A Sales Leader's Guide to Conversation Intelligence Technology



Sales coaching is undergoing a paradigm shift. Managers and leaders are abandoning the headphone splitter for something much more intuitive–Conversation Intelligence technology.

Conversation Intelligence (CI) is a relatively new technology category that takes business conversations and transforms them into actionable data points through call intelligence software. Those data points are then used for coaching sales, support, and customer success reps to continually improve their performance, raise quota attainment across teams and ultimately drive more revenue.

What is Conversation Intelligence Technology?

Conversation Intelligence software ingests, transcribes, and analyzes your business conversations. Call recordings are processed by artificial intelligence within the Conversation Intelligence platform to identify actionable insights. These data points can be used for coaching, training, onboarding, and enablement. Leadership can use them to make informed decisions when reviewing training programs, quota, and more.

Want to learn more about Conversation Intelligence technology? Check out our post for more details on CI and what B2B leaders ought to know »

How Does Conversation Intelligence Benefit Businesses?

At many organizations, management and leadership teams cannot quantify what the top performers are doing differently than the rest of the team. This is especially true for sales teams where some may argue the answer is simply “They’re better at selling.”

Conversation Intelligence software allows managers to crack the code on why their top reps consistently outperform the middle of the pack. Activity and conversation data help teams develop clear, consistent frameworks for what ‘good’ calls look and sound like. Managers can use this framework and data to coach their average performers, ultimately leading to better rep performance.

Use Cases for Conversation Intelligence Technology

One of the best parts of Conversation Intelligence platforms is the wide breadth of use cases. From onboarding and training to providing comic relief on a bad day, Conversation Intelligence technology has many applications across your organization.

Some of the most common use cases across teams include:

Coaching

ExecVision’s CI platform was built for call coaching. Managers can quickly locate coachable moments on any call and deliver feedback to the rep to help them improve the skill in question. Conversation Intelligence software also fosters peer-to-peer coaching, a key element in building a strong coaching culture. Reps are also able to self-reflect on their calls, helping them come to their own conclusions about their performance, which further drives positive rep improvement.

Sharing Best Practices

If you’ve ever wished you could clone your top reps, Conversation Intelligence technology will help make it happen. Call libraries allow managers to preserve the best-of-the-best calls from any rep indefinitely, which can then serve as a learning resource for the team.

Enhanced Workflows

Conversation Intelligence technology enhances workflows by enabling reps to focus on the call instead of hastily taking notes. Reps can revisit their conversations while completing the CRM notes to ensure they include key information.

Conversation Intelligence technology will improve inter-team communications too. When a team member hears a feature request or uncovers new market intelligence on a call, they can highlight and share that portion of the call with the team. That way, valuable information spends less time buried in inboxes and Slack channels.

Pipeline Productivity

Most seasoned sales managers and leaders have seen it: a rep is super confident they’ll win the deal, but ultimately ends up losing it because something got missed when closing the call.

Our Conversation Intelligence platform allows managers to review all of the calls within a specific opportunity. The platform flags key moments in the call, including objections and next steps, allowing a cursory look for any missed details. Managers can review emotions throughout the call as well, allowing them to gauge prospect sentiment as the deal progresses.

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How Does Conversation Intelligence Software Work?

SaaS tools often seem as if they’re powered by a wizard behind a curtain, but that’s not the case with Conversation Intelligence technology.

Conversation Intelligence platforms leverage artificial intelligence, primarily in the forms of machine learning and natural language processing, to extract data from business call recordings.

The call recordings are then pulled into the CI software platform which analyzes and transcribes the conversation. The software identifies who is speaking, when they speak, important keywords and phrases, and pauses in the conversation. All of this is then used to process additional data and determine action items.

Once this conversation analysis process is complete, users can view and search for any data they need to know like, what happened on a call, why it happened, and what could have been done differently.

Won’t My Reps Find Conversation Intelligence a Little Orwellian?

Not if you introduce it the right way. When we first launched ExecVision with the team at Vorsight, the reps revolted. We quickly learned that the reps needed to understand our motivations behind using Conversation Intelligence technology, and that it’s a win-win for everybody.

After an all-hands meeting where reps were told that the new CI software was primarily for their benefit, morale and usage immediately skyrocketed. Reps wanted coaching help with their calls all along, but they needed the autonomy of choosing which calls received coaching.

Who Can Conversation Intelligence Technology Benefit?

Any organization with teams who live and die by the phone and/or web conferencing tools can reap the benefits of Conversation Intelligence technology.

Currently, we most often see companies buying Conversation Intelligence technology for their sales teams–both inbound and outbound, client success teams, and customer support reps. Industries like B2B SaaS, outside appointment setting, consumer services, market research, and financial institutions, seem to get the most value out of using CI platforms

The Conversation Intelligence market will continue to grow as companies recognize they need to know what’s really happening on calls to coach their reps more effectively and remain competitive.

What Results are Conversation Intelligence Users Seeing?

Conversation Intelligence software is helping organizations make their teams better—leading to shorter sales cycles, higher close rates, and ultimately more revenue.

Customers using Conversation Intelligence software have seen incredible results like:

  • 20% increase in revenue
  • 33% reduction in ramp time
  • 2x conversion rate when reps score 80% or higher on a call
  • Higher percentages of quota attainment

Some users, like Justin Hiatt at Workfront, even felt compelled to talk about how much CI has positively impacted their business. Check out what he has to say here!

The Future of Conversation Intelligence Technology

Conversation Intelligence tools have a bright future ahead. As they’re adopted by more organizations and industries, the software category only has room to grow. Because it relies on machine learning and natural language processing for analyzing calls, as that technology advances, so will Conversation Intelligence.

Some speculate that there may be a divide within the CI category, separating analytics tools, note taking apps, and sales coaching platforms. How the industry evolves will heavily rely on how companies intend to use the data they receive from Conversation Intelligence software providers. Expect to see differentiation within the CI space as market intelligence, deal predictions, and real-time coaching are developed.

While some Conversation Intelligence platforms are aiming to replace manager coaching with AI, others are pushing to focus on making individual reps better. The sales, success, and support process is inherently human and so coaching those reps on their performance should be too.

Hooked on the power of CI yet? See how Conversation Intelligence is shaking up sales conversations and helping businesses close more deals! Watch Our 5-Minute Demo »