August 2, 2023

Why sales enablement must embrace AI

Every decade or so, a technological tidal wave sweeps through our lives, reshaping behaviors and processes. Each innovation leaves an indelible mark on both personal and professional landscapes. We’ve witnessed such transformative waves with the advent of the internet, web 2.0, and mobile technology. Today, a new wave is rising—generative AI—ushering in a revolution that promises to redefine the world of sales enablement.

What generative AI can do—and what it can’t

Even if you’re not familiar with generative AI, by now you’ve probably heard the hype around tools like ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and Midjourney. Generative AI refers to large AI models that can create new content, data, or outputs based on the patterns they’ve learned from existing data.

Generative AI is trained for confidence—not accuracy.

It is generally good at tasks requiring deep knowledge of language, broad general knowledge, and limited context. For example, translating, summarizing, and copywriting are all tasks it can perform far faster than the average human.

However, it can be confidently wrong on tasks that require factual knowledge, or complex reasoning. It should not be confused with a calculator: it is not trained for accuracy; it is trained for confidence. It is subjective, and we should be careful to apply human oversight in situations where objectivity is required.

How AI is already changing buyer expectations

For decades buyers have had information readily accessible to them online—starting with corporate websites and extending to community forums and product review publications. But the rise of generative AI technology has made it easier for buyers to understand this information. Paired together, the buying experience is changing rapidly and forcing the role of the seller to continue to evolve.

Sellers can no longer just be a source of information. They must help prospects and customers make sense of information in the context of their business and the specific challenges, which requires more time and effort on the seller’s part.

What AI will do for sales enablement

AI is most powerful when it is used to complete tasks that are hard for humans to do, but easy for humans to verify. 

Sales enablement, in particular, stands to be revolutionized by generative AI in this way. AI is making it easier for buyers to access information to inform their purchasing decisions. Yet, AI in sales enablement is also helping sellers add more value during the sales process to build buyer trust and confidence.

AI in sales enablement is helping sellers add more value during the sales process.

AI opens up possibilities for speeding up innovation in our field. Its influence extends to every facet of the sales enablement ecosystem. AI in sales enablement is:

  • Reshaping information discovery and content creation.
  • Honing the skills that help sellers deliver information in a more effective way.
  • Creating engaging experiences that build trust and authenticity with buyers.
  • Delivering the powerful insights that prepare teams to answer questions their buyers will ask.

AI in sales enablement at Showpad

At Showpad, we recognize this potential and are embedding AI throughout our product experience. We designed our innovations to augment existing capabilities that help sellers drive better conversations, relieve time-consuming administrative tasks, and empower more effective decision-making.

New AI capabilities include:

  • PitchAI: Provides sellers with real-time, actionable feedback on recorded sales pitches to improve pitch quality based on pace, silences, body language, and friendliness.
  • AI-powered search: Acts as a smart assistant that surfaces quick answers and enriches search results with relevant context and information. The feature reduces sellers’ time spent searching for the information they need to communicate with buyers more effectively.
  • AI-powered test questions: Streamlines the process of creating training materials for sellers by automatically suggesting relevant test questions for each asset, helping enablement teams quickly scale sales readiness programs.
  • AI-powered asset summaries: Automatically summarizes key learnings from a piece of content to help reps find the information and insights they need at a glance. The capability empowers sellers to deliver information to buyers in an organized and efficient way.
  • Question-based learning dashboards: Designed to provide focused answers to enablement teams’ most pertinent questions. The new dashboards help enablement leaders measure their impact more concretely and connect enablement activities to business outcomes.

The challenges and complexities of AI

As we embrace the power of AI in sales enablement, it is crucial to navigate the realities, limitations, and risks associated with this technology. Subjective decision-making, contextual understanding, biases, and governance and compliance issues demand our attention.

By leveraging technology, we enhance the value of genuine human interaction.

At Showpad, we are committed to innovating responsibly and we keep the interests of customers in mind. We prioritize transparency, control, and the user experience. We involve customers early in the development process to ensure their needs are at the forefront of our AI initiatives, and that security and compliance remain top of mind.

The next evolution of sales enablement requires a delicate balance between artificial intelligence and the human touch. Teams that embrace AI in sales enablement will gain a significant competitive advantage across industries. Our focus will shift away from raw content creation and towards training the knowledge system. Machines will communicate with other machines, while marketers, sellers, and enablement professionals can concentrate on tasks that require creativity and human ingenuity.

By leveraging technology to boost effectiveness and productivity, we enhance the value of genuine human interaction. Empathy, creativity, and human ingenuity become critical sales skills that distinguish exceptional sellers from the rest. The human touch remains a cornerstone of sales enablement, even as AI empowers us to achieve greater heights.

What’s next for AI and sales enablement?

The revolution of generative AI in sales enablement is underway.

Showpad is proud to harness its power to transform the industry. With continuous innovation, collaboration, and a keen focus on human-centricity, we are shaping a future where sellers thrive, buyers find value, and sales enablement transcends boundaries.

Together, let’s embrace the potential of AI and usher in a new era of sales enablement excellence.

To discover which AI-powered enablement solutions are right for your business, request a demo.