Effectively engaging customers at the point of sale is vital for retail success, yet it often proves challenging due to insufficient onboarding and training of sales staff.

However, the emergence of conversational AI delivered through digital humans for training purposes is already revolutionising the sales sector. This innovative approach reduces staff turnover while significantly enhancing retailers’ bottom lines.

Considering this pressing need, a more efficient approach to training is required, as up to 55 per cent of sales representatives still lack the essential skills for their roles.1 While 69 per cent admit to being self-taught and 60 per cent of businesses only employ an informal or random approach to sales training.[1]

Furthermore, over two-thirds of sales representatives have contemplated leaving their positions due to inadequate training practices from their managers.2

It is crucial for retailers to get this right. Accenture reports that businesses could increase revenue by five per cent if they tapped into two-thirds of their employees’ potential by building trust, enhancing skills, and supporting their emotional and physical well-being.[2]

There is also significant economic promise if conversational AI is adopted responsibly and at scale by organisations, which could add $10.3 trillion in global value by 2038.[3]

Retailers are therefore increasingly using a more personalised and streamlined AI for training their sales teams, via conversational digital humans.

This is part of an increasing trend on the use of generative AI, with potentially more than 50 per cent of activity being automated by 2030.[4]

There are several ways conversational digital human AI can help improve sales skills and act as a complementary tool to boost sales and improve efficiency.

24/7 real-time feedback and personalised help

Conversational AI takes the form of a digital human that acts as an instructor. It provides a guided learning environment with interactive conversations, immediate feedback, and support to sales trainees during simulations and role-playing exercises.

This real-time feedback helps trainees identify their performance strengths and areas for improvement, allowing them to adjust their approach on the spot. The digital human offers continuous assistance for trainees, accelerating the learning process and harnessing essential sales skills more effectively.

Digital humans can also be personalised, providing tailored support that helps sales teams stay up to date on the latest products and trends. This personalised assistance ensures that sales staff can effectively convey your brand’s value proposition.

Unlike traditional onsite training limited by time and location, digital human instructors are available anytime, anywhere, on any device. Sales reps can engage with the digital human to take a module or review the information before visiting a client. Additionally, the digital human can be kept up to date with the latest details, providing sales reps have access to real-time information. This flexibility gives retailers the ability to accommodate busy sales schedules without compromising training quality.

Saving time and effort while maximising sales opportunity

Digital humans can enhance sales by personalising the buying process, making it more relevant and tailored for sales reps and customers alike. They can assume customer-facing roles and automate tasks, including onboarding sales reps into the organisation, recommending products to nurture leads, suggesting additional items, roleplaying as the customer to help with real world scenarios, and acting as a part of the sales team by providing immediate multilingual sales support by handling frequently asked questions.

The assistance of digital humans means sales reps can focus on more critical responsibilities and intervene only when necessary, saving time and effort in closing sales.

Digital humans can now provide human-like learning experiences

Unlike traditional chatbots, digital humans often closely resemble realistic humans in appearance, voice, and interaction – helping establish a better emotional connection with the user.

Digital humans are equipped with Natural Language Processing (NLP), enabling them to comprehend and respond naturally to written and spoken human language. As a result, digital humans provide natural, immediate responses, creating an experience for sales reps that feels like conversing with a real person.

Retailers can future-proof their sales and operations and gain a crucial competitive edge by embracing conversational digital human AI. As the technology continues to advance, it has the potential to reshape sales training and customer engagement for retailers.

Idan Schmorak is CEO of UNITH.

[1] https://taskdrive.com/sales/sales-statistics/

[2] https://www.accenture.com/content/dam/accenture/final/accenture-com/document-2/Accenture-Work-Can-Become-Era-Generative-AI.pdf

[3] https://www.accenture.com/content/dam/accenture/final/accenture-com/document-2/Accenture-Work-Can-Become-Era-Generative-AI.pdf

[4] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-sector/our-insights/generative-ai-and-the-future-of-work-in-australia