Conversation Intelligence Software: Everything You Need To Know

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

How To Build Talk Tracks That Win In B2B Sales?

The goal of any sale is a favorable exchange of value or service for monetary compensation. The sales models vary across industry, deal-stage, or designation, but the framework of value exchange remains the same. This blog discusses talk tracks, a conversation structure used by salespersons to favorably navigate their sales interactions with prospects, customers, or other stakeholders, and how to build winning ones.

What are talk tracks?

Simply put, a talk track is a conversation structure designed to assist salespeople while they converse with prospects and stakeholders. The goal of a talk track is to help the sales person push communication with prospects towards closing by gathering required information (qualification), communicating the value of their offering (pitch), and answering questions or concerns potential customers might have (objection handling). 

How are they different from a script?

Call scripts offer little flexibility to the salesperson to take control of the conversation. Call scripts take a one-size-fits-all approach. All reps must do is stick to the call script no matter what prospects say. It is assumed that this call script will give the highest success rate. 

On the other hand, talk tracks only give a direction for sales reps to follow. They are a set of conversational cues listed together to help salespeople set the tone, and take control of the conversation. The sales reps can steer the conversation as they fit after considering their prospects’ inputs. They enable reps to take more of a customizable approach to selling.

Key Differences

Talk tracks suit companies that have not yet nailed their pitch, whereas call scripts are better for companies that have their pitch locked in and want to scale their selling efforts. With the sales landscape shifting almost every day, no company should rely on just one approach.

Talk TrackCall Script
A general outline of the conversationSpecific structure to a conversation
Offers some freedom to sales repsGenerally rigid and offers little flexibility
Reps can handle outlier conversations since they don’t rely on talk tracks 100%Inexperienced reps can get stuck with outlier conversations since the script does not have an ‘answer’
Table highlighting key differences between talk tracks and call scripts.

Framework to build talk tracks that win

  1. Listen to your customer calls/ user research
    Good talk tracks rely on ground data and not on assumptions. The first step is to listen to your team's calls with prospects, users, and other stakeholders. These calls will help you spot emerging patterns of objections, comments, and feedback from both successful and unsuccessful calls. If you are not already recording and transcribing your customer-facing conversations and syncing with your CRM, you lack the foundation piece for building a successful talk track.
  1. Incorporate learning from step 1 and build a draft
    Once you have reviewed conversation feedback, build talk tracks that address pain points unearthed from step 1. Bucket pain points in broader categories such as budget, features, authority, and competitors. When you can bucket the issues and discussions discovered in step 1 into a set of issue categories, write down conversation cues that will help reps handle each of those categories in a real call. Take care to pre-empt questions or concerns a prospect may have while discussing your product, and also add questions that will help reps understand the prospects' concerns. Here's a step-by-step video of how you can use insights from Rafiki to build data-backed talk tracks.
Build talk tracks that win with Rafiki's conversation intelligence
  1. Discuss with your team and iterate but leave room for personalization
    Once you have a talk track draft built, discuss it with your team and iterate it a couple more times. Don't get to the specifics and leave some room for the reps to take control when they see fit. The key is to find an optimal middle ground between reps ‘winging it’ and following a rule book. The talk tracks must have buy-in from your team and are adopting it on their calls, or else the whole exercise is useless.
  1. Coach your team with a conversation intelligence platform to perform with the talk tracks
    Don’t just rely on dry runs to coach. Monitor how reps are performing with the talk tracks on their customer calls. Actively review their conversation metrics such as talk-listen ratio, interactivity, question rate, sequence of topics discussed, and duration of each conversation topic discussed to understand the quality of their conversation and how that impacts their win rates. Appreciate when they do well with the talk track and give feedback when you feel they could improve something. Continuous training improves net sales per employee by 50%. Again, it is futile to rely on subjective opinions to build a robust talk track strategy - a conversation intelligence platform is a must-have to coach your team to be winners.
  1. Improve the talk tracks continuously and don’t ignore follow-ups
    While getting out a successful talk track that is winning you demos and subsequent deals is commendable, the dynamics of your market can change in a snap. Also, having talk tracks or email templates ready for following-up post meetings is critical to retaining prospects’ interest and seeing through the deal until closing. Only 1 in 4 demos result in a conversion. A deal failing one step away from purchase is still a LOST DEAL. 

Potholes to avoid while building sales talk tracks

Feature-dumping

Making talk tracks about features and product-specific jargon without leaving space to assess prospect needs or interest is detrimental to the objective of talk tracks. The idea is to communicate value organically with use-cases as the foundation, not product engineering. 

Information overloading

Considering your reps have done solid prospecting, the talk tracks should tie value to prospects’ needs. Talking about multiple features to any prospect who has come looking for a niche functionality to solve their business problem may come off as bragging and hinder purchase decisions.

