Is coaching going AI?

17th May 2018 |   Professor Nick Lee

Is Coaching Going AI

Last time around, I wrote about artificial intelligence (AI) and sales. More specifically, I speculated on the possible impact of one type of AI – deep learning – on sales as we know it today. I explained that many features of more routinised sales jobs might be amenable to replacement by deep-learning methods, and also that perhaps this might not be such a bad thing. Indeed, deep learning might actually be able to help us be more effective salespeople.

I also speculated that perhaps many sales managerial tasks – such as coaching, and training – might be replaceable by real-time deep learning AI-based tools. Indeed, it is the skills that require abstract thought, flexibility and creativity, that are most likely to be irreplaceable by what we know as AI at the moment.

However, it’s important to realise that in fact, many things that we think are quite dependent on abstract thought and creativity are at the very least quite convincingly imitable, and often entirely replicable – by a cleverly-designed series of simpler decision tasks, or algorithms.

Professor of Marketing at Warwick Business School | + posts

Nick Lee is Professor of Marketing at Warwick Business School and the Honorary Chair of Marketing and Organizational Research at Aston Business School. His research interests include sales management, social psychology, research methodology, and ethics. He is Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Marketing, the Section Editor for Sales Research Methods for the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, and he serves on the review panel or editorial board of several other journals. Nick is an Honorary Fellow of the APS where he directs research activities. Contact: