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Small businesses are thriving in the United States--there are 31.7 million of them! 

How can you hope to distinguish yourself from others? Competing only on price will not cut it. 

A strong, memorable unique selling proposition will set you apart from your competitors. It will compel customers to pick you over other brands.

You must identify your unique selling proposition and use it to guide your overall branding and marketing strategy.

What is a unique selling proposition?

A unique selling proposition or a unique selling point (USP) is a summary of the specific benefit(s) that your product/service offers to the customer. 

It is used by sales and marketing teams to differentiate the brand from direct competitors and communicate its unique value.

The unique sales proposition answers the question: Why should a potential customer buy from you?

Note that marketing offers like “up to 70% off,” “free shipping nationwide,” and “24X7 customer service” are not unique selling points. Everybody can offer them. 

Also, a selling proposition is more than just a catchy headline. Your product/service should be able to hold up to its promise.

What is unique selling proposition

Why is a unique selling proposition important?

More than 90% of the business population in the United States is composed of small and medium businesses (SalesForce, 2019). That’s the size of the market from which you have to stand apart!

Your unique marketing proposition is important because:

  • It is an important part of your marketing strategy (4Ps). It guides marketing messages in advertisements, banners, social media, and so on.
  • It defines your position in the market and how you provide value.
  • It guides customer-facing teams on messaging and mission.
  • It targets potential customers, offers solutions to their problems, and prevents client churn.

Examples of unique selling propositions

A unique selling proposition shouldn’t be limited to a tagline. But you should be able to summarize your competitive advantage with your tagline.

Let’s take a look at some brilliantly crafted unique selling proposition examples and analyze why they work:

1. FedEx

FedEx has a memorable USP--“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” 

When it was first used in the 1970s, it was the only company that could help you deliver a package overnight.

FedEx has continued to back its USP through its extensive network and infrastructure. Deliveries are done on time and the company focuses on customer experience. 

2. Canva

Canva is an online designing and publishing tool meant for people who cannot use advanced editing tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Its USP, “...empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere,” is reflected in its simple and user-friendly platform. 

Users can choose from thousands of pre-made templates, shapes, and elements to design a professional flyer, brochure, or any other document.

Canva discovered a gap in the market and capitalized on it to grow to 30 million active users across 190 countries (as of June 2020).

3. ConvertKit

When ConvertKit launched in 2001 as a paid email marketing service, it was the only one to target professional bloggers and podcasters. It has advanced automation features and other features geared towards bloggers who want to grow their email lists.

Its tagline, “Email Marketing for Professional Bloggers,” is backed by a focus on content rather than design. As a result, it has received the blessings of leading bloggers like Pat Flynn and Abby. 

4. Stripe

With strong competitors like Payoneer and PayPal, how has Stripe distinguished itself?

It has positioned itself as a comprehensive financial solutions provider. Stripe targets developers and business owners who want to actively manage their payments processes. 

It offers various financial facilities and business cards to manage online payments instead of being just a payment gateway. It also has local partner programs to offer complete marketing solutions.

5. Starbucks

The USP of Starbucks is “Commitment to the highest quality coffee in the world.” 

How does it differentiate itself from other coffee shops? It positions itself as a hangout place where you can spend time with friends and family. 

Starbucks focuses not just on the quality of coffee it serves, but also on the overall experience. People like to sit at a Starbucks cafe and work because they enjoy the experience, including having their name written on their coffee cup!

3 ways to identify your unique selling proposition

To grow your sales, you need to discover your unique sales proposition and target your efforts accordingly. You can begin by analyzing the USP of other companies and how they craft their marketing messages.

For instance, airline companies don’t sell tickets, they sell benefits like on-time service or in-flight dining facilities.

Follow these steps to understand what is a USP:

1. Think from the customer’s perspective.

Instead of assuming that you know what your customers want, try to find out what they’re really looking for by conducting market research. 

Apart from pricing, factors like convenience, quality, reliability, and customer service also make a difference in how your customers view you.

Find a feature that meets the needs of your customers and devise your sales and marketing plans around it.

2. Analyze what influences your customers’ purchase decisions.

Remember that customers are not convinced to buy only based on logic. The emotional element is more powerful. For instance, clothing brands don’t sell clothes; they sell things like style and fit. 

It is important to understand the psychological motivation behind customers’ purchases.

3. Find out why your customers choose your products/services over others.

Check out your direct competitors and perform an in-depth analysis to find out why their customers choose them. Look up their marketing messages, social media pages, and websites. 

You’ll be able to determine your strengths and weaknesses as compared to your competitors. 

You can customize your marketing messages to focus on your strengths and not mention your weaknesses. Also, you can devise a strategy to improve on your weaknesses.

Once you’ve completed these three steps, ask yourself:

  • Which feature(s) of your product/service separate you from the pack?
  • How can you position yourself to attract your customers?

4 steps to craft a unique selling proposition

4 steps to craft a unique selling proposition

You have crystallized your strengths and now you know what is a unique selling proposition. But, how do you communicate it effectively?

1. Highlight your differentiating factor

Your unique selling proposition in marketing should make you stand out and should not be something your competitors can also use. Thus, your unique sales proposition should focus on highlighting this competitive edge. 

Selling proposition example: 

Starbucks has the slogan - “Love your beverage. Or let us know, we’ll make it right.” 

They don’t just sell good coffee; they promise that they will customize it based on your preferences.

2. Use short phrases

You should be able to communicate your unique selling proposition clearly and concisely. Long-winded sentences will fail to hold your customers’ interest. 

Your unique marketing proposition should compel your customers to want to know more about you.

Unique selling proposition example: 

BMW’s USP lies in its short and sweet tagline - “Sheer driving pleasure.”

3. Use superlative adjectives.

Use words like best, first, favourite, greatest, only, and so on to communicate your passion and enthusiasm for your brand. 

E.g. 

  • The world’s best chocolate...
  • A favourite among discerning gentlemen…
  • The only tool you need to create your marketing materials...

However, you should be able to back up such statements with your product/service. Else, it will appear overtly salesy.

4. Make your offering irresistible.

Your unique selling proposition should tell customers what’s in it for them, rather than how good you are. Give them a picture of how they stand to benefit after purchasing from you. 

E.g. 

  • Liquor companies sell the social benefits and status that is reflected in your choice of good liquor. 
  • Cosmetics companies sell the beauty, attractiveness, and glamour that customers will gain after using the product. 

How to A/B test your unique selling proposition?

You don’t stop at identifying and crafting your unique selling proposition - you test different versions to see which one gets you more customers.

A/B testing is a common practice in online marketing, wherein brands try to optimize marketing elements for more conversions.

Some of the ways in which you can A/B test your unique selling proposition are:

  • Landing pages

Use variations of your unique selling proposition to figure out which one the customer finds more relatable. Compare using specific metrics such as product purchases.

  •  Sales demo 

If your sales team reports that prospects resonate with a unique selling proposition, you can be confident of running with it. It will cause customers to believe in your offering and ask for more information.

How can Rafiki help you identify your unique selling proposition?

Rafiki is a comprehensive revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence tool that can help you identify your unique selling proposition by generating advanced prospect data. 

Topic trends captured from prospect and customer meetings enable you to research your target market and refine your offerings. 

Sales demo meetings are a source of rich insights into buying behaviour and motivation. Rafiki helps you pinpoint your prospects’ pain points and desires by analyzing these calls.

You can also identify opportunities to sell by mining intent data from prospect calls. Thus, a tool like Rafiki empowers your sales team to connect with the right customer at the right time. 

For more information on how Rafiki can be your sales intelligence partner, contact us today.

Sales teams are often burdened with tasks that don’t directly impact the success of a deal. -For instance, analyzing the call notes once the meeting is over or feeding the data manually to a CRM.

The time saved from these tasks could be utilized to talk to more customers and closing more deals. Unfortunately, you can't completely avoid these tasks. Neglecting these activities could mean most of your rep’s time is spent on cold calling customers which often doesn’t lead to any sales. 

But there is a way to free up your sales team’s time, and that too without compromising on these processes!

The solution is ‘Personal AI Sales Assistant’. Here is a classic definition of it - 

“Tools to help sales teams automate tasks, such as qualifying leads, following up with them, scheduling meetings, and even perform data entry.”

How a personal AI Sales Assistant can help

Personal AI sales assistants can be used to give your sales team the edge they need to stay ahead of your competition. 

Even if you’re a lead gathering genius, there’s only so much that you can do in 24 hours. An AI assistant can help you analyze lead data and match it with your ICP (Ideal Customer Profiles). It does so by unifying multiple data sources across your organization(such as CRM, social media, and more). Adding to this, it comes up with actionable insights and prescriptive suggestions regarding the medium and communication channel to use - all of which reduces your efforts.

The best part is you can avoid human errors as most of the tasks are performed without manual intervention. 

With a strong and accurate sales pipeline, you can reduce the costs incurred by your organization to bring in new customers, all the while increasing the pace at which you bring in new customers. 

Secondly, getting tons of leads from your marketing team can be great, but none of those leads mean anything if they’re not becoming opportunities or paying customers. As every sales executive knows, converting leads into actual sales involves a lot of legwork. 

Lead Opportunity

This is where personal AI sales assistants can again really shine. By engaging visitors and leads with personalized experiences based on their interests, these leads can be engaged and moved quickly through the sales funnel reducing the lead to opportunity length drastically. 

Top features to look for in an AI sales assistant

Now that you know what you stand to gain by using an AI sales assistant, you should also know what to look for when you’re in the market for one. 

#1. Automation Capabilities

Automation is by far the most important feature you want in your personal AI sales assistant. Automating sales processes, scheduling meetings, transcribing meetings, taking notes, entering data, and handling cold leads will free up a lot of time for your sales team that they could use to talk to customers and close deals. Not only does this save time for your team, but it also reduces the money spent in doing all of those other tasks. 

For instance, Rafiki (www.getRafiki.ai), your personal AI sales assistant, fully automates most of the manual work related to your team’s sales calls. This includes automatic retrieval of meetings from calendars, recording of calls, transcribing them, capturing notes, and coming up with intelligent insights to help with better follow-up and call prep. The best part is Rafiki also takes care of the grunt work of syncing all these data to your CRM, relieving your reps to focus on closing the deal.

Automobile Capabilities

#2. Bot Availability

Companies should be available for their potential customers 24 X 7 in order to make a sale. Even if you work in a different time zone from your customer, and you have a perfectly justifiable reason, if you don’t answer the questions of your prospect at the right time, you could end up losing an important sale. 

However, your sales teams can’t be expected to operate 24/7 to answer customer questions. Luckily, this is where bots come in. Platforms like Ubicore and Botsent have dedicated chatbots that you can deploy to answer questions, collect information about potential customers, send data automatically to your CRM, etc. These chatbots are so advanced that they can schedule meetings with potential customers on their own. They can even enable visitors to call your directly from the chat widget, empowering you to answer questions right away.

#3. Integration with other Sales Software

Choosing an AI personal assistant that can integrate with your other tools and systems such as CRM is important. An AI sales assistant that demands you change your entire workflow structure will only end up causing a lot of internal disruption and downtime. 

A great personal AI sales assistant will fit into your existing processes with minimal downtime and integration complexity. As a result, you can focus less on ironing out technical issues, and spend more time on actually selling your solutions to your customers. 

With Rafiki, you can connect with your CRM, conference call tools, and messaging platforms in minutes thanks to its plug & play integrations with these tools. For instance, Rafiki’s Zoom integration automatically picks up scheduled meetings from your calendar and is ready even before the meeting starts. It automatically records, transcribes, generates notes by topics discussed, and analyzes your entire meeting to give you in-depth insights

Also when you combine Zoom with Rafiki and CRM you are automatically appraised on who spoke what, about what, for how long, and the exact trajectory of your deal. 

#4 Should provide handy tips as well as smart reporting

The tool you choose should regularly come up with handy tips to make your sales rep’s lives easier. It should be able to identify more valuable deals from your list, use AI algorithms to analyze your actions and find more effective ways to close those deals.

Also, make sure that the tool always has access to current data. It should also have a collective summary of the activities that each user engages in. With the help of this data, your personal sales assistant should come up with daily reports on how the day ended along with a preview of upcoming meetings. 

Rafiki can automatically generate powerful reports by capturing useful metrics with plenty of actionable insights. For instance, Rafiki can identify and display negative sounding comments or anxious responses in the call using the ‘patience’ factor. Similarly, it captures your rep’s interaction levels, talk-listen ratio, and so on. Using these metrics,  you can correct yourself in the subsequent calls.

#5 All your information in one place

The tool you choose should keep you on top of any changes to your deals and accounts with the help of instant notifications. This will greatly improve transparency when you are collaborating with your team as everyone is on the same page. 

Also, you should be able to review changes in your dashboard to stay on track with your goals. Insightful graphs and metrics should be accessible to you to understand the reasons(if) you’re losing deals.

#6 Should offer quality transcripts and getting them analyzed based on topics

Ask someone who spends a lot of time on telephonic meetings (Like your sales reps), most of them would confess transcribing the entire meeting to meaningful notes is one of the most laborious tasks in the world. This is where your personal AI sales assistant should help. It should record the meeting, transcribe it, and then getting it analyzed based on different topics. 

For instance, Rafiki automatically sees topics, learns your rep’s vocabulary, and proactively suggests insights with evidence to become your trusted personalized analyst.

Rafiki: The best personal AI sales assistant currently available

By understanding the needs of sales teams around the world, Rafiki is able to create the best solutions that can integrate into a multitude of existing workflows and tools to allow for minimal to no downtime in your sales efforts. 

Achieving competitive sales and revenue targets doesn’t have to mean putting your sales team on the grindstone. Using personal AI assistants can make their lives a lot easier by automating menial tasks and reducing their mental workload, allowing them to focus on the work that really matters. 

If you’re interested in taking Rafiki’s personal AI sales assistant for a spin, book a demo with us.

Blade Runner, Ex Machina, I Robot, Her, 2001: A Space Odyssey...

These are the names that often come to our minds when we think of Artificial Intelligence. 

Hollywood has successfully (but incorrectly!) ensured that a commoner’s definition of AI revolves around robots, the mass extinction of humans, flying cars, and other preposterous myths. 

In reality, AI is anything but the above. The advantages of artificial intelligence are endless, and you can find them in everything around us. And this includes sales! 

Yes, you heard it right. AI, over the years, has become an indispensable asset for sales teams and businesses across the globe to carry out their everyday sales operations. 

And in this post, we are going to discuss some of the most popular benefits of Artificial Intelligence in modern-day sales.

Top 7 artificial intelligence benefits in sales

Undoubtedly, sales is a rewarding career, but it comes with its inherent challenges. Competition and customer expectations are on the rise. Beating other players and luring customers to your business is not easy anymore. 

This is where AI can help. By integrating AI into your sales processes, you can gain a significant competitive advantage in your sales cycle in the form of quick decision-making. 

