Evaluating AI Assistants: Microsoft Copilot vs. specialized sales tools
June 26, 2024

Evaluating AI Assistants: Microsoft Copilot vs. specialized sales tools

Last year, Microsoft launched its own AI-powered assistant: Copilot. A real timesaver and great tool for the typical knowledge worker - but it lacks the specialized intelligence to become a staple in your sales enablement strategy. In this blogpost, we highlight the biggest differences between Microsoft’s Copilot and an in-depth AI sales assistant such as uman, and which one is the best fit for your organization.

Microsoft’s Copilot is mostly an AI add-on for Microsoft products, which provides real-time suggestions to improve documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. It’s designed to improve users’ productivity by leveraging the power of AI to reduce time spent on routine tasks, such as data entry or note taking.

Based on the demos we have seen, it looks like an engineering marvel for the local productivity tasks -which means the AI is extremely effective within said tool, but is unfortunately also siloed within that tool’s context. 

That’s also the biggest difference between Copilot and a tool like uman. Most sales AI assistants will pull their data from several sources, both internal and external. We can't speak for every sales enablement tool on the market, so we'll just stick to uman for this example. Our AI fetches its data from:

  • External data on the prospect, e.g. annual reports, the latest news or LinkedIn updates. 
  • Notes and meeting transcripts from your CRM
  • Your up-to-date product information 
  • Your cases portfolio
  • Branded templates, e.g. Word, Powerpoint, Google Slides etc. 
  • Sales frameworks and methodologies
  • Your deal stage

Combining all those different data sources, our AI is able to generate personalized sales content that follows the sales process, brand guidelines and makes use of the right and up-to-date product information.

Garbage in, garbage out

To generate the right output, a generative AI tool needs the correct data. ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ is a frequently used saying within the AI community. How cleaner your data, how better the output. If you have little control over the data you’re inputting, you risk getting skewed results. That could also be the case with tools like Microsoft’s Copilot. Having outdated materials in your SharePoint (what company doesn’t?) is risking Copilot using that data to enrich its output, giving you incorrect sales assets. 

But it doesn't have to be a problem. It’s often manageable when your organization is small and doesn’t have a huge offering. But once a company starts to grow or has an increase in complexity of their product portfolios, silos start to form. This often leads to… 

   … marketing having their own libraries, riddled with brand templates.

   … sales processes being loosely documented in several Excel sheets or presentations. 

   … product information being kept in different document repositories or Excel sheets.

And that will lead to your sales content repository exploding with single use sales content. Maintaining a well-organized sales Google Drive, SharePoint, Showpad… will be a true Sisyphean task. Because… 

   … marketing will just keep on duplicating the same one-pagers and slide decks, in order to tweak them for every new client or lead.

   … every time there’s a product update, rebrand or change, all of those assets need to be edited individually.

   … sales can’t find easily what they need, so they end up tweaking their own versions, which are usually outdated, diluted and inaccurate.

Should you opt for Copilot?

The biggest issue with Copilot - or any GenAI tool for that matter - is letting it loose on stale, siloed and scattered data leads to bad outputs or even hallucinations - where the AI provides false or made-up information. But again, that doesn't have the be a problem when your organization is still small or uncomplicated.

So, when is an AI assistant such as Copilot sufficient, and when should you be looking into a more specialized tool? It depends on what your goals are, the way your organization is structured and how much budget you’re willing to pour into sales enablement tools. An AI assistant such as Microsoft  Copilot can be a great timesaver for every sales team and be sufficient enough in some cases, but won’t be able to replace specialized AI sales tools.

Charles Boutens
CEO & Founder
June 26, 2024