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Increase Your Sales Efficiency: Utilizing Data Intelligence, Personalization, And AI With Usman Sheikh [Episode 147]

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Are you for or against the use of AI in selling?

If you’re against it, your answer may change by the end of this episode. This week, Doug C. Brown and Usman Sheikh, the CEO and founder of xIQ, a generative AI platform for B2B sales and marketing, explore the use of AI in selling. Doug and Usman discuss why CEOs and sales professionals should shift their mindset from fear to hope, how using AI responsibly can help salespeople work smarter, not harder, how salespeople should become data scientists when using AI, and why all of this is exciting.

In this episode you will learn:

 

Episode’s guest – Usman Sheikh

CEO Sales Strategies | Usman Sheik | Sales Efficiency

Usman Sheikh is the founder and CEO of xiQ, an innovative B2B sales and marketing platform that combines generative AI and behavioral science to transform and humanize sales approaches with personality-driven strategies. A futurist and design thinker, Usman is passionate about humanizing and streamlining B2B sales and marketing by harnessing the power of AI. He believes in achieving excellence through disciplined and relentless execution.

transcript

Increase Your Sales Efficiency: Utilizing Data Intelligence, Personalization, And AI With Usman Sheikh

We’re going to talk about AI and selling in today’s environment with AI and using data intelligence and personalization to increase your effectiveness and efficiencies in selling and how your sales teams can do the same. Also, why you, as the owner or CEO or even as a salesperson, are your own CEO in a lot of ways, how you must embrace what’s going on the AI side or you’re going to be left behind.

That’s not a scare tactic. It’s when we look at the data, the numbers, the ability of companies to embrace AI, and the fact that they are doing so at such a rapid rate, it’s one of these things we must actually look at in a very serious way to make sure that we are at the forefront of this. It’s not that hard, it’s not that scary. We’re going to talk all about that.

For those of you who are looking, we are opening up our university on the 1%. If you’re interested in learning how to convert better and more efficiently, reach out to us at YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com and we’ll talk about it. Let’s go talk to Mr. Usman Sheikh, who’s an expert in the field of AI. Usman, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for being here.

Thank you so much for having me, Doug.

Why don’t you tell everybody what you do? You’ve got this cool background, so let’s set the frame for the episode.

I am the CEO and founder of a company called xiQ, which is a generative AI platform for B2B sales and marketing. Think about ChatGPT for B2B sellers and for marketeers. We are able to infuse some psychology into how ChatGPT responds to people. By doing so, we are able to actually predict the personality type of an individual.

If your audience has ever heard of behavioral science personality assessments such as the DISC methodology or Myers-Briggs, we use DISC as a framework to predict the personality type of your prospects. You can custom-tailor your sales and marketing outreach and strategies specifically for individuals. By doing so, you improve the chances of closing deals by highly personalizing interactions with the people you’re selling to.

It comes down to speaking the same language. Being in the same language. I don’t know why someone hasn’t thought of this prior to. I’ve never heard of this. I was so impressed when I first took a look at this because it was like I was forever talking and teaching people. We have to communicate on the person’s level, which gives us insight now to the personality type or the psychology behind that so we can tailor our communications even more appropriately. That’s what I got out of it. Is that accurate?

That’s very correct. How many times have our personal biases and opinions stepped into the way of us being able to understand our prospects? That becomes even more complicated because now buyers don’t have the time or desire to meet sellers. We have less and less opportunity to understand those physical signals that we used to have in the good old days when we used to go to meetings in person and or take clients out. We are now dealing on Zoom boxes and so on and with the backgrounds that both of us, for example have, we don’t even know what’s behind us. It becomes very difficult to predict the individual that you’re talking to.

Not only that, but the number of people in the decision-making cycle has also increased. My ability to understand not one person but multiple people. Bringing in behavioral science and the proven ability to predict how people think and behave and how they will react to your messaging becomes even more important. It’s always been important. Even now, with the fact that there’s this virtuality that exists between the buyer and the seller, it has become even more so.

