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Conversation Intelligence - the fundamental guide

6 minutes
Tom group

A good place to start is with a definition.


What is Conversation Intelligence? 

Conversation Intelligence (CI) is the process of capturing, transcribing and analyzing customer and prospect interactions to identify patterns and extract valuable business insights.

You would not believe the value that is locked away in the thousands of customer interactions your business has every single day.

Using Conversation Intelligence software provides context for understanding crucial moments in key customer engagements and assessing the direction and probable outcomes of those engagements at scale. This is why CI is so valuable for sales leaders, as it provide a much-needed view into their reps' activity. What's crucial is the visibility that can be gained over a vast quantity of sales conversation data and the real-time business insights that can be acted on.

While there’s a strong business case for conversation intelligence in sales functions, conversation analytics also has meaningful applications in other functions, including CS and support, marketing, and product management.

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As a customer intelligence solution, CI is highly efficient compared to customer surveys or customer focus groups, harnessing the voice of customer at scale with real-time business insights.


How does conversation intelligence work?

Conversation Intelligence platforms use advanced technologies and AI to record and analyze the voice of customer through conversation data and uncover areas for sales team improvement.  For example, does the sales rep ask enough questions? What pain points or objections does the prospect have? Or is the sales strategy followed?

Sales teams can take the sales call recording and receive insights and recommendations alongside the video timeline to understand what went well and what to look out for.


What is the purpose of Conversation Intelligence software?

Spot-checking calls can help, but it’s a time-intensive task to listen to multiple call recordings and identify where a deal went sideways. In most cases, managers have multiple team members engaging in dozens of prospect interactions a day - the sheer volume is overwhelming. This is why conversation intelligence exists; creating time efficiency for leaders in reviewing conversation data while providing total deal and performance visibility.

Where customer engagements are so central to a function, such as sales, leaders need this visibility and context to oversee and effectively mentor their team.  

Conversation intelligence can be applied for numerous outcomes For example, many CI tools provide automatic note-taking, so reps on the call are provided with a comprehensive transcription and summary of a call after it has happened. 


How does Conversation Intelligence benefit Sales Teams? 

Conversation intelligence provides sales leaders with a comprehensive view of their team's conversations, allowing them to identify best practices, improve objection-handling techniques, and optimize sales processes. By analyzing conversation data, sales teams can better understand market needs and customer pain points, and personalize their approach, resulting in more effective interactions and increased revenue. Use cases include:

#1 Alerting key individuals to stalled deals. The team can then be reallocated to prioritize the deals that need or deserve the most support.

#2 Isolating crucial moments in a deal that was won or lost;. This creates learnings so mistakes aren't made twice and best practice can be shared across the team.

#3 Visualizing trends in words and phrases used by the sales team. Knowing what turns prospects on or off is key to nailing your sales pitch and strategy.

#4 Improving new sales and renewal forecasts with data rather than intuition. The data doesn't lie, when you know how healthy your pipeline actually is, you can forecast with confidence.
#5 Identifying coachable moments generally and for specific deals. Sales coaching time is always precious, so you only want to focus on the areas that need it most.
#5 Accelerating new sales onboarding and shortening ramp-up time. When new hires have quick and easy access to your business' best practice sales playbook, they can replicate expected behaviour much quicker.
#6 Spotting top performers and what they do differently. You might know who your top performers are but chances are you don't really know why. The reasons are always more complex and subtle than you might think
#7 Encourage self-improvement efforts from the reps. What reps don't need to be told by their sales leader what is good or bad, and they can see for themselves, they are equipped to improve incrementally every day.

Conversation intelligence software can work in conjunction with sales call recording and revenue intelligence software to drive performance in revenue teams regardless of industry. New use-cases and benefits are found every day as users from new and emerging market adopt CI into their workflow. 


How do you use Conversation Intelligence tools at work?

For the most part, Conversation Intelligence software syncs into your existing workflow - the aim is to support you and make your job easier, not to add another job to your to do list.

Many CI tools join customer calls and meetings as a 'participant', which allows the conversation data to be recorded. Users can then log into their CI platform to view the recording, transcription and analysis and use the insights as required.

In addition to integrating into call dialers (such as RingCentral, CloudCall and AirCall), CI tools can integrate into a variety of business tools such as CRMs (including SalesForce and Hubspot) and calendars (such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Office 365 Calendar).


Conversation Intelligence and sales coaching - the gamechanger


Conversation intelligence has a significant impact on sales coaching. 

By analyzing all recorded sales calls, sales leaders can spotlight the calls that require the most coaching - whether to learn from mistakes or to recognize best practices in action - making more efficient use of their coaching time.

They can provide targeted feedback, share best practices, and offer personalized coaching to enhance the performance of each sales team member.

It also supports in monitoring the impact of coaching over time, to assess metrics such as adherence to sales methodologies, talk time or question rate. Coaches can select KPIs with their reps, focusing in on the areas they need to improve, then crate coaching plans to progress in those areas.

Finally, self-coaching is not just feasible but incredible accessible to reps with conversation intelligence tools. Know where they need to improve instantaneously after a call, thanks to sales call scoring, they can improve their performance as much as they want. 


What's the difference between conversation intelligence and conversational intelligence?

Don't worry - we get this a lot.

Conversation intelligence software records, transcribes and analyzes conversations taking place between businesses and their prospects, as detailed above. While conversational intelligence refers to tools that generate a conversational or text output, such as Chatbots or ChatGPT.


Conversation intelligence is more than a nice to have in today’s competitive sales landscape, providing visibility, quality assurance and optimizing a team’s time with a view to coaching, learning, and improving. Research has found a correlation between sales teams that use conversation intelligence and improved sales outcomes, which explains why many businesses are implementing conversation intelligence platforms into their workflow. To find out more about the use cases for conversation intelligence, click here.


Tom Lavery is the CEO and Co-Founder of Jiminny, the leading conversation intelligence and sales coaching platform that helps companies maximize their revenue. With over 15 years of experience in high-growth VC/PE-backed SaaS companies, Tom was previously SVP at Reward Gateway, now sharing his wealth of knowledge as a speaker in the conversation intelligence space.


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