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AiThority Interview with Hendrik Isebaert, CEO at Showpad

AiThority Interview with Hendrik Isebaert, CEO at Showpad

Hi Hendrik, welcome to’s Predictions Series. Please tell us about the evolution and ever-changing role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities in sales enablement.

I think Sales enablement companies are taking AI to the next level already. 

As buyers get smarter with more information at their fingertips, sellers will need to leverage AI to keep up. 2023 was undoubtedly the year in which AI entered the mainstream consciousness, but the nuances and the advantages that AI can offer in a business environment, are still being worked out.

To maximize the almost unlimited possibilities that AI can offer, sellers will need to harness it in their sales meetings to drive better buyer interactions, stay one step ahead and be ready to add meaningful value to the conversation.

Whether it’s using AI to instantaneously surface the most compelling pitch deck, talk track, or playbook, AI will enable sellers to show up as trusted advisors, earning buyer confidence and becoming indispensable to the customer journey. In addition to sales meetings, AI will also be leveraged to augment the role of the internal sales coach, making sales development programs smarter and more scalable. The latest innovations mean that AI can provide actionable insights on seller skills and behaviors, helping define a baseline for sales readiness, and deliver targeted support to the reps who need it most. And if you’re not integrating AI into your sales strategy, you will be opening yourself up to a brief creep from your competitors.

With AI, can we finally expect alignment between Sales and Marketing functions? 

Yes, we can finally see a better alignment between Sales and Marketing using AI.

For years businesses have tried and failed [epically] to align sales and marketing teams. In a recent survey, approximately 70% of organizations said their sales-marketing alignment was not very good, leading to frustration and finger-pointing. However, new enablement platforms coupled with AI will finally make this a reality. When sales and marketing teams can better align, they can sustain and nurture relationships with buyers.

Alignment will also ensure maximized revenue and growth opportunities for the business.

Bringing sales and marketing teams together will allow them to collaborate on key business goals and see how each department impacts the other.

Customers will be delighted when their needs are anticipated, understood, and managed in real time.

With alignment, there will be more rapid deal cycles as customers are engaged and ready to buy.

What avatar would the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions take in 2024?

According to me, CRMs would evolve into Sales Enablement Platforms (SEPs).

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Enablement Platforms (SEP) are both crucial tools in the modern sales and marketing landscape, but they serve distinct functions. While CRM systems were about managing customer relationships and data, the reality is they have become more about customer record management. Meanwhile, sales enablement platforms are about empowering sales teams to engage more effectively with those customers.

In today’s world, businesses need a system of engagement to complement their system of record, and this has made Sales Enablement technology a must-have. Put simply, it is where the relationships happen. CRM systems are designed to manage interactions with current and potential customers, tracking the history of customer engagements, sales opportunities, and service requests. They are invaluable for maintaining detailed records of customers and long-term relationship building.

On the other hand, SEPs focus on equipping revenue enablement teams with the tools, content, and information needed to sell more effectively. These platforms provide resources like sales training materials, content management, and analytics tools to optimize the sales process.

It’s only a matter of time until SEPs outweigh CRMs in importance and additive value.

Recommended AI ML Article: State of Implementation of Generative AI (Gen AI) in Marketing

Thank you, Hendrik! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

[To share your insights with us, please write to]

Hendrik Isebaert is Showpad’s Chief Executive Officer. After joining the organization in 2016, Hendrik embarked on an extensive business immersion, working in leadership positions across Showpad’s dual headquarters in the U.S. and Belgium.

Beginning his Showpad career as Chief of Staff, Hendrik was subsequently promoted to the role of Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and latterly to Senior Vice President of Revenue globally.

Showpad is a leading sales enablement platform.

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