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How Generative AI Can Improve SDR Workflows and Efficiency

Reading time 11m 33s
Blog
Sales

Generative AI in sales is proving to be a game changer, especially since a successful sales team is a core factor for business growth. As more companies adopt AI technology in their workflow, it’s important not to overlook how it can propel your business forward. 

Salespeople are singing the praises of AI, as shown in Hubspot’s 2023 State of AI Report. According to the report, 85% of salespeople have witnessed an increase in prospecting efficiency, 79% have more time to sell, and 72% are finding it easier to build a rapport with their prospects. 

With that in mind, we’ll be exploring the specialists who keep sales pipelines flowing with qualified leads: Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). We’ll also look at how they can leverage generative AI to improve prospecting, as well as their role in the sales process. 

The role of SDRs in the sales process

SDRs take responsibility for reaching out to prospects and pushing leads through the sales pipeline. Their main goal is to ensure the sales representatives in charge of closing deals only handle viable leads. 

With an efficient army of SDRs behind them, closers have a better chance of ensuring a successful sales quarter. 

An SDR’s job covers the following:

  • Connecting with prospects 
  • Creating a positive first impression for the brand
  • Educating prospects about brand offerings
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Coordinating with other sales team members to ensure a seamless experience for prospects

When all is said and done, an SDR’s responsibilities boil down to prospecting and lead qualification. That is, they assess a prospect’s fit for the company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) and readiness to move down the sales funnel. 

Efficient prospecting and lead qualification have the following benefits:

  • High-quality leads 
  • Increased conversion rates
  • Greater cost-efficiency 
  • Improved customer experience
  • Stronger sales and marketing alignment

Taking the benefits into account, a strong argument can be made that the average SDR salary of $54K per year already delivers good value for cost. However, when SDRs have access to the right sales automation tools, they can increase their productivity and make the most out of their work hours. In turn, this boosts their value even higher.

Understanding generative AI in sales development

Generative AI has introduced us to a new class of algorithms capable of generating unique, human-sounding content. Its impact across industries has been immediately apparent, with the generative AI market expected to balloon to $1.3 trillion over the next decade. 

The sales industry is taking a huge bite of the pie, with its generative AI for sales market size poised to amount to $769.8 million by 2032.

It comes as no surprise that sales teams leverage AI solutions alongside other SDR tools. After all, their job is to bring in the big bucks. And routine tasks can get in the way of that. 

Sales enablement is the order of the day, with AI-powered tools increasing SDRs’ efficiency and success rates. Sales teams can leverage these tools to capture customer data, identify patterns, gain insights, and generate relevant content.

Because a lot of routine tasks often fall into an SDR’s lap, these sales specialists stand to benefit significantly from generative AI.

How generative AI can boost SDR performance

An SDR’s job of bringing prospects into the pipeline and ensuring they’re the right fit entails many repetitive tasks that are best delegated to tech. 

Here are some of the top ways generative AI can empower SDRs in sales enablement and closing deals.

Automated lead qualification

AI-powered SDR tools have become powerful enough to automate lead qualification. 

AiSDR, for instance, can pore through a ZoomInfo account or spreadsheet and identify leads that match a company’s ideal customer profile. You can also add leads to nurturing campaigns with the end goal of getting meetings booked.

Your teams can even train AiSDR to refute common objections that may prevent leads from booking a demo or meeting with sales reps. 

Customized outreach

Crafting content is another time-consuming pain point for SDRs. Any SDR can describe the number of times they’ve stared at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration to strike. With generative AI automating content generation, those days are practically over.

But the real magic lies in its ability to personalize content, ensuring that responses to customers avoid sounding generic. It even eliminates the chance of random typos and innocent mistakes in spelling.

Case in point, you only need to feed AiSDR the relevant customer persona, lead data, and email requirements for AiSDR to create email sequences for personalized SDR outreach. 

