There’s a lot of doom and gloom about AI’s potential to automate away jobs. But the reality is that most workers are going to be augmented by machines, not replaced by them. And this is a good thing for marketing and sales pros.At Conversica, we’ve spent 10+ years deploying “AI assistants” in the marketplace. Different from your run-of-the-mill chatbot, AI assistants use sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning coupled with highly accurate natural language understanding and generation to autonomously converse with prospects via email and text. These assistants are used by marketing and sales pros to engage and identify leads who are ready to talk to sales, at scale.
Yet, over the last decade working on this technology and thousands of in-market deployments, we haven’t seen AI replace workers. In fact, it has freed up these same professionals to do more of the work that matters.
That’s because AI is largely taking over tasks that teams don’t have the capacity to handle. And marketers and salespeople have way too many tasks on their plates as it is.
In times of both feast and famine, marketing and salespeople are tasked to do more with less.
Sometimes, marketing and sales teams have too many leads in the pipeline. It’s a nice problem to have, but it’s still a problem. Marketing often lacks the ability to nurture all these leads adequately. Sales doesn’t have time to follow-up with everyone in the way they deserve.
The opposite is also a problem. You don’t need to be drowning in leads for there to be a disconnect between how marketing and sales are contacting and nurturing prospects. Conversations fall through the cracks. Multiple touchpoints aren’t always consistent or strategic. And busy professionals might miss communications or fail to follow-up after a prospect reengages.
Additionally, you may have dormant leads that need to be reactivated. At the time they went dormant, they might not have been a fit. But later? These dormant leads represent a goldmine that may remain untapped.
As a result, everyone is wearing multiple hats and juggling multiple responsibilities—without enough time to do anything with their full attention.
That’s why we’re confident saying AI isn’t here to take your job. It’s here to make sure you can actually do your job.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be automation.
In fact, we anticipate the automation of more and more mundane, routine tasks.
You’re already seeing this happen in marketing and sales.
Some intelligent marketing tools already convert links into ready-to-post social media content or auto-analyze your content for SEO opportunities. Others pull research for you that helps you write content or auto-generate certain types of content. There exist sales AI tools that will auto-suggest new leads to pursue or help you populate prospect lists. Some can already find new leads for you based on your existing lead data.
This is just a sample of the time- and labor-intensive tasks that are being automated by AI today. In none of these cases are marketers and salespeople losing their jobs to the technology. They’re outsourcing tasks they shouldn’t be spending valuable time and energy on in the first place.
This approach is better for your talent and better for your bottom line.
In fact, we’ve seen AI assistants alone create a 15-25% boost in engagement rates with prospects—thanks to more consistent follow-ups. This is creating more, not fewer, opportunities for marketers and sales pros to have meaningful conversations with potential customers once these customers are qualified by AI.
This focuses marketing and salespeople on the high-touch, high-value activities that turn prospects into customers into raving fans, rather than wasting effort on routine follow-ups.
In the long run, we anticipate AI solutions, like intelligent assistants, to help people devote far more time and energy to creating better connections and partnerships. This might be with company partners, prospects, existing customers, or coworkers.
At the end of the day, this isn’t about handing over your future workplace to the machines. It’s about making the workplace of the future more productive and fulfilling for people.
Don’t miss my talk at the upcoming Marketing AI Conference (MAICON). The session is titled The Future of Work is Now: Build Higher Performing Teams with AI Virtual Assistants.
About Rashmi Vittal
Rashmi is an accomplished marketing executive with more than 20 years of pre-IPO and large corporate enterprise software experience, building and leading marketing teams that bring to market innovative, high-growth software solutions for CMO and CIO buying centers. She excels at developing revenue-generating GTM strategies aligned to product roadmaps that drive market awareness and pipeline growth.