The Go-To-Market Leader’s Guide to AI Maturity

Table of Contents

Meet the AI Innovators

Executive Summary

AI is changing our world at a breakneck pace and empowering sales leaders to reimagine their go-to-market (GTM) approaches and strategies. AI tools designed specifically for GTM organizations are equipping teams to do their jobs in a more efficient, effective, and focused manner. The result is a newfound ability to drive increased revenue faster in any market conditions. The winners will be those who understand the implications of AI and automation for GTM teams and take steps now to fuel success and future-proof their businesses.

1. The Right Data Foundation is the Key to Unlocking AI

Generative AI can drive incredible productivity gains and deliver game-changing insights. But its power hinges on the data at its disposal. Automating the capture, enrichment, and matching of GTM data creates a rich data foundation and allows AI to unlock the full story of every account, opportunity, and deal – and guide next-best actions. This, in turn, makes it possible for sales leaders to scale their approach and drive the best performance from every rep most efficiently.

2. Not All AI Platforms Are Created Equal

AI imposters may automate some workflow steps, but siloed point solutions can’t produce meaningful insights without access to comprehensive, quality data. Revolutionary AI platforms automatically and accurately connect the dots between all GTM activity and accounts, contacts, and opportunities in CRM; enrich that data; and deliver real-time insights in the tools your GTM teams already use.

3. First Movers Will Win The AI Sales Race

There’s a winner-takes-all dynamic built into AI. Once you establish a data foundation, the effectiveness of AI platforms increases over time. That means first movers realize a meaningful – and unbeatable – competitive advantage by enhancing their CRM with this technology.

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Seize the AI Advantage for GTM Teams

In the midst of a challenging macro environment and tech fatigue, it’s no wonder so many sales leaders are looking for an AI platform that actually works.

In spite of huge investments in your tech stack, it can feel like a monumental task to hit increasingly higher revenue numbers. And you’re not alone. Many sales leaders struggle to help their team hit their numbers when they rely on anecdotes and incomplete CRM data. AEs are trying to identify and engage stakeholders with buying power and drive purchase consensus among extended buying teams - but doing it blindly without data to help. That’s because most leaders and reps are continually playing detective to gather all the information needed to deeply understand what’s happening in all accounts, deals, and opportunities.  

The impact is clear.

It’s more important than ever to make smart moves and the right investments. That’s where AI comes into play. AI can alleviate core sales challenges – and enable an advantage in the process.

With the right AI platform – and data foundation in place to power it – you gain newfound visibility across your GTM organization, and unlock the complete story of every deal, account, and opportunity. You no longer need to be a forensic scientist to gain insights. AI does the analysis so you and your teams can focus on efficiently and effectively executing revenue-generating strategies. Organizations across industries are deploying AI solutions in sales to automate processes and realizing impressive results. In its 2023 Sales Performance Scorecard study, research firm Sales Mastery found that sales teams adopting AI achieved the following:

It’s no exaggeration to say your organization’s ability to stay ahead of the competition starts with AI. Gartner predicts that, by 2026, the majority of B2B sales organizations will transition from intuition-based to data-driven decision making by using technology that unites workflow, data and analytics. That means you’ll be left behind if you’re still making decisions with your gut based on anecdotal data. And that will surely be the case if you continue relying on incomplete CRM data, disconnected point solutions, and outright guesses to gauge and drive revenue health in your organization. First movers will gain a meaningful and sustainable lead with AI, you’re likely wondering how to be at the front of that pack. This guide can help you claim that spot. Read on to understand where you are today with GTM AI, and how to harness its power to future-proof your business.

“…the sooner an organization implements AI solutions and the more broadly they’re applied, the better they work. Success grows exponentially. And the competitive risks of not adopting AI tools grow as well.”

– "Can AI Really Help You Sell?", Harvard Business Review3

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Understanding AI Maturity Levels

As you get your arms around GTM AI, it helps to ground yourself in the self-driving car concept.

