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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 InsideSales.com 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.

Fortune 500 company uses artificia intelligence to boost revenue

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.”

what leaders report are their biggest challenges - top sales challenges 2018 research statistics download