July 20, 2017

#515. Let AI Nudge You into Sales Relationships. With Paul Teshima.

Paul Teshima, Co-Founder and CEO of Nudge.ai, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:28] Paul says the biggest challenge facing sales reps is that buyers know more than ever, so a rep cannot add value just by holding information about their product or service.

[2:19] Paul gives an overview of Nudge. It is an AI platform that focuses on understanding the insights around relationships, and how those relationships can help you get into an account, or influence an account, for the buying process.

[4:41] The version of AI — that Nudge.ai follows — is to tackle problems that are repetitive, take some thought, and are behind-the-scenes. Paul gives an example. There is a lot of promise for this ‘grunt work’ type of AI.

[5:38] AI does more than analyze of Big Data. AI applies machine learning for continual improvement of the analysis process around the data. Paul explains by example, how topic modeling is used for Google Alerts.

[10:09] Relationships are being sacrificed to the sales stack. Paul talks about freeing up research time by moving research from the rep to AI. This gives reps time to build relationships, and focus on effectiveness while the ai works on efficiency.

[11:51] The more a role is process-oriented, such as SDR calling for appointments, the more AI can help ‘B’ players become ‘A’ players. In field sales, where the process varies, AI is less applicable for improving individual performance.

[13:35] The personal interaction is what makes ‘A’ players. AI can free up reps to get more training, and more customer time, which is how they may improve their performance.

[14:28] Sales automation tends to enforce conformity. Reps need more freedom to interact to fit the customer, and according to their own strengths. Paul sees deal sizes shrinking, which leads to less interaction and more process.

[17:00] SaaS allows for fast global reach. Startups are looking more toward the Enterprise, earlier, and Enterprise is more likely to look to a startup. Paul discusses changes in the sales force and strategies as the digital generation matures.

[22:00] Paul differentiates between insights that are actionable for an SDR, and information overload that goes over the top.  SDRs are not industry experts, and don’t need deep insights.

[23:27] Technology, tech, and sales stacks are not getting the sales force closer to quota. All the tech just helps you keep level, even with best practices. The competition is dense.

[27:17] A nudge is a push giving momentum. Sales is about restarting or maintaining momentum. Nudges keep you top-of-mind with prospects during low periods. AI suggests which prospects you should nudge today.