Sales Tech Fuels Frictionless Customer Experiences

Sales tech took a leap forward during the pandemic. Sales teams needed new ways to communicate, both with their coworkers and with customers, who were accessing digital channels at unprecedented volume. Sales tech emerged to meet the market need, helping sales reps manage customer relationships, provide more personalized customer experiences, and coordinate with their colleagues.

Invoca CEO Gregg Johnson checked in with Street Fight to provide his take on the sales tech landscape.

What’s the state of the sales tech market? What are some of the cutting-edge innovations?

The sales tech market is white hot with acquisitions, high valuations, and cutting-edge innovation. Chorus.ai was recently acquired by ZoomInfo, Seismic acquired Lessonly and raised $170 million at a $3 billion valuation, Gong was valued at $7.25 billion, and Invoca acquired DialogTech. 

The pandemic put a halt to in-person interactions, and with that came a bigger reliance on phone calls and Zoom meetings between businesses and consumers. This shift inevitably caused a surge in demand for sales tech because businesses needed visibility into the increasing number of customer conversations. With data from customer conversations available at scale, they could better inform digital experiences and arm sales agents with the buying journey context they need to close more deals and create more return customers. 

How does call tracking tech boost sales teams?

Conversation intelligence platforms give sales agents critical context about the customer’s digital buying journey before they picked up the phone so they can provide better, more personalized service. For instance, say you move to a new home and you need to set up the internet. You go online and shop around on a business’ website and then hit a snag, so you call their help line. If that business uses conversation intelligence, you will immediately be routed to the right person who is knowledgeable on what internet package you were looking at online and may also be able to anticipate your questions.

This is critical because we recently found that over half of consumers (53%) say they need to repeat their reason for calling to multiple agents. When sales agents are empowered with this hyper-personalized information, they are able to provide a solution quickly and efficiently, which leads to a positive customer interaction and long-term loyalty. 

How do brands balance privacy and customer tracking? Do they need to get permission to track calls?

When customers call businesses, they are leaning into a deeper relationship and want you to remember and use their past interactions to provide better service. In our recent Buyer Experience Report, 71% of respondents said they believe businesses already know why they’re calling when an agent picks up the phone. This makes it all the more frustrating because consumers think the business knows who they are, but that data isn’t being used to serve them better. 

When companies use first-party data like conversation insights, it’s much less invasive for the consumer because it’s more targeted. Third-party consumer tracking is a shotgun approach and is much more likely to hit customers with irrelevant marketing. With first-party data, companies have more complete profiles on their own customers and will only spend money on offers the customer is likely to be interested in. First-party conversation data provides better returns for the business and a more personalized, privacy-friendly experience for the customer.

The typical acknowledgement when calls are being analyzed is familiar to everyone: “This call may be recorded or monitored” — and most consumers are comfortable with that. Additionally, our platform meets privacy standards like GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and other data privacy and security standards that assure customer data is safe.  

Where is the sales tech space headed?

Sales tech is already utilizing the power of AI, but there is room for further innovation. Because sales agents are able to have a complete understanding of a customer’s journey, they are able to meet consumers where they are emotionally and are able to provide empathetic experiences. I foresee a future where sales tech not only provides visibility into the buyer journey but is also able to predict questions and concerns so that there’s even less friction in the sales process for consumers. We want to build tech that is incredibly valuable to not just business but to consumers as well. 

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Seismic raised funding at a $1.6 billion valuation. In fact, it raised funding at an approximate valuation of $3 billion.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018 and compiled the daily newsletter since 2016. Joe is a journalist who has written widely about technology, business, and politics. You can contact him at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.