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What Is Conversation Intelligence (And How It Helps You Sell)

What Is Conversation Intelligence (And How It Helps You Sell)

Anirban Banerjee
Anirban Banerjee
March 30, 2022
5 min read

Shhh... we’re taking a peek into a sales rep’s mind during a call with a prospect. 

Let me just take a peek.

“Oh, I should note this down; this is a good point. I can use this later while talking about the USP.”

“Oops, I missed what this guy just said. Should I ask him again? But he might think I am not paying attention.”

“Darn, I know how to handle this objection! I had written it down just here. Where’s that page I folded in my script!?”

“Uhh, does this competitor even provide the feature this guy is talking about? I’m not so sure.”

The sales rep after the call is over:

“Heck, I should’ve listened to him instead of making notes. That’s where I lost track.”

“I steered the conversation the right way in the last five minutes, but then why did he hang up so soon? I couldn’t even get to the main value props.”

“It’s tough to explain these things to anyone else to get help. Should I listen to the recorded calls? But I made so many of them. I don’t even remember what happens on most of them!” 

WHAT. A. DAY! I would throw in a “there, there” and some luck too. But there’s a better way to tackle this. More on that later.  

Talk or take notes? Lead or coach? - one dilemma after another

On one hand sales reps struggle with having conversations that win deals, while on the other, sales managers don’t have enough time to shadow their reps on sales calls and help them step up their game. It’s been long accepted that sales calls are the treasure trove for better sales conversations that are yet to happen. They contain the secrets to decipher what went wrong, what went right, and why a deal went nowhere.

On average, B2B sales representatives make 45 calls per day, and sales managers have responsibilities that know no bounds - assigning leads, onboarding new hires, retaining employees, following up with clients, all while trying to hit their own quotas. If sales teams could extend their days by a few hours, they STILL wouldn’t have enough time to listen to all the calls they need to coach their team properly..

The smart way out!

Imagine you woke up on a work day to find a freed up calendar – no calls to make, no meetings to attend, just ample time for sales call analysis. In the real world, that’s next to impossible.  

The solution? A system that lets you analyze calls at your own pace and helps you close deals in real-time. 

Your sales calls are just stacked on top of each other - collecting dust and waiting to be utilized. However, when paired with natural language processing (NLP) - your conversations turn into a sales-genie at your service. Sure, there are no magic sales beans; but the tech is like magic - it’s all conversation intelligence.

Conversation intelligence takes your sales call recordings and CRM data and uses NLP to derive crucial sales insights and metrics. These insights help you perform extensive analysis of your call recordings to improve on-call customer experience in real-time. 

Wait, what about call tracking tools? What’s the difference?

Call tracking tools

Call tracking helps you gain visibility into your marketing efforts by granular attribution of your incoming and outgoing sales calls with their marketing source. With this attribution, you can:

  • Decide what keywords you should bid on
  • Test the effectiveness of your marketing efforts
  • Personalize the sales conversation experience for high-value leads
  • Put more effort into marketing strategies that convert

Conversation intelligence tools

Conversation intelligence analyses your sales data - including sales calls and integrated resources to give you insights into the:

  • Buying behavior of your prospects
  • Individual sales performance of sales reps
  • Lead quality and probability of conversion

-  in real-time.

Essentially, call tracking tools help you prove the marketing ROI of your campaigns - which marketing strategy worked and which didn’t. Meanshile, conversation intelligence tools help the sales reps and managers identify the areas of improvement and coaching opportunities. Integrated with your CRM, the conversation intelligence platform can be your on-call sales buddy, as well as sales analysis companion.

How? You’ve hit the jackpot because that’s just what we’ll be discussing throughout this article.

Key points to capture via conversation intelligence

Sales metrics that matter

“Only what’s measured can be managed.” 

Conversation intelligence can power your sales analytics - but not if you’re shooting in the dark. You must know what to measure and what metrics impact your team’s conversion rate. Here’s a quick checklist of some of the important metrics that matter.

