This is the most recognized and understood model of sales opportunity. In many ways, though by its nature is accepts massive inefficiencies. It suggests sales reps should chase a large number of opportunities and accept as they go through the sales process many will fall out until you get a deal. With AI we can be smarter about the qualification process and we can deliver better conversion rates between stages. The funnel, therefore, becomes closer to a straight pipe, which is the most efficient sales process.
Before you can understand where to use AI in the sales process you firstly have a model of where AI can be most impactful.
Many sales processes talk about the steps the supplier will be involved with, what they don't consider is all the other steps the customer needs to go through. The process flow below is very helpful because it follows the journey from before the customer talks to a sales rep through to the different approvals needed depending on the type of sale. This is great for correctly aligning with a prospect and also predicting an accurate close date.
The CEB (now Gartner) use a more comprehensive model of sales in terms of function rather than process. This view is better for operational change rather than pipeline management. Whats also nice about using this model is that CEB also has a set of benchmarks that you can use to validate and quantify the opportunity in each of these areas.