How do you cross that virtual barrier, understand the mindset of your prospective buyer and custom tailor and outreach, an email, a call script, a sales strategy, a business plan, or even a response to an RFP? It becomes very important. The behavioral science aspect helps us get into that EQ part of things. Our platform, for example, also provides you with information about companies, complete financials, up-to-minute news and SWOT analysis. When you combine the two, you have a very potent capability of reaching out in a highly personalized and effective manner. It’s become important now.

We’re talking now about selling in the AI era when it comes down to it. I find that in the last few years, the pandemic had a shift. It shifted how we were doing business and thinking and selling in general. The internet prior to that had created part of this shift. Now we’re into the AI shift and a lot of people are, I would say, confused on how to do this. I thought you brought up two important points, which we as sellers all have, which is what we call buyers bias. We like to be sold to in a certain way. By nature, we think other people want to be sold to that way or have communication that way.

Folks, A) That’s not always true, so we are all clear on that point. B) What you’re talking about is you’re getting a business return on investment snapshot, but you’re also getting a personal return on investment snapshot. If we forget one or the other when we’re selling or communicating with the other individual, then they don’t feel that rapport or trust being built in the way you are talking about. It can be built by understanding the individual, how they think, and what they do. This is all selling in the AI era. Anything I said that you disagree with?

No. Let me elaborate a little bit on that buyer’s bias, as you call it. For example, online retail or your Netflix experience. I go in, I watch a movie, next time I come, it has recommendations for me. It has that little AI or the intelligence in that has bothered to discover what my interests are and recommend similar things.

That’s not happening in B2B. That’s the piece that’s missing. How many times do you receive emails that are simply asking you, “Usman, are you the right person? Can you point me to this person? Did I get this right or did you see my email?” All of those things shut me down. I’m not interested in talking to those individuals. Why? There is so much information on the internet about me and about a lot of people, not about me, the CEO of an AI-driven company, but just about everybody has, at minimum, a LinkedIn profile. Most of us are doing a lot more than that these days on social media.

Why hasn’t the seller spent a lot of time trying to understand who I am or go to my website to figure out what my company does before they start second-guessing and try to play this consultative selling game, which has become obsolete in this time of information overload to analyze that and use that? My bias in that equation is that I expect a certain amount of personalization. It’s all around me.

I experience that when I’m online. I’m doing my retail. I’m watching a movie. Whatever I’m doing, the seller, in that particular case, is making very well-calculated and thought-out recommendations for me. That makes my life a lot easier. Why does that not translate into my day-to-day B2B selling where they’re still playing the game as if it was 40 years ago? Times have changed and we need to adjust to that. AI is a great opportunity for us to start leapfrogging into personalization.

Personalization has always been a thing. Let’s say we want to date somebody. I always used to look at people who were dating other people, and they were doing unique things for them. They were finding out things about them and they find out, “She likes peonies or roses,” or whatever and the guy would go, “I’ll go buy some of those.” He hands them to her, and she says, “This is one of my favorite flowers,” or whatever. Let’s say he likes to go boating or something. She finds out about that and she figures out, “This is the kind of boating he likes,” and she figures out a few things.

That brings the relationship closer because we’re communicating on similar interests and similar values or at least communicating on something that we have in common. As you said, when it comes to B2B selling, people don’t do this very often and when they do, they stand out like crazy. I got an email saying, “Hey, Doug C,” not even, “Hey, Doug,” or, “Hey, Doug Brown,” or whatever. “Hey Doug C, we know your manufacturing company.” I’m like, “When did I buy a manufacturing company?” I’m like, “This person has no clue about what they’re coming after except they’re trying to make some type of sale.”

You’re a CEO of a company. You’ve been in major positions in the past. If somebody did their homework and knew things about you, even simple things you can pick up on LinkedIn, like what university you might have gone to or whatever it might be, what percentage, if you could give it a percentage, does that put that person in favor over the other people?

