Ep 60: Making More Sales with AI

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Overview

As the business landscape continues to evolve, technological advancements are reshaping traditional practices across industries. AI, in particular, has garnered significant attention for its potential to revolutionize sales processes and boost revenue generation. Today we will explore the power of AI in improving sales performance and creating a competitive edge in the market.


The Rise of AI in Sales:

In today's episode Sunehra explained how AI can be harnessed to enhance sales efforts, debunking common concerns about it replacing human roles. Instead of fearing AI, business owners and decision-makers are encouraged to embrace its capabilities to automate tasks within their departments or companies.


AI: A Catalyst for Sales Success:

One aspect where AI can have a transformative impact is in sales operations. Gone are the days of solely relying on face-to-face meetings and traditional marketing strategies. Cold sales, for instance, often entail sending carefully crafted cold emails to capture the reader's attention. This is where AI plays a significant role, allowing sales professionals to employ automated research and email sequences tailored to their target accounts.


Personalization and Differentiation:

In a crowded marketplace, standing out from the competition is crucial. AI empowers sales teams to deliver personalized and customized messages, enabling them to connect effectively with potential customers. By leveraging AI tools, sales reps can access relevant information about target accounts, their preferences, and pain points. This knowledge facilitates tailored communication that resonates with the target audience.


AI vs. Human Judgment:

While AI offers immense potential to streamline and optimize sales processes, human judgment remains invaluable. Individual contributors, especially within larger sales teams, possess the acumen to shape the right marketing strategies for the company. While companies often provide guidelines and policies, finding the balance between AI-driven efficiency and human creativity poses an ongoing challenge.


Unlocking the Power of AI in Sales:

Implementing AI technology as part of your sales strategy can help unlock new levels of efficiency and productivity. By automating tasks such as researching target accounts and compiling comprehensive information, AI frees up valuable time for sales professionals to focus on building relationships and closing deals. Moreover, AI's analytical capabilities enable sales reps to identify potential customers, understand their needs, and tailor their approach to maximize conversions.


Conclusion:

In an era where AI revolutionizes various industries, sales professionals can harness its power to drive enhanced performance and generate more sales. By embracing AI tools, such as chat GPT or other automation solutions, business owners and decision-makers can create a significant competitive advantage. The key is to leverage AI as an ally, combining human judgment and creativity with technological advancements to unlock unprecedented growth and success in the ever-evolving world of sales.


Topics Covered

- Addressing concerns about AI potentially replacing sales roles
- Encouragement for salespeople to evaluate how AI can benefit them
- Discussion on the potential advantages of AI based on understanding its capabilities
- Welcoming viewers to the live broadcast and inviting questions in the comments
- Mention of Brevo as a larger company generating significant revenue
- Lack of AI policies in companies and how Bravo uses AI tools to enhance performance metrics
- Utilization of AI to research target accounts and assist with email sequences
- Emphasis on the importance of customized and personalized emails to stand out
- AI's role in reducing time spent on researching software usage
- Desire to automate sequences for targeting accounts and input target criteria for AI to provide a list
- Importance of personalizing approach and mentioning personal experiences in emails to specific companies
- Acknowledgment that AI will never fully replace salespeople but can make them more efficient and productive
- Potential applications of AI in various aspects of sales and personal/professional spheres
- Emphasis on the importance of research and competitive analysis when using generative AI


Podcast Transcript

Jordan [00:00:17]:

How can you use AI to make more sales? Well, here's the ending. We're going to skip to the ending you can, and it does help. All right, my name is Jordan. I am the host of Everyday AI. This is your Daily Livestream podcast free newsletter. What else do we have? We have a little of everything just to help everyday people like you and me keep up with what's going on in the world of AI. And not just that, but how we can actually use it. So we are going to talk AI and sales today. But before we do, let's talk about news. Let's talk about what's happening in the world of AI news. So make sure again to go to your everydayai.com. We send this out in our free daily newsletter. But let's take a high level look. So there's a new report today from Reuters looking at just the Silicon Valley race for autonomous AI agents and looking at if this is going to be the next big thing. So what is an AI agent? Well, think of it like this. You're chatting to chat GPT or you're talking with Bard? What happens if it was an AI agent doing that or a series of AI agents? So that's kind of what these autonomous AI agents and kind of what the next big race in Silicon Valley is. It's to have kind of smart AIS talking and working with other smart AIS. All right, so another big story that came out less than 24 hours ago, wix, the CMS platform. So maybe you've heard of WordPress or Shopify or squarespace. So Wix kind of in that same sphere. So they just announced new AI building websites with just text. So there's been plenty of platforms that have offered this, but not really any of the big names. So Wix is kind of the biggest name so far in the content management system. Games to come out and just say, all right, you don't need our whole platform, you just need this text to speech and it's going to get you going. So more on that in the newsletter. Third story. Not last, but definitely not least. So we're going to be talking about this a lot because even though it is 2023 here in the US. At least we are ramping up for the election cycle. So a new ad from the Ron DeSantis Pac actually went against his Republican opponent. So the DeSantis Pac using an AI Donald Trump voice to kind of make the former president saying things that he wasn't saying. So it's not the first time, it's not the last time. But this is one of the first cases where it's kind of in party using AI against each other. So if you haven't seen these ads, yet. Don't worry, we are going to be hit with so many deep fake AI ads. So that's a whole nother thing to unwrap. But instead, let's talk sales. Talking AI and deep fakes and politics seems too much right now for 07:30, a.m. Central Standard Time. So let's bring on our guest of the day. Very excited to talk sales. So with that we have Sunera melhotra from Brevo. Thank you for joining us.

Intro to guest Sunehra Malhotra and Brevo


Sunehra [00:03:33]:

Thanks for having me. I'm excited to talk a little bit more about sales and AI and what I've been doing with it. So excited to be here.

Jordan [00:03:41]:

Let's go. I'm super excited as well. So I know Brevo, but maybe people know former the former name Send in blue. So quickly, just tell us a little bit what Brevo is, what Brevo does?

Sunehra [00:03:56]:

Yeah. So we were formerly sendinblue. We did rebrand a couple of months ago. We are an all in one marketing platform. So everything from emails, SMS, web, push, notifications forms, landing pages, all under one roof. So if you're looking to send emails to your contact list, if you have an ecommerce shop, if you have a newsletter going out just like you do, you could use Brevo to send that out. And we have a great, really, really intuitive, great design. Easy to use. So we are an all in one marketing.

Jordan [00:04:28]:

Yeah, have it, have it up on the screen here if you're joining us live. And thank you for those that are. A couple comments coming in. Brian saying good morning. Bronwyn saying good afternoon. Joining us from South Africa in Rastafas. So thanks for joining us. So if you have any questions whether about the Brevo email platform or just how they're using AI, please feel free to drop it here in the comments. So what's kind of interesting, and we kind of talked a little bit pre show about this, seems like no companies really have policies. So Bravo is a little bit of a bigger company. I think I looked it up, doing eight figures in revenue. Right. So how does that work when a company doesn't have that AI policy, you're using the tools at your disposal to get your job done to the best of your abilities. But how does that really work? It's just like, all right, well, I know AI can do this, so I'm going to use it to improve this metric.

How does Brevo use AI without AI policies?


Sunehra [00:05:32]:

I think as an individual contributor to a larger team, ultimately it's really based on your judgment, you're going to judge whether this is the right thing, you know, the difference between right and wrong. So all of us are just doing what we think is right. If we do something that is or if we write something that isn't basically by company policy or guidelines in terms of our marketing strategy, all of that, obviously we're not going to write something that doesn't fit with that strategy. But we don't have a policy just yet. I know that a lot of companies don't. I have a lot of friends who work in different tech companies as well, and they don't have policies just yet. I think management at all levels, in all companies is trying to figure out what a policy should include, what it's really going to do, and how also to leave a little bit of creativity up to the individual contributors. At the end of the day, you can't have this helicopter figure over you. And AI is helping us. And as a platform, we're incorporating AI into our product itself. So I think that our company is a lot more flexible with that.

Jordan [00:06:34]:

Yeah, absolutely. And it is tough, it is tough to have that first piece of company rules where we say, here's how we're going to use AI, especially when you're offering AI to your clients. But I will put in a short plug here. So if people are listening and you're wondering, how do I even start an AI policy? Episode 56, which I'll throw in the comments here, we did kind of go over that. I think it's extremely helpful with John there. So let's switch back because one thing that you mentioned there is you are offering AI to your clients now. So this is, I think you said brand new, right? Kind of a little breaking news. Tell us about what Bravo is doing with AI for its clients.

