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Artificial Intelligence in Sales: Don’t Be Taken In by False Promises
Blog / Leadership / Dec 12, 2017 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 6851 

Artificial Intelligence in Sales: Don’t Be Taken In by False Promises

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Continuing our series on artificial intelligence in sales, let’s take a further look at unrealistic promises made for artificial intelligence.

I believe that Artificial Intelligence is a major asset in dealing with the complexity of our world. For example, it is used to analyze patient data in hospitals to isolate common symptoms and predict epidemics before they spread. It brings us one step closer to protecting mankind against disease. It is used in many other practical supportive ways, such as Siri and GPS navigation systems.

But sometimes I think people are attempting to push AI as some kind of excuse, as a way to bypass the work that humans actually need to be doing, and in the process making false promises for technology.

Wild Promises for Sales

I recently ran across yet another company making wild promises for their sales AI product, that their AI could actually create “engaging conversations.” I’m sorry, but there is no algorithm that could possibly create an engaging conversation with a human being.

There is a reason unrealistic promises are so readily accepted in sales. Looking over many studies in the last few years, it can be seen that the majority of salespeople do not fulfill their quotas. That means that the majority of sales managers are hungrily seeking solutions that will assist them in achieving results with their sales teams. If you go long enough without figuring out how to obtain a result, you can become pretty desperate. Solutions that obviously sound too good to be true are snatched right up. People are grabbing “solutions” without thinking–like the one offering “real conversations.”

In sales, it’s always about 2 people making a deal. I’ve personally made 2 great deals this week, and without human interaction they never could have been successful and closed. At the end of the day it is the human interaction that is crucial.

What’s Our Purpose, Anyway?

Perhaps such promises and wishes for AI should force us to take a hard look at ourselves: what is the purpose of a human being? What is mankind’s purpose on this planet? Maybe it seems like an overly deep question, but if people are attempting to create machines that take over all of our functions as humans, what then becomes our purpose? To sit around and do nothing except be entertained and experience pleasure?

I’m not doubting AI. I’m not being like some in the German Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, who doubted that an automobile could ever replace a horse. I am certainly for technology–mine is a technology company. And we have our own AI Engine, called Voyager, within our product Pipeliner CRM.

But please folks…as I said in my last article, let’s keep it real.

These promises for AI are actually creating an economic bubble, similar to the dot-com bubble that happened right before the turn of the millenium. Even though there are technologies not actually producing results, there are nonetheless companies and people investing in them. This makes it appear that results are actually being obtained when they’re not, simply because there is activity and attention in an area.

To prevent something like this from happening, I personally vote for the use of intelligence when it comes to artificial intelligence. Let’s use AI as the tool that it truly is, at this time and place.

Pipeliner CRM, with its Voyager AI engine, precisely empowers sales teams to sell. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipelinersales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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Comments (1)

1

Silas Omugbe commented...

Great write up by Nikolaus. My stand on this is “I personally vote for the use of intelligence when it comes to artificial intelligence” and using AI as a tool that it is meant to be.

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