An industry survey we recently wrote about demonstrated that conversation intelligence was linked to better B2B sales outcomes.
The study found that respondents whose sales and marketing teams have invested in this category of software were between 15-22% more likely to meet sales and marketing targets.
That survey didn’t get into why or how, but to us the connection is straightforward. Conversation intelligence makes sales coaching possible in new and effective ways.
Below are three sales coaching use cases for conversation intelligence.
1. Streamline new sales onboarding
The pharmaceutical industry is complex and nuanced. This means it can take six months to fully onboard new sales representative in the Pharma Intelligence division at Informa, a FTSE 100 company. To help with onboarding, the company aimed to create a library of call recordings, says Amanda Rowell, Head of Commercial Operations for the division.
Initially, they tried taking recordings directly from a web conferencing tool and storing these in a shared drive. However, they found it challenging to sift through all the recordings to identify the best ones for new employees to review. Further, there was no easy way to identify which parts of the call were most important from a learning perspective.
Conversation intelligence proved to be a “game-changer.” This software makes it easy to create lists of calls and even pinpoint critical moments in a call. There’s also a self-service component too as new reps can simply go into the platform to listen to the most recent recordings. There are intuitive filters to narrow the options down to just those that address specific areas where a new employee is trying to get up to speed.
Chris Fowles, the Head of Analytics, Sales Operations & Sales Enablement points out the benefits don’t end with onboarding. Informa has used the collection of calls in conversation intelligence to map out the general stages of their sales cycle. That’s enabled the sales managers to focus on coaching and helps fosters an environment of “continuous improvement.”
2. Facilitate a culture of sales coaching
One of the biggest challenges facing sales leaders in a tech startup is time – time to coach and help your team improve. This is especially challenging in remote (or hybrid) work environments. That’s according to Jack Coles, the chief revenue officer at FaultFixers, which develops software for facilities and workforce management.
He found conversation intelligence alleviates this by facilitating peer-coaching and self-coaching. Further, it also enabled him to step in as a leader and efficiently offer coaching tips at strategic moments where needed or requested. In other words, the software facilitates a culture of coaching among his team.
For example, one Tuesday morning he logged into his conversation platform and noticed one of his sales development representatives (SDRs) had already listened to seven other sales call recordings that week. Conversation intelligence provided that SDR with a self-paced opportunity to learn from both their own calls – and calls made by peers. They can also share challenges with peers to ask for help and ideas.
The software makes it easy to share precise points in a call and ask for feedback. For example, Jack says SDRs have asked him to review the way they opened a conversation, or for help finding the right words to address a sales objection. This works the other way around too – as a leader, he can review calls and offer feedback about observations he has made.
3. Fully engaged and still capturing details
Being both engaged in a meeting and taking detailed notes is a challenge for anyone. At the cybersecurity company Cylentium, this challenge was compounded by the fact many of their customers have a vocabulary that’s unique and technical. CEO Wayne Ronhaar discovered he simply couldn’t take notes fast enough to capture the technical data.
He and his team did try recording conversations on their phones or using video screen capture tools. However, going back through those recordings to find the key moments in the conversation that mattered was tedious. It was also difficult to share these with the wider team.
Conversation intelligence simplified the process. It recorded, transcribed and created and archive of all the conversations the company was having with amazing accuracy. This allowed his team to “collect conversations” and ultimately “spend less time trying to write notes – and focus more and listen to the customer.”
The transcriptions enable Cylentium to use the search feature to easily find keywords used by the customer – in an hour-long conversation. It also provides a quick way to go back and reference a prior conversation weeks later. Finally, it allows the team to share and disseminate notes from a call to all stakeholders in just a click of a button.
Wayne says rolling out additional software licenses to key members on his team “makes their life easier” which in turn makes him a hero.
Coaching better sales outcomes
Coaching in sales is a proven technique for leaders to teach less experienced members of the team. In this way, coaching helps them improve faster or reach new levels of proficiency while avoiding the pitfalls sales leaders have already learned. To that end, conversation intelligence hasn’t changed the nature of coaching itself, but it is offering new ways to provide that feedback.
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