human and robot fist bumping
An Unpopular Take on AI and Outbound Sales Outreach

Written by Brittany Degnan

March 14, 2024

For nearly all of 2023, the business community was heavily engrossed in discussions regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its profound impact in marketing, operations, and overall business. As one of the most significant developments in the last two decades, AI has promised transformative changes across nearly every industry. However, after 12 months of observation it is quite clear that people still don’t understand how to properly utilize AI. The crucial distinction should be made between utilizing AI as a powerful resource and as a replacement for human thought needs to be made. Those marketers, sales leaders, and executive teams who are becoming overly reliant on AI as a replacement for human thought may find it more difficult to make a human connection with their audience.

The Illusion of Market Share Ships

While AI has advanced at an incredible pace, it is clearly evident to anyone who has logged into LinkedIn in the past 6 months that the bots are not yet on par with the human brain. Especially as it pertains to automated sales outreach, the insertion of job titles and company names into messages has become more of a “red flag” used to filter inboxes.  Chatbots on websites often lack the sophistication necessary to emulate a conversation, instead serving as a glorified FAQ and inter-website search engine— a poor one.  Despite its advantages, automated AI bots need time to catch up, particularly in comparison to the skills of a proficient human writer. This discrepancy poses challenges for sales teams, marketing professionals, and advertising firms relying heavily on AI for creative messaging that will excite and entice the intended audience. While automating repetitive tasks and quick research has undoubtedly become a necessity in business today, the companies looking to replace their sales and marketing teams with AI need to rethink their approach.

chatgpt helping human write
ai chatting with human

Advantages and Disadvantages of AI in Content Creation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) undeniably excels in rapidly generating diverse designs and web copy, showcasing its efficiency and versatility. However, this convenience has inherent drawbacks, such as disrupting the search engine experience and potentially diluting content quality into generic responses. Analogous to a 14th-century expert in metallurgical weaponry, Artificial Intelligence (AI) encounters the challenge of assimilating specialized knowledge. Unlike a human expert with singular expertise, AI seeks information comprehensively from various sources, potentially diluting the depth of a dedicated human authority.

This highlights the difficulty for AI in distinguishing and replicating specialized knowledge and authority found in human experts, showcasing the evolving journey ahead for AI in achieving comparable precision and insight. Despite its omnipresence online, AI encounters a fundamental challenge: mastering authoritative writing. The technology needs to improve to impart a sense of credibility and expertise, hindered by the difficulty in discerning between reliable and unverified sources. This obstacle underscores the need for a nuanced approach to leveraging AI’s potential, ensuring it enhances rather than compromises the quality of content creation.

josh mangum founder of wit group headshot

“If companies are overly reliant on AI automation and technology to think for them, as opposed to using it as a tool as it should be, they are likely to see underwhelming and generic results,”

Josh Mangum, CEO & Founder of WiT Group.

The Two Faces of AI

Undeniably powerful, AI’s effectiveness relies on the savvy utilization by marketers and salespeople. Depending too heavily on AI without human curation may result in lackluster and generic outcomes. The coming two years are essential as AI advances, demanding a delicate balance between automation and human intelligence.

Represented by chatgpt, bard, etc., and has been present for a while, AI is a tool awaiting human ingenuity for optimal utilization. Its effectiveness hinges on users strategically navigating its capabilities and refining output through thoughtful curation. However, a cautionary note suggests that to unlock its full potential, AI must transcend programmed learning and evolve into free-thinking entities, posing an intriguing challenge for the future.

Pitfalls of Unchecked Automation

While AI offers exciting possibilities, there are potential downsides, particularly regarding visual content and the authenticity of automated messages. The prevalence of AI-related topics in industry events and the growing shift towards automated AI software raises concerns about the inundation of generic messages. Sales teams need help to maintain personalization and prevent the deluge of automated messages, risking a loss of audience engagement.

The Threat to Human Roles in Sales and Marketing

As companies increasingly invest in AI for sales and marketing, there is a growing risk of job displacement. The Strategic Sales (STR) role, in particular, may face a gradual replacement by bots, selling the very automation they represent. The drawbacks become evident when marketers need to curate properly or make variations in testing, leading to an overflow of uninteresting and forgettable automated messages.
ai helping human write laptop
ai helping human write using laptop

The Long-Term Implications and Regrets

The concept of AI in outbound sales outreach might seem appealing, but the practical implementation raises concerns. The potential loss of jobs, diminishing returns, and the risk of regretting the time and energy invested are real possibilities. The incorporation of AI should be approached cautiously, emphasizing the need for human expertise in driving the ship. Until AI matures to a point where it can truly understand and replicate human intricacies, the world-changing revolution remains a distant reality.

Technological advancements and AI undoubtedly hold immense potential. However, a prudent approach involves recognizing its limitations and deploying it as a tool rather than a substitute for human ingenuity. The world may change when AI is at the helm, but until then, businesses must tread carefully in their pursuit of automation and innovation.

<a href="https://witgroupagency.com/author/bdegnan/" target="_self">Brittany Degnan</a>

Brittany Degnan

Author

Brittany Degnan is a PR and Brand Manager for WiT Group and works out of the Columbia SC office.
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