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Episode 64: When Will AI Replace Sales Teams with Erik van Eekelen

In this episode of the Stronger Sales Team podcast, Ben Wright speaks with Erik van Eekelen, the founder of Icana.AI and an expert in artificial intelligence, about the state of AI in B2B sales management both now and in the future. 

Erik van Eekelen takes centre stage to address the growing impact of AI in sales processes at various phases, ranging from real-time, intelligent chat functionalities for lead qualifying to content generation in reaction to popular search phrases. Erik also offers a bold prediction for where we might find ourselves in a years’ time…a somewhat exciting but terrifying notion. The episode offers guidance on how salespeople and leaders may adjust and maintain their competitive edge in a quickly changing world where adopting AI is now essential.

About the Guest:

Erik van Eekelen is a trailblazer in the artificial intelligence (AI) space. Erik holds a Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and has over twenty years of experience driving technological innovation in a variety of industries, including as banking, e-commerce, and energy. Erik is renowned for his extensive skill in using AI to address challenging business problems. He founded Icana.AI. His current work focuses on using AI advances to alter B2C sales. Specifically, he offers a product called AI Core Coach, which is intended to provide actionable insights for performance development.

Key Takeaways:

  • The current and future applications of AI in B2C and B2B sales processes.
  • The significant upcoming disruption in sales due to fully autonomous AI agents predicted by Erik.
  • The need for sales professionals and leaders to educate themselves about AI to gain a competitive edge.
  • Importance of incorporating human empathy and quality engagements in sales strategies to complement AI capabilities.
  •  Strategies for sales leadership to prepare their teams for the integration of AI, including education, embracing AI tools, and experimentation.

 Time Stamps: 

0:00 Intro

0:58 Guest Introduction

3:22 The Erik Van Eekelen Journey

5:09 The World of AI Today

7:04 AI Surprises

8:57 The Impact of AI in the Future

14:51 AI Concerns for Sales People

17:12 Steps to Prepare for the Future with AI

23:00 Guest Socials

23:58 Outro

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