Episode 240: Usman Sheikh – Revolutionizing Sales: The Marriage of Psychology and AI in the B2B Arena
Usman Sheikh joins us on this episode to discuss revolutionizing sales by incorporating psychology and AI in the B2B arena. As AI becomes more prevalent in the sales and marketing space, it’s crucial to understand how it can be used effectively to build relationships with customers. Usman answers questions about how generative AI can be used as a research tool and how it promotes productivity and efficiency in writing emails and content for sales professionals. He also delves into the concept of humanized AI and how it can help bring personality to a brand in the B2B space. Tune in to learn more about this fascinating topic.
Usman Sheikh is the Founder and CEO of xiQ, a unique sales and marketing platform that combines generative AI, behavioral science, and Chat GPT to provide a personality-driven sales approach throughout the customer lifecycle. With a background in SAP and a wealth of knowledge on AI and B2B sales, Usman has shared his insights as a guest lecturer at top universities across the United States, including the University of Texas, the University of Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana State University, and Clemson. His ultimate aim is to humanize B2B sales and marketing by leveraging both generative AI and psychology to create a more personalized and effective customer experience.
Usman Sheikh 00:03
To me inherently implies that I’m talking at a level that I know the person, and I’ve done my research in order to know who the person is that I’m speaking with. So I can come across [as] not contrived, but more at a social, personal human level speaking to that individual. So, for me, social sales is all about making it extremely natural.
Welcome to the Making Sales Social Podcast featuring the Top Voices in Sales, Marketing, and Business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, as we each bring you the best tips and strategies our guests are teaching their clients so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Enjoy the show!
Bob Woods 00:26
Usman Sheikh, The founder and CEO of xQ joins us today in the social sales like virtual studios for this episode of making sales social. So, it was all about AI. His xiQ sales and marketing platform is the fusion of generative AI, behavioral science, and Chat GPT and offers a personality-driven sales approach across the entire customer lifecycle. His goal is to humanize B2B sales and marketing through both generative AI and psychology. So, we’ve all heard about how everyone should be using generative AI in a human fashion.
I preached that constantly, essentially. But I’ve got to admit, this is the first time I’ve ever heard psychology specifically included in the mix. I think it’s fascinating. And we’re going to be talking about that specifically in a little bit. So it was a man who is also a former SAP guy. And he has frequently served as a guest lecturer on AI and B2B sales to areas that I love to talk about a lot, as well as the marketing part. Love that too. He’s spoken at University of Texas, University of Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana State University, and Clemson.
So if you’re a regular listener, you know that we’ve been talking a lot about AI lately on making sales social. I think it’s really important for us in the B2B and sales space and the marketing space as well to learn about it, understand it, and use it effectively. Because it’s here to help us and not eliminate our jobs. I brought that up. I don’t know how many times as well. But I truly believe that. So that was my welcome to making sales social.
Usman Sheikh 02:38
Thank you so much for having me, Bob, really excited to talk to you.
Bob Woods 02:41
Good, good, excited to have you on. So our first traditional question that we asked at the top of every show is What does making sales social mean to you? And while we ask that in a general sense for most people, I really want to hear your take on it considering your use and your expertise of January of generative AI.
Usman Sheikh 03:03
Yeah, beautiful. So social selling and social sales. For me, if I back up before answering the question today, sales have become stale. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of cookie cutter out there. There’s a lot of repetitive stuff that’s taking place, a lot of pretty kind of boring, similar messages out there. There’s a lot of, “Hey, I wrote to you last week, what did you think about it?” Right. When I talk about a social setting it to me inherently implies that I’m talking at a level that I know the person and I’ve done my research in order to know who the person is that I’m speaking with.
So I can come across, not contrived, but more at a social, personal human level, speaking to that individual. So for me, social sales is all about making it extremely natural, in terms of how you speak to an individual, how you dress them, how you, it has to demonstrate that you have actually put some elbow grease and some hard work in getting to understand who they are right. So you can speak a tenor and in a manner that is reflective of an illustration that you are you have done your homework.
