A View into the Present and Future of Sales

B2B Sales leaders need to drive sales performance today. They are also trying to predict the future: will that important deal close or not? How will market conditions look like six months (or six years) from now? And, of course, will we make quota next quarter?

It’s not easy to know what’s next, especially with complex, lengthy B2B sales cycles. Sometimes, it’s hard to even know what is happening now in the sales pipeline. In this environment, there is one solution that holds great promise: Conversation Intelligence technology.

Conversation Intelligence: A Definition

Not to be confused with conversational intelligence which can be described as “the hardwired and learned ability to connect, engage, and navigate with others”, Conversation Intelligence tools are built to help people capture and understand conversations in a business context.

In this post, we will look at ways Conversation Intelligence (CI) can help 21st century B2B sales departments improve pipeline visibility, increase forecast accuracy and boost overall sales effectiveness today and tomorrow.

Why Sales Departments Need Conversation Intelligence

Especially within inside sales and call center environments, it’s getting harder and harder to meet productivity expectations. Reps are asked to make an ever-increasing number of calls, research each client in-depth, present the appropriate information, work hard to build rapport, follow up in a timely manner, listen intently to (and remember) each request and desire, and input everything in the CRM without losing a beat. Realistic? Probably not.

The information being typed in about each sales meeting is probably only a fraction of what was said. This means that each further interaction is likely to include assumptions and educated guesses. In a data-driven age, this approach inevitably results in missed opportunities.

As the world keeps moving faster and faster – because of market shifts, new technologies, or fierce competition – what worked six months ago may already be outdated today. Plus, the data used in your assumptions is only as good as the systems and processes used to capture it. It is obvious: when it comes to customer relationship management, the CRM could use some help – from CI.

“This Call May Be Recorded for… Sales Effectiveness”

CI is incredibly valuable because it automatically captures the customer’s voice – not just by recording their voice, but by capturing, analyzing, summarizing, and highlighting their opinions, objections, feature requests, hidden concerns, and more. No more guesswork. It’s all there, in one convenient place.

How Conversation Intelligence Drives Sales Performance

When CI and AI converge, it’s about much more than saving time on mindless tasks. It’s about moving forward according to market needs and wants, crafting proposals that hit the bullseye, creating solid strategies based on verified facts, and clearly seeing opportunities for improvement.

Understand Each Buyer

Ultimately, even in B2B complex sales, each deal is personal – i.e., made or lost person-to-person. Nobody likes to be sold to, and mechanical, spiel-like methods are getting less effective by the minute. What does win the buyer over is showing them you understand and care about their issue enough to build a solution that meets or exceeds their every expectation.

Better Data, Better Forecasts

Instead of building predictions by extrapolating old (and incomplete) CRM notes, CI tools allow sales leaders to get an unbiased view on any given conversation or series of conversations at any time, along with a thorough analysis of the tangible facts.

Future-Forward Organizations Drive Sales Performance With Conversation Intelligence

CI is being implemented by sales departments wanting to forgo “the old ways” of doing things. The CI industry is still small, which means there are virtually infinite possibilities for growth. Today, early adopters are stockpiling real-world market data and AI-enhanced analysis on their customers and prospects, setting solid foundations for truly data-driven, customer-centric sales organizations.