July 18, 2024

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Mastering AI tools, and machine learning key to retaining sales and marketing roles

We have just entered the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), but the apprehension over massive job cuts looms large. According to several experts, sales and marketing will be most affected because of AI. As per LinkedIn’s 2024 B2B Marketing Benchmark report, 3 in 4 B2B marketing leaders in India are already using Generative AI applications in their marketing activities.

Contrary to the popular belief that Generative AI will eat jobs, some experts argue that it could be a blessing in disguise.

According to Deepan Dasgupta, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, Indian employees in sales and marketing could see a salary hike of nearly 60 percent. Talent platform foundit said that integrating generative AI in marketing and sales would likely increase the demand for AI-related skills, leading to higher salaries for employees who possess these capabilities. “As AI handles routine tasks, the value of human roles will shift towards creativity, strategy, and high-level decision-making, which can further drive salary growth for those who excel in these areas,” Sekhar Garisa, CEO at foundit said. However, there may be disparities based on the ability to adapt and acquire new skills, he added.

According to analysts, several organisations have significantly optimised their sales and marketing teams to the tune of 20-25 percent. A cumulative of 500+ sales and marketing employees have been let go in the past year-and-a-half across various organisations.

Deloitte India said that it is not that completely new jobs are emerging, but shapes of jobs are getting modified and augmented. Certain jobs in sales and marketing departments, particularly those involving repetitive, routine tasks, can be automated and replaced by AI.

According to Dasgupta, “More than 30 percent of the tasks currently undertaken by Sales and Marketing professionals will either get augmented or eliminated with the help of AI/GenAI”. For instance, a Marketing/ Sales automation specialist implements AI-driven marketing campaigns, automates marketing processes, and enhances customer engagement through personalised experiences. Other AI focus jobs that are coming up in sales and marketing are- Data Analyst, Content Writer, Forecasting Manager, Sales & Marketing Strategist, and Customer Engagement and Manager, among others.

Experts said that to overcome the AI crisis, employees need to understand AI and machine learning fundamentals, such as ‘Data analysis and visualisation tools’, ‘Prompt engineering with linguistic proficiency’, and ‘AI and NLP knowledge’, etc. Garisa, CEO of foundit said that a Sales and Marketing Strategist should understand AI applications, strategic thinking, data analysis, and leadership skills to stick in the game.

According to Sachin Sharma, Director, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, “Job posts mentioning AI or Generative AI on the platform more than doubled (2.5x) in India between 2021 and 2023. As a result, the most in-demand skills in marketing now include a balanced mix of technical expertise like SEO and digital marketing, along with essential soft skills like communication and analytical thinking”.

LinkedIn’s Deep Sales highlighted that ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is the fastest-growing digital skill for CMOs globally. Deep sellers in India are 2.4x more likely than others to use AI to connect with colleagues who know relevant stakeholders.

“AI’s role is to enhance productivity and efficiency, enabling professionals to concentrate on higher-value activities that require human insight and innovation. This synergy between AI and human capabilities fosters a more dynamic and effective work environment, driving better business outcomes,” the CEO of foundit said.