Just like AI technology in vehicles is making it possible for drivers to graduate from manual driving and even driver-assistance to fully automated, self-driving cars, AI can enable unprecedented levels of sales automation. While these concepts might seem worlds apart, they both achieve the highest levels of automation by putting in place foundational data elements. Let us explain.

Self-driving Cars Provide Inspiration

Figure 1 shows the six levels of driving automation, ranging from Level 0 (fully manual) to Level 5 (fully autonomous). In levels 0-2, the human monitors the driving environment. In levels 3-5, the automated system monitors it.

Figure 1. The Levels of Driving Automation created by Synopsis

What enables the leap from partial to – ultimately – full automation is the data the car captures (see Figure 2). Using sensors, cameras, and complex algorithms and software, self-driving cars gather real-time information to create and maintain a map of their surroundings, which they then call upon to make navigation decisions.

Figure 2. Capturing and consolidating data is what enables cars to make the big leap to level 3

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The GTM AI Maturity Curve

Inspired by the six levels of driving automation, we’ve developed a framework to evaluate and guide GTM AI maturity (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. AI acts on consolidated data to enable advanced automation at level 3.

Level 0 & 1

At Levels 0 and 1, manual processes consume most, if not all, of your sales team's time.

level 0

Top Challenges at Level 0

  • AEs are bogged down with manual tasks like account planning, data entry, and meeting prep
  • CRM data is incomplete and/or inaccurate
  • You lack data to understand how reps are spending their time
  • You use gut feel and anecdotal data to coach reps
  • You suffer from poor forecasting and missed quotas due to lack of data
  • Incomplete and out-of-date account plans
  • You struggle to balance shrinking headcount with growing  quotas and workloads


Top Challenges at Level 1

  • Poor CRM hygiene with inaccurate and out-of-date information
  • Phone and email prospecting is time-consuming, tedious, and insufficient
  • Coaching is reactive, focusing on information sharing rather than strategy and advice
  • AEs miss quotas due to poor forecasting based on anecdotal information and gut feel
  • You lack data and understanding of how AEs are spending their time
  • AEs are bogged down with manual tasks
  • You struggle to balance shrinking headcount with growing quotas and workloads
  • Inadequate data security and privacy policies 
level 1

Level 2

At Level 2, data flows from many sources and you may have automated certain workflows using different tools. But you still rely on operations or Business Intelligence teams for analysis since no centralized platform unites your data.

level 2

Top Challenges at Level 2

  • AEs are bogged down with manual tasks like account planning, data entry, and meeting prep
  • CRM data is incomplete and/or inaccurate
  • You lack data to understand how reps are spending their time
  • You use gut feel and anecdotal data to coach reps
  • You suffer from poor forecasting and missed quotas due to lack of data
  • Incomplete and out-of-date account plans
  • You struggle to balance shrinking headcount with growing  quotas and workloads

Level 3

Level 3 is where your organization will initially feel the biggest impact on sales efficiency and effectiveness. Here, AI kicks into high gear, consolidating data, swiftly analyzing it and providing instant insights. With AI serving as the central “brain” across all automations, you and your sales team are empowered to effectively and efficiently drive revenue by focusing on the bigger picture with data-driven insights – no need to be data scientists or Excel experts.

level 3

Top Challenges at Level 3

  • Closely monitoring AI to make sure it’s taking appropriate and  desired actions
  • Ensuring the tool is accurately and comprehensively capturing relevant data across the GTM organization
  • Making sure AI vendors and tools are secure


The right AI platform automates tedious tasks and aggregates all GTM data to create a central hub that provides real-time insights like these:

  • Someone in a target account is using a freemium version of your product, paving the way for an upsell
  • One of your product’s champions joined a different company in your target market, opening the door to a potential new sale
  • Your company just released a feature that will help you win over a recently lost deal

Level 4

Level 4 is high automation, where AI generates and completes actions and next steps, which you and your AEs can choose to override.

level 4

Top Challenges at Level 4

  • Staying up to date with this rapidly evolving technology
  • Catching and addressing potential mistakes and errors that can happen when using any new technology
  • Making sure AI vendors and tools are secure

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How to Move Up the GTM AI Maturity Curve

Once you understand your current GTM AI maturity level, you can take steps to achieve higher levels of automation.

