June 17, 2024

Corporate Nex Hub

Bringing business progress

United States – New Technology

7 min read


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With the introduction of OpenAI’s generative artificial
intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT in November 2023 came a new wave
of interest in AI tools, especially in how they can be used to
improve all aspects of business.

AI solutions are not new in businesses, having been implemented
by 35 percent of companies in 2022 and being used to automate a
variety of back-office functions within IT, HR and
accounting.1 However, with focus shifting to new tools
such as ChatGPT, GPT-4, Bing AI, Google Bard and Dall-E, generative
AI has taken center stage.

Generative AI applications train on repositories of data and use
large language models and algorithms to create content based on
trends and patterns. Not only can these tools analyze quantitative
and qualitative data, but they can also craft summaries, images,
stories and more, giving them the flexibility to be used for any
number of purposes.

Generative AI in the Sales and Marketing Function

Approximately 37 percent of all sales organizations and more
than half of high performing sales functions are already using
these tools to collect and analyze data, allowing teams to improve
efficiency and predictions.2 Generative AI brings with
it even more opportunities for a variety of sales and marketing
tasks, with some marketers predicting that it may save them at
least five hours of work per week.3 Based on our
experience in sales and marketing, here are a few ways companies
can turbocharge their sales function with generative AI:

Efficient Sales Preparation

Meeting preparation is a ubiquitous
part of all sales functions, but it often falls by the wayside
because of the time involved to complete it. Preparation, however,
is one of the most important aspects of closing a prospective deal.
It allows sales teams to understand the goals, needs and views of
clients. Generative AI can prove to be a powerful tool in this
process, summarizing information such as company and market
backgrounds in a meaningful way for more in-depth preparation in
less time. This can allow sales teams to realize higher close rates
and spend more time selling.

Personalized Outreach at Scale

Traditionally, business development
representatives (BDRs) and business development services (BDSs)
create outreach materials from standardized templates. In this
process, customization is present, but it is limited by the time
and skills of BDRs and BDSs. With generative AI, these factors are
minimized. AI can automatically create powerful custom outreaches,
such as follow-up emails, based on customer data history. Tailoring
communications to each individual client and their behaviors can
generate improved close rates, boost customer satisfaction, and
increase efficiency

Smarter Pipeline Management

Reviewing pipeline data —
information on the entire sales process and its performance —
is often a manual process. Despite the use of data, conclusions
tend to be based on “gut” or feelings and are often
influenced by individual biases. Generative AI can improve this
process, removing subjectivity. By feeding pipeline data into AI,
it can objectively evaluate all the data. Over time, it can even
learn from these datasets, improving predictions and responses.
Generative AI can also recommend next steps that should provide the
best chance of progressing deals to the next stages in their sales
funnels and customer journeys.

Content Creation

Developing content for whitepapers,
website changes and more is crucial to sales and marketing, helping
companies garner public and media attention, develop trust with
customers and grow their reputation. However, developing content
from scratch takes time and resources. Generative AI can expedite
content creation, generating large amounts of content in a very
short period of time. While it cannot be completely automated, the
process is now much faster. The content simply needs to be reviewed
for final edits, accuracy and any additional customization that is
desired. Still, generative AI flips the content creation process on
its head, eliminating the difficult step of generating the content
and expediting the content pipeline.

A/B-Z Testing

A/B testing has inherent
restrictions. The capacity and resources required for testing the
effectiveness of content are limited and make it difficult to
efficiently develop and analyze several versions of content.
Generative AI changes the equation, minimizing the resources needed
for testing with the ability to easily develop several versions of
content and to analyze each version quickly. This allows marketing
teams to test multiple variations of content at once, expanding A/B
testing to A/B-Z testing, to identify the most effective versions
out of the many possibilities. Being able to test more content at a
greater scale can identify the best communication approaches and
can lead to higher open rates than traditional A/B testing.

Deeper Segmentation

Supporting A/B testing and
personalized outreach, the power of Generative AI to analyze market
segments and develop customized approaches and content can take
segmentation to the next level. Segmentation has been limited by
the amount of effort sales and marketing teams are able and willing
to put into the process, even by leveraging other technology
solutions. The more specific the segmentation, the more work is
required. The ability to deeply personalize content at scale based
on profile analysis can improve the customer experience,
differentiating companies from their competitors, and promote an
accelerated purchase funnel.

The Growth of Generative AI

Just as technology has continued to advance, so too will
generative AI. Over time, generative AI will use company databases
for analyses and segmentation and begin to “learn” from
trends it identifies in the data. As it learns, the AI model will
be better able to choose the best responses and solutions.

