Sandler Hot Take: AI Tools You Can Use Today To Improve Your Numbers (And No, This Isn’t ChatGPT)

Jordan Ledwein

Many self-appointed social media “experts” advise salespeople to embrace AI technology for better results .. but they rarely offer any practical guidance on how to do this. They don’t answer the question “What, exactly, do I do?”

A lot of them end up talking in vague terms about large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, yet don’t give any meaningful specifics on how to deploy such tools to improve personal efficiency and accelerate selling cycles.  In this article, I’ll try to reverse that trend — and no, I won’t be talking to you about ChatGPT, except very briefly right now:  If you’re interested in using ChatGPT in a way that doesn’t actually alienate buyers, you may want to take a look at this white paper for Sandler’s list of 20 proven prompts for LLMs that drive better results for salespeople.

Moving on: If you’re like most salespeople I meet, about 70% of your time is probably spent on non-sales tasks. AI really can help you reduce this number. I speak from personal experience here. Early on, I decided I didn’t want to use AI to replace myself in sales. I thought that approach was both lazy and ineffective. Instead, I wanted to find ways to use AI that would multiply me. I wanted AI tools that would enhance my abilities, giving me more time to sell … and empowering me to spend less time on tasks that could be handled by an “assistant” who had unlimited patience, great analytical skills, and was a better listener than I was.

That’s what I wanted. My goal was to shift from spending  just 30% of my time selling to spending maybe 50%-60% of my time to clients and prospects. I decided I was going to make that happen by test-driving apps personally and in some depth, so I could find the ones that not only worked for me, but  that I could share confidently with my clients.

In my travels, I came across several tools that really have helped me spend  far less time doing stuff that isn’t interacting in real time with buyers and influencers. In fact, I found that using these tools ended up saving me over 100 hours over the past year, two and a half working weeks that I would otherwise have spent stuck on administrative tasks. I spent those hundred hours interacting with people who could buy from me … and yes, my numbers reflect that.

So what are those tools? Two of the most important are Fathom and Attention.

These are  AI virtual meeting assistants and AI notetakers. Fathom has a free version for individual salespeople and a paid version that integrates with a team’s CRM; Attention has only a paid version, but some functionality that Fathom doesn’t offer.

There are a number of good virtual meeting assistants out there; Attention, which offers both in-person and virtual meeting recording, is the one that I use. Both are well-designed and intuitive enough for you to use today and get major value easily and quickly, just like I did — which is, let’s face it a major consideration. Who wants to waste time struggling with a new app? Not me. The easier a given app is to use, and the quicker it’s adopted by both front-line salespeople and management, the more likely it is to improve a whole team’s numbers. Tools like these have figured that out.

Here’s the point. Both Fathom and Attention record your video call with one or more buyers, transcribe the call into written text for you, and then break down the outcome and the next steps that were agreed on during the call. (Sales managers love that part.) But what was mind-boggling for me, and maybe will be for you, is that these apps also highlight the conversational high points – the places where the discussion started to gain momentum.

Pretty cool, right? Not only do Fathom and Attention save you time by doing the transcription (which not too long ago, let’s remember, was something a human being had to type out) but they also summarize the conversation for you and spotlight the “green light” moments you might have missed while you were focused on what you were doing. So, if you’re demoing your product during a video conference with four or five decision makers, and you’re focused (as you should be!) on what you’re demonstraring, you probably don’t have time or, frankly, the bandwidth necessary to process the positive feedback you got from each participant. These apps do.

Now, if you’re like me, and you’re not that great an active listener, having a tool like Fathom or Attention that supports you in the listening area isn’t just a time-saver – it’s a major boost in productivity. It  that helps you to do your job significantly better than you were doing it yesterday.  You’re not only spending more time with people who can buy from you and your organization, you’re using that time more effectively.

So: There’s the practical guidance, my answer to the question “What do I do?” Use a tool like Fathom or Attention. You may want to share this article with your sales manager. And if you need any help integrating AI tools like these seamlessly within your team’s sales process, feel free to reach out and let us know. That’s where we add value.