Level 0: No Automation/Level 1: Minimal Automation

At Level 0, you have no AI or automation systems in place. Even at Level 1, your teams still spend significant time and manual effort on workflows because your automation is disjointed. While your multiple AI tools accelerate a few workflow steps, they don’t consolidate data to deliver true value.

How to advance to Level 2

1. Start (or continue) building and optimizing your data foundation.

Creating a foundational data layer is the first step to getting true value from AI sales platforms. Deploy a comprehensive platform that can automatically capture and record all sales team activities – phone calls, meetings, Zoom calls, emails, etc. – on each contact, account, and opportunity. By automatically connecting all the GTM-related signals across your selling environment, a high-quality AI sales tool sets the stage for you to bubble up relevant insights. It then delivers those insights into the role-based workflows and tools where your GTM teams already work today (like your CRM, inboxes, and collaboration tools).

68%

68% of CIOs agreed that unifying their data platform for analytics and AI was crucial to their enterprise AI strategy. And 72% said that data problems were the most likely factor to jeopardize AI/ML goals. – MIT Technology Review, The great acceleration: CIO perspectives on generative AI

2. Start building your organization’s genAI roadmap.

If you've been entrusted with implementing genAI into your sales function, it's time to start building your genAI roadmap. Identify the GTM areas with opportunities for efficiency gains, and pinpoint a use case (e.g., account planning, coaching, forecasting) that can deliver immediate value. Next, identify the data needed for this use case and the metrics you’ll use to measure success (e.g., “X% higher upsells within accounts with account plans.”) Leverage AI here so you can gain support and buy-in for your data and AI vision across the GTM organization. As you start this journey, align with the vendor partner who can serve as a trusted guide.

3. Use AI to accurately match activities inside your CRM

A great AI and automation tool will continually capture all of your GTM activity data and correctly match it to the right accounts, contacts, and opportunities in your CRM. This is where many tools fail and make frustrating errors, like duplicating contacts or assigning activities to the wrong account. In fact, most GTM AI tools don’t work well at all if your CRM isn’t pristinely organized with clean data (and whose is?).

70%

 According to Forrester, 70% of B2B buyers will regret purchasing an AI tool in 2024. That’s because those purchases simply add an automation layer to existing products, with tools lacking access to expansive, relevant data needed to produce high-quality insights about your business. Fed by the right data, advanced AI tools provide your entire sales organization with real-time insights at scale, helping close bigger deals, faster.

Level 2: Partial Automation

You’ve built scalable, proactive processes and given your sales team more time to spend with customers and prospects by automating many manual administrative tasks and processes. Great job – you’re already ahead of many other organizations! But with many different AI point solutions in place (such as for call recording or forecasting), your data lives in silos. That means you are still missing key pieces of your revenue story, making it an ongoing challenge to empower each member of your sales team to succeed.How to advance to Level 3

How to advance to Level 3

1. Unify your data sources with one central GTM AI platform.

Now it’s time to unlock the insights trapped in all of your captured data. Instead of just capturing data across multiple point solutions, connect and organize it in one central AI platform to gain a true, holistic view of your business. Start by understanding all the advanced ways you could leverage a single AI sales tool to optimize your sales process.

Learn from the AI innovators who are driving progress in different areas. Tap into the most innovative minds in AI– those who are championing the adoption of the technology in their organizations and beyond. Consider the insights of Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO and founder of People.ai: “The companies that ‘got it’ and started working with us early have collected decades-long datasets of all their GTM telemetry. Even the best intuition can’t compare to the advantage offered by a huge data moat. These companies have walked into the age of AI with a massive advantage.”

2. Learn from the AI innovators who are driving progress in different areas.

Tap into the most innovative minds in AI– those who are championing the adoption of the technology in their organizations and beyond. Consider the insights of Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO and founder of People.ai: “The companies that ‘got it’ and started working with us early have collected decades-long datasets of all their GTM telemetry. Even the best intuition can’t compare to the advantage offered by a huge data moat. These companies have walked into the age of AI with a massive advantage.”

