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The Power of GenAI to Transform B2B Sales

The rapid pace of advancement in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies over the past decade has been astonishing.

From beating humans at complex strategy games like Go to churning out remarkably human-like conversational text, AI abilities are approaching a stage where machine cognition looks increasingly comparable to our own.

Generative AI Takes Center Stage

Generative AI (GenAI) represents the leading edge of this advance, with models like DALL-E for image generation and GPT for natural language tasks exhibiting creativity, insight, and judgment conspicuously reminiscent of human practitioner competencies.

GenAI offers transformational potential across industries, but few stand to benefit more profoundly than B2B sales teams aiming to improve productivity, gain insights, and boost revenue growth.

As a B2B management consultant focused on business technology strategy, I’ve been closely tracking GenAI's capabilities as they relate to enhancing enterprise performance.

A new in-depth market study from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) provides compelling evidence that GenAI will bring exponential value to B2B sales organizations in three key areas:

Augmenting Sales Team Capabilities

The most immediate opportunity is to use GenAI to augment human sales reps by automating tedious administrative tasks. As the report shows, off-the-shelf GenAI assistants integrated into CRM platforms can readily:

  • Generate call summaries, freeing up time for customer-facing interactions.
  • Prepare insightful briefings to support customer conversations.
  • Maintain meticulous CRM data hygiene to keep records current.

With GenAI seller personas handling time-consuming sales support work, human sales reps gain back hours every week for high-value selling interactions. Boosting productivity directly correlates with increased deal flow, larger contract sizes, and greater commission earnings.

Contrary to fears that AI will replace jobs, GenAI aims to empower B2B sales employees. BCG found that 66 percent of sales reps believe GenAI will make them more productive.

Moreover, savvy B2B sellers who embrace rather than resist upskilling and retooling to utilize GenAI will propel their careers to new heights.

Streamlining Workflows

Within a year or two, I anticipate that GenAI adoption will shift from augmenting sales reps to transforming routine workflows across sales teams.

By reimagining processes that touch multiple systems, groups, and customer touchpoints, GenAI can execute intricate workflows from end-to-end far faster and more accurately than cobbling together disparate solutions.

Workflow innovations BCG identified as holding great promise include:

  • Dramatically expediting lengthy configure-price-quote processes to get deals done quicker.
  • Qualifying leads instantly at scale to route hot prospects to closers rapidly.
  • Responding to complex RFPs comprehensively to drive more and better bids.

As one pioneering BCG client experienced, reinventing B2B sales workflows can increase RFP response volume by 60 percent without growing the bid team.

Bold and brave reengineering with GenAI boosts revenue markedly while keeping staffing lean. Adopting this key change can create an immediate and sustainable competitive advantage.

Scaling Impact Enterprise-Wide  

Looking five years out, BCG foresees GenAI permeating the marketing-sales-service lifecycle. GenAI personas engage customers conversationally at each touchpoint, seamlessly progress opportunities, anticipate needs, and promote loyalty.  

Sophisticated models like Anthropic’s Claude draw on massive datasets covering company products, previous interactions across channels, market events, CRM records, and more to deliver eerily insightful dialogue.

They enable responding contextually to customers in-the-moment in highly individualized ways no manual approach can match.

With infinitely scalable GenAI handling messaging, outreach, and Relationship Intelligence across the enterprise, human employees focus squarely on high-level strategy, creative messaging, and building meaningful customer experience (CX) connections.   

Embrace Exponential Change or Face Irrelevance

The rapid pace of GenAI's progress demands equally dynamic adaptation from B2B sales leadership and their frontline organizations. 

With capabilities advancing exponentially year after year, companies that hesitate and implement gradually risk being left hopelessly behind.  

Sales leaders must radically rethink outdated assumptions, processes, and structures in their go-to-market (GTM) strategies.

Building separate GenAI functions rather than integrating artificial intelligence throughout sales workflow risks walling off the transformative power of these tools.  

Likewise, failing to develop sophisticated in-house GenAI platforms tailored to company offerings and linked to enterprise data risks ceding strategic advantage to more technologically adept competitors.  

Resisting moves like deploying GenAI personas as core B2B sales team members due to fear of the unknown could severely handicap revenue growth.

In short, B2B marketing and sales must wholeheartedly embrace emerging GenAI capabilities as an integral part of competitive strategy and revenue operations (RevOps).

Enterprise sales leaders who delay risk irrelevance. In contrast, fearless pioneers who harness GenAI's exponential power stand to dominate markets.

I believe the time for timid half-measures is over - the GenAI-empowered sales revolution has begun.  Are you prepared to join this transformation?

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