Conversation intelligence is software that provides context for understanding crucial moments in key customer interactions and assessing the direction and probable outcomes of those engagements at scale.
No leader can be in two places at one time. Delegation is a function of leadership and team leaders simply can’t be present for every sales call, support inquiry or customer engagement.
This presents a challenge where customer engagements are central to a function. Good leaders don’t want to micromanage their employees, but they still need a level of visibility and context to understand status (such as deal status) and to properly mentor their employees.
Spot checking call recordings can help, but it’s a time-intensive task to listen to a 30-minute call and identify where a deal went sideways – or a support call took an unexpected turn. Add to it, managers have multiple team members engaging in dozens of interactions with prospects and customers, and the sheer volume becomes overwhelming.
This is why conversation intelligence exists.
What is conversation intelligence? A good place to begin is with a definition. Here’s how we define conversation intelligence:
Conversation intelligence is a software technology that records and transcribes all engagements with customers and prospective customers for analysis. It automatically analyzes these transcripts with artificial intelligence (AI) to identify patterns, trends and actionable insights. Conversation intelligence provides context for understanding crucial moments in key customer interactions and assessing the direction and probable outcomes of those engagements at scale.
While there’s a strong business case for conversation intelligence in sales organisations – Gartner onversation intelligence “a game-changer for sales enablement” – it also has meaningful applications in other functions throughout an organisation. These include service, support, marketing, and product management, among others.
Conversation intelligence is used in multiple business functions and departments. This helps those teams to improve their contributions to the organization’s overall performance. Here are some of the common use cases for conversation intelligence.
Conversation intelligence is a flexible technology with several practical applications across business functions. Here are a few examples.
Contractbook, a SaaS company competing in the legal tech vertical, says it had an “a-ha moment” after implementing conversation intelligence. As a company, they realised most conversations with customers and prospects began by comparing themselves to the competition, rather than starting with what made them unique.
That led to a corporate reflection, and subsequent training, that shifted how they addressed the market as a company. It also led to onboarding changes to help set the team up for success from the very beginning. For example, new employees are required to listen to at least 10 recorded conversations which shortens the onboarding time.
Conversation intelligence has provided several benefits for the team at EverMed. First, the company found that the data and analytics help them to scale their sales team. Second, it enabled the leadership team to listen to feedback directly from the market. Third, and perhaps most importantly, it’s proven essential to improving how they coach their sales reps.
Every week the sales team collectively picks one recording of a sales conversation to review. They listen to the call together and constructively analyse what went well and what could be improved. They also strive to identify ideas that can be tested. Consequently, sales coaching has become ingrained in the culture and fosters an environment of continuous improvement.
In the services business, communication and collaboration is a competitive advantage. That’s why Xzito Creative Services, a full-service growth marketing agency, implemented conversation intelligence. They wanted to improve the communication between their sales and services team to ensure what was promised in the pitch matched what was delivered.
Conversation intelligence means all customer engagements are searchable and sharable. For example, the team often shares important snippets of conversations with each other in Slack and by email. They’ve also integrated the tools with their CRM, so all conversations are associated with a given client’s account for future reference.
This has enabled the sales team to have better conversations with the service team and underscore what is important to the client.
Conversation intelligence has many benefits for an organisation – the data, analytics, and knowledge management aspects notwithstanding. However, there’s one subtle benefit that shouldn’t go unnoticed: it’s changing the culture of hiring and professional development.
Especially for news sales team members, the environment is often “sink or swim.” Many companies let the work and stress identify the best performing salespeople, and their organisations tend to churn through talent. This is expensive, disruptive and it may blemish a corporate reputation.
Conversation intelligence is turning this model on its head – creating high-performing cultures. It’s providing a mechanism for better and faster onboarding – and an opportunity for ongoing coaching and continuous improvement. To that end, it’s changing the culture. As Peter Drucker is attributed to say, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”