3. Find an AI partner that fits your organization's unique needs

With Forrester predicting huge purchase regret for organizations that end up buying AI imposters, it’s a must to get this investment right. By asking the right questions, you can select the AI platform that will produce high-quality insights based on expansive, good-quality data – and that delivers those insights into the role-based workflows and tools where your GTM teams already work.

The leap from Level 2 to Level 3 is the most significant in the GTM AI maturity journey. And, just as with driving automation, the key to meaningful progress is data. Revolutionary sales automation is powered by data that unlocks the complete story of everything within and beyond your organization impacting your prospects, reps, deals, and sales cycles.

Level 3: Advanced Automation

With a strong data foundation and centralized AI, your GTM AI maturity is more advanced than most. AI is your team's super assistant and your AEs are acting on its outputs. More data-backed insights into opportunities and customers position your team to close deals fast. And you have a real-time view into the state of the business.

How to advance to level 4

1. Keep doing what you’re doing.

You’ve established the data foundation required to feed AI and generate highly valuable outputs. Continue refining your GTM strategies based on the data-driven insights provided by AI. Take advantage of the extra time you’ve given your sales teams to focus on the most important tasks, like building and nurturing meaningful relationships with customers and prospects.

2. Make sure you are collecting the right data for your organization

Decide what data will help you (and your AI) make smarter, faster decisions and prevent you from getting obvious, unhelpful answers from your genAI. Ensure your activity capture solution includes features like continuous contact enrichment to ensure data quality.

3. Focus on trust and security.Focus on trust and security.

With a solid data foundation comes a great responsibility to ensure that data is secure. Confirm that trust and security are built into the tools you use, and that vendors are continually updating their security measures to keep pace with the evolving landscape.

Level 4: High Automation

Congratulations – you’ve fully realized your GTM AI maturity potential! Your GTM AI maturity is more advanced than nearly all of your competitors. You are running on high automation, with AI generating and executing the best next steps. Your team manages AI output and can override when desired. As an early adopter of AI, your tool will always be basing decisions on a greater volume of historical data…and will be smarter as a result. And that means you and your team will be working smarter, not harder, to more efficiently and effectively drive revenue.

When it comes to your deals, you don’t know what you don’t know. But AI does. AI can instantly bring you and your reps up to speed on all accounts and opportunities. For example, it understands org charts and persona data to such an extent that it can literally save deals by identifying key members missing from a buying group.

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Supercharge Your GTM Organization with AI-Driven Sales Automation

In a data-driven, AI-optimized world, the sales teams that adopt the right tools and processes now gain a commanding lead over those that hesitate.

As you’ve likely gleaned, achieving Level 3 in GTM AI maturity is when you’ll realize an Aha! moment. After all, transitioning from Level 2 to Level 3 can increase GTM productivity by at least 10x. But Level 4 is where you experience a paradigm shift. Maturing to that level propels your team’s efficiency and effectiveness by at least 100x. You and your sales team will be able to do 100 times more… reach out to hundreds more prospective customers with personalized messages, generate account plans with next-best actions, qualify opportunities based on complete deal history, coach all AEs to execute in line with the best-performing ones, and create comprehensive forecasts.As the table below shows, GTM teams at Levels 0 and 1 are bogged down by manual tasks and struggle with the basics. On the other hand, those that rise to Levels 2, 3, and 4 experience a wide range of productivity gains across GTM activities.

GTM AI Maturity Guide for Sales LeadersHow AI impacts every part of GTM org

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Start Your GTM AI Maturity Journey Now

AI is a zero-sum game: organizations earn an enviable advantage when they buy in early with the right data foundation built.

The earlier you start with AI, the bigger the advantage you’ll gain over your competitors. Start later and it will be nearly impossible for you and your AI to “catch up” to your AI-enabled competitors. By assessing where you are when it comes to GTM AI maturity and taking the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate your AI journey with confidence and establish an unbeatable edge.

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