Since ChatGPT burst onto the scene in November of 2022, it’s had an ever-accelerating impact on businesses in all segments of the economy. That’s especially been the case in the sales arena where, according to a recent McKinsey report, the effect of ChatGPT and similar generative AI technologies has been nothing short of revolutionary.
In all aspects of the selling process, from initial market research to post-sale follow-up activities, and especially in the realm of AI-assisted sales training, AI technology like ChatGPT has already proven its worth. As a result, the ability to generate effective ChatGPT prompts for sales is becoming a critical skill for forward-looking sales organizations.
The Importance of Effective ChatGPT Prompts for Sales
Gartner estimates that by 2028, 60% of B2B sales activity will be executed using generative AI platforms like ChatGPT. However, many of the organizations employing those tools will fall short of reaping their full benefits due to an inability to create effective prompts. (A prompt is the request a user enters into the system to produce a desired response.)
ChatGPT is a large language model (LLM) machine-learning chatbot that is trained using huge amounts of data from around the internet as well as from a variety of other sources, such as books and articles. That training data is used to adjust hundreds of billions (ChatGPT 3) or more than a trillion (ChatGPT 4) internal parameters, giving the model the ability to provide human-like responses to a wide range of prompts.
Remember that however human-like the chatbot may appear to be as it interacts with users, it’s still just an AI robot. It makes statistical predictions of what should be the next word in its response based on the context established by the prompts it receives.
GIGO (garbage in, garbage out), an aphorism coined in the early days of computing, applies with particular force to ChatGPT and its technological cousins. The ability to maximize the benefits and minimize the potential pitfalls of using these platforms depends almost entirely on the quality of the prompts entered into them.
That’s why creating appropriate prompts is the key to unlocking the potentially game-changing benefits ChatGPT can provide. Inadequate prompting can result in a range of negative outcomes, such as:
- Irrelevant or off-topic responses
- Responses that are confusing or downright nonsensical
- Responses that are needlessly verbose or unhelpfully brief, or that are stylistically inappropriate for the intended purpose or audience
- Misinformation or “hallucination” responses that, although stated quite confidently, are fabricated and not based on reality
- Biased responses that reflect subtle or overt prejudices embedded in the training data
As the McKinsey report notes, ChatGPT’s advanced features allow it to function as a highly capable 24/7 virtual assistant to a sales team and its members, providing substantial productivity gains for individual reps and the team as a whole. When sales reps or managers fall short of generating effective prompts, their attempts to use ChatGPT to enhance their sales can be both frustrating and counterproductive.
Creating Effective ChatGPT Prompts for Sales
The key to writing good ChatGPT prompts for sales is to ensure that each prompt describes as clearly and comprehensively as possible the context of your request and the type of response you’re looking for. For example, look at the following two prompts (you might want to try them for yourself):
- Write a sales email for our ABC Widget product.
- You’re an expert B2B sales copywriter. Write a concise sales email for our ABC Widget product. The audience for the email is manufacturing engineers and managers who are concerned with operational efficiency and collecting detailed data for manufacturers. The ABC Widget is an intelligent sensor used for industrial automation in a factory environment. Its selling points include real-time data acquisition, a high degree of precision and accuracy, multi-sensor integration, wireless connectivity, self-diagnostics, and the ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Both prompts will generate well-written and even persuasive responses, but the second is far more likely to produce a response that meets your needs.
Why is prompt #2 so much better?
- It’s clear and detailed, providing specific information about the product and the selling points that should be addressed.
- It gives ChatGPT context for its role as an expert copywriter.
- Describing the intended audience for the email helps establish the tone and style of the response ChatGPT will produce.
- It establishes a contextual framework or background (“industrial automation in a factory environment”) that will help shape the response.
- It specifies the relative length and information density (“concise”) of the response you want.
In general, your ChatGPT prompts for sales, whether for an email or other purposes, should be as detailed, specific, contextualized, and personal as possible.
Examples of Prompts that Help Maximize the Benefits of ChatGPT in Sales
ChatGPT and similar tools are becoming game-changers in every part of the sales process. Let’s take a look at some of the specific areas in which generative AI is becoming indispensable and how you can design prompts that take maximum advantage of its benefits. Assume that background and product information have already been entered in previous prompts.
