AI is all we've been hearing about. The lingering question though: how is AI actually being used today? You don't have to dig deep to realize that it hasn't yet made its way into frontline workers. When it does, the potential impact will be significant.
I've been spending a lot of time trying to up to date with the world of artificial intelligence - there is no shortage of news. Every day, new headlines come out about new models, regulatory changes, or how AI will save the world. The incredibly rapid pace of innovation and how it disrupts every single line of work makes for great content. It's been hard to keep up with it all. The signal-to-noise ratio is low and flashy headlines doesn't help..
I've been on a mission. A mission to go beyond the flashy headlines and to better understand how AI is transforming our workspace and is actually being used today by knowledge workers. Now that we've gone over the hype cycle of ChatGPT, Enterprise AI is taking center stage.
It is critical to understand:
Who is actually leveraging its potential?
What are the benefits they are experiencing?
What are the barriers to adoption?
The Imbalance of AI Adoption
I came across this article from the Boston Consulting Group. The consultancy surveyed over 13,000 individuals from every seniority, function, and industry. What they uncover is eye-opening - it highlights all the untapped opportunities for AI adoption.
Nearly half of respondents, 46%, say that they have experimented with generative AI, and 27% say that they use it regularly. This, in and of itself, helps to understand the sheer magnitude of how AI is disrupting every knowledge workers.
But when we broke down these numbers, we find that while 80% of leaders claim to regularly use generative AI, a mere 20% of frontline employees can say the same.
So, what could be the reasons behind this significant gap in adoption?
Exposure Management often has more exposure to new technologies, through thought leadership content, industry conferences, networking events, and discussions with other leaders. This early exposure creates familiarity and comfort with AI, making them more inclined to embrace its potential.
Budget & decision-making Budgetary constraints can play a role in AI adoption. Management are often responsible for resource allocation and has the authority to sign off on AI investments. With the financial backing, they tend to introduce AI tools into their workflows, seeing them as strategic investments that can improve efficiency and drive results for them and the organization.
New tools Additionally, management tends to be the first target of new solutions. The new wave of AI tools is no different. Ads and web content will often be addressed to them because they are the ones to write the hefty checks. Hence, tools are first and foremost tailored to their needs and use cases.
Unlock frontline potential
The same is also true in sales. AI was first (and still is majoritarily) used to support manage use cases: pipeline forecasting, performance management, funnel analytics, etc. There is nothing wrong with that, but at the end of the day, it doesn't directly help your team to face their day-to-day challenges and close more deals, faster.
The real power of AI remains untapped if the rest of the team doesn't come along for the ride. My fellow account executives, it's time to shift the spotlight onto you. Yes, you, the unsung hero of the organization.
We need to bring AI into your daily routines. Your experience with AI shouldn't just stop you from using ChatGPT to rephrase emails once in a while or write a blog post for your LinkedIn. There is so much more you can do once AI is seamlessly integrated into your workflows, making your life easier, your decisions smarter, and your impact more significant.
We don't dive again into different use cases of AI for account executives (we wrote an interesting article about the 4 ways AI can support sellers), but I'm incredibly bullish about how AI will have a transformational impact on how sales are being done.
Tip your toe in the AI pool
If you're one of those frontline employees who are yet to experiment with AI, you should know that there are tens of ways how it could help you in your personal life or in your line of work. It can feel overwhelming and more likely, it can feel scary.
Here are a few advice on how to start experimenting with the power of AI when you are a frontline worker:
Think about what your day-to-day looks like and identify ~5 areas you could probably do things better, faster, or smarter.
Don't force yourself to identify new problems; Start with what you know.
Start small. It doesn't have to be a huge change in your workflows. The simpler, the better to start.
Read about it. The way other people are using AI will give you inspiration for how it could help you.
Look at the existing tool you're using. They most probably are deploying AI-powered functionalities. It's an easy to tip your toes in the AI pool.
Talk about it with your managers. They might have ideas.
Adopting AI should never be complicated or difficult. If it does, something is wrong.
At Pod, we're building AI directly into sellers workflows, so they can enjoy the benefits of it without the pain.
At Pod, AEs come for the AI and stay for the productivity!