Everyone in sales and marketing is jumping on the AI/Machine Learning bandwagon. Mistakenly, too many think of these technologies as the silver bullet that will enable us magically to increase engagement, increase our ability to connect with customers, and fill the ever widening gaps in quota and revenue attainment.
Everyday, I see dozens, if not more articles on the power of AI/Machine Learning in sales and marketing.
What is ironic, even comical, is most of the thinking is only about sales and marketing. I get the feeling these tools are the secret discovery of sales and marketing, that give us the edge on the customer.
It’s not surprising to see this. After all, sales and marketing have a propensity to be very self centered and internally focused. It’s always so difficult to put ourselves in the customers’ shoes or behind their desk to look at things from their point of view.
But just as we see great promise in leveraging AI/Machine Learning technologies to help us in engaging customers, doesn’t it stand to reason there is a great opportunity for our customers to apply and leverage AI/Machine Learning in their buying processes?
If I were a customer, one of the first applications would be to combat the overwhelming volume and outreach inflicted on us by sales and marketing. Stated differently, my AI will block your AI. Perhaps, I can “teach” the machine to only let in a select small number of communications that are meaningful and relevant to me.
Second, I would teach my AI to be insight developers–delivering unique insight about my business, my markets, my customers, my competitors, trends, issues in the markets that impact me. It could marry our internal operational performance, our strategies, our priorities, with signals from the outside world. Perhaps not giving solutions, but helping increase our awareness to opportunities and threats to our specific functions, and our business.
Third, I would simplify my web research, when I’m looking for answers. I’d expect my machine to cull, filter, interrogate, consolidate the things most impactful to me, freeing me up to focus on the things most meaningful to me.
Fourth, I would find a way to leverage AI within our buying group, to help us more effectively align our diverse priorities, goals, agendas and manage our buying process to more successful outcomes. I’d seek to extend this capability to drive greater success at internal problem solving/project success and internal effectiveness.
If I were an entrepreneur seeking to exploit the capabilities of AI/Machine Language, I wouldn’t waste my time with sales and marketing. The market is already too crowded, too fragmented. I’d focus on creating meaningful buying tools to help our customers be more successful in their own efforts? Doesn’t seem that anyone cares about our customers ability to exploit AI/Machine Learning.
Any VC’s reading this, contact me….I’ve got a notion of a business plan/solution.
Any smart data geeks/entrepreneurs interested in attacking a greenfield space, contact me, could be an interesting ride.