Brevo's AI email marketing features


Sunehra [00:07:19]:

Yeah, absolutely. So I just got news this morning that this feature has been released 100% to all Brevo users and of course to new users who do sign up. So essentially, this is our first large integration with AI. And what it does is you can incorporate AI into creating your subject lines. So AI is a huge part of marketing. Marketers all over the world are using it every day to increase conversion rates, increase opening rates, all of that. With an AI based subject line, you can gain a little bit more inspiration rather than keeping the same monotonous subject line that you're getting in your inbox all the time. We get a ton of marketing emails anyway, so why not kind of differentiate it a little bit and try out the AI in there as well?

Jordan [00:08:03]:

Yeah, absolutely. So it is interesting because if you're listening, you might think like, oh, why something so small as an email subject? But as someone that's been doing email marketing for like 15 years, the email subject is so important and it matters, right?

Sunehra [00:08:24]:

It really does. And ultimately, your subject line and your preview text are so important to grab your contacts attention and really get them to open the email. At the end of the day, you're sending emails, you want them to be opened, you want your contacts or your clients to open the email and then read through the email. Possibly there might be a link in there somewhere where you want them to click that perhaps you're trying to sell a product, sell a service, whatever it might be. Your end goal is to get people to convert from either a free user or to a paid user. So at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. And yeah, subject line is like the initial starting point. Of course there's a lot more that goes into it, but that's like the first thing that your contact is going to see.

Jordan [00:09:06]:

Yeah, it's actually so important we spend a ridiculous amount of time looking at subject lines, even for our daily newsletter. So, yeah, very cool feature that Brevo is launching here. So you mentioned something about opening emails, but that's even in your role in enterprise sales, that's something that you're even fighting with as well and using a little bit of AI. So talk about even just how you're using AI to help in your role.

Using AI in Sales


Sunehra [00:09:38]:

Yeah, absolutely. So obviously being in sales, it's a lot more than just meeting with clients and showing them the platform. You want to be speaking to new people, you want to be speaking with people in all different verticals and industries. So a big part of that is cold sales. Unfortunately, no one has the privilege of just having fully inbound sales, although that would be the best case scenario. But when it comes to cold sales, you really need to be sending cold emails and getting the reader's attention or getting your target account's attention. So a big part of that is your sequence. Number one, what is your cadence going to look like? Are you sending five emails on day one or are you sending ten emails over the span of a month? So I've been using AI to help me with number one, researching target accounts. So what is my target? I'll give it a little bit of criteria. There annual revenue, size of size of the company, do they brick and mortar stores or the ecommerce, whatever it might be there. And then of course, going into where they're located, I like to focus on specific territories initially and then expand from there. But that's kind of the two step approach. Target accounts and then helping me with my sequences. Building customized personalized emails is so important. Your target accounts and your prospects are getting hundreds of emails a day from sales reps like myself. So I want to differentiate myself a little bit and I don't want it just be the same email that they're getting already.

Jordan [00:11:01]:

Yeah, you bring up a great point because especially if you are a decision maker at a company who might be making a decision on something as big as an email marketing platform for a large operation, they're probably getting a lot of emails. Right? So what's one way that you've talked about how you're kind of using AI to help you analyze and do some research and to best set up your sequences? What's maybe an impact or a result that maybe you've seen so far? Whether it's. Hey, this process used to take 8 hours. Now it's taking two. Or I used to be able to create two sequences a day. Now I can create eight, maybe. What's one result that you've seen from properly using AI technology?

Example of using AI in sales properly 


Sunehra [00:11:56]:

Yeah. And again, I'm no expert in this. I've just been playing around with it in my free time and trying to make myself more efficient. But I have seen a large I think the biggest difference in my whole process in my day to day has been my target accounts. Getting those set up, that takes a lot of time. It's a lot of work in researching the companies, researching their financials, taking a look at what softwares they're currently using that is really time consuming. So with AI, I've been able to kind of make that a little bit more efficient. AI is not at a point just yet where it can tell me every single software that a company is using in their tech stack. Hopefully one day they will be there because then my job would be way easier. But it has really helped in cutting that time down for the target accounts.

