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    4 Ways AI-Produced Content Will Change the Complex B2B Sales Game Forever (and 3 Ways it Won’t)

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    Technology has been changing the sales game at a rapidly increasing pace for decades. And now, new Artificial Intelligence (AI) content tools are threatening to upend it entirely.

    The concept of AI is not new to the sales industry, but next generation tools like ChatGPT and its siblings and children are. These tools are capable of spitting out content that is often quite difficult to distinguish from human-generated content, and can do so almost instantaneously.

    New AI content tools seem to emerge daily, filling new niches and improving the quality and precision of results. But how much will all of this actually change the complex B2B sales game? Here’s my take.

    Four Ways AI Content Production Will Change the Complex B2B Game

    Complex B2B sales requires a greater level of professionalism and human touch than high volume sales. The speed and efficiency of AI generated content can be useful in some applications, but the results are often generic and bland, making it a poor choice for many uses in complex B2B sales. However, that doesn’t mean the industry won’t be impacted.

    1. Spam will increase, making it even harder to cut through noise
      As more and more sales teams adopt rapid-production content tools enabled by AI, buyers will experience more and more spam. Inboxes will fill up, messaging apps will fill up, phone voice mails will fill up. This is already a problem for salespeople, who struggle to reach a human who isn’t already over-saturated with sales messages, but the rate of saturation is going to increase exponentially.
    2. Factual errors will proliferate
      I tried how ChatGPT would perform in researching my own company, Membrain. The result highlighted a major (unsurprising) problem: it can only deliver information based on the information and methods it has been trained on. The results of my AI-driven “research” were factually incorrect on several major points and contained otherwise bland information. As AI-generated content becomes more common in sales and marketing, any errors that already exist will be amplified by their repetition via bots. This is going to make it even harder for customers to find useful information to solve their problems.
    3. Expertise will become more valuable
      As a corollary to points #1 and #2, buyers will value expertise more highly and seek it out. They will gather around communities of trusted experts to help them discern what matters. For complex B2B sales, this means that it will be more important than ever that your salespeople be capable of valuable conversations, bringing genuine expertise and care for the customer’s needs. It also matters that your brand and leaders develop communities of trust around the problems you solve.
    4. Differentiation will matter more than ever
      Differentiation has always been a critical key to excelling in sales. With so much AI-generated content and sales messages, and buyers becoming even more weary of generic sales messages, it’s going to be even more important that your sales messaging focuses tightly on the things that matter to your buyers and that they can’t find anywhere else.

    Three Ways that Complex B2B Sales Will Remain the Same

    Change is coming, but some things will never change, not even with AI.

    1. Mindset matters
      If your salespeople are focused on the sale rather than on the customer, they will never break through the AI-generated static. This mindset has always been key to success in sales, and that will never change.
    2. Community matters
      The most successful brands have always been those that can build an enthusiastic community around their message and offerings. With AI taking over so much, buyers in complex B2B sales will rely on these communities more, not less. And this is unlikely to ever change.
    3. HOW you sell matters
      Your sales process has always been a key tool in ensuring that you can execute on strategy. From the buyer’s perspective, a well-executed “how you sell” makes the difference between you and dozens of competitors. With AI in the picture, the number of competitors - real and fake - will proliferate, making how you sell more important, not less.

    How to Use AI-Generated Content in Complex B2B Sales

    Many major sales technologies are already incorporating AI content tools into their packages. Some of these tools may be useful, if they’re aligned with your strategy and process. But they also have the potential to lead you down a path to multiply your problems instead of solving them.

    Here’s how to use AI-generated content effectively on your sales team.

    For inspiration–checked by legitimate experts

    I saw a tool advertised for attorneys that claims it can draft legal documents. My first thought was that it was a terrible idea, given the number of errors I’d seen in my “research.”. But then I saw an attorney talking about how they used it to generate outlines and bulk content, which they then reviewed with their own expert eye to edit into a useful condition.

    Using AI - be careful so you don’t end up sounding like everyone else.

    We do something similar in our marketing department at Membrain, where we use AI to generate summaries of podcasts and other content, and then our internal experts review the summary to ensure it’s accurate and reflects our voice and messaging. Likewise, salespeople can use AI-generated content to help them craft communications, as long as they are also bringing the expertise to ensure the resulting content is accurate and aligned with our messaging.

    For citing sources

    It’s easy to remember data and not remember where you found it. Or to want research to back up a point. Finding these sources can be laborious and time-consuming for a human. But AI doesn’t mind, and can do it almost instantaneously.

    We’ve used AI generation tools to perform research on companies we want to pursue, as well as important topics we want to write about. We then review the sources cited to ensure they’re valid and reflect the type of data and information we can trust and want to expand on.

    Once again, in order to be effective, this use must be backed up by human expertise, to avoid proliferating bad information and poor resources.

    Train it on a relevant data set

    Finally, it’s important to ensure that the AI you’re using has been trained on a relevant data set. The quality of AI content will always depend on the quality of the data and content it has trained on.

    If your AI was trained on a mass of random information, such as the entire Internet, it will bring all of the biases, misinformation, and other issues it finds into the content it produces for you. Developing AI tools that are trained specifically on relevant data sets is going to substantially improve its ability to assist, and I expect to see more niche AI offerings emerge along these lines.

    In the meantime, be aware and wary of the data that your AI is mining from, and ensure that you are always double checking its work with an expert eye.

    I’m curious whether your teams are using any AI tools for content generation? How are you using them and how is it going?

    George Brontén
    Published February 15, 2023
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn