SELLING AS A BUYING EXPERIENCE

Q: HOW SHOULD COMPANIES DECIDE WHICH BUYING EXPERIENCE IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES TO START WITH - ASSUMING THEY CAN'T DO ALL AT ONCE? 

JIM: Every company will have unique needs, which means they will prioritize initiatives differently, but one thing remains true across industries: sales teams are the lifeblood of a company, and the leading indicator of a company’s health. As such, companies should prioritize understanding what works and replicating it.

But, a quota-crushing sales team isn’t built overnight. It is built by coaching reps on a continual basis, starting with their first day of onboarding. With a thorough onboarding and coaching strategy, your team will be prepared to adapt to any circumstances and have a clear understanding of company best-practices and expectations.

We have a free resource to help with building a coaching culture that will lead to improvements in the buying experience.

Now, candidly, in this new era of remote work, a lot of the responsibility is put on the individual sales reps. We’re all facing new challenges and attempting to work toward a “new normal,” but understanding that remote work doesn’t eliminate the need for clear coaching, it makes it all the more important. A sales manager can’t physically be on every call, but they can review calls and offer guidance, as well as ensure reps are listening back to their own calls for self-coaching. 

A commitment to coaching will set your company apart and once again, improve that buying experience.  

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR ENSURING THAT TECHNOLOGIES CONTRIBUTE TO THE BUYING EXPERIENCE IN MEANINGFUL WAYS? ​

JIM: Prospects need to know they’re engaging with someone who knows their pain points and can offer a relevant service that will benefit them – especially during this hard time. I spoke with Dan Wardle, VP of Revenue at Vidyard, about understanding your ideal customer so well, that you understand their ideal customers and struggles.

Similarly, technology can help reps understand and utilize the “voice of the consumer.” Through our research, we’ve found that customers are still engaging with the sales process during this COVID-19 pandemic, but, the pain points and obstacles resonating in the voice of the customer are not what they were three months ago. Depending on the customer, in the past, they could have had solid revenue and income security, whereas now, those factors may not be true. 

We need to be aware of these situations and understand whether we have something of value to offer. Without technology, this is a manual process. With automation, we can get an accurate 10,000ft view of the pipeline and talking points unfolding in real time.

Last, companies need to keep in mind the privacy and protection of the customers. A modern techstack can confirm this, as privacy and protection for businesses and individuals is of the utmost importance. We believe customer conversations are one of the most valuable assets for a business, and need to be handled delicately and responsibly.  

Q: HOW DOES YOUR SOLUTION HELP SELLERS IMPROVE THE BUYING EXPERIENCE? 

JIM: Chorus.ai provides Conversation Intelligence for Revenue teams. From a high level, we record, transcribe, and analyze calls with customers. We use advanced artificial intelligence to provide Performance Intelligence which helps create a repeatable, scalable revenue motion that drives tangible performance improvements, Revenue Intelligence to shine a light on hidden risks that prevent maximizing revenue, and Relationship Intelligence to help build strong, smart relationships by providing deep customer health & engagement insights.

Practically, this gives teams the ability to analyze calls strategically to uncover winning sales techniques and deepen their understanding of customer needs, behavior and voice. This can help new reps onboard by listening to past calls from more seasoned teammates, and allows reps to listen to their own calls for self-coaching. The platform provides sales leaders visibility into the overall pipeline and what’s working in-market today.

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Chorus?

JIM: COVID-19 has affected everyone. Since joining as CEO, I actually haven’t seen my staff in-person. It’s an unconventional beginning, and while we’re not immune to business challenges, we’re taking action to solve and overcome what we can. 

To help understand the constantly changing situation, one of the new initiatives as CEO has been to implement a Weekly Briefing series, talking through Chorus-generated data on the current state of the industry. I meet with industry leaders each session and we unpack data and offer new insights for leaders and reps worldwide. 

For example, by analyzing anonymized calls using Chorus.ai’s NLP technology, we’ve found: 

  • Buying-side CFOs join 92% more meetings than they did in Q1.
  • The mentions of burnout on sales calls is up 26% since the end of Q1. 
  • Won deals are taking longer to close. We’ve found a 31% increase in days between the first and last, and 10% more meetings for each closed-won deal since Q2.

We update this data weekly, and I welcome commentary from others on what trends they are seeing in-market. For those interested, we’ve compiled our data on the Chorus website.

Q: What will be your main points of focus as the new CEO of Chorus.ai?

JIM: The Conversation Intelligence category is going through unprecedented growth as more companies realize the value that it can bring in any environment, and especially as companies are working remotely. Our focus is to continue to innovate to bring incredible value to the world’s fastest-growing companies with the most advanced, AI-enabled product on the market. 

This year, while a challenge in almost every category, has been a momentous year for Chorus. We were named a Top 100 Global Software Company and Top 50 Fastest-Growing Product by G2. We announced our Series C Raise. And we welcomed Thiago Sá Freire into our ranks as CRO. 

We’re climbing to new heights. Our team is customer obsessed, and everything we build, market, and sell is aimed at helping them build brilliant customer relationships through bringing their best to every interaction and the voice of the customer back to every decision.

Jim Benton

CEO, Chorus.ai

Jim Benton joins Chorus.ai as CEO to bring Conversation Intelligence, the fastest-growing category in sales technology, to the masses. A former Co-Founder of ClearSlide and CEO of Apollo, Benton’s career is defined by revenue generation and applying the voice of the customer. Chorus will continue delivering solutions to improve the consistency and quality of the customer experience, quota attainment, and shortening new-hire onboarding for high-growth teams, like those of Zoom and MongoDB.