On that note, here are the top seven advantages of AI in your sales process -

Automates everyday tasks

AI frees the sales reps from mundane day-to-day tasks that are uncreative, unattractive, and time-consuming. By embedding AI into their everyday operations, you can automate most of their routine tasks. Thanks to this, the sales reps can efficiently and effectively prioritize and manage their work. Some of the functions that can be automated include managing workflows, data entry, research, answering repetitive questions, and more. 

AI-enabled platforms like Rafiki (https://getrafiki.ai/) take it one step ahead. It records all your reps calls and meetings, transcribes them, captures key topics and moments, and finally generates notes by topics - All this with no human intervention. Remember - Transcription and notetaking are two of the most time-consuming activities for a sales rep, and Rafiki frees them of those tasks entirely during the meeting, so they can focus on the customer and edit the notes later from the transcript or the generated notes. 

Automates everyday tasks

Aids in lead generation

Effective prospect engagement is often the driving force behind the lead generation process. AI helps to draw these potential customers into your sales pipeline by intelligently engaging and delivering additional value to them. Growthbot by Hubspot and Conversica are two of the most popular AI-based lead generation tools in the market presently. 

AI also helps sales reps identify ICP (Ideal Customer Profiles) by unifying multiple data sources across the organization like CRM, social media, and more. Adding to this, it comes up with actionable insights and prescriptive suggestions regarding the medium and communication channel to use, which aids quick closures.

Helps in optimizing pricing model

Pricing is another critical component of a deal. Optimal pricing models reduce the negotiations period and increase the chances of conversions manifold. Along with keeping up with customer expectations, a good pricing model makes sure that the expected margins are not compromised. 

Rafiki smartly parses the conversations between your reps and customers and points out the pricing topic in the entire conversation. Tools like Incompetitor and Wise Athena use AI and ML to determine the best pricing model for your product.

Helps in optimizing pricing model

Expands business horizons with lookalike modeling 

Lookalike modeling, powered by AI, is an excellent way to reach and explore newer audience groups for your business. Here’s how it works -

AI filters out the winning audience profiles from your primary customer segment. It then identifies the highest value audience in that list. Finally, it applies the criteria to the lookalike segment for better targeting and improved growth prospects.

The best part is, the model keeps on evolving as new data gets fed into it. This dramatically improves the performance of the model in the long run.

Tools like LiveRamp lets businesses move beyond Facebook and LinkedIn to conduct cross-channel lookalike prospecting on the internet.

Pinpoints upselling and cross-selling opportunities

Upselling and cross-selling are among the top focal points of salespeople. With the help of artificial intelligence, they will have enough customer intelligence to come up with suitable recommendations. 

Usecases of AI in Sales

AI has always been the key ingredient in building recommender systems based on collaborative and content-based filtering. By segmenting and clustering the prospects based on their psychographic, demographic, and geographic profiles, AI can recommend the right product (or solution) to the right customer at the right time. This increases the likelihood of yet another conversion for you!

Analyses and predicts customer churn

The acquisition cost of new customers is abnormally high compared (25 times according to an HBR study!) to the retention cost of existing ones. Therefore, to decrease CAC(Customer Acquisition Costs) and increase the adoption rate in the long run, the companies must minimize their churn rates.

AI helps forecast the churn risk by crunching voluminous amounts of data from multiple sources. Through deep analysis, it defines the complexity of behavior changes and the reasons for customer churn. It also offers helpful insights and restorative actions, thus empowering the sales rep to re-establish a churn-less business.

Through its robust AI engine, Rafiki helps you understand the reasons why customers are leaving you. It intelligently records, transcribes, extracts, and segments topics and uses them to identify churn signals.

Deal Risks

Facilitates better coaching and guidance

Coaching is an ever-evolving process. When your sales team is spread across geographies and time zones, it becomes practically difficult for you to impart guidance and accurate knowledge to your team. 

AI helps you with individualized observations and evaluations for one-on-one training of the reps. It helps you design sales programs that will help team members stay connected and upscale their skills consistently and collaboratively.

AI-driven platforms like Rafiki promote self-coaching.  It helps the reps to manage their calls and deals better by learning from their peers. For example, your reps can review their call metrics, compare them with their teammates’, identify where they are going wrong, and finally correct them.

Facilitates better coaching and guidance

And the best part - Rafiki is 100% cloud; this means your reps can access the tool 24X7 from any part of the world.

Wrapping Up

Businesses are transforming rapidly, and this leaves key stakeholders with shorter decision-making windows. Luckily, AI comes to their rescue. Not only does it help in making decisions quickly, but it helps them drive top-line growth and stay agile in this data-driven world.

Considering sales is a high-touch profession involving intelligent conversations and persuasions, AI is not going to completely replace sales reps any time soon. Tools like Rafiki will augment the effectiveness of your sales process by infusing it with agility and scalability. This leaves enough room for your sales rep to innovate and create highly personalized customer experiences.

To know more about Rafiki and to get a peek into its wonderful AI engine in action, sign up for a free trial now.

Let us begin by quickly defining a business meeting - 

“It is simply a gathering of two or more people with an objective of making decisions or discussing company goals and operations.”

It doesn’t matter whether your organization has 5 employees or 5000 employees; a business meeting is an unavoidable step in getting things done in an organized fashion. 

In the past, most of the business meetings were conducted in person in the office. But with the advent of the pandemic, meetings completely shifted to a virtual model and were conducted via conference tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. 

There are a wide variety of meetings, and each of them has a very specific objective. In this post, we will look at the nine most popular types of meetings and why they matter to a business - 

Decision-Making Meetings

Making the right decision is crucial to any organization's success. To help an organization with that, decision-making meetings come in handy. In such meetings, the entire team would be present. The main objective of this meeting is to discuss the course of action for a project or to make some important decisions after consulting with the team.

Team members would typically offer their views on a topic, and the team leader would take in all the available information and evaluate all the data before finalizing the decision. Sometimes the problems will be more detailed and would need additional expertise. The team leaders would then invite subject matter experts who can help them fill the blind spots.

The meeting will ideally end with the leader choosing a decision and clearly explaining the path that they are going to take to finish the project. They will also clarify who handles what activities in detail. A good decision-making meeting is characterized by teams feeling confident about the chosen decision.

Scrum Meeting

This is a daily scheduled meeting that is often run by engineering teams. However, these days, the most operationally active teams run these meetings. These meetings are usually held daily or once a week. Like decision-making meetings, all the team members are usually present in this type of meeting. Every team member will share their respective progress in a project that they have been assigned to. They will then go on to explain whether they have accomplished all their sprint goals as per plan or not. Sprint is a short time frame within the larger project timeline and scrum meetings keep the focus to the sprint.

Types of Meeting

Any Scrum Meeting is characterized by the below three questions - 

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Are there any impediments in your way?

All Scrum meetings are governed by 5 core principles. They are - 

  1. Complete control over the empirical process - Transparency, evaluation, and adaptation are the core ideologies of Scrum meetings.
  2. Self-organization -  increases the independence of the entire team, which also assists in assessing their performance during these meetings.
  3. Collaboration - Awareness, and clarity in team members become critical during every meeting.
  4. Value-based prioritization - Every task is prioritized assigned based on the value to the end-users in these meetings.
  5. Timeboxing - Every meeting is limited to a maximum of 15 minutes (in the case of a daily meeting).

If the team members are lagging behind in a goal or haven't shown any significant improvement on the project, there will be a discussion on what is lagging behind, the reason for it, and the next steps to sort the things out. The managers would provide whatever resources necessary to accomplish the goals on time. Such measures would help everyone perform their job to their best potential. These meetings are headed by a project manager.