Historically, sales reps have spent as little as 28% of their time actually selling. But now, ChatGPT is freeing up reps to spend more of their time with customers. It accomplishes this by substantially automating administrative activities, such as generating sales reports, making travel arrangements, and preparing proposals and contracts.
Example administrative support prompt: “Give me a concise summary of our monthly sales performance for the ABC Widget product line. Include the key metrics, total revenue and units sold, in addition to any notable trends.”
ChatGPT can substantially streamline the market research process by automating tasks like collecting and analyzing market data from news articles, web pages, social media, and other sources.
Example market research prompt: “I need an up-to-date analysis of market trends relevant to our ABC Widget product in the industrial automation space. Include insights concerning recent developments, emerging technologies, and customer preferences.”
ChatGPT excels at generating lead-nurturing content, such as blog posts, product descriptions, and personalized emails, that helps reps identify leads and maintain contact with them.
Example lead nurturing prompt: “I want to write a friendly follow-up email to re-engage with leads who haven’t responded to our previous outreach about the ABC Widget. The tone should be warm and inviting. Remind them of the product’s key benefits.”
ChatGPT can generate email templates that enhance engagement with current or potential customers. For example, it can create outreach email templates that can be personalized through analysis of customer data or that respond to specific or generic customer questions or concerns.
Example email template prompt: “Draft an email template for following up with leads who attended our recent ABC Widget webinar. The email should summarize key takeaways from the webinar and invite recipients to experience a live demo. Make the email engaging and informative.”
Writing Sales Copy
ChatGPT can provide a wide range of assistance in writing sales copy. It can help reps brainstorm content ideas, generate detailed product descriptions, and create persuasive and engaging sales copy for advertisements, web pages, social media posts, marketing emails, and brochures.
Example copywriting prompt: “Create an engaging social media post that introduces our ABC Widget in a subtle way and highlights its ‘seamless multi-sensor integration.'”
Sales Improvement, Training, and Coaching
ChatGPT can be of immense value in helping sales reps improve their selling skills. It can provide interactive training modules, simulations, and role-playing exercises. Through this training, reps learn skills like cross-selling/up-selling and objection handling while gaining on-demand access to both generic and personalized training materials. ChatGPT excels as a personal training tutor, explaining concepts and answering questions in a way that’s keyed to each individual’s knowledge, experience level, and needs.
Example cross-selling/up-selling prompt: “Suggest complementary products or accessories we can recommend to a customer who just bought our ABC Widget product.”
Example objection handling prompt: “Customers are concerned about the pricing of our ABC Widget. I need effective responses that address cost objections while highlighting the product’s value and emphasizing its ROI and unique benefits.”
When ChatGPT Isn’t Enough
Even the superb language and information skills of ChatGPT are not sufficient on their own for implementing a productive sales training program. The most effective method of stimulating improvements in reps’ selling skills is through one-on-one interactive coaching, usually provided by the sales manager.
The problem is that even when they use ChatGPT to develop individualized coaching plans and resources for each sales team member, sales managers typically don’t have enough time to provide each rep with the personal attention they need. It’s here that a specialized AI training simulation platform can be a game-changer.
Such a platform can automate the delivery of personalized, one-on-one coaching through the use of highly realistic role-play simulations keyed to each sales rep’s individual needs and learning style. It records videos of team members practicing new selling skills as they interact with virtual customers in typical selling scenarios. After each simulation, the AI platform provides immediate, objective feedback that suggests specific avenues of improvement.
Putting it All Together
ChatGPT has revolutionized the way businesses and sales teams can optimize their processes. When utilized carefully, ChatGPT prompts for sales can become powerful tools. When this method isn’t enough, successful leaders turn to AI simulation platforms to enhance real-life training.
Sales managers are relieved of the burden of having to be personally present during coaching sessions, but they can later review progress to provide guidance and encouragement as needed. Because reps can conduct their simulated sales calls in private, they aren’t intimidated by the prospect of making embarrassing mistakes under the watchful eyes of their manager or peers.
Quantified offers a state-of-the-art AI sales coaching platform that produces superior sales training results. It’s a web-based solution that allows reps to run each simulation whenever and wherever they desire, repeatedly practicing new skills until they’re mastered. To see how today’s advanced AI solutions can both streamline your sales workflows and energize skill development for your reps, contact us to request a demo.