Sales enablement

AI in Sales and Pre-Sales: Unlocking Opportunities and Overcoming Challenges

The CloudShare Team

Sep 05, 2023 - 4 min read
AI in Sales and Pre-Sales: Unlocking Opportunities and Overcoming Challenges

Artificial intelligence is transforming sales, training, and customer success alike. AI sales automation is not only unlocking new opportunities for sales teams, but also freeing them up to focus on making better pitches and closing bigger deals. But as is the case with any new technology, there’s no shortage of misinformation and hype.

That’s why it’s critical to understand how to use AI in the sales and pre-sales process. In case you missed it, this is a topic we’ve touched on in the past, when we discussed some of the ways sales teams can use ChatGPT to improve conversions.

We’d recommend checking out that blog post when you get the chance — in the meantime, let’s dive right into a few more ways artificial intelligence can get your SaaS company one step closer to sales enablement success.

Automate Your Market Research

If there’s one thing that artificial intelligence truly excels at, it’s organizing and analyzing data. Modern algorithms are capable of parsing a positively staggering volume of information, finding insights and patterns with a level of speed and efficiency that would be impossible for flesh-and-blood humans. As you may have already guessed, this ranks AI among the most powerful and versatile presales tools for one simple reason — market research.

With artificial intelligence, your team can gain a big-picture view of each product’s competitive landscape, with details including:

  • Feature gaps.
  • Reviews and testimonials
  • User sentiment.
  • Marketing and advertising materials.
  • Technological differences.
  • Case studies and white papers.
  • The specific needs each vendor meets (and which needs each one may fail to meet).

You can also leverage AI to generate in-depth market reports that analyze customer needs and pain points alongside current market trends, making it far easier for you to both create and evaluate a long-term roadmap for your company.

Personalize the Customer Experience

Artificial intelligence can also be used to great effect when it comes to personalization. Modern tools like Salesmachine allow you to generate custom-tailored demo environments based on a customer’s needs, preferences and pain points. That’s far from the only way you can deepen personalization by integrating AI tools into the sales process, either.

Other possibilities include:

  • Customized pricing recommendations.
  • More personalized marketing collateral.
  • Enhanced ad targeting.
  • Automated customer feedback and support.
  • Proactively addressing objections and concerns.

Make Meetings Easier

There’s a lot of busywork that goes into the sales process. In few places is this more evident than during pre-sales meetings. Your team members may have to schedule multiple appointments with prospective clients. That not only requires both parties to coordinate their schedules, but also that they plan for each meeting in advance to ensure they’re as productive as possible.

AI streamlines this process in a multitude of ways:

  • Automatically comparing calendars and schedules, then suggesting meeting times when both parties are free.
  • Pre-generating an agenda for sales meetings with talking points, questions, and concerns.
  • Providing salespeople with a list of recommended questions to help them better guide the conversation.
  • Sending out reminders and notifications prior to the meeting.
  • Creating the session/room in which the meeting will take place.

Basically, it allows you to automate all the manual work involved in coordination and configuration, and leaves your salespeople free to focus on what really matters — the customer and their needs.

The Latest AI-Powered Sales Tools

Curious what tools your company can bake into its sales processes and strategies? Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most popular ones.

  • Quantified (Sales Training). This innovative sales simulation tool arms your sales representatives with an AI-driven virtual environment that replicates all the scenarios they’re likely to encounter in their day-to-day, allowing them to effectively “learn by doing.”
  • Gong (Sales Enablement). Gong provides an intelligent all-in-one platform that both captures and assesses customer interactions, providing your sales team with powerful insights to guide strategic decision-making, improve productivity, and ultimately close more deals.
  • Smarter Sales (CRM). Smarter Sales wraps artificial intelligence into customer relationship management to offer a consolidated platform which both streamlines sales call data management and helps optimize sales performance.
  • Business AI (Reporting & Analytics). A full suite of sales- and marketing-focused AI and GPT-powered tools, the Business AI platform uses analytics to provide data-driven content and strategy recommendations. It also enables deeper personalization for customers.
  • SalesWhale (Customer Support). SalesWhale arms your business with a powerful and sophisticated chatbot developed specifically with customer inquiries and interaction in mind.

Get Smarter With Your Sales Processes

We’re told that AI is going to take our jobs, that machines are going to render humans obsolete, or that tools like ChatGPT are a silver arrow for every problem a business might possibly face. Hopefully by now, you recognize statements like these as empty fear and hype.

While artificial intelligence is no doubt powerful and disruptive on a level that hasn’t been seen since the advent of cloud computing, it is by no means a miracle technology. If you use it effectively, you can empower not only sales and pre-sales, but also training, content generation, and customer success. But you need to understand both what it can do and what it cannot. More importantly, you need to consider how you’ll integrate the technology into your existing sales enablement stack. Done right — you’ll have a massive edge over your competitors. Done wrong — and you might find that there’s little difference between modern AI and old-school chatbots.