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9 Stats Showing the Reality of Sales and Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence is becoming an increasingly present technology in our personal and professional lives and is a term sales teams are hearing and saying a lot more of lately. The days of laughing off “that Terminator-technology” are long gone as businesses and consumers alike are adopting it for the value it brings.

How sales teams view Artificial Intelligence (AI) is different than how they are using it (meaning: most aren’t). Data from Salesforce’s Annual State of Sales Report show a surprising gap between the value AI offers sales teams and the lack of people currently using the technology. 

Sales Teams Have High Expectations for AI

  • The majority of reps and managers foresee substantial impacts from AI over the next five years on many of teams’ toughest tasks.
  • Across the board, top teams are nearly twice as likely as underperformers to anticipate an important role for AI in their work over the coming years.
  • The Reality Check: Only 34% of sales leaders have intelligent forecasting — but 90% among them say it helps them do their job more effectively.

How AI Will Impact Sales

  • Nearly half of salespeople think AI will play a role in guided selling-related capabilities like opportunity rankings and suggested next steps.
  • A majority of salespeople also see a big role for AI in helping prioritize leads, surfacing account insights, and automating data entry via activity capture.
  • The Reality Check: Only 46% of sales reps have data insights on customers’ propensity to buy, but among them, 85% say this makes them more effective in their job.

AI is Proving Growth for Sales Teams

  • The growth of AI is expected to continue as sales leaders expect their adoption of AI to grow by 155% by 2020.
  • Data shows that even teams that are already using AI expand their ranks at a faster rate than others.
  • The Reality Check: While strong majorities of sales reps view a variety of intelligent capabilities as helpful for doing their jobs more effectively, relatively few actually have them.

Salesforce’s Einstein is built into the Salesforce Platform, offering a layer of artificial intelligence that delivers actionable insights from the data already in your Salesforce instance. Learn more about Salesforce Einstein here

Is your team ready to add AI to your Salesforce instance? Find out by taking this free Einstein Sales Cloud Readiness Assessment.

These stats all came directly from Salesforce’s Annual State of Sales Report.

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Marisa Lather, Marketing Manager

Marisa Lather is the Employment Branding Marketing Manager at Perficient and is proudly dedicated to developing the Perficient culture. Known as @MarketerMarisa, she is a data-driven design thinker who specializes in creating aesthetic brand experiences that delight. With an inbound marketing specialization in multimedia content creation and engagement, she develops and executes omnichannel campaigns, blending online and offline worlds to create data-informed content and affinity-building experiences for brands. She is actively engaged in the national marketing community, blogs about modern business, personal development, marketing, and more at, and speaks at conferences around the country. Connect with Marisa on LinkedIn and follow @MarketerMarisa on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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