Conversation Intelligence Software: Everything You Need To Know

Published on July 28, 2022
Thejas Sridhar
Product Marketing Specialist | Rafiki

What is conversation intelligence software?

Conversation intelligence is the AI technology that gives customer-facing teams key insights into their conversations with customers. Conversation Intelligence solutions record the sales, success, marketing, and support teams' conversations, transcribe, track who said what about what, analyze for a topic to improve sales person’s performance pitch and delivery,   product marketer’s value proposition, sales velocity, conversion, increase revenue and customer satisfaction.

The global conversation intelligence market is growing at a phenomenal pace. The worldwide Conversation Intelligence Platform Market size is projected to go from USD 6.8 billion in 2022 to USD 18.4 billion by 2028, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.8% during the conjecture time frame.

Considering the value it brings to companies that look to scale, I will not be surprised if such solutions end up emulating CRMs' growth story.

Reality breakup of most sales processes show why conversation intelligence is important.
Reality break-up of most sales processes

How does it work?

Most conversation intelligence solutions record, transcribe, and analyze conversations using AI technology. The conversations are either pulled from web-conferencing or dialer applications - where most customer-facing conversations happen. The conversation intelligence platform either natively integrates with your conference application or has a bot that gets invited to join meetings and calls. 

The call recording is stored, and the conversation gets transcribed using AI to give insights such as topics discussed, duration of topics discussed, call notes and more. Customers can go back to this conversation when they want some data or if they want to review conversations.

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How conversation intelligence solutions work.
How typical conversation intelligence solutions work

Applications such as otter.ai, offer real-time transcription of conversations and are not to be confused with conversation intelligence solutions. Conversation Intelligence solutions add layers of functionality compared to vanilla transcription tools that give actionable insights. For example, customers can track conversation metrics such as talk-listen ratio, interactivity, question-rate, monologues, etc., and understand how their conversations are going. They can use this data to alter their conversations to bring conversion metrics back to the ideal range to deliver a better customer experience in their conversations.  

Conversation Intelligence Use Cases

The scope of conversation intelligence reaches any department that benefits from having data from their conversation stored, and analyzed. It is most commonly used by sales, enablement, customer success, product, and marketing teams. The technology, if needed, could be altered to help even departments such as recruiting, ITOps, development, and more. But it is rare to find these departments actively working with conversation intelligence solutions just yet.

1. Sales Teams - Know where your revenue will come from

Conversation intelligence solutions allow sales teams to get a hawk-eye view of all conversations in one shot. Sales coaches can quickly zero in on key deal indicators such as stakeholders, decision-maker involvement, deal communication velocity, and other key metrics that impact their forecast and quota attainment.

2. Enablement Teams - Ramp teams quickly and give your team the playbook to succeed.

Enablement teams can use the insights from their conversations to create onboarding playlists with common objection handling techniques, do’s and don’ts of pitches, and more. New reps can refer to these playlists and get ramped up faster. Enablement leaders can empower new reps with pitch playbooks that have worked well for them and set them up for success from day one. 

3. Customer Success Teams - Give your customers what they want before they ask.

Customer success teams can pick up on customer cues even when not mentioned directly by the customers. They can spot upsell or cross-sell opportunities based on customer conversations and bring additional revenue. Additionally, they can address recurring issues and provide a stellar customer experience to ensure customers are retained and also help them grow. 

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4. Startup-Founders: Find product-market fit early and implement user feedback instantly

Startup founders can quickly understand if their product fits the market they’re trying to enter, the gaps they need to address to become a successful solution, and even gaps left by competitors that they can fill to attract more customers. Feedback from users is oxygen to startup founders. They can shorten the turn-around time to implement feedback since they can directly take feedback from end-users to their product teams and build truly customer-focused products. 

Some conversation intelligence platforms like Rafiki even offer exclusive pricing plans for startups. All you have to do is drop a line to them.

At what stage do you need a conversation intelligence solution?

