Imagine the following scenario. It’s Monday morning. You wake up to an alarm. It’s been set automatically and synchronized to your work schedule for the day. As you partake in your hygiene regimen, your key nutritional KPIs (such as hydration, body mass, and haemoglobin levels) are calibrated for you. You strap yourself into your car but there’s no need to steer. It “knows” where you need to go. And, on account of the technology embedded in the roads, real-time travel information, and the like, the roads are clear of congestion. Everything is connected and is programmed to operate at peak efficiency. Upon arriving at work, all the mundane prospecting and outreach activities have been performed for you. You are poised to focus on decision making and relationship building and can spend more time on your sales and marketing strategy.
The hurdle of turning the above scenario into a reality seemed unsurmountable a handful of years ago. But, thanks to the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, it’s an imminent reality. While we tend to associate AI with fictional movies – with Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Minority Report, and the like – the concepts and gadgets introduced are quickly becoming the ‘new normal’. We’ve already started to leverage AI to automate mundane tasks, including home delivery (e.g., Instacart), navigation (e.g., Google Maps), transportation (e.g, Uber), digital music selection (e.g., Spotify), and more.
Regardless of application, the real power of AI lies in its “contextual awareness,” namely its ability to sense and respond to current context. The potential of AI is especially exciting in the context of sales and marketing. AI is already helping sales and marketers automate mundane and tedious tasks and streamline day-to-day activities. AI technologies, such as Node, are so advanced that they can pinpoint the most lucrative entry points into potential customers and can even recommend conversation openers. The sky is the limit in terms of the breadth of questions that it can answer. How do I get access to the right buyers at target companies? What is my ideal customer persona? How do I optimize my sales and marketing team performance? Leveraging AI, machine learning, and natural language processing, Node empowers sales and marketers by allowing them to personalize marketing strategies to suit the tastes of individual clients.
Yet despite the enormous promise of AI, the reality is such that sales and marketing interactions are deeply personal. While many believe that AI has the potential to render human intelligence obsolete, this is far from the truth. Quite the opposite, AI advancements will only underscore the importance of human intelligence. By liberating sales and marketing teams from tedious work (such as manual CRM entry or scouring social media sites to find introductions into accounts), AI allows them to focus on what really matters – developing strong relations with customers. Applying AI to sales and marketing processes fosters more human interaction, not less.
It’s inevitable that the winners of tomorrow will need to use AI technology to improve sales and marketing efforts. But, at the end of the day, they will still need to know how to relate to and interact with other human beings. The most effective teams will learn how to leverage the best of both AI and human intelligence to build a revenue strategy that will improve client engagement, increase conversion, and drive positive ROI.
In an attempt to marry the powers of AI and human intelligence, Node has partnered with Chris Voss, formerly a lead hostage negotiator for the FBI and the author of Never Split the Difference. Voss’ vast experience in negotiations with the world’s toughest criminals has equipped him with a deep understanding of the most effective negotiation tactics. The potential of bringing this know-how into the business arena is enormous. Based on Voss’ experience, teams who have combined AI with human-based emotional intelligence techniques are able to quadruple their sales rates. In 2018, Node, in collaboration with Voss, is launching an event series that will teach participants how to unite AI with Voss’ human intelligence-driven tactics to close sales deals. Sessions will be dedicated to advanced negotiating techniques, scenario planning, and more.
Advancements in AI technologies and capabilities will inevitably impact the ways in which sales and marketing teams operate. Businesses will need to adapt and embrace a radically new approach to sales and marketing. It will not be business as usual. Developing a well-crafted strategy that marries AI and human intelligence will be critical. Just as in the case of hostage negotiations, doing can mean the difference between survival and demise.