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December 11, 2023

Confessions from a Late-Adopter: The Truth About AI for Revenue and Enablement Leaders

By Lauren Bailey, Founder, Factor 8 and #GirlsClub
Three men stand together, looking down at something, with one man in a blue AI polo.

I hate a bandwagon. Does the hype surrounding AI qualify? According to Salesforce, more than half of us think “yes.” Only 45% of Americans use generative AI, and over 60% of those are millennial or Gen Z. I dove into the deep end recently to see how much ChatGPT would change my life as a revenue/enablement leader.

Here are the top five takeaways:

1. Your team is putting you at risk

That 45% using AI? More than half of them use ChatGPT regularly. Why is that risky? Anything they paste becomes public domain. Client information, confidential code, financials, and intellectual property are all at risk. You need some governance AND eyeballs on this fast. Loop in your IT team and lean in here, because there’s probably someone on your team who’s already pasted in a customer email, product data, or something else from the no-no pile.

2. Resistance is futile

If you try to lock it down at work, they’ll use their phone. Start talking about it and sharing the what, why, and what NOT instead of trying to ban it. Create a task force instead of leading the party. If your company is high-risk, a consultant will build you a “closed-system” AI instance that keeps you out of the public domain.

3. It’ll save you time, not change your life

Remember when CRM and cadence systems were new and we learned the phrase, “Garbage in, garbage out”? Ditto for AI. Don’t fire your trainers, writers, or marketers. Think of AI as a cure for writer’s block and the first draft owner. I ran about 100 tests on subject areas in which I consider myself an expert, and ChatGPT scored a “C+”. If I were in my first revenue job, I’d be impressed.

4. The power’s in the frame-up/follow-up

Unlike Google, the longer the “prompt” (the question you ask), the better the answer. You also get unlimited “answer coaching” to refine the output. Try it with me; type this into chat.openai.com:

  • What are the top challenges facing the [DECISION MAKER I SELL TO]? 
  • Narrow this down to the top 10 in [TOP 3 INDUSTRIES I SELL TO] industries 
  • Turn these into open questions that I should ask to uncover the top five most urgent challenges
  • Be a little less formal

5. The “Three Cs” make AI work:

  1. CHERRY-PICK keywords and phrases (if reps read these questions as is, they’ll get shut down. Grab the good ideas and keywords and…)
  2. COMBINE them with your existing framework or methodology. Plug AI content into what already works for you. Example: We teach a three-step “Factor 8 Closed, Closed, Open” process to overcome a brush-off. Use ChatGPT to generate ideas for the questions and plug them into your framework.
  3. COACH the delivery. Remember when you used to let marketing write your value prop and your reps tried to deliver it on a call (and the DM hung up around paragraph 2)? It’s like that. No matter how good the output is, they can’t read it verbatim. Role-play and coach until it sounds confident.

Top takeaway? The outputs are better than Google and it takes better direction than Alexa. It didn’t change my life, my budget, or my headcount needs, but it was fun and easy to incorporate AI-based exercises in my virtual selling classes (like our online sales training program, Have More Conversations, which includes six ChatGPT frameworks).

Here are eight ideas to try:

  1. Summarize this (non-confidential) report and my action items
  2. Create a job description for a…
  3. Write 10 role-play scenarios for…
  4. Summarize the course survey results – tell me top strengths and opportunities
  5. List 20 questions I should expect from customer buying…
  6. (Paste profile) List five rapport-building topics that will catch their attention
  7. (Paste RFP) Create a response that…
  8. Brainstorm…any group exercise you use in training, bring more expertise by adding ChatGPT!
Headshot of Lauren Bailey

Today's blog post is by Lauren Bailey. She has spent 15 years running virtual sales and enablement teams in tech and software before founding award-winning sales and management training companies Factor 8 and #GirlsClub. Sign your team up for her free monthly tip-rich “Sales Shots.”