Accelerating Sales with AI: Transforming the Sales Process

11 Jun 24

Selling in today’s commercial environment is tough. Deal sizes are down, velocity has slowed, and seller productivity is stagnant.

In addition to uncertain economic conditions, the rise in the number of stakeholders and the complexity of buying decisions have introduced new challenges and friction for sales professionals.

According to SBI’s recent research report, "Revive Commercial Productivity by Easing Buying Friction," overcoming this buyer friction requires sellers to demonstrate their organization’s ability to understand and evolve with buyers as their conditions change. As a result, sellers need to be more informed, creative, and aligned with their customers than ever before.

Fortunately, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), particularly tools like ChatGPT, provide innovative solutions to these sales challenges. Here’s how AI can transform the sales process and accelerate sales by enhancing selling skills and reducing friction.

1. Better Understanding the Customer

One of the most significant ways AI can assist sellers is by enhancing their understanding of the customer. Traditional methods of customer research can be time-consuming and often yield incomplete insights. In contrast, AI can streamline this process, providing a more comprehensive understanding of each customer, thereby accelerating sales.

Account Analysis: Leveraging Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT to research the buyer’s company, their products, and how they make money can accelerate a seller’s understanding of each customer. Conducting a PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) can help sellers understand the broader environment in which their customers operate. AI can automate data collection and analysis from various sources, providing up-to-date insights into external factors that may influence the customer’s business. This enables sellers to tailor their approach, aligning their solutions with the customer's current realities and future projections.

Call Planning: AI can be a game-changer in call planning. It can predict the most relevant topics of discussion based on previous interactions, current market trends, and the stage in the sales cycle. Generative AI effectively produces and enhances discovery questions based on the research conducted. For instance, ChatGPT can organize this information into a convenient table by persona, providing real-time job aid to use during sales pursuits. By suggesting the optimal timing and content for follow-up calls, AI ensures that sellers are always prepared with the correct information, making each interaction more impactful.

Account Management: For existing clients, AI-powered tools can analyze previous interactions, online resources, and company information to identify patterns and extract valuable insights. For instance, AI can transcribe and analyze sales calls, service requests, and email communications to highlight key points of interest, customer pain points, and frequently asked questions. This allows sellers to prepare more effectively for future engagements and ensure they address customer concerns comprehensively.

2. Better Understanding the Buying Decision Team (BDT)

The complexity of modern sales often involves multiple stakeholders, each with their own priorities and concerns. Understanding the dynamics of the BDT is crucial for successful sales strategies. AI can provide significant support in this area through:

Persona Analysis: AI can analyze data to create detailed profiles of each member of the BDT that go beyond standard buyer personas defined by marketing. By understanding each buyer's roles, interests, and pain points, sellers can tailor their messaging to resonate with each stakeholder. This personalized approach builds stronger relationships and addresses individual concerns more effectively, facilitating smoother decision-making processes.

Behavioral Insights: AI tools can analyze the communication styles and preferences of BDT members based on LinkedIn, previous interactions, and other available information. For instance, some stakeholders may prefer detailed reports, while others prefer concise summaries or visual presentations. By adapting their communication style to match these preferences, sellers can enhance their engagement and influence within the BDT.

Deal Characteristics: Every deal has unique characteristics and challenges. AI can help sellers understand these nuances by analyzing past deals with similar profiles. By identifying successful strategies and potential pitfalls, AI equips sellers with the insights to navigate complex deals more effectively.

3. Better Understanding Competitors and How to Respond

Understanding competitors and developing effective response strategies is critical in a highly competitive market. AI can be an effective partner in developing a strategy to beat the competition through:

Competitor Analysis: Sellers can leverage AI to help develop a comprehensive competitor analysis, gathering data on their products, pricing strategies, marketing efforts, and customer reviews. This real-time intelligence allows sellers to stay ahead of the competition and adapt their deal strategy for each opportunity.

4. Responding as a Business Partner, Not a Vendor

One of the key takeaways from SBI’s research on buyer friction is that buyers want sellers who not only provide a solution for today but understand their vision and are aligned with them as partners for the long term. In other words, buyers want sellers who “get them.” AI can assist with this objective through:

Proactive Strategy Development: AI can predict market trends and competitor moves, enabling sellers to develop proactive strategies rather than reactive ones. By better-anticipating changes in the competitive landscape, the company’s vision, and how the seller’s solutions can assist in the long term, sellers can position themselves as market leaders and true business partners. Effective engagement with AI as a brainstorming tool can help sellers become more trusted advisors.


AI, particularly tools like ChatGPT, represents a transformative force in modern sales training and processes. By enhancing sellers' understanding of their customers, the Buying Decision Team, and their competitors, AI enables a more informed, creative, and aligned approach to selling. As buyer friction and complexity evolve, leveraging AI will be crucial for sales professionals aiming to stay ahead in the game. By embracing these technologies, sellers can turn challenges into opportunities, driving greater success and customer satisfaction in today's dynamic market landscape.


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