Your Sales Team’s Guide to New AI Regulations

Sophie GaneLast updated on June 3, 2024
6 min

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Every sales team has witnessed the rapid rise of AI innovations over the past two years. Ever since generative AI model ChatGPT hit the internet in November 2022, new AI solutions and products have been helping to tackle common pain points for sales teams, whether that’s transcribing calls or analysing sales data. 

These are welcome developments that will help salespeople boost productivity. In fact, 48% of sales and customer support teams say they’re actively looking at how AI can help them hit targets.  

However, the rapid growth of AI tools is also driving a rethink of data protection and privacy. For that reason, policymakers around the globe have been putting new AI regulations in place to govern what AI can be used for, and how businesses should implement it. 

For example, recently in the US new AI regulations came into force to limit the use of AI calls. These arrived in the wake of robocall deepfakes designed to sound like political candidates which targeted voters ahead of the New Hampshire primary. Alongside rules installed to stop bad actors from misusing AI, there are other new AI regulations that will ensure AI solutions, and the businesses using them, are safe. 

For busy sales teams and their companies, keeping track of these fast-changing AI laws can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve put together this simple guide to key AI regulations which will help your teams to get the most from new solutions, while keeping themselves and your customers protected. 

How are AI rules and regulations evolving?

Around the world, new AI regulations are coming into force. These vary by region and some are more likely to have an impact on your business than others, but it's worth familiarising yourself with some of the key policies and regulations. 

AI rules and regulations in Europe 

The EU recently put into place the world’s first comprehensive AI law, with the AI Act. This landmark legislation creates specific obligations for both creators and users of AI. It also identifies different AI uses by risk categories: 

  • Unacceptable risk: AI systems which are considered a threat and will be banned, e.g. AI systems designed to manipulate people or vulnerable groups. 

  • High risk: AI which could negatively impact fundamental rights or safety, and which will need to be assessed throughout their lifecycle. 

  • Limited risk: Those AI solutions which could potentially cause manipulation or deceit, including chatbots. 

  • Minimal risk: All other AI systems which don’t require restrictions, for example an AI-powered spam filter. 

It’s important to note that these regulations cover providers, deployers, importers, and distributors of AI systems. If you’re using AI in your workplace it’s worth undertaking a risk assessment and establishing an ongoing governance approach to ensure you stay up to date and compliant. Breaking the regulations comes with significant penalties that can reach up to €35 million or 7% of your company’s global annual turnover. 

AI rules and regulations in the United States

Research shows that, since 2019, there have been at least 29 bills across 17 states focused on AI—with many focusing on data privacy and accountability. These regulations ensure that AI systems aren’t creating unintended risks, protect consumers privacy, are used transparently, and are not discriminatory. 

In October 2023, the White House also issued a landmark Executive Order which established “new standards for AI safety and security.” The far-ranging actions in the Executive Order require developers of AI to boost safety, privacy, transparency, and equality in their systems. 

While the majority of these new AI regulations target the builders of AI, they’re also relevant to its users, i.e. your business and teams like sales who are deploying AI. These rules the need for responsible AI, and also offer a guideline for what to expect from AI solution providers you might be partnering with. 

Global AI regulations 

While the US and EU provide a good bellwether for the global state of AI regulations, separate policies are being rapidly built around the world. Those range from the National AI Plan in Argentina to the Digital India Act and Taiwan’s draft AI Act. 

You should try to stay up to date on what’s happening in your local market—the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has a useful AI Policy Tracker that can offer you a snapshot. 

What does your business need to do to stay ahead of AI regulation?

In addition to staying up to date on the regulatory landscape, there are a few other best practices that your sales teams and business can follow to help foster alignment. 

Work with trusted AI solution providers

While it can be hard to keep track of the AI solutions hitting the market, it’s also all too easy to get caught up in the hype. However, before investing in any solution, take a step back and make sure it comes from a vendor you trust. 

Do you have an existing partnership with them? Have you checked out testimonials, or looked at webpages or news detailing their AI solutions? With the new regulations, it’s in vendors' interests to be transparent. So, if in doubt, ask questions and don’t take the plunge on a new solution until you’re confident it’s not just up to the task at hand, but safe, secure, and compliant, too. 

Foster a culture of transparency

As AI providers strive to be more transparent about AI, so too should your business. Ask your sales teams about their sentiment toward AI, put in place guidelines for raising any concerns or questions and be open about how the tools you’re deploying work. 

Deploy AI to support, not replace, humans 

AI works best as a co-pilot to your existing teams, and it shouldn’t be seen as a way to cut corners. Think about how any AI deployment will empower your sales teams to do more. For example, could it reduce admin, speed up transcription, or help your team to rapidly personalise interactions with prospects? By improving your sales team’s day-to-day work, you’ll also nurture a better customer experience. A serious win-win. 

Where and when to use AI in your sales teams

While it’s essential to stay on top of the regulations on AI, it shouldn’t put you off its potential. New AI solutions are already transforming the sales function, and teams that don’t embrace it risk losing out on some serious productivity benefits. 

Here are just three ways you might want to start incorporating AI into your sales team:

  • Transcribing conversations: Taking notes from calls and manually sharing them can be a big time-drain for sales teams. With AI transcription, your sales team can spend more time on the phone, while rapidly getting to the insights that matter most. 

  • Adjusting the tone of sales communications: Tools like HubSpot’s AI Email Writer can help salespeople rapidly draft outreach emails, cracking first drafts or using it as a sparring partner—goodbye writer’s block! 

  • Research: While it’s important to check sources yourself, tools like ChatGPT can be a great way to get a quick overview of a prospect’s company or use case—which can inform a topline research doc and help you better target your sales pitches. 

Staying ahead on AI rules  

It’s easy to feel intimidated by the speed at which both AI solutions and AI regulations are changing. However, following regulatory changes, sticking to trusted providers, and creating a formal AI approach for your team will put you in a good position to make the most of AI advances. 

And even as things change, it’s worth remembering that these new regulations are designed to keep your business and your customers safe—all while empowering you to build a more productive business in the process. 

Ready to learn more about how trusted AI can help your sales team? Talk to our team today.

Published on May 23, 2024.

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