Not having a call to action

Talk tracks should incorporate a call to action for both reps and customers. Whether it is setting up the next meeting, sharing collateral, or following up, if talk tracks do not contain a call to action, the purpose of creating them is defeated. The goal is for sales reps to take control of the conversation and steer the conversation to closing.

Relying on opinions and not ground-reality

Talk tracks must be built on thorough research, data, and collaboration - not on hear-say! With plenty of conversation intelligence tools available in the market and tools such as Rafiki bringing conversation and revenue intelligence to affordable prices, not investing in such a solution is similar to handicapping yourself in a business context.

How Rafiki can help you build adaptive talk tracks

Rafiki helps you understand the ground reality of your customer conversations. It alerts you for deal risks such as competitor mentions, ghosted accounts, single-threaded conversations, and more so you can take corrective action and never miss a winnable deal. Unlike traditional conversation intelligence solutions that stop at demo analysis, Rafiki helps you contextually follow up with prospects post-demo, and ensure that your deals close.

Conversation intelligence metrics given by Rafiki that enables sales teams to build talk-tracks
Conversation intelligence given by Rafiki

You can build successful talk tracks by leveraging Rafiki’s AI-generated topic tracks for each meeting to ensure your reps are saying the right things at the right time.




With Rafiki’s topic search across meetings, notes, deals, and emails, you can spot emerging patterns, tweak your talk tracks, and stay ahead of the curve.




Get Rafiki today and build deal-winning talk tracks in days, not months! Want to know more about how you can leverage customer conversations to win more deals? Reach us at [email protected] for a free consultation with our sales experts.

Discovery Call in Sales: Definition, Stages & Questions

How do you structure a discovery call?

The discovery call is a sales rep's playfield. The success of a discovery call purely lies in the hands of a sales rep. The better the questions they ask, the better their discovery about prospects' requirements. Discovery calls can quickly escalate into a question-answer session. Good reps know how to extract information without giving prospects a feeling of being interrogated.

The most crucial part of closing a deal is convincing a client. A successful sale essentially involves a satisfied buyer and seller. While most of us know this, the vital question is - how to achieve it? 

In other words, how do you proceed after a lead has shown interest in your product or service? Without proper navigation, all your efforts can go in vain.

That is where a discovery call comes in as your aid. This blog explains the different steps of converting prospects into opportunities with the help of a discovery call. 

What is a discovery call?

Here is the classic definition of a discovery call 

"Discovery call is the first conversation or meeting between a sales rep and a lead."

It acts as a bridge between the buyer and seller.

  • For a buyer, a discovery call is a solution finder for their current problem.
  • For the seller, the discovery call is an opportunity to identify buyers' requirements and convert them into prospects for future sales.

Without building a solid relationship and discovering prospects' pain points, a salesperson can not turn them into an opportunity. Mutual understanding between the seller and buyer is precisely the objective of any discovery call. The discovery call helps sales reps learn prospects' objectives and qualify if prospects are fit for a sale.

How do you structure a discovery call?

The discovery call is a sales rep's playfield. The success of a discovery call purely lies in the hands of a sales rep. The better the questions they ask, the better their discovery about prospects' requirements. Discovery calls can quickly escalate into a question-answer session. Good reps know how to extract information without giving prospects a feeling of being interrogated.

Discovery call checklist for your calls to win
Discovery Call Checklist

Here are the six steps involved in a discovery call:

1. Research

Preparation is the key to success. After scheduling the discovery call, as a sales rep, you must gather as much information as possible about the prospect. Don't ask everything on the call; it may frustrate the lead and even push them towards your competitors.

Now think of a situation where you are on a discovery call and get asked questions like - 

  • What's your position in the organization?
  • What are your responsibilities?
  • Where are you currently located?

There are high chances that the prospect will be frustrated, just like you, on hearing these questions.

To learn about the client’s professional life, use Linkedin. To explore their true personality outside work examine their Facebook or Instagram accounts. In case you still don't have enough information, you can always Google and find crucial information available on other platforms.

When you have accumulated enough information, you can limit the number of unwanted questions and talk only about what is relevant to the call. Leave an excellent first impression by letting your clients know that you have done your due diligence before getting on the call. A positive first impression is a powerful driver for your clients to purchase from you.

2. Qualification

It's time to start the call! The primary purpose of this stage is to check whether the prospect can turn into an opportunity or not. In short, this is the time when you check for mutual fit. 

For example, if you are a digital marketing agency specializing in Facebook ads, you can ask questions such as - 

  • How do you find your leads currently?
  • What are the different marketing tools you use?
  • Is there any reason for choosing these platforms?
  • What is the budget you have assigned to social media marketing?

