Conversation Intelligence. Everything you need to know.

Veronika Traublinger
November 18, 2020

This guide will give you detailed insights into conversation intelligence software & how it enables better customer conversations.

In the past couple of years, B2B sales has rapidly evolved. And so has the technology used by revenue teams. More and more tools flooded the sales tech market with mainly one goal: automate processes and increase the number of calls, emails, LinkedIn outreaches, and more. But by now, we’ve learned that automating tasks and just doing more of everything doesn't necessarily help us reach our goals faster. The only way to succeed in sales is to improve human performance.


And one space where human performance is crucial is sales conversations. When talking to a prospect, a sales professional’s performance decides if there will be a deal or not.    


In theory, conversation intelligence is the ability to identify and react to signals in verbal communications. In business, this translates to assessing a conversation’s direction and understanding the positive and negative factors that influence its outcome relative to desired results. Conversation intelligence software helps salespeople with precisely that. It supports them in achieving their desired conversation outcome.


This guide will give you detailed insights into conversation intelligence software and how it enables better and more productive customer conversations.


What is Conversation Intelligence?

To learn what Conversation Intelligence Software is, let’s take a look at G2’s definition. G2 describes Conversation Intelligence (CI) Software as a tool that “records, transcribes, and analyzes sales calls.” The analytics of CI software gives an overview of keywords and topics discussed in a call and lets sales professionals quickly jump to specific sections of the conversation in the recorded sales call to collect further insights. Businesses mainly use CI software to coach and onboard sales representatives on best practices and identify risky topics in a conversation.


Conversation Intelligence tools are closely related to sales coaching software. Among the most well known CI software providers are Gong and Chorus.ai.


To summarize, CI makes recordings of sales calls (that used to live in a black box that hardly anyone had access to) available quickly and smartly. It used modern technology like machine learning to identify and surface valuable data that would otherwise remain unknown.


CI comes with a lot of benefits for every member of the sales team. In the next part of this guide, we will give you insights into the perks of using Conversation Intelligence software for sales reps, revenue leaders, sales enablement, and sales operation professionals.



Benefits of Conversation Intelligence for Sales Reps.

Conversation intelligence software is the perfect tool for every sales rep with a growth mindset who continuously wants to learn and improve their sales skills. We have identified the four main benefits for sales reps from using CI.


1. Peer-to-peer learning

CI always lets you listen to customer conversations from your peers and get insights into their approaches. You can use these insights to help improve their skills as well as your own. Let peers listen to your customer calls and ask for advice on what you could have done differently. 


2. Easy collaboration with colleagues in customer-facing roles

If you work in an advanced sales organization, your team is probably structured like an assembly line. So the team is split up into Sales Development Representatives, Account Executives, and Customer Success Managers, and each role is responsible for a specific task in the sales process. This also means a customer gets handed to more than one contact person along their buying journey. To ensure the customer is happy and, in the end, buys your product, those handovers must run smoothly. The call recordings and insights from CI software give everyone along the assembly line a detailed customer overview and ensure effortless handovers. 


3. Detailed deal insights

Call recordings let you jump back to old conversations with a customer. So, if you want to get up to date before a follow-up call or make a new sales approach with an old lead, you always know what has already been discussed in the past.


4. Targeted training

Have you ever had a sales training where you, in the end, had the feeling it was just a waste of time? Unfortunately, this happens quite often as training mostly consists of theoretical best practices. With CI software, you can use the recordings of real sales calls for training sessions with your managers and get advice on a deal you’re currently working on.  



Benefits of Conversation Intelligence for Revenue Leaders.


As a revenue leader, you benefit from CI  in different ways compared to sales reps. Your advantages lie in using the CI tool’s insights to improve sales strategies and effectively scale your team. 


The data generated helps you react faster to changes in the market or customer behavior by tracking the most discussed topics and customer questions. 


Of course, you, as well as the sales representatives, benefit from the new training possibilities thanks to call recordings. You can listen to your reps’ calls, see if they talk to the right customers, use the right messaging, and are confident when answering customer questions or handling objections. It also brings you closer to the front line. You get a better feeling of how customers are behaving. As a leader, we know that it is easy to get lost in all the stats and theoretical sales frameworks and often lose sight of how customer calls really go. 


