What is Conversation Intelligence?


A term that is swiftly gaining traction among sales and marketing professionals is “conversation intelligence.” Conversation intelligence tools leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to help teams analyze audio and video sales presentations to gain insights, target strengths and weaknesses, and develop best practices to improve performance.

Despite growing awareness about conversation intelligence, much uncertainty remains about how it actually works. To help you better understand conversation intelligence and the role it could play in your sales organization, let’s explore the answers to six key questions:

1. What is conversation intelligence for sales?
2. How does conversation intelligence work?
3. What is the purpose of conversation intelligence?
4. Who benefits from conversation intelligence in sales?
5. How is conversation intelligence different from call AI, tracking, and recording?
6. How can Allego’s Conversation Intelligence platform help your sales team?

What Is Conversation Intelligence for Sales?

Conversation intelligence has several practical business applications across different departments. Human resources, for example. A McKinsey report notes that conversation intelligence can be used to design chatbots that “manage inquiries previously handled by HR service centers, including benefits administration and record-keeping activities.”

Similarly, call centers can use conversational intelligence to improve customer service. IBM claimed that conversational intelligence helped deliver a 337% ROI on its Watson Assistant customer support app.

As for sales: Conversation intelligence uses the same type of AI, but with a sales-oriented focus. Broadly, it’s used to train and coach sales reps to acquire new customers more effectively and efficiently than a human alone can. Conversation intelligence accomplishes this by employing AI to record, transcribe, and analyze sales calls to generate recommendations — powering coaching as well as every aspect of sales enablement with data-driven insights into individual and team performance.

With conversation intelligence, you can use point-of-sale analytics to power team enablement and gain deeper visibility into impact. And you can turn insights into action by analyzing and coaching to recorded sales calls, with AI assistance. Sales leaders can use individual and aggregate data to unlock the next level of actionable intelligence, resulting in smart recommendations for sellers — and informing next best actions across training, content, and selling.

Access to data from conversation intelligence empowers sales enablement managers to identify skill gaps, prescribe training to fix the specific behaviors that lose deals, and extract best practices for their entire team.

As a sales leader, you’ll know exactly where to focus your coaching efforts. Plus, you’ll be more effective and efficient, so you can spend your time on the most important things: motivating your team, strategic planning, and driving revenue growth.

Your goal is to unlock the full potential of your sales team. Sales enablement and sales coaching powered by conversation intelligence are the key.

 

How Does Conversation Intelligence Work?

There are actually two answers to this question. Broadly, conversation intelligence is a type of AI that uses natural language processing (NLP) to analyze spoken or written exchanges to identify patterns and aggregate keywords.

The second answer involves the practical application of this incredibly valuable technology for sales teams. Conversation intelligence can enable your sales reps to have more productive communications with prospects. That’s because those communications will be informed by insights generated through NLP. If, for example, NLP reveals that a particular word or phrase is sales-pitch kryptonite (“to be honest” springs to mind), you can train your teams to avoid it.

What Is the Purpose of Conversation Intelligence?

Imagine you could hit a pause button halfway through your sales team’s next presentation and freeze the moment. You could then take the time to carefully review the interaction to that point to ascertain things like:

– How well the prospect appeared to understand the applications of the product your team is selling

– How effectively your sales rep articulated the value proposition

– How well your rep overcame objections and answered the prospect’s questions

– Whether your rep was using approved language to present your product’s features and benefits

In sum, freeze-framing the presentation would allow you to assess whether your rep delivered a cohesive pitch with confidence and in compliance — or not. It would also allow you to determine whether the prospect was actually a high-value target worth investing additional time in. (An underestimated component of success is the ability to quickly recognize a poor fit and move on from it.)

Life has no pause button, of course. But by analyzing hundreds or even thousands of actual sales calls along with practice rounds, conversation intelligence helps your reps develop an airtight pitch and on-point presentation to produce the desired results. So in this application, conversation intelligence is more specifically a form of sales call intelligence.

Who Benefits from Conversation Intelligence in Sales?

Sales teams, of course. The more thoroughly you analyze how your sales reps are actually performing in real-world sales calls, the more you can refine your sales presentation to reinforce strengths and smooth out any rough patches.