And so many people, you know, just simply don’t do that. And you missed a great opportunity of being able to, and social sales, Right? It’s all about building relationships. At the end of the day, it’s about people buying from people, and that’s social right there. And in order to be able to get to know these people, you have to put some hard work in getting to understand them and be able to get to the same level of conversation with them. Right.
Bob Woods 04:46
Yeah, absolutely. So now let’s say let’s work generative AI into that a little bit more because that’s one of the things that that we teach here is actually using generative AI too, you know, as one of the ads, generative AI can do so much. One of the things that it’s based on, though, is a research tool. Do you see it mainly as a research tool when it comes to social selling? or and or do you see more of it developing from there as well?
Usman Sheikh 05:15
Yeah. So it’s a lot more than just a research tool. And, you know, the most popular generative AI platform today is open AI Chat GPT. If you know that it has a knowledge life kind of expiring around some say, January 2022, some say, September 2021. And that’s just not current enough for me to be able to know what’s happening with my clients or be able to do accurate research. So take xiQ for an example. And maybe before I get into xiQ for your audience, I can place a definition of what is AI versus generative AI.
So AI, definitely, is a study of repeated kinds of processes, Right? So if we look at things that are happening on a repetitive basis, understanding what are some of the patterns and doing that pattern recognition, to then predict what is the future generative AI is that plus, it has some ability to have conversation. So it has a corpus, meaning that it has a brain of its own, Right? And within that brain, there’s a lot of information that’s stored.
But now I can go and I can have a conversation with that brain by simply typing in AI, and it will generate responses. So one of the things for example, our platform does is it picks up all digital signatures and footprints of people out there on the internet, everything that’s in the public domain, it analyzes them and generates a personality profile, we use the DISC personality profile, as the assessment as the math to do that. So for me, the genitive AI is a lot more than just a research tool.
First of all, because we pick up these personality traits, and I’m very adamant about kind of bringing that because that is a dimension of generative AI that we don’t see in the market as yet, right. And so what that does is if you go to Chat GPT asks you to write something like a blog, a LinkedIn post, or a talk script, it will or an email, it will be or a pitch, it will be very, very similar. Right? And it looks like if you’ve used Chat GPT, you know that it’s written by chair, if you use it enough, you know that.
Bob Woods 07:34
Right? You read anything coming in, you can generally tell whether or not you know, okay, this is the human writing it, which is what I’ve gone back to before about humanizing it. But even when you humanize it at the same time, you again, to know if it’s coming from Chat GPT, just because it’s got that structure, sometimes it has those words that not everyone picks up on, that just appear in a lot of different places and copy anymore, because everyone’s freaking copy and paste and out of out of a Chat GPT.
Usman Sheikh 08:06
Yeah, but with this ability to generate these personas, and identify personal communication styles, Right? What it does is that this generative AI takes another dimension to it, and it becomes that much more personal. Right. And so it starts speaking in a language like, for example, those individuals that like to be given anecdotal stories, right to kind of talk or versus those people that just like, three bullet points and some data points, Right.
So it makes those kinds of distinctions. It also uses words, salutations, with sentence structure, paragraph structures, that vary from person to person, right. And that’s where it, to a certain extent, starts getting a little scary, but it’s also kind of very pleasant, that it has taken all that, that research work that needed to be done, and it’s kind of summarized it and put it into an output that you can actually use very effectively. And you know, there is no reason why we need to be still digging trenches using spades and in cricket, right. The bulldozers.
So, yeah, it’s very similar, you know, the, you can go in, you can get your Chat GPT or xiQ, ChatGPT or Gilroy, as we call it, in xiQ. You can ask Gilroy to do the research for you and Gilroy will do all the customization and then you take it you edit it because I don’t think anything that comes out of AI at this point or generative AI should be just let loose onto the market without having a human editor kind of looking at it. But what it’s done is it takes in those hours and hours of work that you needed to do to get it right.