Automated follow-ups

SDR tools powered by generative AI not only create and personalize content, but they automate the sending of emails. This means leads will no longer fall through the cracks due to a lack of follow-up. This is important as following up with leads can completely fire up a campaign. Just one follow-up email may convert 22% more prospects. 

Additionally, leads can lose interest if you fail to respond to their query in less than 10 minutes

Better time management

Generative AI can also act as a sales assistant by taking repetitive tasks off an SDR’s hands. 

This leaves more bandwidth for infusing customer interactions with a much-needed human touch. After all, nothing builds trust and authenticity more than direct contact with a live agent.  

Automating routine tasks also frees up time for the team to engage in big-picture thinking and sales strategies. 

​​Faster ramp-up

Customer segmentation is a powerful sales targeting tool that divides customers into groups based on common demographics, characteristics, interests, and behaviors. It allows sales teams to target each group more effectively.

With a tool such as AiSDR, you can automate the process and send bespoke sales pitches to the distinct clusters. This is a great way to scale personalized messages, which have been shown to bring in better results. 

With AiSDR in your arsenal, you can reach a large pool of prospects without falling back on generic messaging. As the cherry on top, you can let AiSDR automatically warm up your inboxes, saving you from having to waste time on tedious manual warm-up.

Consistency in brand messaging

A strong brand identity makes your business memorable. Generative AI is particularly good at maintaining consistent brand messaging across multiple customer interactions. 

Humans may occasionally veer from your company’s tone of voice, but this is no longer a concern with AI and its robotic precision. Its algorithms can analyze your content style guidelines, learn your brand’s voice, and generate content accordingly. 

Generative AI can do so much to accelerate the sales processes that you may wonder how you ever survived without it. 

How will AI help create a sales strategy? 

You’ve read it right. This title isn’t a misprint. Generative AI’s capabilities can go far beyond an SDR’s outreach responsibilities, empowering everyone involved in the sales process. And yes, this technology can assist your sales management in creating a sales strategy. 

For example, generative AI can: 

  • Assist in SWOT analysis, providing a comprehensive view of internal and external factors that impact the sales strategy.
  • Contribute to competitor analysis, giving your team insights into how competitors approach sales. As a result, you can see what works and what doesn’t, tailoring your strategy accordingly. 
  • Analyze your lead generation tactics, giving recommendations on the most effective channels, messaging, and targeting criteria. Using these insights, you can improve your overall sales strategy.
  • Create ideal customer profiles and sales personas from structured and unstructured data, giving your team suggestions on communicating with each prospect type at different stages of the sales process.  
  • Simulate various sales scenarios, allowing sales teams to practice different approaches and sales techniques.

All in all, the potential of generative AI is huge when it comes to sales. At the same time, much depends on your approach, not just the technology itself. So, how do you use generative AI properly? 

How to use AI properly

Like with any novel technology, just having a generative AI-powered SDR outreach tool in place doesn’t guarantee success. There are some rules anyone should stick to.

For example, it’s wise to use AI only in areas that need improvement and implement the changes in small steps: a complete tech stack overhaul might ruin your processes. It’s also critical to prepare your staff for the change, and when the software is already in use, measure how it affects your team’s performance. Finally, since any AI solution is only as valuable as the data it uses, it’s important to integrate your tool with your intel platforms.

Getting help with generative AI

Since generative AI differs from other types of AI, there are also some adoption tips specific to this technology. 

For example: 

  • Consider your input Since the performance of generative AI heavily relies on a user’s input, it’s important to understand how to structure prompts and queries to get the desired output.
  • Use templates – To ensure consistency in messaging, create content templates or guidelines to provide a structured framework for your generative AI solution. 
  • Control quality – AI isn’t a silver bullet, and it’s critical to establish measures for the quality control of the generated content to catch any inaccuracies and ensure compliance with brand guidelines.
  • Mind the ethical and legal aspects – Take ethical guidelines and legal standards into the equation. Avoid generating content that is misleading or violates copyright.

