For revenue teams, leveraging AI solutions has become essential to remain competitive.
Despite the benefits, the adoption of AI solutions still isn’t ubiquitous across industries. And that’s because implementing these solutions comes with its own set of very different challenges.
In this article, we tackle the main challenges to AI adoption among revenue teams, and the best strategies to overcome them.
Getting the Board on Board
Implementing AI solutions for revenue teams often means needing to secure the approval of the company’s board. This can be quite the task sometimes, because, despite the evident benefits of AI in enhancing efficiency and driving revenue growth, some people still have reservations about AI. Concerns about the initial investment, potential business disruptions, and even security concerns about the technology are just a few of the barriers to AI business implementation.
For instance, there are AI-powered sales tools in the market that can do a lot of the heavy lifting for sales reps; however, only about 25% of sales teams have adopted these tools, which leaves teams struggling to manage high volumes of leads and to give them timely responses.
To overcome this challenge, it’s important you come to the board with a well-researched business case that demonstrates the advantages of AI adoption.
You can show them the different use cases it can be applied to inside your organization — lead qualification, sales analytics, and marketing automation, to name a few — as well as present case studies from similar businesses or industries that serve as an example of how AI sales tools can boost your revenue teams’ productivity.
Not just that, but it's also key to highlight the financial gains associated with AI implementation. According to a Deloitte survey, businesses employing AI automation solutions witnessed a 22% reduction in operational costs and a 20% increase in revenue. Providing the board with concrete data on their ROI and the competitive advantage gained through AI can significantly impact their decision.
Finally, during the implementation process, you should adopt a phased approach that allows you to demonstrate early wins and will help you get buy-ins from the board. An example of such an approach would be first, to focus on setting up the AI tool; second, to provide training to the team using it; and third, to constantly monitor and measure the team’s performance and results.
A common fear related to AI among employees is that it will replace them.
Employee alienation is a significant challenge when implementing AI solutions for revenue teams. This resistance to the technology can manifest in the form of fear of job loss, but also a lack of motivation to adapt and use the AI tools available.
When faced with this challenge, managers should make an effort to be as transparent as possible during the AI implementation process, and try to get team members involved in it. AI-specific training should be provided, so that employees feel comfortable using the tools and understand how they can complement, rather than replace, their skills and abilities.
In addition to training, managers can organize workshops and interactive sessions where employees can actively engage with the new AI tools in a controlled environment. This way, they’ll be helping demystify any fears regarding the use of the technology and promoting collaboration throughout the process.
Among sales teams specifically, generative AI can be a real game-changer in boosting productivity and conversion rates, so it’s important that they feel at ease using AI tools.
One of the main advantages AI offers to sales comes in the form of chatbots that are available 24/7. This means that prospects will be able to connect with your business even outside your sales reps’ office hours. AI chatbots’ immediate replies reduce response times, increase prospects’ satisfaction, and consequently, improve the chances of your sales team closing deals.
Overall, AI helps automate certain parts of your business's revenue processes, which improves your employees’ efficiency and can result in higher conversion rates. So, it won’t replace them at their jobs, but rather, help them be better at it.
Integrating AI solutions into your revenue processes may present technical challenges.
It can be a massive and complex undertaking if you’re implementing sophisticated AI algorithms into already existing systems and tools. Going down that road may even require hiring skilled AI professionals. Such technical barriers can be overcome by investing in robust infrastructure and data management systems, hiring data scientists and other specialists to help navigate the implementation process, and conducting regular assessments of AI models to keep improving the technology that’s in place.
Another easier way to tackle this challenge is to, instead, collaborate with experienced AI vendors who deliver the technology straight “at your door” and ready to use.
Cloud-based AI platforms, for instance, make it easy to integrate without requiring major infrastructure changes. Additionally, low-code and no-code tools have made creating AI-based products accessible to even non-technical people across different industries and business sectors.
With Landbot, for example, you can effortlessly build an AI Sales Assistant that engages with leads at any time of day or night.
The AI-powered sales chatbot block is very simple to use. You can follow the full tutorial in this article, but to sum it up, all you need to do is define a series of questions you need the answers to by your prospects. The AI assistant will then collect, store, and process the information needed to make your sales reps more efficient.
Speaking of prospects, we can’t talk about them without addressing the fact that a lot of people are still wary of recent advancements in AI and feel skeptical about interacting with an AI chatbot.
Implementing AI solutions for your revenue teams inevitably leads to these interactions, which your prospects or customers might not see in a positive way. On the one hand, they might fear the implications of the technology itself; on the other hand, they might think automating certain aspects of the business/customer relationship will lead to a less personalized experience.
So, how do you deal with this to keep offering them the best experience possible with your business?
Building and maintaining trust is key for a successful AI adoption and mitigation of customers' wariness. And this trust can be achieved through transparent communication:
- Let customers know about the shift to AI in your business, and what its purpose and benefits are. You can share any existing success stories that highlight how AI technology has improved customer experiences with other businesses.
- Offer them clear opt-in/opt-out choices for AI-driven interactions. Providing customers with control over their interactions with AI shows respect for their preferences.
- Address possible employee concerns and emphasize that they’re not being replaced but rather helped by these new solutions. Customer trust can be based on their perception of how you treat your employees, so make sure to let them know how you’re handling this transition for them. And remind them that they’ll still be there to give a personal touch to their experience.
- Collect customer feedback specifically about any changes you make related to the adoption of AI solutions, and incorporate it whenever/wherever possible.
Throughout the implementation process of AI solutions for your revenue teams, it’s important to keep customer feedback in mind, so that these solutions can be tailored to meet their expectations and drive more business.
Finally, implementing AI solutions for revenue teams, includes navigating the landscape of data protection and privacy regulations. It’s a non-negotiable, really, so companies need to make sure they’re complying with laws such as GDPR, HIPAA, and other industry-specific regulations.
Since it’s still a relatively new technology in the business world, staying on top of everything might be challenging.
To address this possible hurdle, you should conduct regular assessments of the legal and regulatory landscape that applies to your business operations. The best way to do this is to work closely with legal experts and implement thorough data protection measures to guarantee that your AI usage complies with any laws. Staying updated with regulatory updates is key to avoiding pitfalls and maintaining trust with customers.
Handling customer data implies the adoption of ethical practices that prioritize their privacy. As such, at any point of the customer journey that AI handles, businesses must make sure to collect only necessary data and obtain consent from individuals regarding how their data is being stored and used.
To address these challenges successfully, consider establishing a team dedicated to monitoring any regulation updates, conducting internal audits, and ensuring your AI systems are aligned with the regulations in place.
Implementing AI solutions for revenue teams is a transformative journey that demands overcoming various challenges, from securing board approval to addressing employee concerns, tackling technical obstacles, managing customer wariness, and ensuring regulatory compliance.
So, in the face of these distinct difficulties, your best way forward is to adopt a comprehensive strategy that allows you to approach any hurdles in your path with a well-informed and adaptive mindset. The businesses that do this will more likely be able to unlock AI solutions’ full potential to improve their teams’ efficiency and drive revenue growth.
With the right approach, whether that’s establishing dedicated internal teams or working with external partners, AI can truly be a tool for consistent innovation, customer satisfaction, and continuous business improvement.