It’s shrunken down microseconds into seconds. And I can write a personally tailored email in less than 10 seconds using the xiQ platform just as an example. And then I spent a couple of minutes putting my own flavor to it, adding my own words, making sure it’s saying the right things that I wanted to say. And voila, within two minutes, I can publish and send out an email or a message that had I really, in that head, I really is a variable over here, Right? Because how many people do that? Right?
Bob Woods 10:32
Right. Oh, yeah, I was just thinking sometimes people struggle 15-20- 30 minutes over one simple email just because they don’t know what to say, and Chat GPT. I mean, sometimes when it comes to writing copy, and things like that, I almost view Chat GPT as my writers room. And sometimes it’s like a writers room slash Advisory Board, almost, because it can come up with things, it can not only help me along with my meshes.
Sometimes it’ll bring up something that I hadn’t even thought of, and this is more copy than email-oriented. But, you know, it’s like, “Oh, that’s really good. I didn’t even realize that. Let’s get that in there, too.” But I mean, even for the people who struggle with email, like, like we were talking about, and for some people, that struggle is real. And I appreciate that Chat GPT. Man, it’s great for stuff like that, and then working and all that other stuff. And you seem better.
Usman Sheikh 11:25
Yeah. But think about it, you know, a little bit more, Right? So if you really, really wanted to get it right, what would you do? You would go and look at the company. You do a SWOT analysis, strength, weakness, opportunity threats, you would identify what needs to be, what are the trends within the industry, you then go and start figuring out who you’re writing to, then you will try to figure out like, what is the personal motivation?
And that’s a big quest, hidden question mark, what is the personal motivation for this individual? Then you will have to figure out what is the best communication style for that individual right you’ve got, if that’s really to get it, Right. And that is not a 15 minute problem to solve. It’s not just about word, structure, structuring words together, it’s about doing quality research to really get your message right, for the individual. Right.
Bob Woods 12:17
And this is where the psychology part comes in, that I was talking about the very top of the show, so. So it’s interesting that I mean, this is like, I don’t know if you can say next gen Chat GPT. Because I don’t know, I’m not sure if that’s the right phrasing of it. But I mean, just adding that psychology element into it, I think is probably the next level of using all these tools. I don’t know, I don’t know if you’d agree with that or not.
Usman Sheikh 12:45
I would call it humanized AI. Right? Okay. All right, is just a small process of using a large language model to basically have a conversation, right, and they’re becoming courtesy of Chat GPT. They were really good at bringing it out. But they have now let you know by they’ve opened the bag, and everybody’s out of the bag, right? So. But I think it’s the humanization of this that really, really matters. Because yes, you’re right as a research tool, and being able to do a lot of heavy lifting goes through lots of data, that’s all good.
But it’s also a little bit unimaginative, I think that’s really where our human imagination goes. And we try to box AI into that. But you can take these conversational models, and you can take them and give them this personality bit to it as well. And nothing to be scared about. Because all it’s doing is it’s kind of giving a much more human voice. It’s talking to me, and I want you to talk to me, I don’t want you to be kind of giving me the same old same old that you’ve given to 10,000 other people, Right?
When I cooked up my pizza, ordering delivery service, you know, they know exactly what I want, how I want it when I want it. You know, in my personal life, I am constantly being fed with highly personalized, individualized kinds of information. Why don’t I get the same degree of personalization in my B2B persona, right in civilian life? I get it all the time, but in my professional life, I never get it and that dysfunction is very annoying, actually. Yeah. Missing tonight.
Bob Woods 14:24
Disconnect. Yeah, absolutely. And you should I mean, and and we’re at the point where you should be where you should expect that and I think you know, just like B2B sales. A lot of people don’t see a lot of personality and and I think that’s one thing that social selling does well is that it brings out personality, but I think that wow, I’m just realizing this adding social selling and generative AI and and potentially, you know, like an xiQ type of product, really elevates things and really takes things up to that truly human psychological level. That I think that we all crave.