Problem Solving Meeting

As an organization, you would run into various problems, and these meetings will help you to overcome those. In these meetings, usually, only the teams that are facing any problems would participate and never all the teams. However, if there are people in the other teams who can offer a solution to the problems, then they are invited.

Usually, these meetings are led by a person with diverse knowledge, background, skills, and opinions. There might also be people who are new to the team but are experts, hence will have the capability to lead such meetings.

The meeting starts with reviewing the situation like - 

  • What resources do we have to solve the problem?
  • What led to the start of the problem?
  • What is the current status of the problem?

The participants then analyze the options to solve the problem and formulate an action plan. These meetings help companies to solve pressing problems and build a commitment to bring the desired results.

One-on-One

As the name implies, this meeting takes place between two individuals. The relationship between these two people plays a major role in the importance of this meeting. One-on-one meetings usually feel like a normal conversation, but they help to fulfill a specific purpose.

Some variations of one-on-one include -

  • Meeting between a worker and a leader where the leader will try to understand the worker's problems and help solve them.
  • HR and Employee meetings related to appraisal, skill development, and mentorship programs. These meetings usually have a huge impact on employee satisfaction.
  • Meetings between two leads of different departments trying to build synergy amongst heir two teams 

Team building meeting

Having a strong team will always boost a company's growth. The company would work to its highest potential if all the members of the team build trust in each other and work together. Usually, every meeting has the potential to create everlasting bonds between team members. But having a dedicated team-building meeting would strengthen the bond even further by creating an enjoyable experience around them.

Team building meetings are usually fun, as they include a variety of games, group activities, and talent showcases. All these will help the participants to come out of their cocoons and build friendly relationships with the team. It also makes them feel valued.

Brainstorming meeting

This is an interesting kind of meeting. People’s designations are kept out of the room for these meetings; literally, anyone can pitch their idea. However, a central person (a randomly chosen person) runs this meeting and picks a premise like marketing activities, or design activities. This will be followed by people coming up with different ideas and how it benefits the premise in the best way. Companies usually run this meeting to solve a problem, or to improve their performance in a specific segment of work. 

However, such types of meetings are not without cons. For instance, most of these meetings can take time; it could be hours, or even days before a solution is reached. Since these meetings are open-ended, they can go on and on for hours, reducing the return on time invested by people. Hence, It is important that the meeting organizer timebox all these meetings.

Such meetings can also get very one-sided. People who speak more or louder can shoot down their colleagues’ ideas and might outvoice others even though their ideas might not be as great as their colleagues’.

Planning Meeting

Planning meetings can occur in various formats. Most of these meetings begin with the project owners laying down the plan. The people attending the meeting must know what the plan is and should try to learn as much as possible about the project before entering the meeting room. Once the plan is laid down, analyses of the present situation and what improvements can be done are discussed.

The relationships of the participants don't matter in these meetings as it is strictly kept professional. These meetings can be stopped at any time, and everyone can feel free to talk about their concerns around an idea. Also, since the plan is at its beginning stages, it can be dropped off anytime. The planning meeting usually ends with the acceptance or rejection of the plan.

Issue resolution meeting

This meeting’s primary agenda is to resolve issues between two parties. The meeting will also include a third party who acts as a mediator between the two. Sometimes, it can also take place without the mediator, where either one of the parties can lead the meeting.

In such meetings, the participants go through a list of issues/tickets and address them one by one. The mode of engagement can differ based on the situation. If there is a possibility of a heated situation, then the meeting should be held in a structured manner to make sure that proper order is maintained throughout the meeting.

Few examples of issue resolution meetings include contract negotiations, renewals, support team escalation, project delays, etc.

Info sharing meeting

Information about a project is shared in all types of meetings. However, dedicated info-sharing meetings educate the team in-depth about a topic. The training or the information is usually shared by the subject matter expert. The meetings are held in many forms like training, presentation, lecture, or a debate. It can also be a one-on-one session or an entire team training session.

The expert will try to keep the meeting light and build rapport with the audience. In the end, the team would benefit from learning various key information about the project which improves their efficiency and enables them to serve better in the project.

Tracking and Analyzing Meetings with Rafiki

Rafiki is an AI transcription system that records, transcribes, and tracks your meetings for you and your team to refer to for future meetings. Rafiki frees you and your team by taking away all the chores related to conducting a meeting. This includes syncing with the team’s calendar, conducting the meeting within the same platform, following all compliance rules, recording to the secure cloud (that is SOC2 compliant), and sharing key snippets from meeting with other stakeholders. More importantly, the notes taken by Rafiki are consistent in terms of the format. This makes it extremely easy for you to compare notes across meetings.

Tracking and Analyzing Meetings with Rafiki

The best part is Rafiki seamlessly integrates with Google Meet and Zoom, ensuring that you do not have to switch platforms to access meeting tools, recordings, notes, and insights - All for under  $17/month paid annually.

Unless you were living under the rocks, the chances of you not hearing about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are slim.

These two disruptive technologies are found everywhere today, right from your banking website all the way to your smartphones. 

Often, these two buzzwords are used interchangeably; Although both seem similar, they’re both vastly different technologies. 

They both have their own utilities and uses when it comes to designing solutions for modern-day consumers. 

In this post, let us understand the key differences between them.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is the practice of using algorithms that allow computers to identify patterns and find solutions through the analysis of large data sets. 

Machine Learning enables computers to find these patterns through the accumulation of experience - very similar to how humans find patterns in objects by repeatedly using them in real life. For example, humans, with practice, can quickly identify the difference between different varieties of apple - Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, etc. 

Machine learning aims to educate and enable computer systems to be able to find similar patterns across large data sets, much larger than the different types of apples that humans can analyze on their own. 

Machine learning is touted as a subset of Artificial Intelligence. Remember - by itself, machine learning is not designed to mimic human intelligence. It’s designed to learn, identify patterns, and perform analyses on large data sets - often using statistical methods. 

Types of Machine Learning

Depending on the kind of learning that’s permitted for ML systems, there are different types - 

Types of ML

Supervised Learning

This type of ML is the use of well-defined datasets created by humans to learn a pattern and perform analyses. Once the system understands what the pattern is, the algorithm can find new patterns in those new datasets. 

Unsupervised Learning

These are the machine learning algorithms that analyze and group unstructured and unlabeled datasets. These algorithms are used to discover hidden patterns and information without the need for human intervention. 

Here, the goal is to find hidden patterns that are not noticeable to human perception. The reason could be the inability of humans to easily discern, or simply the datasets are too large for them to make any accurate predictions. Unsupervised learning often doesn’t have a set idea of what the end goal will be when the algorithm completes analyzing the dataset. 

Reinforcement Learning

Reinforcement learning is a type of machine learning where the algorithm is rewarded whenever it makes a certain type of decision, such as winning a chess game or capturing a target in a virtual environment. 

Reinforcement learning helps algorithms find pathways designed to maximize the idea of a reward. Machine learning typically uses the sample datasets to discover the pattern and uses new data to rediscover the pattern in the new dataset. At the same time, the new data can also be a source for self-correction and self-learning. 

Applications Of Machine Learning

You don’t have to go very far to understand the application of machine learning.  An application that most of us could easily relate to is search recommendations on Google. After understanding the pattern of your searches, Google will adapt and alter its search recommendations based on your interests. 

Another common application of machine learning is the auto-tagging feature on photos that you can find on social media platforms like Facebook. Through the use of existing data sets, the machine learning algorithm can identify the difference between your face and your friends’ face, making suggestions on the fly as you’re tagging the photo. 

