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Sales Calls Have Gone Virtual, and AI Is Listening In

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has converted thousands of salespeople from road warriors to Zoom warriors. Some companies are making the most of this shift by using tools powered by artificial intelligence to track and analyze their salesforce’s virtual pitches.

“You definitely miss the lunch, the dinner, the happy hour,” says Jeramee Waldum, vice president of global sales at MavenLink, a maker of project management software whose dozens of once-traveling salespeople are now stuck behind webcams.

Before Covid, Waldum says the MavenLink sales team spent roughly half its time on the road, treating customers to lunches, holding seminars with prospective clients, and chasing down signatures to close a deal. “We’ve had to get creative,” Waldum says. “We've done the virtual wine tastings, we've done virtual lunches.”

Besides such innovations, MavenLink uses a tool called Chorus to record and analyze sales video calls. It automatically transcribes speech, showing for example when salespeople speak too much, fail to steer the conversation away from competitors’ products, or forget to plan a follow-up chat.

Waldum says Chorus helped his team land a recent deal by quickly highlighting a client’s concerns about finding and allocating staff for projects. After analyzing previous calls, MavenLink pitched a newly developed database product for managing staff.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/sales-calls-virtual-ai-listening/

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