Usman Sheikh 15:00
Yeah. And you know, a lot of negativity around AI that, you know, it’s going to start producing a lot of these cookie cutters garbage in garbage out kind of stuff. That’s incorrect. I, you know, any proper innovator who’s bringing about a technology change knows that the rules of the game change when you bring in new technology, Right? You’re not going to the bullet train on the same train tracks that your regular diesel engine runs, Right?
Your Tesla is no longer if you can’t think about your Tesla or your electronic Evie. The same way as you think about your fuel cars, things have changed, Right? It’s a step change, Right. When you look at electronic vehicles, for example, today, and just let’s take Tesla, their base model has capabilities in that base model that are usually considered luxurious in the fuel version of those same cars, Right? Sure. So think about AI the same way, Right? Don’t think about doing the same thing, and getting garbage in.
And so on the right companies, the companies that are forward looking companies are going to use AI and everybody pretty much now has the handbook on how to use AI are going to use it with quality in mind. They’re not going to just take the same garbage thing in and you know, it’s kind of starting to produce garbage. That’s just not going to happen. I think the volumes, you know, there’s a lot of fear factors that are being sown out there that, you know, you’ll start receiving a lot of spam emails, that will not make sense. No, I don’t think so.
I think the right companies, what they do is they will have proper research, they would have identified their ideal customer profiles correctly, they would have identified what are their preferences at a professional level? What are their motivations, what is their behavior, and they will thread the needle according to those things. And so when I get that message, and then it has your picture and your name next to that, I will feel that you have actually worked to find out about who I am. And you know, because the open rates, the click through rates, the response rates, the win rates will go up higher with, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to put in 100,000 emails to get a 2% open rate, right or a point 2% open rate I don’t.
Because now my tool has been able to identify the right ideal customer profile, and they have been able to get me into that group for the message or that individual with a message that is actually going to resonate. So my response rates are going to be higher. And as a result, I have only so much capacity, because at the end of the day, the human is going to close the deal. It is about relationships, right? Yet another interesting factor, Bob, look, the number of buyers and decision makers has gone up, right. So we need to do individualization whereas, you know, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, three to four people were involved in the decision making cycle.
Now, we have 12 to 16 people involved in that decision making cycle. And therefore we have to personalize for each and every one of those people, if you’re going to communicate them one way or the other, whether we’re having a direct conversation or we’re indirectly influencing them through our the person that is our champion, or you need to them we have to get to that personal level. You know, the human dimension today does not allow us to do that.
Bob Woods 18:28
Yeah, no, I agree with that. And I’m, I’m kind of chuckling to myself because this all this just came up in a conversation that I had earlier today, just about we call it socially surrounding so this is using social selling and and LinkedIn to connect with as many of those people as possible ahead of time and at least establish some type of relationship now imagining working AI and working you know, tools like yours into that equation and really discovering about these people more as you’re socially surrounding. I hate using the phrase game changer because it is so overused, but I think it actually applies.
Usman Sheikh 19:09
No, you’re absolutely right. It’s not necessarily a game changer. It is a game changer because we’ve taken the game to such a low level that now we are actually able to play at you know at part. Yeah, right. So if you’ve just kind of that we’ve kind of tanked at the bottom and it’s just I feel with the human element actually has really cost us a lot and it’s time to kind of right size it and kind of elevate the game a lot. And you know that kind of brings up another interesting little dimension to what AI does and you know, the kind of demand for purchase requisition in my professional life. It’s who is the seller, Right?
The makeup of the seller is chained up, Right? The seller is no longer that charismatic, you know, personality that would walk in and kindness To the hearts of everybody in the room. The person that steals the hearts of everybody in the room is the person who knows how to connect with everybody in the room, right? And in order to connect, I have to know, what are those hooks? In order to know what those hooks are, I need to have done my research.