So with CI, you can provide high-quality training with actionable insights. You can ensure that the sales messaging is aligned across your reps and effectively scale your team.

  


Benefits of Conversation Intelligence for Sales Enablement.


Sales Enablement is all about increasing sales results by providing content and training for sales professionals for the entire sales cycle. 


Conversation Intelligence enables you as sales enablement managers to coach and train your frontline sellers in a completely new way. You can use examples from real customer conversations to explain the dos and don’ts for sales conversations. You can analyze common customer questions and objections and provide content and training designed around this insight. Furthermore, you can coach reps with a more targeted approach using conversation analytics. CI makes sales enablement more efficient and effective.  


You can find a detailed overview of sales enablement activities, strategies, and more in our Sale Enablement guide. 

Ciara - The Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement.

In-Call Assistants: Going Beyond Dashboards.


So, by now, you know what Conversation Intelligence tools are and how your sales organization can benefit from them. But the sales tech landscape evolves quickly. From 2018 to 2019 alone, 120 new tools have been added. Added to this, there already is the next generation of Conversation Intelligence software: In-call assistants. In-call assistants combine the conversation analytics functionality of a classic conversation intelligence tool with AI sales assistants’ automation and artificial intelligence abilities. The output is actionable recommendations for the next steps based on best practices and previous customer interactions.


You can get a detailed overview of the features of in-call assistants in this article.


So why are in-call assistants the logical evolution of conversation intelligence software?


As stated above, conversation intelligence is great. It gives you access to data that helps you continuously improve your sales processes and build resilient sales success. But there is a lot of data. And to read and analyze this data and derive new strategies from it is time-consuming. And it’s human to overlook or misinterpret some parts. In-call assistants, however, always have a complete overview and consistently learn. This way, they can advise on logical next steps and ensure smooth deal flows. 


In general, you have six main benefits of implementing an in-call assistant at your sales organization:


1. Shorter sales cycles

Forgetting is human. But to forget asking essential questions in a qualification call can lead to longer sales cycles and, in the worst-case, can waste time on non-relevant prospects and make you miss your quota. With an in-call assistant by their side, sales reps will never miss a step and can vastly shorten your sales cycle and ensure you focus your energy on the right deals.


2. Total visibility

In-call assistants capture all customer interactions on the phone, web conferencing, and VoIP. And this along the whole sales pipeline. From the first qualification call until regular check-ins with the customer success team. That means the next steps can be derived based on the naked truth.


3. Market insights

What are your customers saying? What are the most common objections? What are real deal-breakers, and what can you overcome? The answer is in the conversation. In-call assistants make all this information available for you.


4. Better team alignment

A smooth customer journey can make the difference between winning and losing a deal. So a smooth handover from SDR to AE and precise documentation of customer interactions is critical. In-call assistants enable effortless handovers by automatically creating structured summaries of every conversation and syncing it with your CRM.


5. Sustainable sales training

Have you ever paid thousands of dollars for sales training just that your team has a pile of papers that will land in the bin sooner or later? In-call assistants make training information available in a sustainable and practicable way. Everything learned can be put into action with smart conversation templates and objection battlecards. In-call assistants are like a 24/7 real-time sales coach.


6. Faster onboarding

In-call assistants drastically reduce ramp time using conversation templates and objection battlecards to guide new reps in their calls. They provide them with call recordings of your best agents and their personal ones for efficient 1on1 coaching. That means faster quota attainment. Better retention rates. No more call shadowing.


Get a detailed overview of the benefits of using an in-call assistant in our free ebook “The ROI of in-call assistants.”

Ciara - The ROI of In-Call Assistants.


Conclusion.


Customer conversations are one of the most crucial parts of any organization. They close deals and generate revenue; they help build long-lasting relationships with customers and business partners and give valuable insights into customer challenges and goals. Overall, they decide if your company is successful or not. But although everyone is aware of the importance for a long time, there was hardly any control over customer conversations. 


Conversation intelligence finally brings insights into them. CI helps to identify weaknesses and help build measurable and repeatable strategies. It drives sales success at scale.

Try Ciara for free and bring conversation intelligence to your revenue team.