AI in sales and marketing: It’s here

Johannesburg, 27 Jul 2023
Paul Mulder, Senior Solution Sales Professional at The CRM Team
Paul Mulder, Senior Solution Sales Professional at The CRM Team

As a consumer-driven technology, AI adoption is set to soar, with growing numbers of employees expecting to have AI tools available to them in the workplace.

This is according to Paul Mulder, Senior Solution Sales Professional at The CRM Team, who was speaking during a webinar on AI-enabled marketing, sales and customer service.

“People are moving into the workplace expecting a similar experience to what they have in their personal lives and this includes having pervasive AI,” he said.

Mulder conceded that there were still concerns around potential risks of poorly governed AI and the potential for AI to cause job losses. Despite the concerns, he said AI was already moving into the workplace, and was improving employee experience and productivity in fields such as sales, marketing and customer service. 

“It’s here and it’s not going away,” Mulder said. “If we don’t embrace the likes of AI, we will be left behind. In the sectors I work in, there’s a huge sense of optimism around AI.”

Mulder said delegates at a recent international conference he had attended on AI in marketing had concluded that marketing is based on creativity, and in order to be creative, people should not have their minds weighed down with mundane tasks.

“To think freely, you need to clear your mind and focus on creativity. We need to create a creative space. AI and other technology tools can take over and automate the labour-intensive, repetitive tasks so people can focus on creativity, innovation, understanding the customer and setting our business apart from competitors,” Mulder said.

Mulder illustrated how the new Microsoft Copilot generative AI can transform sales, marketing and customer service work.

Copilot in Viva Sales can enrich e-mail content by instantly drawing on CRM data, or can take notes during calls so an agent can generate a customer-ready meeting summary to send the customer. Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing can unify customer data and target areas for marketing campaigns. Marketers can use simple natural language to explore and understand data and make predictions, deliver more effective marketing campaigns and unlock more revenue. Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service helps support staff understand a customer’s issue, search knowledge banks for solutions and draft an appropriate response. It empowers agents with the knowledge of the entire organisation to resolve queries quickly.

Mulder said: “The likes of ChatGPT are helping us hand over fist to craft appropriate communications with the right information, at the right time and right place. We can now move labour-intensive workloads to AI for improved productivity and creativity. And we can create more immersive experiences for customers by knowing and understanding them better and addressing their needs.”

Mulder noted that regulatory frameworks would need to be in place to promote responsible AI, covering areas such as not exposing customer data and not bringing misleading information into the workplace.

Any organisation not using AI yet should start by using free ChatGPT and getting it to write a proposal or letter, he suggested, adding that AI skills would be in demand soon so all professionals should be getting to grips with it. “For businesses, invest in a platform that is AI-enabled. Do apply logic and common sense, and don’t just take anything AI generates and send it without checking it, though.”