And today, there’s so much data out there that it’s humanly impossible for me to do my research about all of that. So two things, one, these kinds of tools like xiQ can help you elevate the game. But also the person using the tool, right, who’s going to be that person who’s going to use the tool is going to be the one who is much more focused on due diligence in kind of finding out those dead things. And they’re the ones who are going to get mindshare out there. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the flashy personality that kind of walks into the room wearing the best suit.
Bob Woods 20:51
And an AI powered suit. In fact, I, I would say, you know, it’s, it’s amazing that, you know, you hear people out there scared to death, I was gonna say something else. But when I got it, about AI, it sounded like that we’re actually going to be using AI to become more human in the B2B sales process. I mean, which is paradoxical. But at the same time, when you think about it, it makes sense.
Usman Sheikh 21:21
It’s counterintuitive, when you start thinking about, hey, a machine is going to help me become more human. But think about it a slightly different way. Think about it, first of all, AI as far as XQ is concerned, we refer to AI which stands for augmented intelligence, not artificial, right, I like eight. And when you take augmented and you start seeing what is augmented right, today, there is so much data out there in the sales process. So let’s just break let me just break that down. Right. So there’s data about the companies, how they’re doing, what they’re saying, the tenor of what they’re saying, then there’s information about their competitors, Right?
What are they doing? What are the competitive threats? What are the strategies they’re adopting? Then there is stuff about the industry, Right? What’s happened within the industry? This is just at the company level itself, right? Then you break it down, then there’s the executive suite, what are those guys saying? How are their emotions? actually reflecting? Are they nervous? Are they happy? Are they pensive? You know, what is being translated over there? And then you come down to those 12, as Gardner says, “Those 12 buyers, right and eventually to those people, then you have to start thinking about that.”
So if you think about it, if you got to do the job, right, you got to get all of those things done, it kind of put into your thinking process, right. And we just don’t have enough time in the day, and we don’t have resources to go crawl the entire internet and find this kind of information or analyze it and make something cohesive and out of it. So augmented intelligence does that for you. Right? It means a set of insights that are consumable for you.
And then with generative AI, you come to these insights like your SWOT analysis, or what are your personal motivations, and you say, “Can you please write something?” And suddenly, all of these different data points are collected? They summarize, they’re synthesized, they’re given the voice of the individuals, they’re given the communication style, and then they’re brought out to the person, right. And think about that. Humans would not. We just simply don’t have the patience. We don’t have the time. Yeah.
Bob Woods 23:34
Yeah. The time. Yeah. Patient. Yeah, patience. And time. I do think we’re working together. And I think that you’re, you’re touching really well, on another point that I was going to ask about. I’m going to phrase it a little differently, though. So I don’t think that salespeople should be thinking about losing their jobs due to AI. It’s more about just not only doing their jobs differently, and probably better, but there’s also going to be jobs coming up. I think that we’re not even considering right now, but are going to be real jobs coming into the future. What do you think about that?
Usman Sheikh 24:11
For sure. I think that the only people who are going to be worried about losing jobs are the people that are not really thinking about how to leverage AI generative AI into their game, right. And the people you always have are these kinds of people that are not adopters, Right? They just want a dog. They become fossils, you know, and they become.
Bob Woods 24:32
Avalon people basically.
Usman Sheikh 24:34
I mean, this has happened since the very start of mankind and will continue forever. Right? You know, innovation doesn’t stop, you know, we’re in, it just can consistently give. So I think AI is non-threatening at this point in time. You know, people talk about the singularity where AI takes over and kind of starts ruling the world and so it’s not going to happen in sales. It’s not going to happen. Yeah. I’m going to happen over there. Right. And I agree, it’s going to happen somewhere else if that does happen, Right. So we know, from my mind, that’s not something that we should be kind of thinking too much about and worrying about.