Most reps are eager to improve their performance. Who doesn’t want to meet or exceed quota? Conversation intelligence software has proven to be an effective method for doing that.

Conversation intelligence uses an evidence-based, documentary approach rather than gut instinct or opinion, so it’s easier to achieve buy-in among sales managers and individual reps. In the end, team members just want to see proof that a particular training system works. Because it’s based on real-world sales calls, conversation intelligence provides proof.

“Many salespeople are naturally skeptical about the bold promise of AI,” Harvard Business Review notes. “Make sure the tools align with how salespeople execute their daily work, then deliver insights in the natural workflow.”

But it’s not just the seller who benefits from conversation intelligence — it’s also the buyer. If a customer has reached the point where they’ve scheduled a videoconference sales presentation, they’re obviously getting serious about a purchase decision. The better prepared the rep, the greater the chance that the customer can quickly and painlessly find the solution that’s just right for them. And the more likely the rep will be to close the deal.

As Harvard Business Review reported, “A proactive, prescriptive approach increased purchase ease by 86%. Prescriptive [sellers] give a clear recommendation for action backed by a specific rationale; they present a concise offering and a stable view of their capabilities; and they explain complex aspects of the purchase process clearly.”

How Is Conversation Intelligence Different from Call AI, Tracking, and Recording?

Sales call AI takes different forms for different applications. Basic call AI, tracking, and recording are all tools that help you determine your buyers’ demographics in order to fine-tune your marketing efforts. They help you define your target market, in other words.

Conversation intelligence is a next-step solution in sales call AI. It analyzes the interaction between a sales rep and a prospect to provide insights — do say this, don’t say that — to help close more deals and boost conversion rates. Basically, call AI, tracking, and recording determine whom to pitch, while conversation intelligence determines how to pitch.

Conversation intelligence software does much more than pinpoint keywords. It also uses sales call intelligence to help you develop key metrics for generating highly targeted training materials. Is the rep talking too fast, for example? Or talking too much? To answer those questions, conversation intelligence can provide an actual metric (words per minute, or WPM) and show the percentage of time the seller spoke vs. the buyer.

Effective reps tend to have similar WPM scores, so a fast-talking rep, for example, can gauge exactly how much they need to slow down to let a prospect keep up. While the ideal talk-to-listen ratio varies by product, buyer role, and call type, conversation intelligence can help you calculate the optimal rate for your organization and set a benchmark for the team.

How Can Allego's Conversation Intelligence Platform Help Your Sales Team?

Allego’s Conversation Intelligence platform is designed to help your team make quota in a challenging, ever-evolving environment in which traditional face-to-face meetings are becoming obsolete, both within organizations and in the field.

In addition, Allego’s Conversation Intelligence platform is designed to work at scale, which is perhaps the greatest challenge to overcome. A study by CSO Insights revealed a paradox: While “the vast majority of sales organizations rate the priority of sales coaching as either ‘mission critical’ or ‘very important,'” 47% of all sales managers spend less than 30 minutes per week coaching their sales reps.

Allego’s Conversation Intelligence platform helps sales organizations align their actions with their stated goals. Like a football coach analyzing game tape, sales managers can use recordings of actual sales calls to break down how their reps interact with buyers in the field.

Conversation intelligence analytics provides granular insights, including how clearly reps articulate the company’s value proposition and how effectively they respond to objections. Managers can then use this data to set performance standards — and track how well individuals are meeting those standards — for coaching reps both one on one and across the organization.

With Allego Conversation Intelligence, sales teams can scale sales learning and enablement with data-driven insight. Our solution automatically captures calls and virtual meetings, leveraging AI to transcribe in multiple languages, automate coaching, generate alerts and content recommendations, and integrate with CRMs and calendars.

In short, Allego’s All-In-One solution with Conversation Intelligence empowers sales enablement and training teams to streamline and enhance multiple aspects of the end-to-end sales enablement process.

We live in a data-driven world. It’s time to leverage the best available sales enablement technology to meet the standards you’ve set. It all starts with Allego’s Conversation Intelligence Platform.

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