Artificial Intelligence

In simple terms, Artificial Intelligence uses computers and machines to mimic the decision-making and problem-solving capabilities of human beings.

You can find great examples of AI in most of the software around us such as Google’s AI Voice Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and so on. 

AI is the superset of Machine Learning as it can work with structured, semi-structured, and completely unstructured data, while ML usually deals with only structured and semi-structured data.

Based on the type of method used by Artificial Intelligence to learn, they can be categorized into the following. 

Types of AI

Weak AI

Weak AI is also called Artificial Narrow Intelligence (AN)I, or simply Narrow AI. Currently, this is the only type of AI that we’ve been able to successfully realize. Weak AI is designed to be goal-oriented towards a singular task such as speech recognition, facial recognition, automated driving, etc. Such a type of AI is very good at completing the task it’s programmed for. 

While an application employing weak AI may seem intelligent, they’re only able to operate intelligently within their particular constraints. They cannot replicate human intelligence because once you take them out of their predefined parameters, they’ll be unable to produce any meaningful output. 

Examples of weak AI include IBM’s Watson, Google’s RankBrain page ranking algorithm, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and modern email spam filters. 

Strong AI

Strong AI  is more commonly referred to as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). This is the concept of a machine with a more generalized intelligence and behavior. Strong AI will mimic human intelligence and behaviors, with the ability to learn, adapt, and apply this intelligence to solve problems that are presented before it. Strong AI is meant to act exactly like humans in any given situation. 

Currently, researchers haven’t achieved strong AI yet. That’s because of the complexities involved in modeling an AI after the human brain, which is the goal behind strong AI. Strong AI uses the mind AI framework, which is the ability to discern the nuances of other intelligent entities. 

Artificial Superintelligence

Artificial Superintelligence is a hypothetical concept that goes beyond mimicking human intelligence. ASI is also where machines and computers become self-aware and surpass the capabilities of human intelligence and ability. As of now, ASIs remain strictly in the realm of science fiction. But the ideation of ASIs brings interesting questions, such as self-preservation, co-existence with other intelligent beings, and more. 

How AI and ML differ from each other?

To understand the difference between ML and AI, we need to dive a little deeper into their working. In this present era, Deep Learning using Neural Networks has come to dominate the way the computer learns from data. A Neural Network is simply a computer system that is designed to work by classifying information in the same way a human brain does. 

Thanks to this, AI is more capable of understanding nuanced patterns, complex classification and advanced decision making. This is often demonstrated in advanced applications such as voice transcription, advanced language understanding with question answering, text summarization, medical diagnostics, playing chess or learning any new game with super human abilities.

On the other hand, ML uses statistical methods and software for broader pattern recognition that mirrors the data but often lacks in performing very nuanced classification or understanding that humans possess.

Machine learning in the past has been used for simpler pattern recognition, such as spam detection, clustering, sentiment or anomaly detection, image classification etc.

How Rafiki use AI and ML to empower sales teams?

Rafiki is a self-coaching sales platform that uses AI and ML to bolster your sales process. Thanks to its powerful AI and ML engine, Rafiki is able to transcribe with the highest accuracy (85+ accuracy for any accent), diarize i.e. detect speakers and the parts they speak, and apply voice biometrics to know who is speaking. Transcription, Diarization, and bio-metric (using voice patterns) all use state-of-the-art advanced Deep learning AI algorithms that are continuously upgraded as it learns more from data.

At the same time, it also tracks sales topic signals automatically and groups transcribed content into meaningful sales topics using natural language processing and AI based topic extraction and detection techniques . It also allows one to extend/add topics of interest such as product names, industry lingo, competitor mentions and personalize the transcription and conversational search to suit their business needs.

Rafiki AI team works with the best in the AI and cloud computing industry to bring the latest technology to the sales and customer-facing teams at an affordable cost using run-time optimization to run on less expensive machines. Rafiki uses these advanced algorithms and techniques to drive down cost that result in its ability to offer one of the most affordable conversation and revenue intelligence platforms to all fast growing businesses. 

If you’re interested in knowing more about artificial intelligence and machine learning, check out Rafiki’s blogs on these topics. Or, if you are ready to infuse the power of AI and ML in your sales process, contact us now.

The pandemic isn’t the inventor of the remote working concept. However, it did help in accelerating the adoption of remote working by Businesses across the globe. Many have publicly announced their intent to continue the remote working policy even after the pandemic ends.

So what are these so-called benefits of remote working? And are there any obstacles to implementing a remote working policy? We have answers to many such questions in this post.

5 Benefits of Remote Work

Reduced Commute Time

Without an office to travel to on a daily basis, employees can find themselves saving commute time. And without the commute, employees have more time to catch up on their hobbies and spend time with their families.  This leads to safer and healthier employees, which results in to lesser downtime and an increase in productivity. 

Flexible Schedules

One benefit of remote work is that companies are learning that quality of work is more important than sitting in front of a desk for 8 hours doing a fraction of the work. Companies are beginning to adopt the mindset - 

“As long as the work is done well, we don’t mind when you work to do it.” 

Remote work lets you plan your daily activities throughout your workday. Employees can do their laundry in the time between two client meetings or pick up their child from daycare, and so on.

Effective Team Meetings

In the office, it’s quite natural to set up a meeting to discuss even the smallest of updates and changes. These meetings can take up a lot of time for team members, often leaving them with little productive time that they can use for their work. Working remotely helps you set proper agendas for each meeting beforehand or only taking calls that really have a clearly defined purpose. 

Fewer Distractions

While this is hotly contested by naysayers, it is actually true. Creating an office space at home with minimal distractions can help you focus on the task at hand. For many people, working out of an office can be quite distracting with colleagues coming up to ask for clarifications and breaking your focus. 

Save Money

Remote work does wonders when it comes to saving money. Aside from the obvious savings on fuel and vehicle maintenance, workers can also cut down on the expenses related to lunch with colleagues, coffee, travelling for client meetings, buying professional outfits, and more. All of that money spent can be saved for your family, retirement, or even for hobbies. 

Although there are clear benefits when it comes to remote work, it’s not really a bed of roses. Working remotely produces quite a number of challenges that were previously unheard of when working in an office space. 

5 Challenges of Remote Work

Lack of Boundaries

When working in an office, it’s easy to set boundaries. The moment you leave for home, most people aren’t expected to fire up their laptops and respond to a client email or attend a meeting. But the same doesn’t hold true for remote work. Employees who are unprepared can often find their extra hours being used for working just because they haven’t set their boundaries clearly. 

Have a fixed schedule for your professional work. Insist on not accepting any calls or responding to emails after this time. 

Fragmented Team Communication

One of the biggest changes that an employee encounters while working remotely is the lack of team communication. In the office, it’s fairly easy and straightforward to walk up to a teammate and ask them to clarify a doubt or ask questions. But that spontaneity goes missing when working remotely.

The solution that has been adopted by everyone is to use digital channels like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, and other software tools built to connect people from all over the world. Although they might not replicate the feeling of talking to a person in-office, tools like these enable better communication. They can also provide records of communications to go back to in case you forgot something that was discussed a while back. 

For instance, if you are conducting a meeting via Zoom or Google Meet, you can always record the conversation. However, with a tool like Rafiki, you can not only record your meetings but also transcribes, captures key topics and moments of your meetings, and even generates automatic notes by topic to get you started. 