We should be thinking about how this particular tool and I say, tool, Right? It’s just another tool. Right? That’s going to help us right before we were doing before the Internet, what were we doing before Google? What were we doing? Before websites, Right? People were operating, they would go to those big take books and start doing research and, you know, start looking at places and then you had the Yellow Book and the white phone book and so on, you know, the yellow pages and the white pages and Yellow Pages and according to calling and so on.
Bob Woods 25:46
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Right. Yeah. It’s just amazing. Just, I mean, everything marches on. And I think that the people who have succeeded and will continue to succeed, as you said, “Are the ones who are embracing this, learning how to deal with that end even thinking of ways to improve using those tools as well.”
Usman Sheikh 26:09
Yeah, absolutely. That’s the future. And it’s here, and it’s not gonna go back. So might as well jump on the bandwagon. And you know, nothing, these kinds of technologies don’t roll back. They just keep moving forward. And, you know, the companies that are already doing it are posting phenomenal results. Right. And Bob, look, just just let’s just take another thing in mind, right? So far, you talk about social sales, Right? And in 2020, when the pandemic hit, right, actually, you know, the interesting little statistic was that sellers started selling more during that time period, Right? So the sales numbers were higher than they were in normal periods, Right?
What was the difference? Right? So they were not going to Las Vegas. They were not visiting their customers. They were not driving into the office, Right? So if you think about it, I mean, I’m being a little facetious. They were being antisocial, they were not. Okay, what they did is they the good ones moved their social abilities online, they may not do the LinkedIn, they went on to different right ways of communicating.
Now, the message has gotten back to the CFO as well, right? And now when they go for budgets, and say, “Hey, we weren’t big events, and we want to do this.” The CFO was like, “Why were you doing better without these kinds of events, and without going out and doing this thing?” So why do you need to know? Right.
Bob Woods 27:37
Yeah. Honestly, what I think brought about I mean, after that terrible period, and everything else, I mean, a lot of good came out of it. And I think one of the things that came out of it was efficiency, things are much more efficient now. And what is generative IA ultimately going to do for salespeople make them more efficient.
Usman Sheikh 27:59
McKinsey says, Bob, that generative AI is going to create one point to check this out trillion dollars, trillion dollars of sales productivity per year . Can you believe that that’s the combined GDP of many, many different countries? Seriously, that I mean, one year $1.2 trillion in productivity games, Right? Are we getting ready to channel that? Are we going to be the ones that are going to be driving towards that 1.2 trillion? That’s the goal, that the C level executives, the CFO is going to start thinking about, Right? If I’m, you know, like, are you giving me that exponential uplift? Right, that is going to contribute to driving that $1.2 trillion in productivity? That’s the question out there.
And there is no such thing out there. Other than the use of proper generative AI, it proper is the key word. Right? Yeah. To help us get to that point, right. So if you’re avoiding it, and you think that hey, it’s going to eat my job away, you know, people left during the pandemic as well, you know, because some very seasoned sales guys left the profession because they said, moving on to a video speaking in zoom boxes, and you know, across it was, they thought it was an inside sales job, and I don’t want to do an inside sales job, so they left the profession. That’s a fair point right. Now. On the other hand, it opened the door for all these young people that are using Instagrams and tick verses on YouTube and so on.
They just very happily stepped in. Now, there is a wisdom gap over here versus the seasoned guys. But that wisdom gap can now be full. You kind of can be plugged in using xiQ for example, right, we I see it behind your you’re using challenger book right? You’ve got it. Right. And so there’s a lot of wisdom in that. But you know, I also know that when the Challenger coach leaves the room, the ability to understand who is the motivator, who’s the driver, who’s the mobilizer also leaves the room, Right? So what needs to be done is we need to have systems that actually can bring this to us. And so for example, our platform, right, we have 16 personas, 128 different personality types within that, you know, 1000s of different communication models, Right.
