Your sales team takes calls.
Lots of them. Every day.
With prospects, customers, partners, managers - you name it.
Each such interaction is an opportunity to understand the other person better - their business objectives, personal triggers and barriers, biases and needs, and so much more.
Where does this understanding live?
Calls only allow a salesperson to capture a partial understanding of the participants. They have to take notes, focus on their presentation or demo, focus on the reactions and questions of their prospects, and communicate with their teammates.
Salespeople often lack the bandwidth to monitor behaviors that indicate a prospect's mindset. Thus, their understanding remains incomplete.
What could salespeople do with a far richer understanding of their prospect's state of mind using their outward behaviors?
Craft deals that suit them better. Shorten sales cycles. Close the harder opportunities. Possibly even smash their quota.
But how does one even track nuanced human behavior, including words, tonality, expressions, movements, and gaze? How does one interpret this behavior to drive insights?
Wait, we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let's first understand what is currently out there: conversational intelligence.
Then, we'll examine what the future holds to truly transform sales conversations.
What is conversational intelligence?
Conversational intelligence tools allow salespeople to record and transcribe their calls and surface insights from the transcribed text.
There has been decades' worth of evolution in the space of conversational AI in just a few short years.
To begin with, calls and recordings went from audio-first to video-first.
Transcriptions then emerged, allowing salespeople to read through call content and search for specific words or phrases mentioned.
Next came transcription analysis. It enables salespeople to surface keywords and topics discussed with their prospects. It also attempts to automatically capture the next steps and questions reasonably accurately.
As we mentioned in a previous blog post, call reviews and transcription analyses are becoming more and more common for salespeople. They help them do peer reviews, self-coach, and note action items from each conversation.
This sort of analysis allows sales leaders to compare their reps on some basic parameters that indicate their interaction quality, like talk ratios, monologue lengths, and the number of filler words used. Gong, Chorus, Avoma, and other such tools fall into this category.
What is conversational intelligence missing?
Conversational intelligence provides valuable insights into customer interactions, revealing patterns, behaviors, and potential points of interest or contention. However, it often just skims the surface. While it may indicate that a prospect asked questions or a salesperson provided answers, it doesn't capture the emotional undertones or deeper intent.
Understanding a prospect's feelings and expressions is not just about ticking boxes; it's vital for grasping the deal's dynamics and crafting effective sales coaching programs. Moreover, it's about building genuine relationships. A prospect's hesitation, enthusiasm, or doubt can say volumes more than words alone.
Current conversational intelligence tools give sales managers an overview of customer conversations, ensuring basic guidelines for interactions are met by team members. But there's more to effective sales than just following the rules.
True engagement goes beyond words. It delves into the prospect's mental state, gauging their reactions and emotions. It also evaluates the salesperson's behaviors and communication quality. Does the salesperson genuinely connect with the prospect, or do they just go through the motions?
Such depths, unfortunately, often remain uncharted in today's conversational intelligence platforms.
Behavioral AI: A window into the state of the mind of the prospect
Behaviors are the outward manifestation of a person's state of mind. If he understands something, he nods; if he is happy, he smiles; if he's confused, he purses his lips or asks a question.
Behavioral Artificial Intelligence is a new category of technology that looks at these behaviors. It monitors the patterns of these behaviors over time, learning the prospect's usual responses and how they react to specific phrases or content.
From this learning, it determines their mental states, which helps predict their likelihood to purchase and willingness to engage in the next conversation.
None of this is possible with words alone. This requires rethinking the model of human behavior and expression from the ground up and using the data to guide it.
Intelligence based on verbal and non-verbal cues - that makes in-person meetings so powerful - continues to be absent in most conversational intelligence software available in the market today. And that is the exact problem we are solving with Sybill using our Behavioral AI systems.
Unlike the dime-a-dozen conversational intelligence tools out there, Sybill puts behaviors at the core of conversations. It captures how participants react to your pitch, noting their body language, gaze, expressions, tone of voice, and responses.
From capturing every time your prospect smiled or nodded in agreement to highlighting parts of your demo that had your prospect disengaged or doubtful, Sybill’s call reports are genuinely holistic and actionable.
What would you ideally want from an AI tool that could understand and interpret behaviors?