It’s not necessarily my percentage, but these are publicly available numbers, 84% personalization improves the chances of you having a better opportunity getting through the door. That’s huge. Why do we have so much mass volume of spam like emails like the one that says, “Doug C”? Here’s another thing. I don’t like the fact that people are referring to me as, “Hey.” Where I come from, hey is for horses.

Greater personalization improves the chances of getting through the door. Click To Tweet

At least have the decency to say hi or dear or hello or good morning or good afternoon or something that’s a greeting rather than an insult. People are starting to forget that. We are degenerating into a level at a time when we need to be highly focused on personalization because like I said, it’s all around us. We expect that, but we are not getting it.

There are certain expectations that have been set. I think the bar for the buyer is higher, and the bar for the seller is higher. We are getting so much spam, emails like this one that says, “Hi Doug, I see you’re in manufacturing,” because it’s all driven around volume. If you have 84% leakage, you’re going to do 808,400 times more to get to the same number of what you want to bring in.

It’s still going to be garbage in, garbage out. We need to change that 84% leakage from the pipe and improve that number so that I don’t need to spend so much time writing garbage emails and trying to see what comes in. I can focus. I can target much better. Precision targeting leads to a lot better outcomes.

Firstly, we’re speaking with Mr. Usman Sheikh, he’s the Founder and CEO of xiQ. I think they’re part of the future, if not the future of B2B sales and marketing. We’re talking about precision targeting and personalization. I always look at it this way and I’d love your feedback on this Usman, which is, let’s say we have a bell curve and we know statistically, 68% of the people generally fall into the middle of the bell curve.

On each side of the bell curve, if we look at the left side of the bell curve, we’re going to have people who are indifferent or pretenders. They’re not the traffic we’re looking at. On the other side of the bell curve, we’re looking at people who I call kaizen players because they’re fully into it or they’re eager beavers, if you will. They’re ready to go. They’ve been researching and they’re ready to roll.

What I find is that most people in their marketing are targeting the 50% or so of the left side of the bell curve. They’re not going at the precision marketing. They’re not looking and saying, “I only maybe have 30% of the audience who’s actually precision targeted and I should put all my marketing and put my energy and efforts into that,” and then, as you said, make it highly personalized. Aren’t we going to end up with more qualified sales-ready leads anyway if we do that versus trying to mass blast out everything we can possibly do, and our budgets will be better at that point? That gives us higher profitability. Am I correct?

You are absolutely correct. Let me give you a couple of examples. First, let’s focus a little bit about targeting that position. With our AI, for example, that looks at the behavioral mindset and what you’ve done in the past, I can ask Gilroy, the name of our chatbot, to tell me what are Doug’s opportunities to improve in their current work.

At the end of the day, if I can figure out what’s in it for you at a personal level, my chances of getting that door open and through the door are much better because now I’m starting to speak language that resonates with your personal objectives. It’s entirely possible now. It’s possible at a large scale, but I no longer have to do ten hours of research to figure it out. It’s more like ten seconds of asking the chatbot, “Can you go there and find out what are the personal motivations and growth of career growth opportunities for Doug?” It will tell me.

CEO Sales Strategies | Usman Sheik | Sales Efficiency
Sales Efficiency: If you can figure out what’s in it for someone at a personal level, your chances of getting the door open and through it are much better.

Now I can convert that. First, I can figure out who are the Doug’s I want to talk to, and then I can start custom tailoring emails. The method that we use is called DISC. It stands for Dominant, Influencing, Steady and Conscientious. In Behavioral Science, these are the four main personality types. Each one of us have some degree of dominant, influencing, steady and conscientious in us. What our algorithm does next is it starts writing emails. If I have an email list of let’s say 10,000, or 100,000 people, I can write one piece of copy and it can convert that copy into those four personality types.

Let me give you this astounding fact. This is an astounding statistic. We’ve been doing our email marketing one size fits all for all. Certainly, because we developed this bot, we started moving into that. It’s a 5X to 6X higher open rate. Think about it, if you’re doing 10% open rates, you’re going to get 52% open rates. The volume of qualified leads that are coming in has certainly grown.

