Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
September 14, 2017

#566 Bots and AI for Chat in Sales. With David Brunner.

David Brunner, CEO and Founder of ModuleQ, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate! Also, listen to David’s first episode, #200.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:40] David says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is complexity. The technology, the competition, and the number of people and tools you interact with to work continue to expand. David suggests, stay focused. Don’t try to multitask.

[7:23] To eliminate unnecessary distraction, it is necessary to triage important interruptions that represent new opportunities, from what is unimportant and can wait.

[8:12] ModuleQ builds people-facing AI to understand you as a professional. This works with data-facing AI to bridge the gap, and to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time to make them more effective in their role.

[9:08] David gives an example of the process. The AI listens to your team chats and joins the chat to offer suggestions in real time about new data or other informative content that may help you engage the client you are discussing.

[10:22] The AI-enabled bot sitting on the messaging platform is the delivery vehicle for the intelligence. The concept is to bring the information to you in a place that is natural, timely, and contextually relevant, without distracting you from your focus.

[11:08] The AI tunes the preferences based on your actions. You have a Not Useful button to mark content not contextual or helpful, and a Useful button for helpful information. You can click on links and email them. The AI learns what you want.

[13:52] Andy notes that some companies are using a similar approach with AI-assisted calling. David sees chat as better because it gives you time to reflect before replying. The theme is to augment, not replace, human intelligence.

[15:01] Routine, low-level tasks will increasingly be replaced with machine learning. The human touch is needed for jobs that involve higher-level conceptualization and personal relationships. AI may never perform some unstructured jobs.

[22:13] David offers predictions of upcoming developments with bots and AI, including top-of-funnel activities, predictive analytics, bringing the right information to the conversation at the right time, and mobilizing resources.

[24:38] ModuleQ helps unlock the value of corporate content. David cites Lew Platt of HP, “If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” That problem has only gotten worse. People don’t have time to search for data.

[25:33] David discusses how audio, photos and video can be indexed. The data-facing side is a huge undertaking. It can attach meta-data, which then allows the people-facing side to match the metadata to the people who need it.

[27:16] In the future, video sales calls might be analyzed in real time, pulling in pertinent references and adding to the conversation. The buyer may have bots working on their side, comparing vendors. Bots are watching and listening!

June 8, 2017

#479. How to Understand and Use Sales Data. With Oleg Rogynskyy.

Oleg Rogynskyy, Founder and CEO of People.ai, a sales management platform based on hard data, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:45] Most of the decisions around managing a sales team are made on hunches and intuition, with little data. Oleg finds this to be the biggest challenge for sales managers today. If they use data, they use lagging indicators, such as revenue.

[2:26] Oleg comments on sales stacks, and how they generate silos of data that need to be managed. People.ai sets out to offer full transparency of activity information, and the ability to positively influence how sales is being done by the team.

[4:15] Multiple apps each cover their own piece of the stack. There is no unification of data between apps. People.ai makes sales management easier by making data accessible.

[7:45] Oleg says People.ai connects to 90 systems, and pulls in information in high-resolution about everything the sales reps do, and formats it to answer specific questions that sales directors have everyday.

[8:22] One example is ramp. People.ai tracks reps across multiple metrics, against successful or unsuccessful ramps. People.ai retrieves data about all the activity of the rep.

[10:03] Oleg addresses confirmation bias. He explains that People.ai will confirm or discredit a manager’s hunches, and reveal the factors behind their concerns.

[11:30] Oleg addresses the topic of correlation and causation and discusses People.ai’s use of AI, or “clever machine learning.” V2 will be more predictive.

[14:01] People.ai is attempting to add a layer of data to the interaction between manager and rep. Oleg explains why this is important to understand sales performance.

[18:44] There is a green field of opportunity for data impact outside of sales. Oleg considers sales to be the best data set to train the machine, in preparing to address other verticals.

[19:26] Other than revenue, it is hard for managers to know what makes a salesperson better. Oleg explains how this involves data issues, data education, Salesforce report limitations, and reluctance of sales managers to dig into data.

[23:07] Oleg points out that most people using Salesforce follow the same model of selling. People without CRM are still producing activities that are captured within systems. Data analysis can improve the performance.

[28:14] People.ai is ‘fully stack agnostic.’ They have customers who do not use CRM. The data sources are the email, phone, calendar and other systems they use to communicate.

April 25, 2017

#441. How to Keep up With Digital Buyers. With Javaid Iqbal.

Javaid Iqbal, digital futurist, C-suite advisor on customer innovation, inspirational speaker and educator, longtime consulting executive with big five, a former customer engagement and success leader at Salesforce.com, and now, co-founder of a digital transformation consultancy focusing on innovation in the customer space, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:04] Javaid started at Ernst & Young, consulting on Y2K, then moved to PWC. He started some consultancies, began teaching, and then went to Salesforce, as well as consulting.

[2:44] As buyers rely more on mobile technologies, the technologies change how buyers learn and buy. Customers have more power than ever before, and demand more service and innovation. Javaid tells a story about buyer expectations.

[7:10] Javaid discusses how to get to ‘know, like, and trust,’ is a challenge in the digital market. He says that providing value is the key.

[12:17] Javaid explains how CRM changed selling and customer success, and how global markets are catching up.

