Artificial intelligence can play a crucial role in assisting leaders and their teams in making strategic, as well as immediate, data-driven decisions and taking effective action. AI has the potential to automate 40% of the average workday, but are companies ready to implement and operationalize the use of generative AI? More than 50% of sales and service teams don't know how to get the most value out of generative AI, according to a survey of more than 2,000 sales and service professionals. Salesforce research identified these key findings:
Sales and service professionals identify customer experience as a clear benefit of generative AI.
61% of salespeople believe generative AI will help them better serve their customers.
63% of service professionals say the technology will help them serve their customers faster.
61% of salespeople believe generative AI will help them sell efficiently.
84% of salespeople using generative AI say it helps increase sales at their organization by enhancing and speeding up customer interactions.
Of service professionals currently using generative AI, 90% report it helps them serve their customers faster.
Customer-facing roles with the highest use of generative AI include basic content generation (82%), followed by analyzing market data (74%), automating sales communications (71%), and better automation of customer service communications (67%).
When asked about how generative AI can transform customer-facing roles, the respondents said the following:
Generate sales reporting (51%)
Basic content creation (48%)
Analyze market data (47%),
Improve customer self-service options (48%)
Sales and service adoption of generative AI solutions is low
Only 41% of employees are currently using or planning to use generative AI. Marketing is leading the adoption of generative AI with 51% either using or planning, followed by Sales at 35% and Service at 24%. It is surprising that customer service is not a leader in the adoption of AI given the scale, volume, and deterministic nature of service transactions. I anticipate that service adoption of generative AI will soar in the next two years.
"Generative AI will completely reshape the field of customer service, said Clara Shih, CEO of Salesforce AI. "We'll have the ability to automatically generate personalized responses for agents to quickly email or message to customers, freeing human agents to spend more time deeply engaging on complex issues and building long-term customer relationships."
The biggest impediment to the adoption of generative AI is the skills gap and fear of automation.
The survey found that most sales and service professionals do not know how to get the most value out of generative AI at work (Sales at 53% and Service at 60%). Adding to this skills gap is the fear of job losses with 48% of service and 39% of sales professionals worrying that they will lose their jobs if they don't learn how to use generative AI at work.
Customer-facing professionals do not trust generative AI
The lack of training is certainly one effective way to reduce the trust gap that exists with use of generative AI. The survey found that 63% of employees expect generative AI learning opportunities from their employers. And 67% say their employer does not provide generative AI training. Both sales and service professionals agree that a trust gap exists in business with respect to the adoption of generative AI.
56% say human oversight is critical in successfully using generative AI in their role.
55% say enhanced security measures are critical in successfully using generative AI in their role.
The most important benefit of generative AI is the opportunity for sales, service, marketing, and commerce professionals to transform their companies to become customer companies. Businesses must invest in training their employees on the use and benefits of generative AI. With trusted customer data, pre-built, custom, or public AI models that can power automation and smart workflows, a single platform with security and governance built-in to enable both innovations and increased customer trust, and proper staff training, generative AI can empower organizations to deliver powerful customer experiences while driving efficiency.