And sending models already built into that, right. And so all I have to do is type in the name of a person and their company, and what I have their personal motivations, how to write them, I can do all of that right there. Right? So it never leaves the room with the coach. It is, as a matter of fact, it sits on my mobile device, and it’s in my pocket all the time. I can check on this at the airport, I can check on this, you know, and I can kind of formulate this from my cab, I can do it from the reception room, I am ready to have a meeting. Or if somebody just unknown to me walks into a meeting, I can immediately look them up and mid-sentence, shift my way of presentation to suit this person knowing that this is going to be an influencer, that’s gonna drive my cycle. Right? Think about that. Think about it, I know you don’t like the word game changer. I don’t either. But think about what a disruptive force that is. Right?
Bob Woods 31:45
Constructive. Yeah, this school is disruptive? I like that. Yeah, I mean, psychology and AI to be more human? Yeah, that’s yeah.
Usman Sheikh 31:55
You know, and the thing is, also, here’s another angle to all of this, but we are constantly, you know, you and I can look at the same person and have two totally different sets of opinions. Right. Now, what behavioral science and psychology do is they go into 100 years of models and billions of people that they’ve applied these models to to come up with a fairly well defined process and being able to identify a person right.
Now, instead of our subjectivity. It’s replaced by science, scientific fact. Is it 100% accurate? Absolutely not. Is it better than having five people looking at the same person and coming up with five different things? Yes, it is. Right? We all get some points. Yeah, it could be wrong. Right. But it will be a lot less wrong, then, you know, an untrained person, which is plenty of them out there, Right?
Bob Woods 32:58
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, to, to, to have data behind that, which is something that, you know, a couple years ago, I don’t know if we ever would even think of that. But I mean, but to have that now to at least better inform you of the likelihood of what this person is going to be like before you meet them. It’s amazing.
Usman Sheikh 33:20
We will be simulating these conversations xiQ is coming up with a thing called the digital twin. So before I go into a meaning, I will use the digital twin and I will simulate my meetings and I will ask the digital twin, what are your key hurdles? What are the key reasons for you to block? So instead of me asking, like, “How do I sell?” Of course, that’s the easy part. But what would be your objections? What are potential objections that you will raise? Right?
And knowing that, what are the potential objections that you’re gonna raise? Right, are you going to help me get better prepared for you? Now, the other thing I want to say to you and your audience is that a lot of this is conventional best practices in sales, it’s not new in that regard. The concepts are not new, the concepts are old. It’s just that the augmented intelligence is there for us now to help speed up our process, being able to kind of customize and that’s a very important point, right? All the best guys who are salespeople do the same things all the time, Right?
They know who the people are, they know what their pain points are. They know what their personal preferences are, they know how to kind of speak to them in a language that’s understood by them. They know that but that’s like 3% or less of your sales force. Sure. So now you can take that and you can spread that wealth using tools like xiQ using generative AI across the whole organization and collectively you can raise the ability so you know, like you do your social sales. training and so on in your coursework, you know, and you continue to teach that however, you can now provide tool sets that can augment. Augment is the key word of what you teach the best practice that you’re teaching.
Bob Woods 35:15
Yeah, and we’re always looking at those, those types of tools. Because, as I said before, when we were talking beat before hit record, I’m kind of the AI guy with within the company, and I’m always looking for, you know, tools and things like that to offer, you know, not only my following, but our company following and especially our individual clients and our corporate clients, as well. And the number of tools out there is staggering, some are great, some are not so great. But, you know, to have these on your sales tool belt, which is, you know, I kind of coined that phrase, although I’m not the first one to say that years and years and years ago.
And I always used to say that, you know, LinkedIn is a tool on your tool belt, it’s more like the hammer or the screwdriver, you know, it’s an important one. But you do have other tools, and you can’t forget about using those as well. Now with AI, I don’t know what size or what comparison to a tool that would be. But I mean, it’s, it’s every bit as important probably, I don’t know if it’s more important, because you still need communication channels.
