Introductory paragraph: By its nature, sales is centered on the ability of a representative to engage a prospect, build a relationship, and fulfill his or her needs to close the deal. While digital channels might garner curiosity, sales representatives must guide prospects from initial interest through to the final signature. Trusted conversations between sales representatives and prospects will differentiate your sales force enabling them to continuously exceed quota.
Main body: Communicating clearly and effectively with prospects can be one of the biggest obstacles for sales professionals. Highly regulated industries often restrict call vocabulary, which means sales pitches are less about the actual words spoken and more about how the words are communicated. This can be a key differentiator in whether or not companies successfully win business and create a strong foundation for a long-term relationship.
Though most sales representatives believe they are attuned to how well they communicate, on average many misjudge their abilities, undermining their potential for improvement. In the telephone sales environment, representatives often take over 50 calls a day interacting with unique personas and situations. For representatives to be attuned to how they speak and how they are being perceived requires a high level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Though often overlooked and undermanaged, soft skills can be the most challenging skills to master and train in employees. To be most effective representatives need to be taught not only how to communicate, but how to stay effective when they are under pressure and fatigued. Even representatives that have a strong natural ability to build trust through rapport often see erosion in their performance throughout the day, missing cues that they may ordinarily react to effectively. The challenge is exasperated by the fact a representative’s cognitive capacity is divided among the conversation and various other activities such as following proper procedures, navigating various systems and capturing data.
If proficiency in soft skills is necessary to creating a team of top performers, how can you empower sales representatives to hone these skills and succeed? Technology can help. Over the past five years the rapid advancements in high powered computing have changed how sales teams operate. Through augmentation, AI solutions can enhance representatives’ natural abilities helping them be better at their jobs, guiding them in the moment and providing key insights that help them self-improve.
3 Ways AI Can Augment Phone Based Sales Representatives
- AI for Emotional Connection:
Use AI technology to enhance the emotional intelligence of representatives and help them adapt their behavior to be perceived as more caring, confident and trustworthy. Relationship-building is a necessary skill for any sales representative yet one of the hardest to master. AI technology has the ability to process behavioral and vocal cues to give representatives information they never had access to before. This technology can help representatives adjust and respond with more emotional intelligence to develop a personalized rapport.
- AI for Behavioral Insights:
Gain more comprehensive and timely insight into the impact of each representative’s behavior on call outcomes. Discover innovative ways to better interact and win more business. By finding the correlation between speaking behavior and perception, sales forces can more effectively monitor for in-fight interactions and assist representatives in converting a disinterested prospect to a repeat buyer.
- AI for Predictions:
Since AI technology can now monitor and analyze human behavior on a massive scale it also serves as the fuel for machine learning and predictive models. Collecting and analyzing such conversational dynamics as tone, tension, pitch, pace, vocal effort, mimicry and turn taking, will allow salesforces to understand the future wants of their current prospects. Having this information about a prospect’s predicted purchasing decisions, serves as novel insights for sales leaders. These AI capabilities can predict such things as the likelihood a sales teams will hit their quotas, the best products to sell, the optimal customer segments and pricing strategies on which to focus. These insights enable new ways to rapidly test and learn to constantly be improving efficiency and outcomes.
AI can augment the natural ability of sales teams and provide unprecedented insights to sales leaders. By enabling representatives with the tools to display top-notch soft skills and build emotional connections with prospects, they will inevitably exceed their performance goals. AI has wide reaching applications. But probably the most compelling is AI’s ability to empower the frontline to build lasting trusted relationships and win more business.