The Future is Here: Our Journey to Becoming AI Strategists and Embracing Generative AI
As a CEO, I understand the power of technology and its potential to revolutionize entire industries. With my long tenure in the world of B2B, and even more specifically, HR Technology and FinTech, it’s clear that entire categories of jobs can be wiped out or significantly impacted when ill-prepared for the next wave of innovation.
Generative AI is one such technology that is quickly becoming invaluable to businesses. While there are certainly concerns about its implications, I believe that it’s imperative for companies like mine to embrace this powerful new form of artificial intelligence and learn how to use it effectively. In essence, we can waste time arguing about whether or not we can get down to the business of harnessing it for the good of our industries, workforce, companies, teams and individual careers.
“It’s time to stop talking about WHETHER we’re gonna use AI — and start talking about how to use it wisely.” -ME
Generative AI algorithms can create unique outputs from data they have been trained on, such as images, text, audio, or video content. This opens up vast possibilities for companies looking to create dynamic, personalized customer experiences.
For example, Generative AI can generate customized product recommendations and content tailored to the individual consumer. This not only improves customer engagement but also drives revenue growth by providing more accurate predictions for decision-making. Knowing what we do about how consumers (even in B2B areas) want their buying process to look, this is a massive disruption. Consider this recent Gartner report, which explained that self-guided B2B purchases, supplemented by sales professionals ONLY when the buyers request their involvement is the clear trajectory of companies with competitive sales organizations.
By 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. (Source: Market Guide for Sales Enablement Platforms.) By 2025, 20% of B2B companies will see revenue growth from multiexperience sales due to a well-executed “everywhere customer” vision. (Source: Predicts 2021: New Selling Imperatives Drive CRM Sales Technology Roadmaps.)
One of the most notable changes has been shifting from traditional sales models toward a more customer-centric approach. This is partly driven by generational factors, as 43% of baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials prefer a rep-free experience, but it is also influenced by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has accelerated the already growing trend of online shopping.
As buyers continue to inform themselves about potential purchases online before engaging with sales reps, it is essential for organizations to find ways to take advantage of this behavior by enabling customers to create a customized sales experience on their websites. This will not only help establish trust and familiarity between buyer and seller, but can also lead to increased conversions and a more efficient sales process.
In today’s business world, it’s more important than ever to have a website that integrates well with your sales tools. Poor customer and employee journey experiences can leave salespeople at a disadvantage and buyers without confidence in their decisions.
What does this have to do with Generative AI?
Well, In addition to creating efficiencies within our own businesses, Generative AI can provide us with new ways of understanding complex systems and predicting outcomes in the sales and marketing funnels. It allows us to move beyond producing massive amounts of content or ads and builds from a strategic place. That is, if we leverage it properly.
By leveraging this exciting new technology we can unlock insights that can help us make better decisions and optimize operations in our own organizations while also helping society on a larger scale.
For me and my business Red Branch Media embracing Generative AI isn’t just an option — it’s an imperative! We must invest in learning this technology inside and out if we want to remain competitive in today’s rapidly changing world. Luckily, with the right resources and dedication, mastering generative AI is not only achievable but could unlock ways of working we’ve not been able to achieve before.
Consider the myriad of headlines discussing the U.S.’s overzealous and overworked culture when compared to European or Scandinavian countries. Ruminate over how much a 4-day workweek has been on the lips of employees and executives alike. Think about the lack of parental leave and work-life balance experienced by SO many people around the country and the world.
Embracing AI, particularly as an SMB, could be the key to changing this. When I first started building my career in earnest in 2008, it was RIGHT as Twitter and, shortly after LinkedIn, were gaining traction. Early adopters were able to broadcast their views like never before. It was talked about as the great equalizer (by me, I talked about it that way.) Then Ashton Kutcher got in on the action and it became once again an uneven playing field, strongly tilted toward those who already had a voice, power, money, and market share.
If SMBs and ethical enterprise companies could see this for what it truly is, which is an opportunity to make work better, easier, and in turn, more meaningful, there’s very little limit to what we can do! However, if we muck it up and decide it’s yet another way to squeeze more out of employees and put more cash into shareholder pockets, well then a pox upon your houses.
My team and I are going on a journey over the next quarter to integrate Generative AI into our workflows. No doubt, we’ll encounter situations that are ethically thorny, or times when we simply aren’t sure which way we should go. But we’re committed to learning how we can become AI strategists and create a better way of working. This letter and the accompanying guide are just the beginning. As corny as it sounds, I hope you’ll join us.