Now I have a sales force that is not focused on doing that qualifying part. It’s more focused on selling and building that relationship. That’s important in sales. That’s the big game changer. To your point, why do we need to be mass-producing garbage out there? If we did precision, the quality of leads would be better, my budget would go much further, and my conversion rates would be higher. At every step of the funnel, my conversion rates are going to be higher.

What revenue-generating CEOs need to start thinking about is how to get their conversion rates higher. Also, AI sets into place a whole set of new rules by which we can play, which I’d like to talk to you about. You’re absolutely right. Optimize your budgets, increase your conversion rates, and then the new rules AI, the new opportunities it gives us. It’s a whole new mindset of how we sell.

CEO Sales Strategies | Usman Sheik | Sales Efficiency
Sales Efficiency: AI sets into place a whole set of new rules by which we can play.

I want to get into that mindset in a moment. I heard open rates 5 to 6 times higher, and my brain said, “That means we work more effectively. We work more efficiently.” One of the number one complaints of people selling nowadays is, “I work too hard and I want to work smarter,” as an example of how to work a hell of a lot smarter if you bring it down to it. Now, we’re having quality conversations or conversations of conversion versus discovery calls or potential calls. It makes total sense to me.

I’d love to jump into that mindset. Because I talk to a lot of people now about AI and I’ve been talking to people about personalization for, I don’t know, probably since I’ve been five years old. I see a fear out there of AI. Why are people afraid of AI? To me, it’s another generation of new technology that’s going to those with a better learning curve. People used to be afraid of ATMs. They thought they were going to eat their money, but they don’t, for the most part. Why do you think there’s this AI fear thing going on? I can feel it out there and I hear people telling me.

It’s because uneducated people are talking about AI, and uninformed people always create doubt and suspicion about it. That’s one factor. AI is not going to go away. Let me flip the coin on that a little bit. If I want to personalize and go back to your point of people are saying, “I’m working so hard and I’m not getting anywhere,” that’s because there is too much data out there for you to humanly take in, analyze and produce things out.

You’ve got LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. You’ve got people writing blogs, you’ve got people in the news, you’ve got people on YouTube, you’ve got company information, you’ve got annual reports. The rate at which companies are producing news and new events are taking place and then competitors are coming and there’s a lot of information.

Therefore, if a person is going to be using the traditional non-AI methods of being able to analyze, they’re going to be working very hard. One of the beauties of AI and at xiQ, AI stands for all Augmented Intelligence, not artificial. What that augmented intelligence is doing is picking all those data sources and data points, analyzing it and bringing back value added information to your fingertips.

CEO Sales Strategies | Usman Sheik | Sales Efficiency
Sales Efficiency: If someone uses traditional non-AI methods to analyze, they will work with more difficulty.

Now, what took me 45 minutes or three hours to do and write, if I want to compose a good email and let’s say I am one of those 1% good email writers, to write a good email, it takes me 45 minutes to 2 to 3 hours to research company level, individual level, competitor level, industry level insights. Company products like ours can do that in ten seconds. Not only do the research but write a high-quality email that will get an open rate and have that degree of personalization built into it.

The fear factor that’s out there is uninformed people not knowing what AI is going to do. They’re still thinking that AI is going to be writing that same email. “Hey Doug C, how’s your manufacturing business?” No, a good AI engine will never do that. You don’t take state-of-the-art technology and apply it to old techniques. A good progressive person will take state-of-the-art technology and think of new processes to use it with.

People are technophobic. A large degree of people are always technophobic and they look at this as like, “It’s going to eat this or do that or take away this.” The reality is that as you said, it’s augmenting. It’s opening up opportunities that we never had. I remember when I first started selling, I used to have a checklist and I would go down through the checklist and then I would have to go try to find out the information on the checklist. Prior to the internet, that was even harder. Once the internet came along, even dial-up, it was like, “I can find this little piece,” or as soon as DSL came in, it was like, “This person belonged to this fraternity at this particular university or this person’s very much into this.”