While this can be useful with quantitative data, its benefits
will be even more noticeable with qualitative data. Large language
models enable generative AI to work with words and sentiments, and
not just numbers, increasing opportunities to improve efficiency,
customization and analysis for marketing and sales functions, as
well as many other parts of the business.

In an increasingly competitive marketing environment, sales and
marketing teams are turning to generative AI to offer their
customers unique experiences and increase the potential for more
sales.

Unleashing AI’s Potential: The Crawl-Walk-Run Journey

Sales and marketing play a pivotal role in shaping a
company’s AI journey. Let’s embark on the crawl-walk-run
approach, where we explore AI’s potential, cultivate its
capabilities and drive full integration for enhanced
efficiency.

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Crawl: Explore and Evaluate

This initial phase is focused on prompt engineering, a critical
aspect of AI development. Prompt engineering involves crafting
effective questions for AI models, such as A&M’s Diligence
GPT or Chat GPT, to receive specific and desired answers.
Fine-tuning responses ensures high-quality and relevant outputs,
particularly when handling inquiries and analyzing data sets. As
more content is generated and knowledge repositories expand, teams
gain deeper insights that enable them to better identify data
anomalies and enhance their analysis and research processes. With
AI’s support, portfolio companies can achieve even more
personalized and data-driven solutions, enhancing the overall sales
and marketing experience.

Walk: Cultivate and Enhance

The “walk” phase involves piloting AI projects in
low-risk areas to gather data for performance assessment. Active
participation and feedback are encouraged as sales and marketing
experts shape AI solutions that align seamlessly with the
company’s workflows. Prioritizing the enhancement of the user
interface and interactions with AI systems also ensures that AI
adoption becomes intuitive for everyone in the team. Striking the
right balance between automation and human judgment, AI empowers
organizations to focus on strategic decisions while handling
repetitive tasks efficiently. The collaborative learning
environment fosters knowledge-sharing, enabling teams to leverage
AI’s transformative potential across various sales and
marketing functions. By fostering this culture of collaboration and
continuous improvement, teams can strengthen their competitive edge
in the marketplace.

Run: Drive Integration

Once AI’s benefits are well-established with clients, we
transition towards training domain-specific AI models by utilizing
specific data sets for focused tasks. Gradually, AI technology can
be rolled out, scaling its integration into existing workflows to
achieve added efficiency in sales and marketing processes.
Regularly refining and updating AI models becomes crucial to
actively manage risks and ensure continued success. As the
“run” phase is embraced, AI becomes an integral part of
everyday work, elevating decision-making processes.

This crawl walk run approach combined with the power of the
roadmap below can provide a powerful process to start and continue
the AI journey:

1461588b.jpg

Enhance Opportunities in Sales and Marketing with AI

Applying AI to sales and marketing functions can save time,
drive smarter interactions with customers and make sales teams much
more efficient. It helps remove the subjectivity and reduces the
gap in the lead generation and sales close pipeline. AI can add
tremendous value while navigating an extremely competitive
marketing environment, providing a way for companies to provide
customer experiences that are unique and can lead to more
sales.

How Can A&M Help?

A&M’s Generative AI services for Private Equity firms
offers a tried and tested methodology for introducing and
permeating AI technology within portfolio companies with a hands-on
collaborative approach with clients. A&M provides clients with
the firm’s collective global diligence knowledge while
leveraging AI-enhanced workflows and enriched analysis to drive
efficiency across the private equity lifecycle. By utilizing these
tools in real time, our teams can help clients pose better
questions, fact check responses and evaluate next steps.

By taking the Crawl-Walk-Run approach, A&M Sales and
Marketing teams are gradually unleashing AI’s full potential.
Together, we explore, cultivate and integrate AI to enhance
decision-making, improve operational efficiency and deliver even
greater value to our PE clients. The client’s engagement,
expertise and feedback are integral to this transformative journey,
and A&M is excited to embrace the power of AI with portfolio
companies. Let’s chart a path of innovation and excellence,
where AI becomes a catalyst for success in the client’s dynamic
industry.

Footnotes

1. Artificial Intelligence Statistics & Facts For
2023 (crossrivertherapy.com)

2. The Power of AI in Sales & 5 Ways You Can Use
It (hubspot.com)

3. Generative AI can save marketing pros 5 hours per
week, according to research | ZDNET

Originally Published 2 May 2024

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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