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The Future of AI: When It Comes to Lead Gen, Humans Will Always Win

The rise of AI was swift and comprehensive. Seemingly overnight the ChatGPT technology has revolutionized the way humans communicate. According to Stanford University, since launching in November 2022, ChatGPT has been used for such diverse methods as writing cover letters, composing poems, and even crafting messages on dating apps.

As LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman once famously said, “The future is always sooner and stranger than you may think.”

But as exciting as the new robot revolution may seem, there are still many aspects of the sales cycle that are impossible for them to tackle effectively (but not for lack of trying). Here is why the future of lead generation is going to require a seamless handoff between robots and humans, and how to implement it. 

What is OpenAI?

OpenAI is a research and deployment company. They build their generative models using a technology called deep learning, which leverages large amounts of data to train an AI system to perform a task. You may know them via one of their bigger projects, ChatGPT, an interactive chat feature that provides instant answers based on questions asked in common language. They’re also the creators of Dall-E, a tool that takes input in text and produces imagery instantaneously. 

What are GPTs?

Generative Pre-trained Transformers, commonly known as GPTs, are the most popular new AI tech. But what do they do? According to Amazon AWS, “...GPT models give applications the ability to create human-like text and content (images, music, and more), and answer questions in a conversational manner. Organizations across industries are using GPT models and generative AI for Q&A bots, text summarization, content generation, and search.”

In layman's terms, GPTs are AI powered models that pull from data points across the internet and provide responses in real time. They are always learning, always growing, and always evolving. 

GPTs are built on top of Large Language Learning Models technology, or LLMs. LLMs are deep learning algorithms that can perform a variety of natural language processing (NLP) tasks. ChatGPT is a kind of large language model, but not every LLM is ChatGPT. 

While GPT technology has brought advancements in the speed of communication, it's essential to note potential challenges such as bias in language generation and the need for careful implementation to ensure responsible and ethical use. Additionally, there are ongoing discussions about the balance between automation and maintaining the authenticity and creativity of human communication.

Why is the GPT-4 update such a big deal?

OpenAI's first developer conference took place on November 6 in San Francisco. At the event, OpenAI shared some specific updates on how it can be utilized and customized for personal management of day-to-day tasks and work. 

The upgrades to GPT now allow users to easily customize their own chat GPT with instructions, expanded knowledge, and actions, and then publish it for others to use. This enables users to create features like calendar integration, data analysis, web browsing, and code interpretation, enabling optimization and scheduling for maximum engagement.

How can you stand out in a GPT world?

According to Forbes, “AI systems are changing more than just human-machine interaction. Human-human interaction is also profoundly affected by the new patterns that arise as a result of wide proliferation of chatbots and other systems.”

With the democratized access of GPTs for all comes the potential for lots of new opportunities, but also a LOT of noise. With so many people using GPTs to sort, segment, automate, and respond, it will only become more important for companies to stand out by putting relationships at the forefront of their practices.

When everybody has the ability to create their own process and tools with GPTs, trust becomes more important and valuable. AI is an amazing tool to use alongside the human touch; for example, Hifive uses AI in products to help you get started, and in crafting messages for potential connections and connectors.

A look into the future

So where is the future of this technology headed? One common application seen in the sales space is the rise of the autonomous agent. 

During a recent webinar, Hifive CEO Pete Ryan shared some of his predictions around how the rise of GPTs will impact the sales process and beyond. Pete explained: 

“Let's hypothetically look at what the next 3 years look like with AI… while apps like ChatGPT can only generate responses from a prompt you write, autonomous agents can literally automate entire tasks. You have to believe that the future of AI will ultimately replace any manual task that you perform in your day to day at work.”


While leveraging automation is certainly a boon for efficiency, there are some significant potential downsides. For example, let’s say you’re leveraging an AI autonomous agent to execute a sequence of tasks in the sales cycle in order to drive leads:

  • Scanning a spreadsheet of target accounts
  • Cross referencing those target accounts on LinkedIn and finding contact emails 
  • Adding those prospects to an outreach sequence 
  • Personalizing and developing a cadence of emails for specific prospects

These are ultimately all manual tasks that autonomous agents will be able to do, and they’ll do them better than any human will because the autonomous agent is learning and iterating on how to improve the speed, the messaging, and conversion rates.

Sounds good, right? Wrong.

What will end up happening is as this efficiency skyrockets, the sheer volume of top of funnel outreach will follow suit. So what this really means is more spam for C-level buyers, who will inevitably tune it all out completely, thus defeating the purpose of optimizing outreach.

Explains Pete, “A lot of companies we meet with are thinking through new channels for growth: partner-led growth or ecosystem-led growth, product-led growth, community-led growth, or one newer channel that we certainly advocate for is relationship-led growth.

"Relationship-led growth is about how you are leveraging the people you trust to reach the people you are trying to meet. Because we can say with a pretty high level of certainty that AI and automation will not ever displace relationships. And as long as humans are buying from other humans, then relationships will be an integral part of the buying and selling process.”


How to leverage relationship-led growth + AI together to close deals

AI + Hifive can be even more powerful together. By leveraging AI assist to operationalize your introductions, you can find the best people to potentially connect to and with. Generating a suggested intro to send along also makes the process easier for the Connector, the person making the intro.

From there, it’s all about taking a relationship-led approach. AI has made the process of requesting intros and making connections more efficient, but leveraging connections still requires human to human interaction to truly feel genuine. 

Posted November 14, 2023