The days when having a conversation intelligence solution was a competitive advantage are long gone. Now conversation intelligence solutions have become table-stakes for any organization that is serious about its growth and aspires to be customer-centric in its approach. The advent of the pandemic brought out the need for such technology while teams worked remotely and only catalyzed the adoption of conversation intelligence. It is best to have conversation intelligence as part of your initial tech stack itself. In case you are a startup founder confused about what tools you should have on your tech stack, check this blog

We recommend that companies of all sizes must have conversation intelligence platforms in their tech stack unless they are 0-touch companies with no conversations with their customers at all! The uses of the solution may vary according to the company’s growth stage, but at no point is such solutions a burden to the budget and the tech stack.

How does conversation intelligence help organizations of all sizes?

1. Micro-sized business: less than 10 employees

Members of a micro-business usually don multiple hats. They handle sales, customer success, product support, product development, and a lot more departments with limited time and resources. It is critical for employees of such a lean organization to be on top of customer conversations for continued success and growth. A conversation intelligence platform is needed for them to understand customer requirements, why people are coming to them, what their drawbacks are, and a lot more. Customer insights drawn at this stage will form the skeleton of the organization’s processes and frameworks they will use in the future to scale. 

2. Small-sized business: 10-49 employees 

At this stage, companies are hiring outsiders and giving autonomy to departments. The founding team’s goal is to communicate their company’s mission and onboard people with the right skillsets to work towards it. Conversation intelligence platforms help organizations at this stage pass on the correct information to each team without any data leaks so that the whole organization has a unified selling method.

3. Medium business: 50-249 employees

Medium-size businesses sell on multiple fronts and handle different types of clients across their teams. Conversation intelligence helps such organizations with entering data to their CRM, generating meeting notes reviewing calls of new reps, understanding what’s working and what’s not, and spotting emerging trends and competitor mentions. 

The data insights from conversation intelligence platforms serve the platform on which mid-size companies base their selling strategies. Companies without conversation intelligence at this stage are making life much harder than it needs to be for themselves. 

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4. Large-sized business: more than 250 employees.

In large organizations, functions are well defined. Each organization's function has a strategic goal to achieve. Reps are handling multiple accounts concurrently while also prospecting to fill their pipeline. At this stage, even gaining visibility into what is going on in customer conversations becomes a critical challenge for the leadership team to achieve. That’s why organizations at this stage rely heavily on conversation intelligence to formulate their growth plans.

With data about every rep’s every meeting, the deal information from the CRM, deal-activity time-line, and their conversation metrics, leaders of such organizations can implement personalized feedback at scale with the right conversation intelligence solution.

Factors to consider when choosing a conversation intelligence software 

1. Conversation Intelligence Software's Feature List

Conversation intelligence tools have to work! There are no second chances as the customer calls happen only once. The software did not work? Too bad! The insights from the customer conversation are already lost. The recording, transcription, and analysis must work error-free, without which any insights will always be subjective. The below pyramid of needs can help you decide on the solutions you should purchase.

Conversation Intelligence - Hierarchy Of Needs

2. Barrier To Entry

Unpopular opinion: If a solution is not open for all to try, they’re trying to filter out some takers. 

If a conversation intelligence solution has license minimums and hefty registration costs upfront, it indicates that the software company is targeting larger companies and may not be suited for all. It might be prudent to take a free trial of the solution to understand the features you will be using and see if you’re paying exorbitant license costs for features that you may not even use. If a solution does not offer a free trial, you most probably will over-pay for features you may not need now in case you go with such a solution. It is a good idea to look for robust alternatives that can do an equally good job at a much better price. Of course, you need to trial the solution to validate how good it is.

3. Integrations 

Look for conversation intelligence solutions that work with the tech stack you are already using. Since all data on such a platform comes from conversations happening in your other apps, one-click, out-of-the-box integrations should be a deciding factor. For example, many mid-sized companies use Zoho CRM or Freshsales instead of Salesforce. So if a conversion intelligence platform does not integrate with these CRMs out of the box, there is no point in considering the solution. 

Critical integrations to check:

  1. Calendar - To find meetings
  2. Web Conference application - To record video meetings, and get high-quality transcripts.
  3. Dialer - To get call recording and high-quality transcripts.
  4. CRM - To synchronize meetings, notes, and deal activity, and configure deal warnings for all accounts. 
  5. Email - To track deal communication and follow-up messages for each deal.

4. Support and Security 

Look at the after-sales support a conversation intelligence company offers. Their quick turn-around time and the correct resolutions could be the difference between winning or losing deals. High-quality support should not be restricted only to a few customers. Any conversation intelligence solution that offers white-glove support is a positive sign.

