Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly seen as a solution for sales leaders’ biggest challenge– building high quality pipeline and increasing lead quantity. However, AI is still not widely accessible in the work space to sales professionals, shows XANT study of 500 sales executives.
The Sales Process is Becoming Increasingly Complex
The sales process is constantly changing and the B2B sales world is also getting increasingly complex, showed the study created by InsideSales Labs in association with Sandler Training. Multiple decision makers must be guided through the buying journey at their own pace – making the sales process extremely difficult to navigate.
In the survey, we asked leaders to tell us what part of the sales process had the biggest challenges. The top three process related challenges were:
- Lead quantity and quality (25.9% listed this as a top challenge)
- Prospecting (20.5% listed this as a top challenge)
- Pipeline management & forecasting (18.6% listed this as a top challenge)
Regardless of their role — sales rep or sales manager — every person we polled in our survey agreed on one thing. That lead quality and quantity are a challenge.
It is the number one challenge for reps, number two for managers, and number three for leaders.
Artificial Intelligence Not Accessible Enough for Sales Leaders
Adding a suite of tools powered by machine learning seems to be gaining traction in the sales space. However, when asked if leaders feel AI can help solve their top challenges, most leaders were unsure. The biggest number of leaders (38.3%) reported they were unsure about the benefits of AI in sales.
When asked what was stopping them from using AI, the highest percentage of leaders (36.2%) said they did not have access to it, while a large number also stated that they do not understand it.
It seems that bigger companies think AI is more beneficial than smaller companies. Over half (52.7% of companies) over 250 million in revenue said they thought AI was useful. Only 36.0% said it was in smaller companies – a difference of 46.4%.
Sales Leadership Top Challenges in 2018
Sales leadership is becoming increasingly difficult, according to our poll. The average sales leader is in his role for 5.7 years, a decrease of 17% compared to their previous roles.
This decreasing trend shows a stringent need for intelligent sales software solutions. We need to use technology to increase the scalability of sales processes and optimize it, rather than just increase headcount. That’s just not going to work anymore.
To learn what sales leaders are doing today to deal with their top sales challenges, download the executive summary of the study: “Sales Leadership Top Challenges in 2018.”