Nowadays, you can figure out anything because you go to their profiles and they have their sporting teams there, their families, things they like, things they don’t like. A lot of that is easy to extract, as you’re saying. Doing it the old way, even going from one social media platform to another social media platform to an alumni website to another, it takes forever.

What I’m hearing is you’re able to aggregate all this information very quickly and even produce a piece of information that says, “This is what I recommend that you send.” We can always go look at that piece that your software put together and say, “I’d like to tweak that a little bit based on my own or whatever too.” There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what AI is for. It is to help us get to that next place quicker than we ever could have been before. Am I getting this correct?

Yeah, you are. First of all, that information availability that you’re talking about, to be able to connect the dots, that’s grown. We are doubling the amount of data we produce every three months or so. That’s grown a lot. What that means is that the ability to connect the dots properly, opportunity exists. Time does not unless you use AI to help you do that.

AI, again, going to the augmented intelligence, can pick that up in seconds and come back, and ChatGPT, for the first time, opened the doors to that by helping us understand that this can bring back answers from the entire internet. Okay, it’s dated, but it can bring back, take and apply that to our platform. For example, real-time information specifically curated around businesses, adding the EQ factor through our personality prediction capabilities.

You’ve got personalization, you’ve got the augmentation of intelligence. It’s not about one person, it’s about multiple people. It’s not about one company. It’s also looking at the ecosystem with their competitors, with their customers. The amount of information out there is tremendous, It’s infinite, but I need it and don’t have the time to do it.

That also brings us to the mindset question. How has the mindset going to change? You’re going back to your question about fear. We have been selling fear for way too long. We see it every day. Politicians sell fear, fear this person, fear that race, fear that ethnicity, fear that religion, and because of fear, we try to bond together with people we think are like-minded and do things. That era is over. AI creates a whole lot of new opportunities.

Just what we are talking about, the augmentation of this intelligence, new opportunity. It’s not just in sales, it’s in every industry. The rate and velocity with which innovation is going to take place and the amount of innovation that’s going to take place is going to be great. Now my mindset has to change from selling fear to selling hope and opportunity. That’s where I think CEOs and sales strategies need to start thinking is the future. The future is about hope and opportunity. Gone are the days of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Augmented intelligence creates new opportunities, not just in sales, but in every industry. Click To Tweet

Think about it. You don’t hire C-level executives to go and fix yesterday’s problems. You hire CEOs to look at the future over the horizon, what is going to happen tomorrow? They’re looking at growth opportunities. Help me figure out what those opportunities are. People who are fearing AI are losing out on two ends of the equation. On the one side, they’re not using this to help them, they’re fearing it. They’re not using this AI to help them figure out what potential new opportunities could be for my clients and prospects. Those guys who are not able to explain what’s in it for you at the individual, corporate or business level, will be left behind faster in the dust very quickly.

I wholeheartedly agree with your statement. The reason behind that is because on most of these episodes that I’ve done, I ask the CEOs, “How do you like to be sold to? How do you like to buy?” Unanimously, the majority of them say, “I understand that I have problems. I already know I got problems.” If I have a problem that I don’t know and I get this intelligence on a problem that’s coming down the line, that gives me an opportunity to capitalize on market share or capitalize on not running into that challenge, that is the most important thing for me in these growth opportunities.

Everything you said is, I can repeat back and say, “A hundred CEOs on this show have said that exact phrase.” I think what you’re talking about is so important and CEOs and salespeople or independent sales sellers, listen up because the reality is this is not something you can like, “I don’t think I’m going to embrace it.” If you don’t embrace it, you’re going to have real big challenges because, as you said, the whole thing is shifting and we have to shift along with it in the future of what it’s going to be. The more we do that, the easier it is.