Talk to listen ratio

87% of prospects say salespeople don’t understand their needs. Well, what else would they think if you’re talking more and listening less? As every experienced sales rep would know, the key to a good sales call is listening to your prospects, mirroring and labeling their concerns, and talking only as much as necessary. You can track this sales metric to analyze the performance of your sales reps, and ask them to work on improving their talk to listen ratio to increase their win rate.

Call duration

It’s obvious that call duration matters. The longer the call, the more interested your prospect is. But why track this metric? As a sales manager, you can leverage it to assign important leads to your high-performing salespeople and identify coaching opportunities for your average-performing sales reps. 

Competitor mentions

If you know who your prospects think your competitors are, you can prepare your battle-cards to tackle these sales objections: “We are already in business with your competitor” or “We already have a vendor.”

Prospects’ buying behavior

A prospect might speak to you through several smokescreens; your job is to see through them and hear what they are not saying. However, this might be a tough nut to crack. You need to identify the common objections from existing sales call recordings so that you have just the right script ready to tackle them. Conversation intelligence software gives you real-time insights to mark the moments when your prospects have raised sales objections. By analyzing the calls of star performers in your sales team, you can also get the cheat sheet for tackling common objections.

Sales coaching & training opportunities

Let’s say you have a team of 40 salespeople, and you’re getting only a 60% ROI from them collectively. You hire and you fire, but the story doesn’t change much. Well, that’s because not everyone thrives on raw talent. By analyzing the key sales metrics we’ve discussed in the previous section - for individual sales reps - you can identify where they need sales coaching or sales training. 

Is Mark not able to build rapport? Is Jessica struggling with establishing the business value proposition? Are there some gaps that you can help Stephen with? Analyze, coach, review. And make money.

How to use conversation intelligence

Sales call analysis: to uncover what missed the eye ear 

Procrastination comes in the way of many things, but it shouldn’t come between you and your sales analysis. It is humanly not possible to listen to what feels like millions of sales calls, and even tougher to keep your eyes open through it. 

Umm, and wait - if you keep listening to the recordings, who is going to hit your daily quota of cold calls?

Problem? Problem!

Solution? Conversation intelligence - at the click of a button

Can we skip to the good part? Yes, indeed. Conversation intelligence software transcribes your calls for sentiment and keyword analysis and pulls out the golden moments - that can add value to your sales analysis. When listening to your calls - infused with conversation intelligence - this is how you can make the most out of them:

Know the ‘why’ behind lost deals

Looking back at your sales methodology from a third persons’ perspective can help you see things you could’ve done better to close the deal. You can get the answer to questions like:

  • Was I not confident enough? 
  • Did I not handle the objections as well?
  • Was there a better way to deliver the value proposition? 
  • Did I miss out on any of the prospects’ pain points?

Via intelligent call transcription, conversation intelligence highlights moments where specific keywords are mentioned, helping you quickly understand what you’re doing right and where you’re going wrong.

Understand buyer sentiment

“I have prepared a sales pitch, I will deliver it.” - a not-so-appreciated sales mindset

What you say should depend on what your prospect says first. However, keeping your prospect hooked from the beginning is indeed a challenge. 

With sentiment analysis algorithms, conversation intelligence gives you insights into what your prospects think, what their pain points are, and what exactly they are looking for.

Since your products/services target a particular set of buyers, these insights from your pre-recorded customer interactions can help you gain clarity on how to engage with your prospects.

Predict the likelihood of conversion

Oh, what wouldn’t you give to see the future of a deal! 

Well, that’s a far-fetched thought. But conversation intelligence does grant you this takeaway: “how likely it is for this particular deal to convert.”

By gathering numerous factors - hidden and on-the-surface - your conversation intelligence platform can give you the probability of conversion at the current stage of the sales funnel. Tracking this metric can help you forecast accurate sales revenue and devise apt sales methodology and strategies for achieving that figure.

