Artificial Intelligence Ready or Not? Sales Executives Are

For many years, artificial intelligence has been grounded in science fiction, academic projects and invariably rendered an ever-receding destination society was consistently “five years away from.” While our current reality doesn’t reflect the stereotypical dystopian Hollywood narrative rooted in robots, what it does indicate is that AI has in fact successfully made its way into the workforce, with sales at the forefront of this wave.

A new study from XANT breaks down both consumers’ and sales executives use of AI their daily lives and workplace, showcasing new insights into perceptions of and predictions for the technology. What the data reveals is a stark AI divide emerging between those that use it primarily at work on a daily basis, versus those who primarily use it for non-business reasons.

 The AI Pioneers: Sales Executives

One of AI’s first forays into the business world is to make the sales process more efficient. Yes, you heard it, right from sales prospecting to closing deals automatically, AI’s capacity to anticipate complex human needs has brought about an absolute transformation to the industry. Not only has it shown great results for sales teams with regard to moving toward smarter, more targeted sales strategies, this automation has allowed for greater pipeline expansion and forecasting based on stages or predictive analysis. At InsideSales, we’re proud to have been leading the charge on AI-fueled sales acceleration technologies right out of the gate.

In the sales acceleration space, the narrative is no longer centered around “the promise of AI,” and the question is no longer “Where is this new technology headed?” Rather, the conversation has shifted to reflect the fact that AI is no longer an incorporeal abstract idea, it’s the reality and sales executives have embraced this new dynamic with open arms.

When it comes down to trust, the research revealed that 91 percent of sales executives were able to identify an example of AI they trusted, compared to 58 percent of consumers. This disparity is likely due to a combination of simple exposure and the ability to see firsthand the inherent benefits of AI.

Myth-Busting: Robot Job Takeover

We’ve heard the 21st century myth time and time again: We’re headed for a robot job takeover. However, the outlook of sales executives contrasts with that of mainstream media.

According to the sales executives surveyed, only 21 percent believe AI will decrease job opportunities and almost half believe that AI will create additional opportunities in their field.

While the views of sales executives contrast with those of consumers at this point in AI’s progression, a large part of the trust divide comes down to exposure and usability. To the extent that consumers come to recognize the ubiquity of seamlessly applied AI in their lives, we expect to see those numbers achieve a better state of alignment. Until then, we’re excited to be on the leading edge of an industry comprised of business leaders eager to apply the kinds of tools we are developing.

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