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.


[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!