This article comes from Jennifer Ryan’s insightful talk, ‘Beyond the bots: Balancing technology with human connection’, at our 2024 Austin Sales Enablement Summit, check out her full presentation here.

Let's start with the million-dollar question in sales today: How can we fully capitalize on the potential of AI without losing the essential human elements that drive real connections and impact? 

There's no denying the awesome capabilities AI brings to the table - automating tasks and augmenting our productivity in powerful ways, but we can't just hand over the keys to the machines entirely!

We have to be intentional about finding the right balance, using AI as a complementary partnership that expands what we can do as humans rather than replacing us altogether.

As someone obsessed with the world of tech and machine learning, I've witnessed firsthand the fears and resistance new technologies often breed. That knee-jerk "Rise of the Machines" mentality is natural, but misguided

When leveraged correctly, AI can be an incredibly skilled copilot, not the one actually taking the controls, so let me share my journey and key insights for striking this all-important balance...

My journey with technology as an enabler

My journey actually began in the IT world, where I got hands-on experience with everything from machine learning and RPA to coding. 

So I was primed and ready when AI started taking off. While everyone else was nervous, I was like a kid in a candy store - just super eager to explore the possibilities!

What I realized early on is that the key for getting people on board is to tap into their emotions with a clear, compelling "Why?" - the bigger vision and aspirations that these new capabilities can help achieve. 

As the famous "Golden Circle" concept teaches us, people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

AI and sales enablement: a match made in the cloud?
AI has incredible potential when used in a sales environment, and best of all, it’s not limited to one area. It can be used to help sales enablement achieve its goals in a number of both direct and indirect ways.

The 5 key components for transformation  

Speaking of visions, I want to introduce a hugely valuable framework for making transformational changes happen when implementing new technologies and strategies. 

There are five key components:

  1. A clear vision that paints the vivid picture of what you're working towards
  2. The skills and knowledge required to execute on that vision 
  3. Proper incentives to motivate people to make the change
  4. Having the necessary resources and tools in place
  5. A solid, communicated action plan with clear steps

No vision? You'll cause confusion. Lack of skills? Anxiety kicks in.