We are just in the infancy of trying to understand and exploit AI/ML technologies in sales and marketing.

AI offers us tremendous capability in more effectively identifying, targeting, and engaging prospects with much greater relevance/impact.

Having said that, there is something missing in every discussion I read or hear about leveraging AI/ML in marketing and selling. The discussions focus on how we leverage these technologies in engaging a human buyer.

The reality is the buying and procurement side is already leveraging AI/ML technologies as or more aggressively than sales. Buyers are leveraging these technologies to sort through the overwhelming digital clutter that surrounds all of us.

Buyers are already implementing Procurement Bots to simplify and speed up transactional purchases. Just as AI/ML help us automate much the mundane tasks in marketing and selling, AI/ML will automate much of the mundane tasks in buying and procurement.

AI/ML applications in procurement/buying are creating “Cognitive Procurement Advisors” to help buyers (not just procurement) find, identify, solution alternatives, assess them and help improve decision-making. They are leveraging these technologies for vendor analysis, spend analysis/management, benchmarking, strategic sourcing, and risk analysis.

We cannot be naive in our thinking of AI/ML, our buyers are racing to leverage these technologies as fast (or faster) than we are. We have to be thinking of not only the human buying experience, but also the “machine” buying experience. How will we be positioned in our buyers algorithms?

We have to be thinking of both how and where we effectively deploy these technologies, but also be talking to our customers and strategic accounts about how and where they will be deploying similar technologies.

At the same time, we have to understand and make sure our customers understand where the human interaction is better/more effective than the machine interaction–it turns out these are in the Complex and Complicated environments.

In the meantime, if you are prospecting me, have your machine contact my machine. They’ll figure it out.