If you don't embrace AI, you will have big challenges because everything shifts. We have to shift along with it. Click To Tweet

I wanted to bring something up, Usman, because when I first looked at AI, I was like, “This is going to do all kinds of crazy.” I could see it’s a disruptive technology in the process. All I did is I went to Coursera and Wharton College of Business put out an AI program for non-data people. I went through the course and I’m like, “This isn’t so scary. Now I get it.” I think what happens is people with a certain mindset, they’re like, “I’m screwed. I don’t want to embrace this because it’s too much work or too much energy.”

I think what they do is they dig themselves in a hole, and those who are selling as they do this are going to move themselves from wherever they are. Let’s say they’re in the 50% or the 70% tile bracket of being good. If they don’t do exactly what you said, they’re going to drop into the lower 25%. That is what’s going to happen. People like myself and others like yourself who are embracing this process, we’re going to leave them in the dust. That’s what’s going to happen. CEOs, if you’re reading this, it’s now. You can’t bring AI into your company. We have to bring AI into the people using it.

One of the terms that people have used to create fear around AI is, “It’s as good as the question you ask it.” Guess what? I turned to my AI and asked, “Can you give me the best way to ask you a question?” It gave me a list of the best prompts. These guys that were saying, “I’m a salesperson. I’m not a prompt engineer, I don’t want to become a prompt engineer.” You don’t need to. If you go into xiQ, for example, we have a prompt library. We have a prompt library about how to query about people and companies, write a blog, and write a social media post. All you need to do is insert the company, product, or industry in there, and it’s all tagged.

All you need to add the rate of Doug C and it will go find your company, SAP. It will go and find that information and put it all together for you. You don’t need to be a prompt engineer. The beauty of AI is that it’s actually lowered the bar on you, allowing you to do a lot more with less. Anybody who thinks that that’s the other way around does not understand AI.

Never has technology gone backward, technology is always going forward. Embrace it, embrace the proper use of it, figure out how it’s going to help you progress and it’s going to help you progress. You mentioned that the top 50% will move to the top bottom 25%. I’ll say the top 50% will become obsolete if they don’t adapt, forget 25%.

That fall happens much faster. CEOs didn’t even know what AI was, what ChatGPT was, or what generative AI was. Now every kid knows. I was at a restaurant and a bunch of kids talking, “ChatGPT did this, ChatGPT did that.” That’s the talk of the town over here. Everybody’s talking about it. It’s become a household name and it’s become a household name very quickly.

Let me point out something to you. It used to take us about eight weeks to write a functional requirement document on how to create the next feature. Now it takes us less than two hours. The quality of what we’ve written is much better. The research AI did for us is much more thorough and generative. That’s the dimensional change. Eight weeks to less than two hours.

Proposal writing. I wrote five proposals in one week with AI. I couldn’t even have written one proposal in a week. My chatbot did it for me and did it at a better clip with a better conversion rate than any human salesperson would’ve been able to do. It was well researched, well thought out. All I had to do was verify it, make some minor modifications, get it into a format that I wanted it to be in. Voila, it was done. That’s the rate at which innovation is going. It’s getting exponentially faster every week. Those that do not jump on board will be horribly left behind.

Folks, this isn’t a fear tactic. Look at the adaptation of a technology or new technology. Take electric cars, it took decades. They were talking about electric cars in easily in the ‘80s. I remember them talking about in the ‘80s. It might’ve been even before then.

‘60s.

It took a long time for that to get here. Now we’re getting there. We’ve got hybrids and fully electric. ATMs, as I mentioned before, took thirteen years to catch. We started looking at AI, we’re talking about a year that it caught on. It isn’t going anywhere. One of the things I want people to understand about AI is that I thought you brought up a very salient point on the fear and the mindset that you don’t have to give up control.

You don't have to give up control. We're talking about embracing a tool in all places. Click To Tweet

It’s not like you’re giving up control to some machine that’s going to run your life and make mistakes for you. It is a tool. Just like any tool, if we were a mechanic, we’re going to use a certain tool. Yes, we can take a screw out of a whatever with a chisel, or we could take it out with a screwdriver or we could take it out with a pneumatic screwdriver.