Answers to the above questions will help you find whether the prospect falls under your Ideal Customer Profile or not.

Here is a tip: Do not bombard them with all the questions in one go. Make the prospect answers one question at a time. While they answer each question, make sure you pay rapt attention and note down important points, if possible.

3. Identify pain points

The prospect has reached your doorstep because they have a problem. However, there is a big challenge waiting for you here. Not every client is clear about their pain points. Some might even be unaware that they have difficulty in an existing process.

This is where you come up with some probing discovery questions like:

  • What prevents you from achieving your goal?
  • Is < Problem-related to pain point> the biggest challenge you face right now?
  • What is the most frustrating part of this entire process?
  • Why is it essential to find a solution now?

Listen to their answers carefully as the answers would drive strategy in the next step.

4. Intensify pain points

It is now time to stir up the prospects' problems and make them realize the seriousness of it. They must understand the gravity of the situation and the dire consequences they will face if they don't fix it with an optimal solution.

In short, show them the magnitude of their problems with some razor-sharp questions to trigger their curiosity or FOMO to find a solution.

Here are some questions you can lead with: 

  • What happens if you don't achieve your goal?
  • How is the issue impacting you and your team?
  • What is the estimated cash drain you face because of this <problem>?
  • How many opportunities have you missed because of this problem?

5. Offer the solution

By this stage, your client should have made the decision to look for a solution to their problems. Unleash your product as the much-needed solution for their pain points. 

You have to subtly unlock your offering's benefits and make them come up with more questions about your product. A typical sales discovery question at this stage could be 

“If you have (the benefit/feature of your product), what change do you think can happen in your business?”

For example, if you own a Sales Outreach tool and one of your features is a repository of customized email templates, then the question should be

“If you have a repository of customized email templates, how much money can your business save?”

To such discovery call questions, you might want to add some additional lubricant to avoid friction. Yes, we are talking about social proof. Display testimonials, case studies, and data points to validate how the feature in question has already helped your other clients in the past.

6. Recommending Next Steps

That's it! You're about to hang up the call. Till now, you haven't manipulated or forced your customer to make a decision. Good job! 

Now keep your recommendation simple - 

"As a solution to you, I would recommend you to (do this)."

It can either be an invitation to the next call or demo or free trial signup - just drop the recommendation you think is most appropriate. If the customer is interested, they will take the next step. Don’t forget to thank the prospect for spending their valuable time with you before ending the call.

Where does Rafiki fit in a discovery call?

Without evaluation, how can you determine your success?

Without noticing your mistake, how can you improve your next discovery call?

That's where Rafiki comes into play. Rafiki is a revenue and conversation intelligence platform that offers you an excellent opportunity to organize and retrieve intelligible insights from your discovery call.

With Rafiki's state-of-the-art transcription, you can quickly analyze the performance of your conversations, the topic sequences that are most successful, and common mistakes that kill your deals. Apart from giving you automatic AI-generated notes sorted by topics discussed, Rafiki also offers one-click integration with popular CRMs, web conferencing applications, and dialers. All your conversations are centralized and easily searchable for you to unearth deal-winning insights in minutes, not days!

To know more about Rafiki and how it can help you streamline your customer-facing calls right from the discovery call up to your demo, contact us today.

5 reasons outdated sales follow-up methods cost 20% of B2B deals in 2022?

Not all well-done demo meetings convert to closed deals. According to a published Softletter report, SaaS companies report trial-conversion rates of 25%. At that rate, your business is losing 3 out of 4 prospects with ‘buying intent’. While there could be many reasons, the advent of remote selling has resulted in shrinking attention spans and an information hoard in buyers’ inboxes. Reps in 2022 who still follow typical sales follow-up strategies to get the attention of their prospects after demos are seriously underequipped. Legacy sales follow-up strategies that rely on templated email sequences at best delay deal closings and at worst bust winnable deals. A critical gap in the effectiveness of typical B2B sales follow-up approaches becomes evident when they get put through the numbers test. This gap of ineffective post-demo sales follow-up acts as a silent killer of revenue. 

This blog sheds light on FIVE reasons why legacy sales follow-up strategies are ineffective in the B2B selling landscape of 2022.

1. Missed points during demos due to limited attention span

Reps try hard but often miss ket points.
Reps try hard but still often miss key points!

Reps do all the hard work of getting the demo with prospects and delivering pitches that they have rehearsed multiple times. But they can not always communicate all the key selling points in a meeting, either due to lack of time or not having appropriate information ready to respond to the plethora of questions from prospects about the service. Even if they somehow manage to squeeze in all of the critical points whether those points stick with prospects is a serious question. A recent study by Microsoft concluded that the human attention span has dropped to eight seconds – shrinking nearly 25% in just a few years. The undelivered selling points and key factors that prospects misconceive, along with their distracted attention spans grievously stall the flow from demo to deal.

