This weekend saw the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I was at the airport on my way to a speaking event so I got to see it on the overhead monitors. The number of people that were glued to the screens was more fascinating to watch than the wedding itself. It's estimated that 18 million people tuned it to get a glimpse of the nuptials.
As all this was going on, my mind was focused on another royal wedding, the marriage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Sales. Okay, maybe not royal but certainly its impact in the business world and our economy has already exceeded the 18M people. It's estimated that 61% of businesses implemented AI in 2017, up from just 38% in 2016 (source: Narrative Science, 2018).
The ability to use different variants of AI to drive more business and operational efficiency means that companies will be able to create more value offerings in the market. Companies of all sizes, not just the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) are now able to leverage the power of AI without the massive overhead and investment. AI applications have been democratized (i.e., access and costs) across all business segments and for all business sizes.
According to TechRepublic, the application of AI in an enterprise rolls out as follows: Predictive analytics (25%), machine learning (22%), and natural language processing or generation (14%) top the list of most widely used AI-powered solutions, followed by voice recognition and response (14%), virtual personal assistants/chatbots (11%), and diagnosis/recommendation engines (11%).
Where is AI making the biggest impact? It should come as no surprise that the domain of Business intelligence is in the top spot with Sales and Marketing running a close second.
The royal marriage of AI and Sales will have a socioeconomic impact on our professional and personal lives that we can yet conceptualize. This disruptive technological trinity of data, processing power, and richer algorithms will render many business processes either obsolete or irrelevant. Or worse yet, the company itself will be rendered obsolete! As AI technology grows exponentially, the ability to leverage it will test a company's (and individual's) malleability to adapt in order to survive and thrive...for better or for worse!
Victor Antonio - Co-author of, Sales Ex Machina: How AI is Changing the World of Selling