[15:07] With new digital titled officers appearing in the C-suite, the buying committee is being redefined and redistributed. Javaid points out some confusion that obstructs companies from progressing. It’s late to be considering a digital strategy.

[21:31] Javaid says the intersection of industries converging to enable a new process or product innovation is where the magic happens. He uses the example of Uber. This also changes the process of reaching and retaining customers.

[23:39] The fourth industrial revolution is a hot topic. Marketing, sales, and service all move now in the same social channels. Javaid discusses in-app purchases and augmented selling.

[27:04] As more augmented realities and technologies kick in, buying decisions will be more automated. Javaid discusses how companies will need to be ready and agile.

[28:45] Sales today is covered with the fingerprints of the success, service, alliances, and leadership departments. Is the salesperson responsible for the close? The functions are blurring between sales, marketing, acquisition and retention.

[32:05] Customer Success is now responsible for more revenue than New Business Development. Salesforce helped by providing a program architect to mentor the customer for a year. Javaid describes different data systems in play.

[34:22] Customer Success gets to sell phases 2, 3, and 4 of a product. They have to be extremely savvy salespeople. Javaid points out that farmers are becoming hunter farmers. Sales compensation needs to be reviewed as responsibilities shift.

 

January 12, 2017

How You Can Grab the Attention of Busy, Distracted Buyers. With Jill Rowley. #353

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Four of the 2017 Accelerate! Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Jill Rowley.

Jill Rowley, is a digital transformation specialist, well-known speaker, social selling evangelist, and enterprise sales expert.

On Day Four of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting, we focus on how you can cut through the noise to grab the attention of busy, distracted buyers.

In this episode, Jill provides techniques to you can use to cut through the distractions competing for your buyer’s attention, how to use social to connect with people (not just to sell them), and essential strategies to elevate your digital and social skill sets.

Mastering the art of making authentic connections is essential for every sales professional. Listen to this episode to learn how!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:53] Jill calls herself a sales professional trapped in a marketer’s body. Jill knows her buyers, and advocates for them. She started at Salesforce.com in 2000, after years of consulting, then moved to Eloqua, a Salesforce customer.

[5:00] Salespeople and buyers face the same challenge: distraction. Buyers have a nearly unlimited access to information and people, but are overwhelmed; sellers equally have access to them, but get lost in the distractions.

[6:25] The best salespeople know the customer intimately, at a human level, at a company level, at an industry level. The more you know their situation, the better you can help them.

[7:45] Know the ideal customer profile, so you are not chasing bad-fit prospects, but those where you can create value best; and find their right internal influencer to be your champion.

[11:30] Jill tagged some GE Execs in a relevant Tweet; Jim Fowler, GE CIO, Retweeted it. Through DM, email, and phone they connected in a great conversation. Social has impact.

[15:05] Invest in upping your digital and social skillset. Get training for yourself, and make the business case for your organization to do the same. Your customer is already there.

[19:05] Never send a generic LinkedIn invitation. Customize an invitation to your prospect, because every impression matters.

[22:43] Celebrate customer success. Tweet an announcement of a customer doing something great, not an announcement about your great success. Nobody Tweets your data sheet!

[24:18] Instead of thinking of prospects and customers, think of buyers. Nobody wants to be targeted, prospected, hunted, farmed, or closed. They want to have a buying experience.

[26:18] SDRs and BDRs need to know the buyer, knowing their problems that you solve, and how to connect the dots to get that person’s attention. Get on a learning path, every day.

[30:27] Take charge of your career, and if you do well, you’re going to be rewarded, even if it’s not exactly according to the prescribed structure.

[32:23] Set a pair of reading glasses on your desk, to put on whenever you have a question about what you’re doing, ‘to see it through the customer’s eyes.’

August 22, 2016

How to Coach Your Prospects To Make Better Decisions. With Jeffrey Lipsius. #233

Jeffrey Lipsius is the President and Founder of Selling To The Point. He is the author of an interesting new book called, Selling to the Point: Because The Information Age Demands a New Way to Sell. In this episode Jeffrey and I discuss how selling (and buying) have changed and the impact these changes are having on sales reps. Among the many topics we explore are the important steps sales reps can take to increase their influence with their prospects and how reps can become a “decision coach” to help customers make better purchase decisions.

July 14, 2016

How to Elevate Your Personal Sales Productivity. With David Brunner. #200

David Brunner is the founder and CEO of ModuleQ, the technology behind Rev, which is a mobile-first, sales enablement app that brings the power of Personal Data Fusion to the world of sales. In this episode, David and I discuss what Personal Data Fusion is, why it is important to sales reps and how ModuleQ is employing it to help salespeople increase their personal sales productivity. Be sure to listen now!

June 2, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 169 with T.A. McCann. Use Digital Intelligence to Gain a Competitive Sales Edge

T.A. McCann is a serial entrepreneur and a co-founder of Rival IQ, a digital intelligence gathering tool which enables you to analyze your performance, gain critical insights and beat your competition across social media, SEO keywords and website content. In today’s episode, T.A. and I discuss how sales teams can leverage real-time intelligence about the digital activities, and successes, of their competitors to become smarter and more competitive sellers. Be sure to tune in today!