Anticipate sales objections

If you know what questions are going to be asked in a test you’ll do better, right?. 

Similarly, if you analyze your calls for common objections and the best ways to tackle them, you can prepare for them and avoid turning into a ball of sweat on your next call. 

With keyword filtering and analysis, conversation intelligence can take you right to the instances where common objections are raised on a sales call. If you listen to the calls of your top performers, you can even learn ways to turn those objections in your favor.

Create your sales playbook

Intelligent sales call analysis, powered by machine learning, gives you a snapshot of the dos and don’ts in real-time. That, right there, is your new, data-driven sales playbook. You can identify key sales insights such as customer pain points, the best way to deliver your sales pitch and value propositions, and objection handling scripts and techniques.

Onboard new sales reps

Hosting an orientation session every time a new rep joins your team is not time efficient and doesn’t even provide as much value. The best way for new sales reps to learn is by being on the field, and what’s the closest to being on the field? Listening to the best sales calls. 

As a sales manager, you can create a “new reps’ playlist” with a compilation of calls that you’d like your new hires to draw inspiration from. You can also throw in a bunch of sales calls that tell them what not to do to scare a prospect away.

Team performance review

As a sales manager, you’re short on time, but your to-do list refuses to understand this. You cannot depend on a couple of calls that you shadowed to assess the performance of your sales reps for the whole quarter. But neither can you listen to all of their sales call recordings.

Conversation intelligence to the rescue! With granular, real-time insights into your individual sales rep’s calls - you can quickly and seamlessly analyze hundreds of sales calls in the least amount of time. Highlights of the key moments on call - such as how an objection was handled and how the pain points were addressed - can provide data-driven value to the performance assessment.

Live assistance: your sales-buddy in need

Don’t you wish your sales manager could sit in with you on calls and help you close the deals? With every day akin to a thunderstorm in a sales organization, managers clearly have more pressing issues to attend to.

Conversation intelligence to help you in a crisis

Based on your sales data stored in your integrated CRM and previous call recordings - conversation intelligence provides you live assistance while you are on call with your prospects.

For example, a prospect raises this objection: “XYZ competitor offers the same product at a lower price.”.

Now, to help you tackle this objection, conversation intelligence software will give you live pointers or insights into what XYZ competitor offers. With that information, you can instantly tackle this objection with accurate, data-driven insights.

A snapshot of how Wingman helps with competitor analysis

Why you need conversation intelligence

If you don’t sell, you don’t generate revenue, and your business growth stays stagnant. That’s why you need to know the best practices and proven sales techniques to implement them within your sales team. Also, a “what not-to-do” list only adds to the benefit. But the scope and benefits of conversation intelligence  are not limited to the sales team only.

Conversation intelligence - not just for sales teams

Conversation intelligence provides you with insights into customer behavior, what your prospects think of your brand image, who they think your competitors are, and what they look for in your offerings. This information is a goldmine for not only sales but also product and marketing teams. 

Product teams can leverage these insights to bring the voice of the customer to their product and upgrade their offerings to improve customer experience. Marketing teams can improve their brand messaging and campaigns to connect with the audience the way they want.

Now that you’ve realized that there are myriad benefits of conversation intelligence solutions, the next item on your agenda is to identify the right software to demo. It’s a good thing you’re already here.

Wingman helps you record your calls and automates note-taking to display them to you right when you need them. It helps you refine your sales methodology, pitch, and rulebook to sell your product with a fast-tracked sales cycle. It also helps sales leaders conduct their sales coaching sessions for the individual growth of all sales reps and makes it easier for the new sales reps to catch up with what is expected of them.

Powered by artificial intelligence, Wingman gives you live alerts as actionable insights while you are on call with your prospects. It alerts you to pause at the right time so that you can listen more to improve your talk to listen ratio.

As your Wingman, Wingman never leaves you high and dry! To unlock data-driven insights and organization-wide benefits with conversation intelligence, book a demo with us today!

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