2. Ineffective follow-up methods

Post-demo sales follow-ups are a must! But are they as effective?

As a standard practice, most sales follow-ups boil down to creating and automating an email sequence or using a typical email recap of prior meetings with some action items. According to Gartner, ​​only 23.9% of sales emails get opened. The optimal number of follow-up emails to send is 2-3.

Reps must capture the attention of prospects and keep their interest alive within these 2-3 spaced-out emails. If not, they stand to lose winnable deals despite doing the hard work of capturing attention and delivering a good pitch. Just spaced out, old-school text emails do not cut it anymore. Reps need to reinforce their follow-up message with compelling, personalized content that cuts through the noise of inundated inboxes.

3. Surface level personalization without context

A barrage of sales follow-up emails without context, most likely end up getting marked as SPAM!

“Hey {first.name}, how’s the weather at {city}?” is no longer active personalization. Emails with “Circling back”, “Touch-base” and other such jargon find themselves in the trash folder. They are perceived as mere sales attempts by prospects and not as value-add emails to follow up. Typical personalized messages as part of follow-up sequences, even after a great demo meeting, still do not have the desired effect on prospects because they offer no context of prior meetings.

To offer complete context, throwbacks in the emails must refer to key demo moments with the prospect.

However, the throwback references make the emails much longer to create, and generic links to the entire meeting from a typical conversation intelligence tool stand to lose prospect attention. Who has the time to review the whole meeting looking for context? Reps get caught in a catch-22 situation that hinders them from taking their deal forward - despite having the recording from legacy conversation intelligence tools if at all they have one.

4. Non-centralized information

Are you helping prospects cut through the clutter of disorganized information to make a solid purchase decision?

Even in the rare case that reps have delivered all value-adding points, followed up with the whole context, and have sent all persuasive material to their prospects, lack of centralized information comes back to bite them. The prospects have to sift through lengthy email threads, application-hop to find collateral, and validate their purchase recommendation multiple sources to their higher-ups. The lack of centralized information on the deal hurts the deal itself.

77% of B2B buyers say their latest purchase was either “Difficult” or “Very Complex”. They have to hop across meeting videos, phone calls, battle cards, pricing sheets, chats with reps to consolidate information. They have no incentive to put in additional effort to prove a certain offering is better, especially when they are pressed with their daily organizational duties. It is fair to assume, they are unlikely to do a thorough job!

According to Forbes, 67% of B2B buyers say easy access to pricing and competitive information is vital to their purchase decision, and 75% say it is very important for vendors to share relevant content that speaks directly to their needs. Prospects would choose a solution that offers them consolidated information. While the lack of unified information causes the prospects' side to take a ‘less-than-best’ decision, it also ends up undoing all the hard work of reps close to closing the deal.

5. No one buys alone. Multiple decision-making stakeholders looped in late

Decision maker vs action taker
How many decision-makers are reps able to convince through their demos and post-demo sales follow-ups?

According to Forbes, “The B2B buying group consists of 6 to 10 decision-makers, each armed with four to five pieces of information they have gathered independently, and all must communicate with one another to figure out whether they should buy the solution.” The buyer enablement material reps share with prospects should cater to each buyer-side stakeholder's information requirements. In many cases, the decision-makers are looped in at later stages and have to make decisions based on the recommendation of juniors without much information or context. The onus once again falls on the reps to deliver centralized information, with the whole meeting context to all cadres of decision-makers, and enable them to make purchases best suited to their needs.

The solution to follow up better and close deals faster

Reps need to have better post-meeting sales engagement tools that are game-changers to truly help them to reach out to prospects with the whole meeting and communication context, answer their questions in reference to their meetings, offer a centralized source of information, and can act as an information trove for stakeholders looped in late to the party. Such needs had to be fulfilled by different applications serving specific purposes before Rafiki!

If you still adopt legacy sales follow-up methods without Rafiki, you are missing out!

Rafiki is an AI-powered sales engagement intelligence platform that enables sales teams to close deals 20% faster. With Rafiki, reps can record & transcribe meetings, create video snippets of key meeting moments flagged by Rafiki’s AI, add in-line comments to the snippets and share them with prospects through a deal-exclusive communication channel. Rafiki enables reps to share meeting information and address prospects' questions async with the whole meeting context. Rafiki helps reps act as a concierge service throughout the prospects’ buying journey and deliver a great buying experience. By enabling reps to give a cohesive buying experience, Rafiki helps accelerate the process from demo to deal and ensures that winnable deals never slip out of reps’ hands.