Worried about losing your sales job to ChatGPT? Here’s how to use it to your advantage
While the world is divided on whether AI tools like ChatGPT will make them obsolete in their jobs, one section of experts has a really good point to make:
AI might not steal our jobs, but people with AI skills might.
There is a huge murmur in B2B sales online communities where reps are wondering if they should start upskilling for a different career. And their concern is valid given the pace with which the ChatGPT team is releasing new enhancements to improve its AI capabilities.
But high-agency sales reps are not wasting their time worrying about it. Instead, they are using ChatGPT to understand how the platform works and how they can leverage it to optimize their daily workflows or hit their goals more quickly.
If you are one of those sales professionals who are worried about AI taking away your job, this post is for you. In this blog post, we'll explore how ChatGPT can help you write better email copy, summarize call/meeting notes, or come up with better lead-qualifying questions—all while freeing up your free time to focus on what you do best: selling.
Read till the end and apply the tips in this post to save your career from other AI-savvy reps!
Research your buyer persona
Research is the first step in a sales process without which it feels like shooting arrows in the dark. Researching your prospects helps you get over your cold call heebie-jeebies.
Research builds relevance. It allows you to familiarize yourself with prospects you have never talked to before and gives you the confidence to speak to them with ease. It also helps you become a pro in objection handling.
ChatGPT can help you run preliminary research on your target market and your ideal customer profile. For instance, if you are in the business of selling enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to manufacturing companies, you can give ChatGPT prompts to understand their buying preferences, what they look for in an ERP software or other nuances in their industry.
Here are a few prompts for you to try out in your research:
What’s the #1 thing [job title] cares about the most?
What are some common pain points of [job title]?
How does a [job title] measure success in their role?
I want to sell [solution] to [job title]. How should I talk about it to them?
What are the latest buying trends in [industry]?
Who are the biggest businesses in [industry]?
If you want to come up with more specific research results, just enter the website address that belongs to your prospects and ask for a summary of what the business does, what are other similar businesses in their niche, its social media handles, customer reviews, and testimonials, and so on.
I entered Avoma’s website into the chat box in ChatGPT and asked it to summarize what we did. Here’s how it responded:
Good job, ChatGPT!
Remember that ChatGPT’s research is more generic and limited to publicly available information dating only until 2021. It can’t help you do the groundwork research, but not the most accurate and complete picture of the target market or their buying behavior.
It’s best to do some advanced research on top of ChatGPT’s responses to improve your understanding of the target buyers.
Run competitive analysis
ChatGPT can help you gain insights into your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, identify areas where you can differentiate your product or service, or make informed decisions about your sales and marketing strategies.
If you already know your closest rivals, enter their names into ChatGPT and ask it to generate insights into their products, services, pricing, and customer base. Ask questions like "What are the main strengths of [competitor’s name] in the market?" or "What are the most effective marketing channels used by our competitors?"
Analyze customer feedback: Ask ChatGPT to generate insights on customer feedback and reviews for your competitors. You can ask questions like "What are the common complaints or issues customers have with [competitor’s name]?"
I entered one of our competitors’ websites asking ChatGPT what people liked and disliked about them and here’s what I got:
Suppose a prospect brings up a competitor you didn’t know existed. In such scenarios, you can quickly run a competitor research on them by asking questions like:
“What does [competitor website] do?”
“What product does [competitor website] sell?”
“Who is [competitor website]’s target audience?”
By entering these prompts into ChatGPT, you can generate valuable insights on your competitors and use this data to improve your sales conversation. These insights can help you identify the gaps in your (or your competitor’s) products, highlight the advantages you offer, and improve your sales performance.
Write captivating cold outreach emails
Sales reps spend countless hours on sales prospecting—often struggling to come up with the right thing to say in their cold email or cold call scripts.
With ChatGPT, you can accomplish this task in a matter of minutes! ChatGPT simplifies your prospecting woes by helping you create the right kind of content for your cold email/call outreach. You just have to maintain a set of good prompts to feed to the ChatGPT to train the bot and make the process faster.
For example, specify the type of content you need (e.g. email, cold call), enter your target industry, company size, and the job title of your ideal customer persona (ICP) and ChatGPT provides you with a matching text that you can edit further.