Fragmented Team Communication

Unplugging After Work

Although it’s not really rare for employees when working at the office, remote workers are finding it difficult to unplug after work hours. There is a very thin and faded line between their personal and professional lives. Most remote workers are unable to discern between the two and often end up at the wrong side of the line. Here is a study that shows unplugging after work is the biggest challenge for them while working remotely.

Image Source: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/all-things-work/pages/remote-work-has-become-the-new-normal.aspx

Unclear Professional Metrics

In the office, it’s much easier to track goals and metrics for employees; You can see them working and gauge their performance. Things get a little difficult when it comes to remote working as you miss out on watching them converse at work. But tools like Rafiki make your life easier.  It helps you measure and monitor several metrics using robust AI conversation technology. Here are three popular metrics it helps to track -

  • Rafiki’s interactivity score helps you identify how good a sales rep or any employee for that matter, is in striking a conversation with a prospect that converts them into a paying customer.
  • Rafiki also lets you see how a rep deals with objection handling by tracking the ‘Objection’ or conflict topics.
  • Rafiki can identify and display negative sounding comments or anxious responses in the call using the ‘patience’ factor. Using this, you can find out how good your sales rep is when it comes to handling a customer.
    Rafiki Metrics

Increasingly Sedentary Lifestyle

It’s well known that office jobs can be quite sedentary in nature, leading to a number of health issues related to a physically slow lifestyle. But that problem becomes compounded when working from home. Since there’s no need to go out and commute to work, that reduces the amount of physical exertion that people have to do. Resolving this challenge will require the employees to schedule time for themselves to work out, have a jog, and keep themselves in shape. 

Conclusion

While there are numerous challenges to overcome when it comes to remote work, there are irrefutable benefits that cannot be ignored. If you want to enable your team to do the best work they can, then it will require you facilitating seamless conversations between all your team members and see what works for them. Tools like Rafiki can make your remote working life better and solve most of the challenges that you encounter instantly. 

To know more and book a demo with us, contact us now.

The growth and success of any organization are highly dependent on its sales team. It is no wonder that recruiters are always looking for the best sales personnel. Only a team of exceptionally talented sales professionals can propel your company to new heights and keep it ahead of the competitors.  

But how do you do that?

An excellent training program for sales teams can provide a competitive advantage but can also be the primary driver for business excellence. In this article, we will take a closer look at what sales training is, and how good sales training programs can help you transform your sales and give your business that much-needed boost. 

What is a Sales Training?        

Sales training is a process that is developed to solve both immediate and long-term sales-related problems of an organization. It is typically developed to work towards achieving set sales goals by motivating the employees and guiding them through best practices. 

A good sales training process involves a series of steps such as:

Documentation

Documentation should be the first step of a sales training process. This includes documenting all the steps involved in a sales training process to streamline your progress. You can even make use of readymade templates for the same. 

Here is a free sales template for you.

Sales rep assessment

Once documentation is completed, it is time to assess your sales reps by understanding each of your sales reps well. Find out their strengths and weaknesses. Use a tool like Rafiki to conduct mock sales calls where you capture their interactivity, talk-listen ratio, patience, etc. Understand where they are lagging behind and get those areas improved. 

Learning about the product and company

Now is the time for a sales rep to learn about the company, the product they are required to sell, do sample tasks on CRM, and everything else that forms part of the company's sales training techniques. 

Deliver the presentation

Each of the sales reps is then required to deliver a presentation related to the product they would be selling in the market. 

Becoming a professional

This is the last step where the sales reps start working as professional sales representatives for the company. 

What are the objectives of sales training?

The main objective of sales training is to make salespeople well versed in their job. Well-designed sales training programs prepare candidates for common sales challenges and the best ways to deal with these challenges. 

Other objectives of sales training include:

  • Ensuring long-term capability of dealing with sales situations.
  • Ability to deal with changing sales needs with changes in environment and time.
  • Getting to know the IT aspect of dealing with sales.
  • Understanding the customer needs and perceptions.
  • Making the sales force more capable and flexible. 

What training does a salesperson need?

A salesperson is trained on how to sell the product using their skills and knowledge. They are trained to know everything about the product, its uses, how it addresses customer needs, and how they can build a better relationship with customers. 

Here are the different types of training a Salesperson needs:

  • Communication training to train sales reps to communicate with customers well.
  • Customer service training to enable sales reps to sort out customers’ queries regarding sales.
  • Sales negotiation training to train sales reps to have the upper hand while negotiating with customers.
  • Emotional Intelligence training enables a sales rep to be emotionally and mentally strong and also understand customers’ emotions better.
  • Sales Executive training is provided to sales reps at higher positions too, such as sales managers.
  • Technology training to train sales reps to work remotely and be well versed with updates in technology and use them to their benefit.
  • Sales onboarding training to train sales reps on the right way to place the company’s product in the market.

What are the best sales training platforms?

There are many sales training platforms available in the market. Here are some of the top ones that can help you achieve your goals: 

  1. Rafiki

Rakifi focuses on using sales calls to understand how your reps are engaging with your customers and makes use of artificial intelligence to train sales reps. It helps in increasing sales conversions and converting them into revenue. The tool comes with a free trial version. For advanced functionality, you can choose from any of its pricing plans starting from $17 per user per month. It also has a pay-as-you-go policy starting from $2 per hour.  

  1. GoSkills

Go Skills is another sales training platform presented by David Brownlee, an award-winning author, and business coach. It helps in improving sales professional’s sales techniques. They also deal in providing other skills like public speaking, Excel, customer service, etc. 

  1. Mercuri

Mercuri has a stronghold as part of sales training programs as well. It provides training in 30 languages in 50 countries in about 15000 organizations. 

  1. Action Selling

Action Selling is a self-service training resource program that has been providing sales training resources since 1990. It is one of the few companies that focused on integrated training skills data within the company’s infrastructure. 

  1. Factor 8

Factor 8 is recommended for honing your sales training skills like a pro. It focuses on how to book appointments with customers, how to expand new businesses, add value to them, and much more. Factor 8 provides access to ongoing training scripts, coaching guides, audio samples to keep the rhythm of training alive even after training is over.

How to create a perfect sales training program for your team?

Creating a sales training program from scratch all by yourself can be a tedious task and no company can afford to spend time on it. If you are looking to create a perfect sales training program for your team, it would be helpful to hire the services of a sales training platform like Rafiki

When choosing a perfect sales training program for your team, make sure they provide training materials in different forms. It is also important to ensure that the sales training program is in tune with your company and sales reps’ needs. For example, Rakifi provides unlimited audio storage, conference call integration, unlimited listening. Get in touch to learn more.

Ever wished for your sales performance to increase perennially?

Ever wondered what it takes to boost your team performance? 

The answer you are looking for is sales coaching. 

Studies show that sales coaching and mentoring play an essential role in improving the performance of frontline managers, according to 74% of leading companies. 

With times changing and constant upskilling in every organization, investing in sales team coaching is the wisest decision. The reason - they drive productivity within the organization, maximize sales performance, empower reps, and help you meet the required goals. Studies prove this. Companies that invested in dynamic sales coaching programs achieved 28% higher win rates and 7% greater annual revenue growth. 

Here is a guide on sales coaching with tips and tricks to boost sales performance, along with a  BONUS list of actionable tips and free tools. So, let’s get started. 

What Is Sales Coaching? 

It is a series of teaching methods an organization uses to improve the performance of sales reps and achieve their goals. It is inclusive and hands-on, where the manager works closely with their sales reps. 

However, sales training and sales coaching fall under different buckets. While the former focuses on everyone, the latter focuses on individual reps. Sales training uses structured methods, while in sales coaching, leaders need to recognize their sales reps’ weaknesses to help them develop new strengths. CSO insights reveal what sales managers spend their time doing. 