Conversation intelligence deals with customer data. Security should not be compromised at any cost. Look for solutions that are SOC2 compliant to ensure the safety of your data.

Best conversation intelligence solutions in the market right now

1. Rafiki

Rafiki is a completely bootstrapped revenue and conversation intelligence platform that brings enterprise-grade features at an SMB price. It empowers customer-facing teams with conversation insights they can leverage to close more deals faster, ramp up reps in half the time, and build a deal-winning pitch strategy. Rafiki brings an exclusive post-demo follow-up module that helps users send video snippets of key meeting moments in their follow-up email to rekindle prospect interest and ensure deals close post demo. 

With full functionality of both a note-taker and a conversation intelligence platform, an exclusive follow-up module, and no license minimums or registration fees, Rafiki is built for teams looking to scale with flexible pricing.

Pros:

  • No license minimums or registration costs upfront. 
  • Brings 95% of revenue and conversation intelligence capabilities.
  • It is aggressively priced to suit SMBs.
  • One-click integration with mid-size CRMs such as Zoho, Freshsales, and Pipedrive in addition to Salesforce and HubSpot.
  • SOC 2 Compliant.
  • Exclusive post-demo follow-up and tracking module to help users close deals post-demo

Cons:

  • Does not have deep customization capabilities. 
  • Supports 3 languages currently.
  • Does not have a mobile app. 

2. Gong

Gong is a conversation intelligence solution that now has become a revenue intelligence solution. It is a robust revenue intelligence solution that helps customer-facing teams get better with their calls. Gong supports 9 languages currently with support for more being added. While Gong is to be credited to bring the revenue intelligence market to light, its hefty registration costs, enterprise pricing, and lack of integration with mid-market CRMs make it a good choice only for enterprise customers and not for growth stage SMBs.

Pros:

  • Highly rated revenue intelligence platform. 
  • Deep customization and permission management options for a global workforce.
  • Mobile App
  • Support for multiple languages

Cons:

  • High up-front costs. Has fixed license minimums and registration fees. 
  • UI is complex to use.
  • Does not integrate with mid-size CRMs.
  • Bot joining meetings is considered intrusive by many. 

3. Chorus (Acquired by Zoominfo)

Chorus.ai is a conversation intelligence platform for high-growth sales teams. Founded in 2015, Chorus.ai’s conversation intelligence platform identifies and helps teams replicate the performance of top-performing reps by analyzing their sales meetings. Chorus focuses primarily on its conversation intelligence capabilities and on building better relationships through conversations. 

Pros:

  • Easier UI to use for beginners.
  • The mobile application is easy to use and helps sellers stay in touch with potential customers.
  • Gives complete conversation metrics.

Cons:

  • High costs with user minimums and registration fees.
  • Does not sync with mid-size CRMs.
  • Revenue intelligence capabilities could be better for the price.
  • Call filtering capabilities sometime do not work. 

4. Wingman (Acquired by Clari)

Wingman is an actionable conversation intelligence platform that unlocks insights from every sales interaction. Customers can use Wingman to record their calls, review deals, scale coaching, and build a repeatable sales machine.

Pros: 

  • Easy setup and usage
  • Good after-sales support
  • Pipedrive Integration

Cons: 

  • Transcription quality could be better
  • Lack of integration with mid-size CRMs such as Zoho, and Freshsales.
  • Reported incidents of technical glitches where meeting recordings were missed. 

Final Ruling: Which conversation intelligence software should you choose?

  • If you are an enterprise company looking to go for a conversation and revenue intelligence solution to help your global workforce and only the available features affect your decision, go with Gong.
  • If you’re an enterprise company looking for mainly a conversation intelligence solution to help you fine-tune your conversation and an easier UI to use, go with Chorus.
     
  • If you are a small or mid-size business looking for a robust conversation and revenue intelligence platform that offers almost all the features, integrates with mid-size CRMs, and offers flexible pricing to help you scale, Rafiki is a no-brainer!

We may be biased but when Rafiki offers 95% of enterprise-grade revenue and conversation intelligence features at just 25% of their cost, choosing any other solution feels like either a compromise on features or the cost.

⋙ Checkout how Rafiki helps SDR's to convert more leads

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