It’s a lot easier with a pneumatic screwdriver. We’re talking about a tool that’s being embraced in all kinds of places. I see this happening now in the medical field. I see this everywhere. For those who are CEOs and owners of companies, if you’re not paying attention, as Usman said, it’s going to go by you quickly, and you’re going to be looking around.

The number one question people always ask is, “How do I differentiate myself? How do I be competitive amongst my competitors now?” You have to be different in this personalization and using data intelligence, and all of this does and accomplishes that. Either first in or first out, when it comes down to it. That’s the message I would like to leave people with. Do you want to comment on that, Usman?

I think you’re absolutely right. It’s not a fear tactic to tell you that the velocity has accelerated at a very fast pace. That’s not a fear factor. That’s happening right as we speak. I think that it’s a tool you do have control over it. You talk about competitive differentiation. One of the key things we use AI for is, “Tell me how is my product different from X, Y, Z product?” It lists it down. I ask it, “Can you please convert this into a message for Doug or a call script for Doug so I can talk to him about it?” It does that. First of all, that differentiated highlight. I have the words and the way I’m going to communicate them to you, which is most likely going to resonate with you because I have the personality aspect of that as well.

These are things that, yes, the top 1% of salespeople will be able to do. Why did they have a lot of resources? They have business acumen. They have the gift of gab. They know how to speak. They know how to read people. We all know our sales force. What percentage of our sales force is capable of doing that? xIQ was built on the top 1% of salespeople. What were some of the best practices they did? How can we democratize those practices so that the next 99% can avail them?

We knew that this was not going to be some challenger methodology that had to be taught with a coach. It had to become embedded in the lifestyle of an individual. The only way is if you have a tool like your pocket calculator, you can go, and it can provide you with that answer. It’s a pocket calculator. That’s what it is. Equivalent to being able to do mass calculations, but calculations at a behavioral, competitive, or strategic level that 99% of the workforce doesn’t have the business acumen or doesn’t have the time or doesn’t have access to the information to be able to do that. That’s the advantage that you CEOs need to start realizing right now and convert their game into what you can help them do or what AI can help them do.

CEO Sales Strategies | Usman Sheik | Sales Efficiency
Sales Efficiency: CEOs need to start realizing right now that they must convert their game into what exactly AI can help them do.

I think that is extremely well said. When you said calculator, it reminded me of when I was in high school in the ‘80s and I remember I was dating this gal and her father came with one of the first calculators. He brought it home. He was an architect-engineer type guy. I looked at this thing and I was like, “What are all these little buttons?” He is like, “You can do the sine and cosine of this.” It’s like I’m studying this stuff in high school, and it’s taking me 10-15 minutes to do something that he did with a push of two buttons.

That’s what we’re talking about on the rate of speed that’s happening. Now we can personalize this information to what we’re doing. I’m grateful you came on here. I hope this alleviated some people’s fears and certainly opened their eyes to where it’s going. It’s already going and it’s on the track right now and it’ll only continue to keep picking up speed just like a high bullet train will get you there in an hour and a half versus a five hour trip or whatever. This is how I see AI coming along. Usman, how do people know more about what you do, maybe yourself, the company, get in contact and figure out more about even xiQ itself?

xiQInc.com is our website. You can follow us on LinkedIn. xiQ Inc. is on LinkedIn. You can follow me on LinkedIn. I’m on Twitter and all social media channels. LinkedIn is a preferred channel. Please follow me on that. Reach out and connect. I have a good presence on YouTube as well. Thanks to your show, I am getting quite a presence on video as well.

Thank you very much. For those of you who reach out, make sure you personalize something as you reach out. Don’t let the message of this show slide off after you stop reading. Personalize, connect, and use data intelligence to build stronger relationships and close sales more effectively and efficiently. That is what I love about what you built. Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you so much. It’s easy. One of the things you mentioned is that it reduces stress. One of our taglines is put the smile back in sales. That’s important because happy, smiling people sell better.