Jordan [00:12:41]:

Yeah, absolutely. So I want to get back to that. But we do have a couple of questions coming from the live audience. Again, if you're listening on the podcast and you want to join us, we do this every single weekday morning, 07:30, a.m. Central standard. So Brian asking is bravo a CRM?

Sunehra [00:13:00]:

Yes. So we are a full suite CRM. So we do have a sales management pipeline tool as well as a contact management tool all under one roof. So yes. Full CRM.

Jordan [00:13:10]:

Awesome. All right, Mark saying good morning. Thanks for joining us. Mark. Nancy asking. Brevo Academy. What's that about? What is the Brevo Academy?

Sunehra [00:13:18]:

Great question. So Brevo Academy is basically where you can go and get certifications and learn about the tool itself. So if you are a one person team and you're going to be doing everything yourself, this is a great way to get situated with the product, what you can do, functionality, features, and learn a lot about the ins and outs. So, as part of my onboarding, when I first joined the company, I did the whole Brevo Academy and it taught me everything I needed to know about the platform.

Jordan [00:13:43]:

Love it. The great thing, I haven't even taken Brevos, but even if you're not a client or a customer on board, go through it because you can learn so much. Just great tips about email marketing from expert companies. Obviously. Another great question here, and this goes to just a lot of AI tools in general. It's always hard. So obviously they just released this this morning, but do you know yet? Is it fully integrated into Breva or does it require an API key?

Sunehra [00:14:13]:

So the subject line AI assistant is what it's being called right now. It is fully integrated, so you do not require an API key at this time?

Jordan [00:14:21]:

Yeah. Awesome. That's good to know. Yeah, you never know until you sign up and then it's like, oh, I have to get an API key. And for some people that aren't very technical, it seems like a big jump. It's not terribly difficult, but great question. So I do want to go back with the whole research and competitive analysis piece because I think that when people think about using generative AI, even if it's just chat GPT or Google Bard, I think people just think of creating content and they think of writing automatically. So with your use case, I think it's great because we spend so much time having to manually research things and to analyze different products, potential customers and clients. What's that process been like for you now? Because I'm sure there was a point where you were doing it all manually. What's that process like for you now that you have chat GPT to do all these things with you and kind of for you, what's that process? How's it different?

Sunehra [00:15:24]:

I think it is a lot easier. I mean, sorry, I'll take that back. It is different to a certain extent. Obviously. I'm a firm believer in that AI is not the expert just yet. I find myself having to double check, triple check reprompt a ton. And again, I really want to get better at prompting AI tools, but it's become easier. But still, it's not at a point where I can just set it and forget it. So we're still pretty early into the whole AI scheme of things worldwide, but it's become a little bit more efficient though. We're not at a stage where I think that AI can do my job.

Jordan [00:16:02]:

Yeah, that's a great point and that's even a great reminder of who this show is for. No one on here is an AI expert. We're all trying to learn it as it comes out, as it develops, as it gets better. So that's a great point. No one is an expert. We're all trying to learn and to make it work the best we can for us, because the job of a salesperson is not easy. You are sometimes doing marketing, you're technically doing customer service, customer experience as well. What's a way that either you personally or maybe your sales team is starting to look to either continue to use AI or maybe something in the future.

Using AI for automating sales sequences


Sunehra [00:16:49]:

That's a great question and I can't speak for the rest of my team. I think this hasn't been discussed on a larger level just yet. But for me personally, I definitely want to be able to get to a point where my sequences are fully automated. Of course, there's a lot of different components that go into that, but I do want to be able to put in my target criteria, not have to triple check that list. AI is going to tell me exactly which 50 accounts I need to go after what software is they're using, and then I can just set it and forget it. So that's the ultimate goal. But at the same time, I do find that researching myself makes me a little bit closer to the accounts that I'm targeting, so I'm able to personalize it myself. So if I've used a product before, let's say if I'm going after Zara, for example, zara does send a lot of emails, and I've purchased from them before I was in store the other day, shopping. Whatever it might be, I can put in those personal experiences into my emails where AI most often cannot do that, at least with my tone of voice. All of yeah, it's a lot to think about.

Jordan [00:17:56]:

Yeah, I love We've. We've actually had a few guests on the show so far share about how their experience, and sometimes even their first experiences working with AI. They had maybe an expectation that it was going to take kind of the human out of it. But you just had a great example there of how you can use AI or Chat GPT to actually bring more of the human experience and more of your own personal story and personal emotion into the fold. The more that you're able to do that, or just the more that people are able to do that. I think that there's a lot of great applications for AI, but how has that really benefited you so far, to be able to actually bring in more human touch, more human emotion into using AI? How has that benefited you so far?

