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leveraging conversation intelligence to improve sales coaching
March 17, 2022

3 New Ways Conversation Intelligence Improves Sales Coaching

leveraging conversation intelligence to improve sales coaching

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us, and new technologies are driving productivity and growth across all industries and markets. Increasingly, software includes artificial intelligence (AI), and sales tools are right along with them.

In fact, Jim Lundy, lead analyst at Aragon Research, recently declared: 2022 is the year AI comes to the sales enablement arena.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about AI. Intelligence has come into the application software area, and it’s enabling automation,” he said during a recent webinar with Allego’s CMO, Wayne St. Amand, The 2022 Guide to Intelligent Sales Enablement.

“We’re currently in phase two of the intelligent sales era. There’s more coaching, increased focus on methodology, and more use of conversational intelligence,” Lundy said.

Conversation Intelligence is AI-powered technology that records, transcribes, and analyzes sales calls and generates recommendations—providing data-driven insights into an individual sales rep’s performance, as well as that of an entire sales team.

And sales teams must use these tools to succeed.

“Expectations keep going up in sales; they aren’t going down. So, sellers have to use more tools and technology to accomplish all that’s expected,” Lundy said.

It’s critical, therefore, that companies ensure their sales teams have the latest “kit” and equipment to compete. And that includes tools such as Conversation Intelligence, he said.

St. Amand agreed, saying Conversation Intelligence has had a profound impact on sales coaching and training during the pandemic and will have long-lasting needs as we continue with hybrid workforces and virtual selling.

3 Ways Conversation Intelligence Improves Sales Coaching

While Conversation Intelligence has many applications for sales, coaching is an area of great need. Coaching is one of the most time-consuming tasks on a sales manager’s list. Managers have several reps to coach — often located in multiple locations, have reduced visibility into sellers’ activities, and cannot determine whether reps retain what they are taught.

So, it’s hard for managers to know what to coach on, provide targeted feedback, and scale their efforts. Technology like Conversation Intelligence resolves all of those challenges. Here are three ways sales teams can use Conversation Intelligence to deliver better coaching.

1. Conduct Digital Ride-Alongs

Ride-alongs, during which a sales manager goes on a call with a rep in the “physical world,” changed dramatically during the pandemic. In-person meetings came to a halt. And while such meetings are safer now, buyers discovered they prefer virtual meetings over in-person appointments. Another challenge for sales leaders: finding time and having the resources to do ride-alongs when you have a large, distributed sales team.

To accommodate those changes, sales managers can now do digital ride-alongs thanks to Conversation Intelligence, St. Amand said. The technology lets managers observe exactly how sellers interact with buyers in the field, the precise language they use, how they describe the company’s value proposition, and how they handle objections.

“Conversation Intelligence lets you sample every conversation that your sales team is having with prospects. Then AI can analyze the sales calls and identify reps who need help,” he said.

Lundy agreed that digital ride-alongs are crucial for sales teams these days. “Digital ride-alongs help the manager, as well as help sales reps. You can start to see why people say they can’t live without this capability,” he said.

Lundy went further and called Conversation Intelligence coaching a “killer app.” These types of tools record sales calls, transcribe conversations, detect sentiment, listen for behaviors such as competitor keywords, manage noise on a call, identify who is speaking, estimate the ages of participants, and sometimes translate the language, he said.

“You can train it to do a lot of things. But in sales, it’s the perfect thing for coaching—or doing digital ride-alongs,” Lundy said.

2. Build a Best Practices Video Library

Conversation Intelligence tools can also identify exemplary sales reps—those who have perfected their pitches and messaging.

“Who are the people who are doing a fantastic job? Pull out sections of their calls, and use those clips as examples for your entire sales team on how to handle a particular situation really well,” St. Amand said.

By providing examples of “what good looks like,” you can help replicate your top performers. Your mid-level performers can “clone” the behavior of A-players and level up their performance.

If you can surface those behaviors and interactions and create content that other sellers can access, you’ll soon have a rich library of just-in-time content that your sales team can access as they prepare for their own sales calls and meetings, St. Amand said.

That content is extremely important as we shift to micro-learning, Lundy added. “It isn’t just onboarding and ongoing training. These days, there’s micro-learning — training right before a sales call or right before you start the workday. And Conversation Intelligence tools can help you create that coaching-focused training,” he said.

3. Suggest Content to Enable the Sale

Conversation Intelligence tools can listen to sales calls, bring to light topics important to the buyer, and recommend specific content to share with them. This type of automation streamlines the process, saves time, eliminates guessing, and helps advance and close deals faster.

“The tool can surface content that would be great to use in follow-up communications,” St. Amand said. “For example, the prospect used xyz words. This content piece is very relevant and well matched to the tone and tenor of your conversation. So, send it to them as part of your follow-up to further the conversation.”

This is perfect for deal coaching, Lundy added. This type of AI “can identify what’s going on in the deal, detect if the deal is winnable, if competitors were named, and whether the buyer has agreed to move forward. And if not, recommend content to drive the deal forward,” he said.

Learn More

Watch the on-demand webinar The 2022 Guide to Intelligent Sales Enablement – Conversation Intelligence, Virtual Coaching, and Content Recommendations to learn more about the latest intelligent enablement technologies and use cases.

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