Adopting AI is No Gamble, Underrated Ways to Improve Meetings, the Most-Hated Business Phrases

By September 29, 2017
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What's Trending in B2B

This week AI is taking center stage again, this time with its possibilities for bridging the sales-marketing gap. We will also be offering some awesome advice for how to improve sales meetings and make the most of your team’s time. And lastly, we’re sharing the most-hated business phrases according to workers – we know what you’re thinking, and yes, “synergy” was included in the mix. Read on to hear more!

1. Going From ‘What is AI’ to ‘How Can We Use AI’?

It seems that the myths and misconceptions about AI adoption might finally be put to rest. According to Venture Beat, many business leaders are now asking questions about AI adoption rather than trying to understand what AI is. Although the author states that many of these CEOs and business leaders are still gathering information and weighing their options, a significant tide may have turned. That said, many are proceeding with caution by evaluating how AI solutions will fit into their workflow, provide the high-quality data they need, and provide demonstrable value to stakeholders. The article also indicated which industries stood the most to gain from AI adoption, with sales and customer service at the top of the list. Clearly there will be a lot of value and interest in AI solutions across many industries in the coming years, so now is the time for your business to get on board.

2. The Most-Hated Business Phrases

Based on a recent article from Entrepreneur, your prospects and co-workers might be getting tired of the same old business cliches. Here are a few key takeaways from the Workfront survey referenced in the article:

  • 47% said that the phrase “think outside the box” was overused at their office
  • 18% said the word “synergy” was used too often
  • Another 18% said the word “bandwidth” was used too often as well

Above all else, it’s important to be genuine and original with your language during sales and marketing outreach – especially since it’s obvious that many people are sick of the same old phrases during meetings and calls. Besides revealing the most-hated business phrases, the survey indicated that workers are also looking for less wasteful meetings and lengthy emails, and more opportunities to work remotely to boost their productivity. The survey also shows that 69% of workers think tech will free up their time at the office so that they can focus on their primary job duties. And even though some news stories say that AI and automation are taking jobs, 86% said they were excited and 81% said they were prepared for the future of the modern workplace.

3. Can AI Bridge the Sales-Marketing Gap?

Marketing and sales have different goals and usually think about things from opposite angles – that’s a given. While sales wants more relevant leads from marketing, marketing usually wants sales to follow up on the work they have already done. Stuck in the middle is the customer who is trying to engage with content and find out information about a product or service. When sales and marketing aren’t on the same page, that messaging that is so desperately needed to close a deal with that customer gets lost.

However, according to a recent publication from Customer Think, B2B companies can try to bridge the sales-marketing gap with AI and automation tools. When marketing can qualify leads in real time within an AI platform, it speeds up account prioritization process and allows your team to focus on the right accounts. Within that same platform, sales can get the account intelligence they need to ensure that they don’t have weak talking tracks during calls and meetings. And, when sales and marketing are zoned in on these same best-fit accounts they discover in an AI platform, it could make for a more harmonious work environment as well – and who doesn’t want that?

4. Underrated Ways to Improve Your Sales Meetings

Sales Hacker’s recent article about underrated tips for sales meetings highlighted a lot of things that might seem obvious, but many may have slipped off your radar with end-of-quarter stress and the daily grind. It’s always good to have a refresher course on how to make sales meetings actually work regardless of the time of year, especially with the great tips they provided:

  • Communicate the goals of the meeting and get feedback: Salespeople are busy people who want to cut to the chase. Make sure you clearly state why the meeting is being held at the beginning, and then give a chance for your team to offer feedback at the end to support collaboration and improvement.
  • Let the team guide the meeting, not the manager: Salespeople usually want to make sure their voice is heard and gain ownership for their responsibilities on the team, so sales managers should provide an environment where it is easy for them to do so.
  • Don’t put all of the focus on numbers: You already have a CRM and sales reporting that handle the numbers, which you can access at any time. During a meeting, you need to be discussing challenges around those numbers, and a game plan to improve them.

5. Post-Conference Follow Up Tips That Work

Our very own Cody Larkin wrote one of our most recent blogs, and with Dreamforce right around the corner, the topic couldn’t be more timely. Post-conference follow up with your prospects is crucially important, especially since hundreds of other SDRs and salespeople will be hitting the phones and churning out emails at the same time. In his blog post, he walks through several ways to make your phone calls and emails more personalized and relevant so that you can break through the post-conference noise, rise to the top of those inboxes and book that meeting. Events are some of the best places to book meetings because your company is sending you there to connect, and may prospects are in the market a solution or service like yours. If you follow some of these great tips, you might be able to provide the value that makes it all worth it.

That’s it for this week’s edition of What’s Trending in B2B – be sure to tune in next week for the best news in all things AI and B2B marketing and sales!

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