After sharing my reflections on the global opportunity for SaaS innovators in the age of AI, I was excited to recently sit down with some of those innovators and hear about real-world applications and use cases. This happened last month in London when G2 and ZoomInfo hosted an evening of AI insights and conversation among SaaS executives.
Sylvia Jensen, CMO at Dixa, was one of the SaaS leaders in attendance. In her LinkedIn post recapping the session, she asks: “Is generative AI 'the solution' for tech companies requiring more output from marketing, sales, and service teams when they urgently need to cut costs in order to survive in today's economic climate?”
Answering this question was the focus of our discussion.
AI in SaaS: Expectations are evolving, but still exceed reality
Despite the economic downturn, AI is booming with record funding and new generative AI unicorns emerging. Everyone seemingly wants to embrace AI.
In fact, 81% of global software buyers say it’s important that the software they purchase has AI, according to G2's 2023 Software Buyer Behavior Report. However, leaders are also realizing that any investment in software – including AI tools and capabilities – must lead to measurable value and ROI.
During our conversation, one common theme that emerged was that while AI adoption is growing, expectations still exceed reality. Panelists agreed we must be careful not to overpromise on AI's capabilities and focus on tangible productivity gains.
For example, automating mundane tasks can free up time for more strategic work, but outcomes are difficult to predict. The consensus was that there is a clear opportunity to use generative AI for go-to-market (GTM) efforts, including customer acquisition, but it needs to be operationalized for practical use cases.
of global software buyers say it’s important that the software they purchase has AI
Marketing & sales use cases driving business value
Diving into how to operationalize AI, we looked at AI use cases across marketing and sales. Bianca shared that Paddle's support bots have reduced ticket volumes by 40%, while Sophie said ZoomInfo leverages AI to interpret complex sales data visualizations for reps.
Additionally, Alex noted Reachdesk is mining years of call data to build AI-assisted prospecting tools and has tapped AI-powered account-based modeling to reveal manufacturing and logistics as prime untapped verticals, accelerating pipeline.
While sales teams may be skeptical, the group agreed they stand to benefit greatly from AI once adoption increases.
Uncovering new opportunities for growth as we look ahead
Looking ahead, panelists expressed cautious optimism for the future. While the economic recovery will likely depend on demand generation spend reversing current cuts, AI may help level the playing field by automating mundane tasks — freeing teams up to focus on strategic, higher-quality work.
Vertical targeting, content personalization powered by AI, and a focus on proven productivity gains were factors cited that could help contribute to greater growth.
While we know outcomes are uncertain, AI is undoubtedly transforming how software is developed, marketed, purchased, and sold. Continuing to hear from leaders like Bianca, Alex, and Sophie will help us all navigate the disruption.
Let’s keep the conversation going and continue sharing AI use cases – including what’s working, what’s not, and how we can all drive value and innovation in our businesses with AI.
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We mapped the top priorities of 1,700+ B2B decision makers. Get ahead with the 2023 G2 Software Buyer Behavior Report.
How SaaS Leaders are Operationalizing AI to Drive Go-To-Market ImpactIn a recent panel in London, G2 CEO Godard Abel sat down with industry leaders from ZoomInfo, Paddle, and Reachdesk to discuss AI’s impact on B2B software buying and selling. https://learn.g2.com/how-saas-leaders-operationalize-aihttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/FL%20-%20Godard%20Content%20-%20Blog%20Images%20-%20Jo_SaaS%20Connect%20London%20blog.png2023-11-10 19:13:27Z
Godard AbelGodard Abel is the co-founder and CEO of G2. He previously built cloud CPQ pioneers BigMachines (acquired by Oracle) and SteelBrick (acquired by Salesforce).https://learn.g2.com/author/godard-abelhttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/Vendor%20Micrositeemail@example.com://www.linkedin.com/in/godardabel/
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