But just to have everything that it can do, I think is is hugely important for for those of us in not only B2B sales, but on the marketing side, because they need to know the customers too, they need to be able to craft the messages to the particular customers they look at things from a little bit more of a macro view, obviously. But at the same time, there’s a lot of data out there that they can glean, and use AI to construct those messages and make sure that they appeal and all that stuff. And at the same time, sound human and use psychology, but I think all of that is now there, especially especially with tools like yours.
Usman Sheikh 37:04
Yeah, absolutely. I would, you know, the tool belt, I would call it the tool box. Right? So it’s a tool box that has a lot of different things in there. And and you know, it actually has the hammer, it has the screw it has. And the communication channels are absolutely right. And they should be considered as communication in social networks, Right? LinkedIn is a social network. Unfortunately, it’s being branded as a sales tool. It is not a sales tool.
It is a social network. It’s a professional social network, right? For example, You know, it’s a crowdsource professional network on top of that, so it’s not going to be able to, you know, give you heard the rumors that hey, there’s a merger and acquisition taking place, or did you know that this guy is going to be leaving the job that’s going to happen in your, in other channels?
And so collecting and that’s the information sales guys need to really become, you know, that’s the currency they need to become credible? “Hey did you hear this?” Because that’s when people started listening. Like you’re telling me something I did not know. Right? In the watch, you don’t know it is not going to appear on a social network that is controlled and is a crowdsource. But you will hear it in a news channel. That is getting news from everywhere. Right? Yeah.
Bob Woods 38:-19
And it’s yeah, And it’s also algorithm driven, too. You always have to remember that you’re not going to be seeing everything, because of you know, the algorithms which we’re just gonna leave at that, but just always keep that in mind, too. So wow, this has been absolutely incredible. I want to wrap things up with just gonna kind of bring things in for a landing a little bit here. When it comes to AI. One of the main things that I like to wrap up with is, what is one thing that someone can do right now. And obviously, B2B sales and marketing people when it comes to using AI really want to have a strong takeaway for our audience here.
Usman Sheikh 39:11
Yeah. So I think I’m starting to realize that this is a tool set that you will need first and foremost, right? And then how will you use it? We have an extremely fragmented technology base, in our contact information section lying somewhere. Our company information is lying somewhere else. Our insights are somewhere as research we don’t have a proper framework for so you need to start thinking in terms of how do you bring it all together?
And so make AI your friend, right, especially AI that calls itself augmented versus artificial. That’s super, super important for you to realize how you can augment what you do and how it helps you and second, I would say is, Discover, How does it help you humanize right hits that target the bullseye? Better Every single time.
Bob Woods 40:01
Amen to the human thing and you just strengthened my resolve all the more to think about making T-shirts saying make AI human or something for T-
Usman Sheikh 40:14
Bob Woods 40:16
Somebody else’s probably using it already out. There you go. If people want to learn more about you and your offerings, tell them where they can access your online. Yeah.
Usman Sheikh 40:27
So our website is www.xiqinc.com. That’s www.xiqinc.com. You can go there with great information, you know, hit us up for a demo, start a freemium trial of the platform, you can get to see a few people and experience it yourself. And then LinkedIn, we are on LinkedIn www.xiqinc.com on LinkedIn, and then myself. That’s U-S-M-A-N. Last Name, S-H-E-I-K. I’m always pretty active on LinkedIn. And I’m always looking to be in touch with people who have shared interests.
Bob Woods 41:10
So LinkedIn type guy, I noticed that you’re active on LinkedIn. And I definitely am sure LinkedIn knows too, but yeah, absolutely. So I think with that Usman Sheikh, founder and B2B of the sales and marketing platform. Augmented intelligence platform xiQ. Thank you for joining us today. Really, really appreciate it.
Usman Sheikh 41:36
Thank you both for having me. I really enjoyed the conversation. Excellent.
Bob Woods 41:39
Yeah, I did too. Very much so. And thank you for streaming this episode of Making Sales Social. So remember, when you’re out and about this week, be sure to make your sales social.
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