Why Human Skills Are Essential to Boost Sales in an AI World
5 Human Skills That AI Cannot Replicate
We’re entering a world in which artificial intelligence (AI) promises to do things better than we can as humans today. Many people are fearful for their futures – jobs replaced by robots. However, there are some skills that AI and machine learning are incapable of replicating – especially in sales.
AI Can Launch Sales on a New Trajectory
AI is already being used by marketers to help drive sales. AI is helping to analyze product pages and online shopping carts to determine how wording and page design determines buyers’ choices. It is being used to help select the best times of day to contact potential customers, and optimize landing pages to improve conversions.
All these applications of AI are online. It is being used to improve technological selling routines and methods. And sales numbers can explode when AI is used in this way. But sales is, essentially, an interactive process. People buy from people they trust and from companies they believe in.
Human Skills That Interact with AI to Boost Sales
Here are a few of the key skills that salespeople possess and that are not only needed to sell, but that are essential to ensuring that AI improves sales numbers in the way it promises.
1. Recognizing the Data That Needs to Be Analyzed
While AI can analyze data at breath-taking speed, it needs to know which data to analyze to produce meaningful results. It doesn’t know that customers have moved away or passed away. We must ensure that AI analyzes the right data, and the right quality of data and quantity of data is analyzed. This is still a human function.
2. Qualitative Vs Quantitative
AI can crunch amounts of data that the human brain could never cope with in the same amount of time. This data is quantitative. AI can help you understand how customers travel along their individual customer journeys. What it cannot do is understand your customers’ motivations, how their experiences determine their buying decisions, and what emotions they go through as they move from lead to customer to repeat customer. As yet, only humans can analyze human feelings.
AI cannot replicate the human connection between seller and buyer. It can produce invaluable projections of likely behavior, but it cannot reproduce the rapport a salesperson builds with their customers. It cannot act with empathy and cannot take on the values of accountability. Salespeople communicate at different levels daily – with CEOs, customers, colleagues, product designers, and so on. They use a range of soft skills that AI cannot impersonate.
4. Content Creation
Content marketing is used by most companies today. It costs far less than other types of marketing, and is a medium that is always available – one piece of content can generate leads 24/7, 365 days each year, and year after year.
While AI can be used to aid content marketing – for example, by delivering personalized adverts on social media accounts – it cannot write the engaging content needed to spike interest and convert visitors. If you produce content only for content’s sake, it won’t engage and sell, no matter how AI helps to market it.
5. AI Is Limited in Its Scope
AI is only a small piece of any organization’s business strategy. It is limited in the scope of what it does. Data scientists and data analysts use their skills to interrogate the information that AI analyzes, to determine trends and feed this into organizational strategy. AI is a piece of the puzzle, not the whole puzzle.
AI is here and is here to stay. As a tool, it will help organizations and their sales teams to make better strategic decisions. But it cannot replicate the human skills that are essential to building long-lasting relationships that drive businesses forward. It cannot evolve its behavior to act with empathy toward customers, nor to ‘speak’ differently with different sets of people.
Sales teams that win in the world of AI will be those that embrace AI as a tool to improve their decision-making, while maintaining the soft skills needed to connect with other humans and build trusting relationships.
Contact us today, and discover how embracing AI and maintaining human skillsets will help unlock the potential of your sales teams.