AI for Sales: The Next Industrial Revolution

Artificial intelligence will be driving the industry revolution beyond just IT.

[Editor’s Note: This entry is the first in a three-part series that will explore: 1) the advancements AI has made within the past few years, 2) the significance of AI to the sales domain, and 3) the future of AI for sales. Ultimately, we’ll dig to uncover and put a spotlight on the impact AI will have on the sales workforce. Will you and your sales team be ready for the AI industrial revolution?]

A Recap of AI Advancements  

The past few years have witnessed quite a stride for artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. The biggest “surprise” is no doubt the historical wins of AlphaGo, a machine powered by AI and deep learning, over a prestigious professional Go world champion. If you are brave and lucky enough, you can also test self-driving Ubers at Pittsburgh or San Francisco. Meanwhile, Human-level performance was achieved by AI in conversational speech recognition and computer vision.

2016: The Chatbot Year

2016 has also been deemed the year of chatbot, partly thanks to the advancement of AI and deep learning being applied to natural language processing, with Slack, Microsoft, Facebook pivoting towards building intelligent bot over messengers, not to mention tons of companies building smart chatbots for all kinds of domains including sales, marketing and shopping, recruiting, etc.

Some of the Big Players in AI

All major companies are pouring resources into AI research, for example, Google open sourced TensorFlow, Microsoft CNTK, Baidu PaddlePaddle, AWS MXNet, Facebook supporting both caffe and Torch, Nvidia providing GPUs and toolkit optimized for deep learning. With the amazing advancement and lowering barrier to apply cutting-edge AI techniques, AI will be driving the industry revolution beyond just IT, just like steam engine powering the 1st industrial revolution in the late 18th century, electricity and assembly lines enabling mass production in the 2nd industrial revolution in the late 19th century, communication/internet, new forms of energy transforming our society in the 20th century.

What’s Next for AI and the Sales Domain

Now that we’ve journeyed through some of the recent advancements in AI, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with sales? What is the relationship between AI and the sales domain? In my next blog post, we’ll continue the conversation about AI and dive deeper into how this innovative technology can help accelerate sales.

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