Ok, not the best—but still gives you a foundation to work with.
With ChatGPT at your side, you don’t have to worry about writing a cold outreach copy from scratch or getting the copy grammatically wrong. If you already have outreach email samples that have gotten you great results in the past, that’s great. You can ask ChatGPT to improve the copy further—or create multiple versions of it.
Imagine the amount of time this saves you. Instead of spending time on these manual tasks, you can now focus on researching a prospect account or preparing for your next sales call.
Create engaging LinkedIn posts at scale
Most reps don’t have a LinkedIn content strategy—although many of them are aware of what a powerful lead gen machine LinkedIn can be.
For perspective, LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than other social media platforms. And of all leads generated from social media, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.
Most sales reps shy away from being too active on social media because a) they don’t have time b) they don’t have anything to say. ChatGPT can help you kill two birds with one stone.
Take a look below:
Mind-blowing, right? The majority of this blog post is actually written by ChatGPT—so you can imagine how powerful it can be for your sales prospecting use cases.
But let’s be fair—ChatGPT isn’t 100% there when it comes to sounding like a human. Nicolas Cole, a well-known copywriting expert, says that “You can't expect AI to think for you. Treat it like a ‘Digital Intern’ and invest in its training.”
And that's great advice! The good thing about an AI bot like ChatGPT is that you can train it to your liking. You can even train it to mimic your writing voice, your tone of voice, and so on. You can ask it to be either funny or serious, casual or formal, enthusiastic or matter-of-fact—and it will do it for you. The better prompts you feed it, the better it gets over time.
Let’s take one more example. Here’s a generic prompt with a generic result:
Now compare the following prompt and its result that’s essentially about asking ChatGPT for doing the same task:
Told you ChatGPT is bendy. If you want to understand how to train ChatGPT to your style, read this Twitter thread by Nicolas. It’s filled with tactical ideas on how to create better prompts.
Write follow-up emails in a jiffy
Keeping up with prospects is pretty tough for most sales reps. Statistically speaking, most people say “no” four times before saying “yes” to your offer. It’s probably why 44% of reps give up on following up with a prospect after just one instance of follow-up.
On average, sales reps usually have about 8 touches with a prospect before they can close a deal. That means if you can follow up diligently with the right prospects, you increase your chances of bagging lucrative deals.
Part of the reason why most reps don’t follow up with prospects as much as they should is because of the effort that goes into it. They have to craft compelling subject lines that entice the prospects to open their email and draft even better email copy that makes them want to reply to you or respond favorably to your call-to-action (CTA).
Sales fatigue is a real phenomenon—and it often slows you down, increases the stress associated with achieving your quotas, or creates a sense of demotivation. Cognitive fatigue is a huge part of sales fatigue and it often results from thinking too hard and long—for instance, in the case of writing one follow-up email after another.
ChatGPT can speed up the process of creating a wide variety of follow-up messages based on the previous context. You can either give it a couple of lines of prompt or let it read your (or the prospects’) last email message and write a follow-up based on that.
Take a look:
Here’s the follow-up email that ChatGPT wrote for me:
Not bad at all! I can rework this if I don’t like it, but at least I have something to work on instead of starting from zero.
Automate your note-taking process
Note-taking is a key step in every knowledge professional’s daily workflow—and it makes a world of difference to our productivity and performance.
But there’s a problem with the way the majority of us take notes. Take sales professionals, for instance. Our survey indicates that the average salesperson spends ~5 hours each week taking notes manually.
Manual note-taking makes it extremely hard for you to jot down every small detail of a meeting. Like every manual process, taking notes manually is also prone to errors. The worst of all—it’s distracting to keep taking notes when you are supposed to fully engage with people in a conversation.
Avoma already had AI-generated meeting notes as a core capability in its suite of offerings. More recently, we have improved the note-taking efficiency by combining the power of GPT-4—the latest language model for the ChatGPT—with our own custom AI models. This means better meeting capabilities and increased depth and accuracy of notes to eliminate manual work for all kinds of meetings. Here’s how it works.