Sales Managers Spend Time For Training

Image Source: https://www.salesreadinessgroup.com/blog/the-why-behind-sales-coaching

Some standard sales coaching techniques & tips 

Different organizations use different sales coaching techniques according to their goals and needs. Companies with dynamic sales coaching programs have 28% higher win rates. Let us look at the popular sales coaching techniques. 

  • Reviewing calls or videos:
    Sales reps can analyze the call recordings or videos to get a better sense of what they could do well. They can identify their weaknesses and make improvements. 
  • Offering inside training and tips:
    Organizations provide inside sales coaching tips to their reps. It also includes reviewing selling techniques and tools which can benefit the organization. 
  • Scheduling check-ins:
    Another technique includes scheduling check-ins. You can do these check-ins weekly to discuss objectives and areas of the sale processes with the reps. It also builds their confidence. 
  • Shadowing calls:
    Organizations indulge in shadowing calls where the sales teams shadow; or listen to the potential client calls or meetings. 
  • Reviewing emails:
    Another coaching technique involves reviewing email conversations with prospects through different stages in the buyer’s journey. 

These are a few sales coaching techniques that organizations use to coach their salespeople into sales champions. 

Here’s a bonus for you. Listed below are seven actionable sales coaching tips that your sales reps need. They are: 

  1. Use client interaction data to figure out where sales reps need help 
  2. Use visual data to highlight performance 
  3. Review call recordings 
  4. Have hard conversations 
  5. Play an active role in the coaching session
  6. Learn the motivational factors for your team 
  7. Have a definite plan of action

Keep these encompassing tips in mind. Seek and experiment with new coaching practices, give more positive than negative feedback, share your vision, use incentives effectively, give personal rewards, and leverage your entire sales team. 

Why has sales coaching become an essential element for every organization? Is it because of its various benefits? Let us find out.

How Does Sales Coaching Software Help Your Sales Team?

Sales Training Outcome

https://www.valueselling.com/maximizing-performance-with-sales-coaching

  • It helps improve employee retention rates. 

Sales coaching helps every organization increase its employee retention rates. Increased rep turnover rates have been an underlying problem in the sales industry. Today, growth opportunities attract more reps than a fancy show of salary and appraisals. Harvard Studies reveal 80% of the workforce saw an increase in their productivity after coaching.

  • It allows you to share best practices. 

Ever notice a sales rep attracting success and using a strategy that is getting the desired performance? Use this strategy to teach the rest of the team this strategy and improve your sales performance coaching. 65% of those who undergo coaching are highly engaged. 

  • It maximizes your sales coaching investment. 

Sales managers can achieve dynamic sales training through consistent and long-term enforcement. It maximizes your sales coaching investment—organizations with strong coaching report 34% higher revenues

Top 3 Sales Coaching Tools 

  1. Rafiki

     A leading conversational intelligence tool, Rafiki has taken massive steps in sales coaching in recent years. Rafiki uses AI transcription, which helps you instantly analyze the rep calls and track customer objections. It enables you to understand how customers engage with sales reps in conversations. With instant conversion and organizational intelligence, it allows you to get the best out of your team. In short, it helps you build a predictable winning organization. 

  2. Gong

    It is another conversation intelligence tool that provides a unique outlook into rep interactions with potential customers. It is an apt tool for sales managers to implement their sales strategies effectively. You can also use Gong to assist the sales reps when they require your directions. Its conversation intelligence abilities allow you to review conversations your sales reps have with potential prospects on meetings. 

  3. Chorus.ai

    With this app, you can build, implement and measure the success of your sales coaching tactics and alter them to hit higher goals. This software’s artificial intelligence features allow you to pull your essential information from real-time rep conversations on call, videos, or meetings. 

Conclusion

Sales coaching is the most effective way to boost your team performance. It is also a fundamental element of sales management. Rafiki is your one-stop solution for coaching your sales team. It integrates with your calendar, transcribes and analyses the calls, and provides 360-degree insight into the call. 

Never miss customer interactions and grow your sales team with Rafiki. Contact us and request a demo. 

The best sales team or an effective standalone salesperson can prove to be excellent assets for the organization. To hit their daily target, salespeople require plenty of knowledge of the product and marketing strategies to provide value propositions. Thus, a salesperson needs to have diverse, essential sales skills to be prolific and competent.

If you want to learn how to improve sales skills, you are at the right place. In this article, we will take you through the top 20 sales skills every salesperson must master.

Top 20 Sales Skills and How to Master Them 

Excellent sales skills do not evolve naturally. Sales professionals should cultivate different skill sets by practically applying it in the actual market.

  1. Understand the buyers' requirement: A salesperson needs to know the foundation of selling: understanding the demand of a buyer. Tools like Rafiki can help you there. Rafiki is a revenue intelligence and conversational intelligence platform that comes with unique features to organize and retrieve intelligible insights from a sales call.

  2. Building a relationship with the customer: Bringing positive engagement in a conversation is an essential sales skill. Positive conversations establish long-term relationships with a mutual network that benefits both sides. Interactivity is a critical metric that determines how positive your conversations are. Rafiki measures the interactivity score of every sales rep in your team and highlights who is doing a good job and who needs improvement.
  3. Sales prospecting: Most firms do not focus on precise prospecting. Unfortunately, this leads to a feeble strategic approach and projects an unfavorable impression. Sales prospecting should be the initial step to identify potential customers. The salesperson can develop a database (using spreadsheets) of potential customers and systematically communicate with them.

  4. Establish trust: Most buyers prefer doing business with people or organizations they trust. An expert salesperson must establish trust by delivering practical demonstrations or showing reports that define their product's capability.

  5. Emotional intelligence: It is another powerful tool that will help you comprehend how the buyer is feeling. Many salespeople can convince their customers by showing emotions towards a product or service. If you have sound emotional intelligence, people tend to relate to you naturally and follow your guidance.

  6. Time management: Salespeople should know how to respect their client's valuable time. Get to the point. Try to involve them in engaging conversation that is crisp yet clear to understand.

  7. Know when to stop: A salesperson must know when to stop convincing and begin to listen to what the buyer wants. This method will make the salesperson understand the pain points and how to provide solutions adequately. Rafiki tracks the longest monologue of a sales rep and captures who are talking too much and who are patiently listening to the customers. Interestingly, Rafiki also tracks the patience factor.

  8. Storytelling: Selling a product to a customer does not demand revealing the product features only. It also involves convincing buyers by telling them user experiences about how its features have benefited other users.

  9. Product knowledge: Lack of product knowledge is not acceptable in the sales world. A salesperson without intimate product knowledge shows the organization in poor light plus wastes the buyer's time. Extensive product knowledge is a prerequisite, and demonstrating your product feature with confidence begets trust.
     
  10. Active listening: This is an essential soft skill that requires attention with occasional follow-ups. Through this ability, a salesperson can glean complete and precise client requirements and expectations. The talk-listen ratio of Rafiki identifies how much time your reps are talking and how much listening. This instantly generated metric will help determine which reps need to focus more on listening over talking.

  11. Objection handling: Not every salesperson can prevent showers of objections. Therefore, the organization must train its sales professionals to tackle complaints against the product or its features when they arise. The salesperson should not abruptly end the conversation when they face any objection. Rafiki provides you with an instant analysis of the call to track objection handling.

  12. Sell over the phone: With the increased use of smartphones, field sales have shifted from face-to-face meetings to video conferences. Therefore, organizations should upskill their sales team to manage and convince their target buyers over the phone. Rafiki offers a professional salesperson to organize and retrieve comprehensible insights out of the sales call for better sales prospects.