Absolutely true. The reality is that when we’re converting more sales as salespeople, we’re always happier anyway. When we’re talking with qualified quality prospects, we’re always happier because conversations are easier. It’s one of those things. What I see, what you’ve built is so win-win all the way across the board not only for the sales channel or the CEO of a company, but also for the people who are actually trying to buy. They want to eliminate the stress and headaches and get what they want as well. The clearer we are in that communication and the more targeted we are, making it easier for everybody all around.

It was Zig Ziglar, I think, the famous personality who said, “People buy from people they trust and they like.” We need to figure out how do we do that. In this age of AI, it’s entirely possible, and the other point is that it’s easy. That’s what we need to embrace.

People buy from people they trust. Click To Tweet

Thanks again for being here on the show, Usman. I appreciate it.

Thank you so much for having me, Doug.

You have to be a combination now, not just a communicator or a salesperson. You also have to be a data scientist of some sort. When I say data scientist, that doesn’t mean that you have to be become an engineer to understand this. It’s about how you use data to close that gap of what you’re leaking out of your funnel now. As Usman said, it was 84%. How do you close that gap and define and focus more on the real buyers and communicate with them in a personalized, meaningful way?

This is what is happening because think about what the internet has done. The internet has leveled the ability for people to withhold information because information now is out there. In the old days, you relied on a sales channel for that expertise. You still rely on them for the expertise but now you know more about what you are doing, what your problems are, what the opportunities you’re seeking, and you have the data and all of the information to support that so you’re no longer left in the dark.

I remember years ago, when I first started looking for automobiles, there were 2 or 3 auto dealers within a 50-mile radius of me. It was a Ford, a Chevy, and there might have been one foreign car dealer. The reality is that you drove to the dealership and knew nothing about these vehicles. There was no information out there other than maybe reading something in a magazine. They knew everything. The buyer knew nothing, when it came down to it, except they wanted a car. They could mince numbers and they could do the smoke and mirrors thing. This happened on every industry.

It wasn’t just cars. You want to go buy consumer products, the same thing. You want to buy business to business. You wanted to buy some telecommunication services or some manufacturing thing. Unless you had the information, they had the advantage in the selling world. Nowadays, guess what? You can find all this information almost everything, if not more than they have.

What that’s done is that it allows them to do that research and get clear about what they’re buying. The fact is, with AI, they can do this much faster than they even used to do it. That’s the point. When you take this AI and you take the concepts, because remember you’re not giving up control, what you’re doing is you’re utilizing it as an adaptive technology. Something that those of you old enough might remember are encyclopedias. There were these big books and there was like 24 of them and they were all alphabetized. You’d have to read about all this stuff, and it’d take you hours sometimes to read about something. Now, with AI, you can get that same information in a very clear format in ten seconds. That’s what AI is great for. It’s a great tool to utilize when you know how to use it.

I hope this episode was something that you’re scratching your head over and you’re also smiling at the same time because you recognize that this can get you to do a lot more, it can get you to close more effectively and be more efficient. You’re not running around doing busy stuff, and you’re focused on what matters in selling, which is client acquisition and helping your clients have a better future and resolve their current situations.

If you like this episode, please give it a resounding review. I would appreciate that. If you, again, are interested in the 1% Academy where we’re teaching people, if you’re good in sales, how to be better, if you’re great in sales, how to be sublime, how to think and act like a 1% earner, reach out to us at YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com.

If you’d like a copy of the eBook that we released on the 1%, go to www.CEOSalesStrategies.com/1pe and you can download that eBook. Until next time. Go out, sell something. Sell a lot of it. Hold margins wherever you can. Please don’t discount because you’ve got to make up for those discounts. Sometimes, it’s like 5 or 7 sales you got to make up for the discount that you gave. Always play win-win. They win. You win. Until next time and to your success.

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