Avoma leverages AI’s speed and accuracy in note-taking and complements it with human judgment. That means when you use Avoma to record and transcribe your sales calls/meetings, the AI bot drafts the notes in the background—saving you precious time while leaving room for you to review and edit the notes if you want.
Here’s a look at how Avoma’s AI-generated looks like with the latest GPT-4 enhancement:
On average, GPT-4 offers a 78% accuracy rate on its language models—excluding the factual inaccuracies it makes through the ChatGPT interface. With a 95% accuracy rate, Avoma’s Notes are far ahead—on par with its call/meeting transcriptions.
And unlike other GPT-4-powered tools, you don’t even need to input any prompt in Avoma to start automating the notes. Avoma Note Taker generates notes in ‘autopilot’ while you are conversing with prospects in a call/meeting—but you still have full control to review and make final edits for quality control.
Our survey among a limited sample of beta users finds that Avoma Note Taker lets you save an average of 10 minutes per meeting on manual note-taking and CRM updates.
What not to do with ChatGPT?
Just because ChatGPT can do things for you doesn’t mean it can do those things well. As an AI language model, ChatGPT has its limitations, and there are some things it is not suitable for.
ChatGPT can be a valuable tool in the sales process, but it’s important to acknowledge its limitations. There are a few use cases where you shouldn’t apply ChatGPT at all—or at least limit its application to a minimum.
ChatGPT can be misleading
Don’t make the mistake of using ChatGPT as a source of factual information. As wise men say: information is not knowledge. The responses that ChatGPT spits out can sound intellectual and highly convincing, but there are instances where it provides misleading information.
The makers behind ChatGPT have made it absolutely clear that ChatGPT retrieves all of its data from publicly available information sources on the internet only until 2021. So while you may use it for your research process in sales prospecting, don’t take all of its information at face value.
Here’s what ChatGPT can’t do for you, in its own words:
ChatGPT isn’t perfect—at least as of now. Until then, use ChatGPT’s information with caution and verify its factual veracity before sharing the information with your team or prospects. Here’s a list of things that ChatGPT can and can’t do.
Don’t over-anchor on it
While ChatGPT can provide helpful information, don’t use it to bypass human interaction. Customers often value the personal touch that comes with interacting with a human sales representative. And they hate it when you use bots to respond to their queries. You can leverage ChatGPT to improve your speed of execution but don’t rely on it too much.
People are already worried about the lazy responses that ChatGPT is inviting into online question-answer forums like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) or Help a B2B Writer:
Don’t come up with lead-qualifying questions
The traditional SaaS buyer experience is already broken—don’t jeopardize it further by over-automating your prospecting process to sound like a robot.
For instance, take a look at this list of qualification questions that Aditya Kothadiya, Avoma's CEO, received from a sales rep when he reached out to ask him if they could speed up the buying process.
The problem with his response is that it sounds too generic and the rep, uninterested. Mind you, the buyer is expressing his eagerness to buy the product and he still gets a lukewarm email with an over-templatized list of qualifying questions.
It feels like the rep(s) send out the same questions to everyone who gets in touch with them without any effort of personalizing the conversation. And the questions, if you notice, are worse than what an AI bot can come up with.
The point is—don’t let efficiency come in between the customer experience. Leveraging ChatGPT for improving your prospecting process is great, but don’t overuse it for a process like lead qualification which needs a lot of research, personalization, and thoughtfulness.
Make ChatGPT your friend
It's hard to ignore the buzz around ChatGPT—the latest breakthrough in AI technology that's taking the world by storm.
With its ability to generate human-like language, ChatGPT has been hailed as a game-changer across most industries, ranging from pharmaceuticals to eCommerce.
The impact of ChatGPT is perhaps most noticeable in B2B SaaS, where fast-moving sales teams are racing to adopt this cutting-edge tool to improve their efficiency. From automating sales processes to offering personalized customer interactions, ChatGPT is quickly becoming every sales rep’s favorite tool.
If you want to build a formidable career in B2B sales and improve your existing sales processes, embrace ChatGPT to increase productivity, enhance buyer experience, and improve overall sales performance.
NOTE: This post originally appeared in the Avoma blog.