By now, we have all heard about the latest popular innovation in artificial intelligence: ChatGPT. From students using the tool to cheat on essays to job seekers employing it to complete applications, stories about new uses of ChatGPT in everyday life are popping up left and right. Some are comical, some are frightening, but all are fascinating.
As usage spreads like wildfire (there are currently 100 million unique users), companies are grappling with how best to leverage it for their own benefit. Similar AI-powered chatbots such as Google Bard, Jasper Chat, Chatsonic, Character.AI, and many others are also making waves. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s safe to say that ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the way we do business. According to Revenue.io, less than half of B2B companies respond to inbound leads within five days, and 58% never respond at all.
A Chat With ChatGPT
ChatGPT is an AI model that can generate humanlike text responses to prompts given by the user. Basically, it can synthesize massive amounts of data, and with the help of user feedback and training, the tool can then write conversational responses. It’s essentially an AI chatbot in which users can help shape the quality of responses, and it’s incredibly easy to use.
There are countless examples out there of people trying their hand at the tool. So, we thought we’d test it out ourselves. We started with an easy one from the list of recommended prompts — “Explain quantum computing in simple terms.” (Not complicated at all, right?) Here’s what happened next:
Pretty impressive, huh? And businesses are noticing. Some are starting to experiment with using the tool to help fuel their online chat and user support platforms, write emails and articles, anpotential to be a biasedd even generate code.
Can ChatGPT Benefit B2B Sales?
All the excitement around ChatGPT has left us with more than a few burning questions. How can we use the tool in B2B sales? Can it automate our daily tasks? Is it safe to use? The conversational AI model has raised many creative opportunities for today’s sellers.
Answering Frequently Asked Questions
Bombarded with daily emails from leads asking the same questions? ChatGPT could help automate those responses for you. Think about FAQ-style content — the kinds of questions that may not require a deeply customized response. Basic questions surrounding product features and functionality, base-level pricing requests, and even cancellation policy information all have the potential for automation with ChatGPT and delivery via email or online chat.
By automating responses to these frequently asked questions, sellers can shift their time and effort toward more valuable tasks. Of course, it’s important that conversations be monitored and responses be edited to ensure that they make sense, are factually accurate, and account for situational context (more on that later). Nevertheless, ChatGPT can take some of the work involved in crafting these responses off your plate and can serve as a great starting point in your customer communications.
Improving Response Times and, Ultimately, Relationships
When making a buying decision, today’s prospects expect to get the information they need fast and with minimal effort. Yet most B2B sales teams struggle to connect with buyers quickly enough. According to Revenue.io, less than half of B2B companies respond to inbound leads within five days, and 58% never respond at all. Buyers expect answers within five minutes, not five days. ChatGPT can help shorten lead response times for sellers, and by doing so, better support the needs of prospects and customers. To put it simply, faster response times mean higher customer satisfaction.
Equally as important as the time it takes to respond is the quality of the response. Poor-quality responses are aggravating, to say the least, and have the power to destroy customer relationships. Picture this:
You dial up the customer support line of a company you need to contact. You’ve cycled through the prerecorded options, none of them helpful, as you try to figure out how to speak with an actual human about your issue. Eventually, your frustration boils over, and now you’ve resorted to yelling incessantly into your phone, “Speak with a person! Speak with a rep!” while it unsuccessfully tries to interpret what you’re saying (“I’m sorry, I could not understand that request. Can you ask it again?”).
Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
The quality of ChatGPT’s responses lies within the user feedback and supervision it receives. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has a team that is actively training the tool on the backend to improve upon its results.
One caveat to take note of — ChatGPT’s knowledge of news and current events is limited. At the moment, it is only trained on data through 2021. That being said, any information the model provides should be thoroughly vetted, as there have been instances of it providing incorrect responses to requests.
But the end user also has a role to play in driving the accuracy and quality of the tool. When asking questions of ChatGPT, users are prompted to provide feedback on its responses, in the form of a thumbs up or down widget, to help further boost its effectiveness.
As ChatGPT continues to evolve, so does its ability to craft coherent, intelligent responses. And the better the AI gets, the closer sellers are to delivering faster, helpful answers to inquiries with greater ease. It has the potential to serve as a powerful tool to strengthen customer relationships and prevent customer service nightmares (remember screaming at the recorded messaging system?).
Enhancing Research and Generating Ideas
The AI model’s potential extends far beyond its application in direct customer communications. More than just a chatbot, ChatGPT can wear many hats, from that of a robust brainstorming machine to maybe even a data analyst.
In need of some creative inspiration? Sellers can ask ChatGPT for a list of subject line ideas for their outreach emails. The tool can help them think outside the box with a list of unique and engaging subject lines that just might help them cut through the noise in a prospect’s inbox.
