Client CEO asks: “Will THIS AI sales app help my sales team?”

As a management consultant spanning multiple areas, including AI, sales, cyber, privacy), I come across both big and small questions. My client, a large enterprise, originated from my sales training background. They are thinking about AI, but the company is not ready for significant AI adoption (data quality, maturity, etc). In the meantime, like most companies, his employees are exploring apps like ChatGPT, ad-hoc. Shadow AI is a big thing across most companies.

This question about a specific AI app exemplifies the dilemma of ambition and hype moving ahead of foundational strategy and planning. Like most companies, the company:

🔳 Doesn’t have an Acceptable Use Policy for AI.

🔳 Hasn’t integrated AI into its Third-Party-Vendor-Management (TPRM) program.

🔳Hasn’t considered the implications and risks of AI on security and privacy

🔳Hasn’t defined its AI strategy

So, the answer is, NO.  Adopting a specific AI app, ad-hoc, without planning and forethought, will not be a wise move.

Let’s start with your AI Acceptable Use Policy. Let’s train your employees in leveraging AI. Let’s define a strategy for AI adoption across three levels: productivity (employees), core (ERP, operations), external (customers, suppliers).

The app is at the employee productivity level. Let’s plan how to enable your sales team to leverage AI apps like ChatGPT, CoPilot, or more specific sales apps, including possibly the one that spurred this quest. But let’s deploy AI methodically and with appropriate controls and objectives, not via shadow-AI or ad-hoc.

Ready, Aim, Fire….. in that order.