And, of course, like with any technology, a lot depends on the solution you choose. But finding a truly suitable tool isn’t a mean feat.

Generative AI solutions: What tools will help you in sales

With the unprecedented demand for generative AI, the software market is already full of diverse product offerings. 

And this number is poised to grow at a lightning-fast speed. The billions-worth generative AI market is set to expand at a CAGR of 40% over the next decade. 

To spare you from rummaging through lists the size of Mt. Everest, we cherry-picked the main offerings: 

  • Sapling is fully focused on writing assistance, a “copilot” for correspondence with prospects. That is, the tool suggests personalized responses, performs grammar checks, and accumulates conversational data for coaching.
  • Einstein GPT is a Salesforce generative AI solution for sales and marketing. Among other things, the tool helps create email sequences based on an SDR’s prompt.
  • Humanlinker is an SDR tool that generates message sequences for email and LinkedIn, assists in personalized message creation based on the prospect’s context, makes recommendations on how to communicate with a prospect based on their personality traits, and performs a comprehensive prospect analysis. 
  • Second Nature is a conversational sales training tool. It simulates conversations with prospects and gives feedback on a trainee’s performance, thus helping SDRs improve their skills without placing an additional burden on sales managers.  

These and other tools are empowering sales, SDRs, and other specialists. To receive a comprehensive AI-powered sales development experience, you can combine several robust solutions or use a catch-all one. 

Take AiSDR, for instance. 

AiSDR is an all-in-one sales solution that leverages generative AI for automating outreach. Apart from creating personalized email sequences for prospect outreach and follow-up from scratch, AiSDR automates their submission, qualifies leads, and schedules meetings.

Give SDRs an AI helping hand

Generative AI is revolutionizing the way SDRs do their job, allowing them to automate time-consuming lead research, personalize email outreach and responses, automate lead sequences and follow-ups, scale bespoke sales pitches, keep brand messaging consistent, and improve time management. 

The best part is that using AI tools contributes to greater cost-efficiency of your sales processes (instead of being a cash drain). AiSDR costs just $750 per month, which is a fraction of an SDR’s average salary. This helps you ramp up your sales team without inflating the budget (all the while SDRs gain more time to focus on selling and less on repetitive work). 

Book a demo if you want to learn more about how AiSDR can boost your SDRs’ performance. 

FAQs

How can we use AI in B2B sales?​​

AI can help you gain actionable insights into sales data, leverage customer data, improve your sales prospecting and lead qualification strategies, personalize every interaction on the buyer journey, streamline responses to inbound queries, and amplify outreach campaigns. 

How can we use generative AI in marketing?

Generative AI for marketing enables teams to analyze customer profiles and historical records, use the insights to craft persuasive messages, automate outbound email marketing, and keep promising leads engaged. It’s particularly useful for inbound marketing, which requires the constant creation of content to ensure customers have a resonant experience with the brand at every touchpoint. 

What is generative AI for sales prospecting?

AI prospecting enables SDRs to optimize lead qualification, personalize campaigns, and automate the creation of outreach content. It takes on repetitive sales tasks, allowing salespeople to focus on forging meaningful connections with clients and boosting conversion rates.

What are the best generative AI tools for sales?

More and more generative AI tools are coming onto the market. The following should be included in your sales arsenal: 

  • AiSDR for optimizing lead prospecting and qualification 
  • Sapling for personalizing responses
  • Second Nature for providing interactive sales training
  • Writecream for writing marketing content
  • Copy.ai for crafting context-based copy
  • Chorus.ai for uncovering sales techniques
  • Humanlinker for connecting with the right prospects 
  • tl;dv for recording video calls

More on the topic

5 Ways AiSDR Helps SDRs Power Your Outbound Sales Campaigns
5 Ways AiSDR Helps Your SDRs Power Their Inbound Sales Campaigns
What is the Cost of an SDR?
How AiSDR Fixes Broken Outbound

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