Tired of the same old conversations? Sellers can ask ChatGPT for a list of questions to ask during cold calls. Let’s face it: Most basic phone scripts can use some spicing up. ChatGPT could help enhance conversations by suggesting questions you may not have thought of previously. You never know what question could open the door to further your relationships or give you valuable insight into customer needs.
What about asking the tool to generate a list of product recommendations for a particular prospect? Or to write a proposal you can use as a starting point? We think you see where we’re going with this.
An alternate route sellers can take is to ask ChatGPT to summarize research. If a new study or report is released pertaining to your industry or line of business, ask the tool to give an overview of its findings. Many sellers often don’t have time to sit down and read the latest publications within their fields, but staying current is essential for career success. This application of ChatGPT offers a quick way to help them get up to speed before important meetings or to sprinkle more knowledge into their conversations.
Finally, ChatGPT can analyze your data. Using it for this purpose may require some additional technological chops (you may want to engage a data scientist or an engineer), but it’s absolutely possible to have the tool evaluate your data and discover patterns and insights.
For sellers, that could mean using ChatGPT to learn helpful intelligence about their current customer base, like trends and commonalities that may have been buried within the data. On the other hand, it could analyze data associated with prospects and actively targeted accounts to provide helpful insight into their makeup.
But Can Sellers Really Trust ChatGPT?
With so much potential for improving the day-to-day work of sellers, it can all sound a bit too good to be true. And in some ways, it is. While an exciting technological advancement, ChatGPT has its limitations, so responsible use of the tool is paramount. Before putting the AI to the test, sellers should first fully recognize the risks and drawbacks.
Be Mindful of Bias
Any response given by ChatGPT has the potential to be a biased one. And t makes sense if you think back to how it works.
The AI relies upon the information it receives from the individuals training it to craft responses. We all know that when humans have control over the output of something, the results are often riddled with their own human biases, albeit unintentionally.
Since ChatGPT’s adoption, there have been a number of reports of it delivering biased and offensive responses. Prepare for ChatGPT to generate potentially harmful replies, and understand that its output is not to be taken at face value.
Review, Review, Review
It would be ideal if we could kick back and relax while ChatGPT writes our emails, answers our chats, and basically does our jobs for us, but we would probably end up in hot water very quickly. Why? Because the responses the AI generates require extensive review.
From factual inaccuracies to spelling errors, ChatGPT is far from perfect. As the saying goes, take its replies with a grain of salt. In fact, OpenAI states that “…outputs may be inaccurate, untruthful, and otherwise misleading at times.” ChatGPT is very much a work in progress, and while it may act as a great tool to help drum up new ideas, it cannot be considered a reliable source of information.
Do your own research to back up any claims that it makes to determine their accuracy. Edit any messages it writes to ensure they make grammatical sense and resonate with your own tone and voice. In other words, do your fact-checking and due diligence, or get ready to suffer the potential consequences.
Think Twice Before You Share Data
When using ChatGPT, take caution when it comes to the information you share. Any data you provide could be used to further optimize the tool and its messages. In fact, when you log on to ChatGPT, you’ll see the following messages: “Conversations may be reviewed by our AI trainers to improve our systems” and “Please don’t share any sensitive information in your conversations.” These are not to be ignored.
Keep in mind that you have no control over what is done with any sensitive data or private information you feed to ChatGPT. Furthermore, if you train it to analyze your own datasets, understand that that information is now exposed and could result in significant privacy concerns. When it comes to sharing your data, you can never be too careful.
Will ChatGPT Replace the Modern B2B Salesperson?
The birth of new AI technology seems to only amplify our fears of it replacing our hard-earned jobs. The entertainment industry has taken that idea and run with it in movies and television shows like “Westworld,” “The Matrix,” and “Her,” which explore a fascinating and terrifying AI-driven world that’s a bit too close for comfort. We can’t help but wonder if ChatGPT is taking us one step closer to fiction becoming reality.
At the end of the day, as much as it may feel like AI is taking over, there is simply no replacement for human interaction in sales. ChatGPT may be able to jot an email for you or dig up a list of engaging conversation starters, but only you can take that information and make it your own. Plus, AI can often miss the mark when it comes to context — it may deliver some technically valid responses, but that doesn’t mean they will hold up against the realities of doing business.
When it comes to sales, AI continues to play an increasingly significant role in the prospecting process. Sales intelligence tools such as D&B HooversTM are designed to help sellers grow their businesses through the use of data, analytics, and AI. ChatGPT may also play a role in the process in the not-so-distant future. But despite how powerful they may be, it’s important to remember that they are just that — tools. And tools must be managed and optimized by people to be truly useful. They can help automate tedious tasks, deliver deeper insights, and ultimately help close more deals, but they cannot replace the value of today’s sales professionals.
The content provided in articles are suggestions only and based on best practices. Dun & Bradstreet is not liable for the outcome or results of specific programs or tactics. Please contact an attorney or tax professional if you are in need of legal or tax advice.