Today’s post is by Stu Heinecke, the best-selling author of How to Get a Meeting with Anyone and host of Contact Marketing Radio. He is also the co-creator of NASP’s “The Power of Contact Marketing” training program, a Wall Street Journal cartoonist, hall of fame-nominated marketer, and founder of Contact – a first-of-its-kind contact marketing agency dedicated to helping sales teams connect with their most important prospects and assigned accounts.
Ask just about any sales expert today what the future holds for those of us engaged in selling, and the answer will be some combination of, “The outside sales rep is going the way of the dinosaurs,” and, “Automation will take over much of what sales reps do today.”
SpaceX/Tesla/SolarCity founder and futurist Elon Musk’s recent comments don’t give us much comfort, either. He says artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually replace us all, and we’ll all be on government support.
Pretty dire stuff. But is that really what AI portends for our future? Actually, no.
AI is already here, already a part of the sales function. And it’s here to make our jobs easier and us far more effective. Salesforce is injecting AI into its platform to help sales teams identify their best opportunities and best timing for new sales. Conversica provides an automated sales assistant that uses deep learning to automate follow-up and identify hot leads. And x.ai has given us “Amy,” the AI assistant that sets up meetings.
I’m one of the lucky ones who’ve had the opportunity to “work” with Amy over the past year. And the experience has been quite positive. The process of setting up meetings is tedious – we all know that. But the art of setting up a meeting is also quite delicate. Amy handles all of it with the poise and professionalism of an experienced, $100K-a-year executive assistant. After a while, it’s hard to even think of Amy (or Andrew, if you prefer) as an app, because the experience feels more like having a relationship than using a machine.
In the interview below, I spoke with x.ai founder Dennis Mortenson on the occasion of the launch of their professional edition of Amy. If you’re worried about what the future holds for the sales profession, let Dennis – and Amy – set your mind at ease. AI is here, and it needs to be part of your toolset now.