Ninety-three per cent of sales professionals and 87 per cent of marketers believe virtual assistants powered by artificial intelligence technologies could improve cross-functional relationships, according to the results of a survey released by Conversica.
The Valentine’s Day Sales and Marketing Report is based on responses from approximately 1,000 U.S.-based sales and marketing professionals and explored the ongoing problem of alignment between the two teams. Much like more traditional romantic relationships, the data suggests the feelings aren’t always mutual, or at least not entirely. While 38 per cent of marketers described having “perfect synergy,” only 27 per cent of sales pros said the same thing. Instead, 68 per cent of sales described their relationship marketing as “good but could be better,” but only two per cent actually called it dysfunctional. Marketers in general tended to be much more optimistic, calling sales teams their “comrades in arms.”
“Both agree that the #1 tension between them is that marketing is more forward-looking and sales is focused on now,” the report says, adding that the difference in perceptions has an impact on how well the various departments can achieve common objectives. “(One quarter) 0f marketing (professionals) say marketers are strategic, (but that) sales people have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).”
Despite high hopes for the kind of AI which Conversica provides, it is by no means used by the majority of sales and marketing teams. Only 33 per cent of marketers said they have such tools in place today, and sales was even lower at 25 per cent.
On the other hand, marketers were more upbeat about the impact so far, with 57 per cent saying such tools have improved their ability to work with sales teams. This not only included the quality of leads that marketing could pass on but eliminating manual or “grunt” work as well as morale across both functions, the report said.