  13. Know Social Selling: Social media and social networking have become an influential part of our digital experiences. Therefore, as a sales rep, you should know how to use various social media platforms to bolster your sales process. Be it for selling directly or just for research purposes, you should know your way around all social media platforms.

  14. Flexibility: Working as a sales professional sometimes turns into a whirlwind. Your meeting schedules might change, and the prospect might change their decisions and choices. You, as a salesperson, must adapt to the change of plans in a constructive manner.

  15. Presentation skills: Gracefully presenting the demos of your product feature is an added advantage. Your presentation should also not be too product-centric. The sales team should focus more on the buyer's requests and requirements.

  16. Negotiation skills: The salesperson should perform a disciplined negotiation process after offering the proposal.

  17. Optimism: A salesperson witnesses many hung-up calls, blocked numbers, unanswered emails from leads, and other rejections while approaching product sales. The salesperson should be optimistic and accept those rejections with grace.

  18. Technology: A comprehensive grasp of technology can allow you to perform some tasks quicker. You can take advantage of several sales applications or conversational marketing software.

  19. Policy knowledge: As a salesperson, you should be exceedingly aware of your company's policies and governance matters.

  20. Closing techniques: It is harder to close a deal than to convince the buyer. Organizations should train their salesperson to identify the appropriate moment to ask for a monetary commitment and what to say before closing the deal. Rafiki makes it incredibly simple to learn successful closing techniques by analyzing all customer calls to see winning and losing patterns in sales. Click the image to book a demo and experience the tool.

Conclusion 

Developing constructive sales skills and knowing where and how to improve sales skills is an art. Rafiki is the tool you need to possess to master that art. It includes Unlimited Conference meetings, Conversational topic tracking, advanced topic level summarization, 2-way synchronization with CRM, Advanced Smart Alerts on Revenue Intelligence such as Deal Risks, customer-market intelligence, API integration, Custom data retention policies, etc. Apart from these,  users can make custom integrations, focus on revenue-tracking topics, and receive insight. With the Rafiki AI transcription feature, organizations can quickly segregate the vital segments of the call. 

Contact Rafiki to know more.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to quickly transition to remote work in 2020 to maintain business continuity. Since then, virtual meetings have taken on a life of their own. 

In 2020, Zoom had 300 million participants per day! 

Online meetings are not new, but they are vital now since they help keep remote workers engaged and productive. Sales professionals use video conferencing to speak to prospects, conduct demo meetings, and communicate with co-workers. 

So, virtual meeting etiquette is especially important to keep things professional. 

Videoconferencing and traditional face-to-face meetings accomplish the same result, but they are distinct channels of communication and have specific challenges.

Thus, it is important to be aware of these 11 virtual meeting etiquette rules and avoid embarrassing gaffes:

1. Prepare an agenda

You can extract the most out of an online meeting by setting an agenda and sending any slides or material before the meeting.

Meetings are more productive and professional when all participants are aware of discussion items. It keeps participants engaged and ensures that important items are not missed.

Also, following an agenda will prevent meetings from extending too much. This respects everyone’s time, especially parents who are juggling childcare and work. 

2. Dress appropriately

One of the perks of remote work is that you can wear casual, comfortable clothes. However, it is unprofessional to turn up for a video call in pyjamas and unkempt hair. 

Dress appropriately in workwear (and don’t assume people can’t see you from the waist down). 

Clients will judge the way you present yourself--from the way you speak to how you dress. Also, dressing well will put you in the mindset for productive work.

3. Have an appropriate background and surroundings

You may not have the space for a home office but that doesn’t mean that you cannot keep your background neat and presentable. 

How can you expect prospects to take you seriously or pay attention to what you’re saying if there’s an unmade bed or dirty laundry in the background?

Keep these pointers in mind:

  • Set up your camera such that there is a wall in the background. No beds, closets, or any objects you wouldn’t be comfortable within an office setting.
  • Make sure you face a window to get natural light or use a space with good lighting.
  • Understandably, everybody is at home due to the pandemic. But attempt to reduce distractions as much as possible. Request the household to be quiet during your calls. 
  • If it is not possible to keep your surroundings neutral, you can use software to blur your background or use a custom background.

Appropriate Background

Photo by Mikey Harris on Unsplash

4. Mute microphone when not talking

It is good online meeting etiquette to mute your microphone when you’re not talking so that your background noise does not disturb the speakers. 

If you develop a habit of muting yourself during meetings, you can avoid embarrassing situations where your prospects or co-workers hear you (or a family member) say something inappropriate.

5. Don’t eat during meetings

Or at least turn off your audio and video and inform your co-workers that you’re taking a break. 

Nevertheless, avoid snacking during meetings because it hinders your concentration and disturbs other participants. 

Do we even need to say how unprofessional you will look if you’re munching during a call with a prospect?

6. Start with introductions.

It is considered rude to enter virtual meetings and fail to introduce yourself. Good virtual meeting etiquette demands that you say hello and announce your name. 

But remember not to interrupt someone or speak over somebody--it leaves a poor impression of you.

If you’re the host and the participants are not familiar with each other, have a round of introductions before starting with the agenda items.

7. Test your setup beforehand.

A good way to respect other people’s time (and avoid wasting time fixing technical issues) is to enter the meeting a few minutes early. 

This gives you a chance to check if your camera and microphone are working properly. 

You can also fix any issues with lighting or background before the meeting starts.

8. Look at the camera, speak clearly, and be present.

It is difficult to pick up body language cues on video calls or to look at everyone at the same time. Help your prospects and co-workers hear you well by looking directly at the camera and speaking clearly.

Don’t try to multitask during a meeting as you might miss something important. Project positive body language, sit up straight, and don’t make sudden movements. Other people will not be able to see you clearly. 

Virtual Meeting Behaviour

Source: Zippia (2020 survey)

9. Do not type on the keyboard during meetings

The microphone on your computer is very close to the keyboard, so if you answer emails or type notes during a meeting, it will disturb everyone. It will also prevent you from paying full attention to the meeting.

Use a pen and paper and a headset to avoid distractions and take notes. 

10. Protect sensitive or confidential information

If you’re going to be using screen-sharing tools to collaborate during an online meeting, remember to remove sensitive or confidential information from your screen. 

Turn off notifications and keep your desktop neat and clutter-free.

11. Plan an effective wrap-up 

This tip is useful if you’re hosting the meeting. Ensure that everyone is on the same page by wrapping up the meeting with a summary of the discussion and action items. 

Do’s and Don'ts in Online Meeting

Do’s Don'ts
Ask for agenda and prepare accordingly Come unprepared or come up with irrelevant points
Focus just on the meet Do other work simultaneously
If you share space then let others know you are in the meeting Don’t keep quiet especially if ideas are expected from you.
Mute all your notifications Whisper or talk with people around you
Log in to the meet 5 minutes ahead Don’t join late and leave early
Always log in with your video ON in one-on-one meetings Stay invisible in the entire meet especially when you are the only other participant
Stay muted when you are not speaking Use multiple devices
Speak slowly Raise your voice

Final Thoughts

When all participants are aware of virtual meeting etiquette, business can be conducted more efficiently and productively. What is most important is that you be fully present at every meeting irrespective of whether you’re muted or not. 

Rafiki is a revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence platform that can help you organize and derive insights from your sales calls. You also receive instant analyses of your calls that include topics that generated the most discussion, the most common customer objections, and areas for improvement based on data. 

Contact us to know more about how we can help you.

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