.

Virtual Sales Assistants are transforming how sales representatives manage their daily tasks by scheduling meetings, setting reminders, and drafting preliminary emails, enabling sales professionals to concentrate more on closing deals rather than on administrative tasks. In a similar vein, AI-Powered Sales Coaching customizes training programs to the performance metrics and learning speeds of individual sales reps, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and skill enhancement.

Gong serves as a virtual sales assistant, utilizing all available data from a broad set of business tools and AI to provide insights into leads and deals.

  • Pricing is provided upon request. There is no self-service plan.

Innovations like Speech Analytics and Real-time Assistance During Sales Calls offer immediate feedback and guidance to sales reps, improving customer interactions. These tools analyze sales calls in real time, providing suggestions on sales techniques and customer engagement strategies to enhance call outcomes. Contract Analysis further accelerates the sales cycle by reviewing terms and conditions, identifying potential issues, and ensuring compliance, thereby speeding up the deal closure process.

Drift offers a conversational AI capable of interpreting and responding in a human-like manner to prospects' inquiries, going beyond traditional chatbots that rely solely on decision trees.

  • Plans begin at $2,500/month for the small business package. Quotes for plans with AI features are provided upon request.

Conversica is another example of using AI to refine lead engagement and interaction.

  • Pricing starts at $2,999/month.

Customer Interactions and Insights

GenAI's ability to analyze vast amounts of data provides unprecedented insights into customer behaviors and preferences.

Customer Segmentation and Predictive Analytics enable sales teams to more accurately identify leads with the highest conversion potential than ever before. This targeted approach ensures that efforts are focused on the prospects most likely to generate revenue.

Blobr connects to all your SaaS tools to extract the right data and respond to various requests, from customer segmentation to revenue forecasts.

  • Free for up to 25 questions, plans start at $49/month for 100 questions with unlimited seats and integrations.

The strength of Personalized Recommendations and Automated Upselling and Cross-selling is in their ability to customize offers to individual customer preferences, significantly increasing the chances of sale closure. These strategies are supported by sophisticated AI algorithms that analyze past purchasing behaviors to recommend products or services most relevant to the customer.

Dynamic Yield assists in creating personalized customer experiences on websites and in better engaging, retaining, and optimizing upselling and cross-selling. This solution is primarily aimed at eCommerce profiles.

  • Public pricing is not available.

Chatbots for Customer Service and Real-time Assistance During Sales Calls revolutionize customer service by providing instant support. Chatbots can address a wide range of inquiries, allowing human customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues. This not only enhances efficiency but also ensures that customers receive the assistance they need without undue delays.

Ideta offers AI chatbots and call bots designed to streamline customer service and improve the customer experience.

  • A free plan is available for up to 100 conversations; the plan that includes AI features powered by OpenAI starts at $29/month for 500 conversations.

Customer Relationships and Retention

The ability of GenAI to enhance customer profiles through Customer Data Enrichment and analyze interaction data for Customer Retention Analysis offers a comprehensive view of the customer journey.

Clearbit aggregates billions of data points from companies to give you an idea of who’s visiting your website. It can also provide a detailed picture of the customer journey on your website, based on the visitor's company origin.

  • Pricing is available upon request and not public.

LeadGenius aids in optimizing the sales funnel and finding data-backed prospects. It serves as a useful complement to Clearbit. Use the former to identify companies of interest and the latter for the prospects.

  • Public pricing is not available.

Identifying at-risk customers before they churn and understanding key touchpoints through Customer Journey Mapping is crucial for devising strategies to improve loyalty and retention.

Blobr assists in identifying such trends across your business tools to detect patterns in customers at risk of churning.

Customer Onboarding and Automated Customer Service initiatives, powered by GenAI, ensure a smooth and personalized experience for new customers, laying the groundwork for long-term engagement and satisfaction. Automating the onboarding process and providing personalized content and guidance help make a lasting positive first impression.

Userpilot offers a comprehensive set of tools to improve user onboarding and reduce time-to-value, complete with analytics on user engagement.

  • Starts at $249/month.

Performance Analytics and ROI Analysis of Sales Activities enable businesses to continually refine their sales strategies based on data-driven insights. Analyzing the effectiveness of various sales activities and channels allows companies to allocate their resources more efficiently, investing in the most impactful areas.

Again, Blobr reconciles data from the CRM and revenue to provide a clear picture of your ROI and performance.

If this toolkit seems at first quite extensive (and expensive), you won’t need them all to turn your Sales ops into a full-fledged AI war machine. Pick the ones you need, and take advantage of the free features offered by some of them (like Clearbit’s weekly newsletter). Just keep in mind that data is now the most powerful lever you have to grow your sales. Meaning that understanding it, and connecting the dots is now what matters. This is where lies the foundation of an AI strategy for sales operations: asking the right questions, and getting complete answers on how to act, and who will be the next prospect you’ll target.

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