The B2B Sales Playbook for 2024

How AI plays a role in your 2024 sales playbook

The B2B sales playbook for sales teams has dramatically changed over the past three years, both for small businesses and large corporations. The most seismic change was brought about by COVID-19 in 2020, causing sales meetings to be moved to online video calls.

In 2021, with workers pushing to continue working remotely, business leaders struggled to get employees to return to the office, making in-person sales a continued challenge.

In 2022, with remote work becoming the new way of doing business, employees packed up and moved to desirable locations hundreds of miles from their brick-and-mortar offices, continuing to create a struggle for salespeople to have in-person contact with buyers. With so many people working from home and having less personal contact with the outside world, we saw buyers relying on the internet to conduct their own research of needed products and services.

In 2023, there was a widespread introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) software, prompting buyers to intensify their reliance on the internet for corporate purchasing decisions. The landscape of B2B sales has always been complex, but AI began necessitating sales teams to prioritize the creation of value at every juncture of the buying process.

As H.G. Wells aptly stated, “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative,” underscoring the urgency for sales professionals to swiftly adapt to these technological shifts.

With AI on the forefront, capable of revolutionizing the sales game at a pace beyond human imagination, sales professionals must embrace change with unmatched nimbleness. Utilizing AI-powered, guided selling, sales professionals can expedite deal closures, perform pre-call research, handle objections, improve CRM integrity, and share pertinent information.

Let’s explore three ways in which AI can support B2B sales professionals. These are sales tools that should be in every sales professional’s toolbox.

  1. Data-Driven Insights. Your CRM should have AI-driven, guided selling tools built in that are analyzing emails, notes, phone calls, and other entered data and then giving the sales professional suggested actions to take to advance the deal. HubSpot’s Predictive Lead Scoring AI tool provides these types of personalized, data-driven action items. Zoho Analytics, which integrates with HubSpot, is another tool that enables you to keep track of your key sales performance metrics and optimize your sales execution.
  1. Automating Manual Tasks. CRMs or other AI add-ons can help sales professionals prepare for a sales call by giving them information about the customer and the company. HubSpot integrates with and that provide detailed information about prospects you want to call on or clients in your CRM that you need to know more about. These tools also save time by accurately importing contact information into the CRM.

Sales professionals should also be taking advantage of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, ChatSpot, or Apollo to generate content for emails, sales collateral, and presentations. This is a major area where sales professionals can save the time normally spent doing these menial tasks and allow them more time in the field.

  1. Generating Content. There has been a significant surge in the utilization of asynchronous videos for sales outreach, as sales professionals are incorporating video messaging into their sales processes. com and are asynchronous video platforms that allow sales professionals to provide personalized information, demonstrations, post-meeting recaps, and check-ins. A new player in this space is, an AI-powered platform. Hippo Video provides an extensive array of pre-built templates, enabling users to seamlessly integrate personalized intros with pre-recorded videos and more. All three platforms offer real-time analytics and insights on video engagements which allow sales professionals to track customer behavior and preferences to improve their sales approach and customer service.


Partnership with Sales and Marketing

More than ever before, marketing and sales departments need to work together in this new AI business world. (If you do not have an in-house marketing person, then hire a digital content marketing company to help you develop a marketing strategy.) The companies that embrace digital marketing in 2024 will have a better opportunity to increase revenue.

Here are three ways that sales and marketing can work together to improve the content used to turn prospective clients into buying clients.

  1. Focus on Buying Groups, not Target Markets. This is the year to develop a marketing plan with clear objectives and strategies aimed at differentiating your company’s brand. Companies must shift their strategy from focusing on large target markets to concentrating on smaller buying groups of customers with similar needs. With the help of marketing, those in sales should develop content that is relevant to the buying group’s needs at each stage of their journey and make it available on the digital channels where the buyer searches for information. The content should educate and make the sales professional a trusted advisor on challenges and issues that are unique to the buying groups. The content should be focused on a buyer-centric strategy that tells stories and encourages conversation on how the sales professional can help the buyer with their needs or issues.
  1. Craft a Story about Differentiators. When crafting your message on differentiators, begin with a compelling opening statement that captures attention and lingers in the minds of your audience. Weave a narrative that intimately addresses the specific needs of your buying group, creating a relatable story that resonates with their challenges and aspirations. Introduce a hook that not only captivates your audience but also propels them toward a call to action, fostering engagement and prompting them to explore the distinctive offerings that set your brand apart. By seamlessly combining these elements, your message becomes a powerful tool to not just communicate differentiators but to actively involve and motivate your buyer.
  1. Utilize Data-Driven Information instead of Intuition. Companies should leverage AI data-driven results to make informed decisions in both their sales and marketing efforts. The focus on smaller groups means a message that resonates with more of the individuals in a specific buying group. The data-driven metrics will show increased leads because of the focused message, leading to a higher closing rate that results in an ROI of increased revenue. For those sales teams that rely on a “gut feeling” as to which customers will lead to a sale, this eliminates the salesperson saying, “I just need a little more time, I can feel it, the order is coming.”

AI can be a powerful tool for B2B sales professionals by helping them to be more effective, efficient, and successful. It can provide targeted lead generation, personalized recommendations, predictive analytics, real-time insights, automated follow-up, and enhanced customer service. As technology continues to evolve, AI will play an increasingly important role in the sales process.

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