Bringing human connection to AI use


Sunehra [00:18:53]:

Well, I guess it's always been the norm, right, is having that human connection, that human tone of voice, whatever it might be. Personally, a big part of why I was so hesitant to get into the whole AI sphere was because I was worried about, what are the ramifications of using AI? Is AI going to take my job one day? Something that all of us, I think, in this generation are worried about, especially coming out of college. You're thinking a lot about, what am I going to do? What do I want my goal in life to be? At the end of the day, I think that it's tough to say how my experience has been just because I haven't had a lot of experience with it. I will say that AIS, I find myself double and triple checking a lot of what AI is telling me, or giving or prompting me back, I guess. So it's not been the best experience, but we're still so early on. Chat GPT came out in November of 2022. We're not even a year into it. That was like the first big tool that gained a lot of public attention. Since then, a lot has happened, but we're still not at the point yet where I'm, like AI, can personalize everything. It can have my tone of voice, it knows who I am as a person. It can write as if it's me. So at that point, I think I'll be a little bit more scared. But right now I think we're okay.

Jordan [00:20:09]:

Yeah, exactly. And I think something that you mentioned there probably resonates with a lot of people listening or watching with us right now. There is that point where you see a potential application for AI or for Chat GPT in your role, and you have to think like, should I jump on board with this or is maybe that bad? Is maybe this going to introduce something into my department, into my company where we find out, oh yes, so much of this can be automated for other maybe people specifically in sales who when you say that they feel it and it resonates with them and they're like, yeah, I get that. What would your advice be to them, to those people that are hearing this and they're like, okay, it sounds like I can benefit from AI, but I'm not sure if it's going to replace me. What would you tell those people in sales knowing now what you know about how much you can get out of it?

AI is a tool to enhance sales

Sunehra [00:21:12]:

That's a great question. I think that what I would say is that it's never going to fully be you. Sales is such a customer centric and such a personal thing. You're trying to convince someone to buy your product. You're going to tell them all the reasons why they're going to come back with all the reasons why they shouldn't be or why they don't want to. At the end of the day, my advice would be that AI is a tool that's going to help make all of us salespeople more efficient and make us more productive. It's going to aid in our sales process. It's never going to fully take over, in my belief, at this point at least. But I do think that it's a tool that we should start leaning on a little bit more to help us perform better at whatever level we're at. Whether you're trying to get a promotion, whether you're trying to be the top revenue producing agent for the quarter, whatever it might be, AI is going to be a way to help you get there. And it's a big learning process. All of us are still learning. It's trial and error. If you have some free time to test things out, this is the perfect way to do that without having severe ramifications in your job side projects. Also, great way to test it out. Resume reviews, helping you write some bullet points for your resume. If you're looking for a new job, there's a lot that it can do to really help. And of course, personal and professional is very different. But I do think that testing it on both sides to see the difference is useful.

Jordan [00:22:28]:

Yeah, it's so useful in that regard too, right? We don't even have time to go down that road. But yeah, we always think like, how can we use it professionally? But yeah, there's been so many great just examples of how people use it in their personal life. So sanera. Thank you so much for joining the Everyday AI show. I think that you really took us on a journey kind of front to back on how people in sales can use AI and just start to use it. So thank you so much for joining the show.

Sunehra [00:23:00]:

Absolutely. Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure and looking forward to hopefully another one down the line.

Jordan [00:23:06]:

All right, absolutely. So we did have a lot of questions about Brevo, different questions about using AI in sales. So as a reminder, go to your Everydayai.com sign up for the free daily newsletter. It's going to go out here in about 3 hours, so we're going to have more information even on Brevo's, their new AI subject tool. It's all going to be in the newsletter, so make sure you check it out. Also, I got to plug this. It's our show, so I can plug it. I think we are giving away six months of premium or chat GPT plus as well as six private lessons. So maybe you heard some things that scenario was talking about and you're like, that would be great if I could use chat GPT for that, but I just don't know how we got you. So thanks again and we hope to see you back tomorrow and every day on Everyday AI. Thanks.

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