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The Rise of Artificial Intelligence for Revenue Teams

artificial intelligence

In the business world, artificial intelligence is good at making slow things fast.

But what if you’re doing something that needs to happen slowly?

For large, complex deals, not everything can move at the speed of AI. There are some parts of the journey that have to happen at “true human speed”, because these deals are not just about logic. They are about the development and progression of buyer emotion, as the buyer journeys from skepticism to comfort – or even excitement – about the idea of a large change. The best sellers curate this emotional journey with human nuance and empathy, in an ethically responsible way. So far, we haven’t built an AI that can do this “like a person”.

There are so many tasks in sales that can and should be dominated by AI. Getting data into systems, combing through it for insights, monitoring email threads, observing user clicks on web pages for clues – these are all things that AI does today for people in sales. In doing so, AI can free up the bandwidth of the most powerful asset a sales team has – the human mind that can read and relate to the emotional states of the humans making the buying decisions.

I had dinner with some Finnish AI scientists last year after attending a session in Los Angeles about the role of AI in society. They pointed out that the best Chess AI is better at chess than humans. Soon, the best Truck Driving AI may be better at truck driving than humans. But the Chess AI doesn’t know what a truck is. The Truck Driving AI has no concept of chess. Today’s AIs are very specialized. There’s a hot debate about whether we should program them to step outside of their specialty and teach themselves about the broader world, but for now, we don’t.

In contrast to our specialist AIs, today’s sellers need to be smart, adaptive generalists.  They need to adapt to their buyers with empathy, ethics, and a sense of real-world context. They may love and rely on their AI tools too, but if the deal is like a plane, those AI tools haven’t earned their way into the pilot’s seat yet. The plane still needs its human pilot. And on our most complex deals, the smart buyer still appreciates a human guide to help them through the journey at true human speed.

Customer Revenue Optimization (CRO) is the convergence of technology (applications, AI, & data) and human processes (strategy & methodology) to build successful revenue teams. With a commitment to CRO, you can enable every customer interaction to drive lasting value. We’re not talking about simply selling products and services, this is a next-level understanding of your customers business and what they need to be successful with their customers. AI and technology alone can’t do this – true revenue success has a healthy dose of the human element.

About The Author

Eric Fraser
Eric Fraser
Eric started his software career as a developer at Accenture in Melbourne, Australia. He worked as an SAP Implementation Consultant in Australia before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area where he lived for 10 years and worked at Siebel, PeopleSoft and Kronos. He joined ServiceMax, a Salesforce Partner, and moved to Tokyo to help them establish their Japanese business, before joining Altify in San Jose. He has developed a focus in CRM and CRM-adjacent systems and has been trained in several of the major sales methodologies. The role of A.I. in society and business is one of his areas of personal interest and study.
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