Discover what conversational intelligence is and why you need it for your business as we talk to Roy Raanani, CEO of Chorus.ai. Read on to find out more.
In this article:
- About Chorus.ai
- The Importance of Data
- What Is Conversational Intelligence?
- How to Drive Results Using Conversational Intelligence Software
- Advice for Businesses Exploring Conversational Intelligence
- How to Learn More About Chorus.ai
How to Use Conversational Intelligence at Work
Conversational Intelligence Definition: Conversational intelligence is essentially data that’s gathered and analyzed from verbal conversations. Businesses use this data for several purposes, such as coaching their employees, analyzing the buyer’s journey, and improving team performances. CRM can tell you where customers are in your pipeline, but conversational intelligence can tell you why or how they arrived there.
Raanani shared that there were two reasons why they started Chorus.ai.
- They believed data-driven companies are going to outperform their peers.
- Customer-centric companies are also going to outperform their peers.
As the inside sales industry strengthened over the years, it became a lot easier to capture activities that drive performance. In every part of a business, you examine the factors that drive performance, then you measure, understand, and improve them.
When it comes to anything involved with customer-facing, the most important practice is to have an effective conversation.
Before they started Chorus.ai, there was no data available on the black box that keeps track of everyday sales conversations. That’s why Raanani and his Co-Founders decided to help businesses realize that their conversations are an asset, along with their people and customers.
When your management team is aware of these things, you can turn these into assets:
- How your top performers are positioning your product
- How your sales reps are positioning you versus one of your competitors
- The way your top sales reps are creating urgency throughout the buying cycle in order to keep things going
It’s also important to let your product and marketing teams get access to what sales reps are hearing from customers each day. This way, they can better support your sales team.
Raanani shared that back in 2015, conversations were an untapped data set. That’s why they decided to build a platform that will make it easier for businesses to get data from their sales conversations.
These data will help them understand what’s happening at scale so their sales reps can win more business.
The Importance of Data
Working as a remote inside sales rep before, Raanani found it difficult to get better at his job. That didn’t sit well with him, and he wasn’t satisfied with it because he loves learning the practices of experts.
His years of working taught him that, when you want to improve the performance of something, you need to get the data. You dig into it and look for variability.
As Raanani said, variability is an amazing place to look for opportunity. There are things you do well and things you don’t do well. When you dig into these practices, you can improve and learn.
When it came time to start a company, two things stood out.
- In sales, there was no data, and it was a huge issue. This makes it difficult to learn anything and improve.
- Top management generally had no idea what their top performers’ best practices were. They wanted to find these out because of the impact it would have on their business.
What Is Conversational Intelligence?
In answer to the lack of data and the sales leaders’ desire to gather data on best practices, Raanani created Chorus.ai. They, along with other similar companies, broke through the conversational intelligence market.
To understand this market better, we asked him what its key components are. According to Raanani, there are two parts to it.
First is, fundamentally, conversational intelligence means capturing and analyzing sales reps’ communication with prospects and customers.
Conversational intelligence activities include listening in on video meetings and capturing calls made on sales platforms. The conversational intelligence software then uses algorithms to automatically make sense of what’s happening.
That will tell sales teams things like:
- Are they talking too much?
- Are they engaging the prospects and the people in the meeting?
- Which key parts of the sales cycle was discussed during their meeting
Second, the software will tie those algorithms to what the top performers are doing. It will determine what good and bad conversations look like, given the stage and sales cycle.
That will provide sales teams with insights on what’s working and what’s not.
How to Drive Results Using Conversational Intelligence Software
As Raanani said, software, in and of itself, doesn’t deliver results. The question now is, what does it take for an organization to drive results using conversational intelligence software?
The answer is to develop deep expertise in using the software. To do that, organizations need to spend time practicing.
We all know you can’t perform well without spending time rehearsing. Yet for whatever reason, this basic principle flies right out of the window when it comes to our professional lives.
As Raanani put it, we continuously execute activities “as if there’s no time to sharpen the saw.” He also shared a short story that perfectly illustrates this dilemma:
Two people had the same task of chopping down a tree. One of them simply picks up an ax and starts chopping away.
Three hours later, the person, exhausted, still has halfway to go through the tree.
The other person spent an hour sharpening the ax before chopping the tree down. He was able to finish it in 20 minutes.
Raanani shared that their customers are now in the transitioning process. No longer do they want to immediately charge at problems.
Instead, they now take time to review what works and share best practices so they can learn from people who do their job in the sales process really well.
How to Figure out the Right Communication Channel to Use
A lot of people are falling in love with forms of communication where the conversation diminishes. Yet Raanani believes there’s a role for every form of communication depending on the buyer and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Marketing is playing an increasingly important role to educate people. Raanani even went on to say that social proof is becoming increasingly important, especially in the world of sales.
Finding the right communication channel is all about understanding your buyer.
For instance, in the early days of the sales cycle, getting a text message from the sales rep might be uncomfortable for the prospect. Yet if they’ve already met, had a good rapport, and became potential business partners, this wouldn’t be uncomfortable for the prospect.
Basically, there are different communication channels that work in different stages of the buying cycle. It’s about understanding what works for your buyer and meeting them there.
Raanani also gave a tip on how to have an effective video meeting. On their joint research with Zoom, they found that if you keep your video on and get your prospect to turn their video on during a meeting, win rates go up by 9% on average.
Advice for Businesses Exploring Conversational Intelligence
We asked Raanani for advice he can give to businesses exploring this market or are undergoing conversational intelligence training.
He shared that the first practice they found to have a really big impact is multi-threading. Everyone knows there are a lot of people involved in the buying decision, and it’s important to get time with each of them.
Raanani’s team also discovered that a top predictor of a lost deal is having only one-on-one meetings. That’s why if you have separate meetings with decision-makers, the deal isn’t likely to close.
What you should do is meet them all together and get them to have the buying conversation among themselves. You then turn yourself into someone facilitating this conversation internally.
Get them to work out the logistics together in one meeting — that makes a huge difference. If you see that the decision-makers are unwilling to find time to get together and meet with you, that’s not a great sign.
Raanani’s first tip then is to get all the decision-makers in a room together to have the buying conversation.
His second tip has to do with pricing. Qualifying your pricing results in a lot more discounting because it leads prospects to believe your prices are flexible.
Basically, the fewer words you use to talk about price, the better off you’ll be. Short, sweet, and to the point is the way to go with pricing.
How to Learn More About Chorus.ai
If you want to learn more about Chorus.ai and how they can help your business, you can visit their website. They offer a demo and proof of concepts, which Raanani revealed a lot of teams find helpful.
You can also check out their research studies in their blog and sign up to receive them in your inbox once a month.
They also share their studies on LinkedIn where you can follow them and interact with their community.
Conversational intelligence is a game-changer for sales teams. When you have a conversational intelligence software, you’ll be able to take valuable insight from your sales conversations and use them to improve your practices.
As you find more ways to make your business better, consider exploring this new market and how you can leverage it.
How can conversational intelligence help your business? Let us know in the comments section below!