Cutting edge tech is at our fingertips. Zoom has released an update of new features including filters, features, reactions, lighting, and more. Platforms like mmhmm from the former CEO of Evernote, Phil Liblin, can help you turn your Zoom calls into an episode of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live. In a remote world, the first place to innovate is within all these Zoom calls we are sitting on. Stand out from the monotony.
Outreach has a smart knowledge assistant called KAIA, voice-enabled – launching as a companion experience to the ZOOM interaction. According to Manny Medina, Outreach’s CEO, “KAIA is recording and transcribing the conversation in real-time. Real-time transcription helps the rep respond to customer questions during the meeting. The rep doesn’t have to take notes because they are being taken care of. You can bookmark the important parts. KAIA can hear a question and a content card pops up with all the information to answer it correctly. Content Cards can link to Google Drive, Report Docs, and even HighSpot to be surfaced in real-time. Imagine a trusted expert that knows pricing updates, all the info at your fingertips.”
Sequencers that allow for pre-programmed emails and touch cadences are getting increasingly sophisticated as XANT, for example, has enough big data to do predictive analytics. This means that plays can be predictive – right person, right channel, right time. They have a digital baseball card on a prospect that imputes the optimal types of touches, the predicted ACV. Can you imagine knowing, “Prospect loves 2 emails, 1 cold call, 1 LinkedIn and typically does an average ACV of 35K.”
Gong, Chorus, and ExecVision are now essential. The category of Conversation Intelligence is now Revenue Intelligence. Coaching remotely, you can listen to calls, calibrate listen-to-talk ratio, hone in on the verbiage, and quality of the top-performing calls. This makes onboarding new reps a snap. I was talking to a sales leader who worked with me at LinkedIn the other day over at RingDNA and she was so self-aware of how long she talks. She was working on shortening her talk time on discovery calls. I thought that was such a self-actualized moment unlocked by new technology.
Another aspect of technology to be thinking about is front-of-site chat. AI-chat bots like Drift let your reps nest and intercept site visitors but you can build interactions based on FAQs almost like a live Wiki so the bot can chat with users on different time zones while you sleep. The thing can generate appointments and leads for you, warming them up on the front of site. Conversica can dig through massive amounts of inbound leads leveraging an AI-engine to interact.
Be wary of Fake AI – wherever you see artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, deep learning AI and neural nets – you are getting into the land of buzzword bingo. Techno babble VC catnip is super helpful to raise money but many of these technologies are simply automation masquerading as AI and don’t benefit the end consumer.
The new go-to-market strategy is to build a stack. One of the best places to look is the Tenbound Market Map. There are so many new families of tech helping to revolutionize nearly every aspect of full-funnel marketing.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is now table stakes. A self-healing database of 700MM professionals, give me a break! You can’t “not” be on Sales Navigator to identify job changes, funding, and get to the next level of research. LinkedIn went from top 40 site to number 16. Connectivity in social media is way up, also cold calling up 20%+ with email reply rates down 35% according to SalesLoft and ConnectAndSell data.
LinkedIn has unlocked native voicemail drops and video drops (inside the platform at the click of a button). They convert well even as the novelty wears off.
The last category of tech that is seeing a resurgence is something called parallel assisted dialing. Why? Because thousands of agents call on direct dials then hot switch to you upon connection. Life at the speed of a thousand dials a day. Connect every 41 attempts with ConnectAndSell. A “weapon of a mass conversation.” We see ConnectLeader and new entrants like Orum duking it out in this category. The beauty of this tech is you can sit at your desk and automagically connect to prospects. Contact rates have gone up slightly but the truth is manually dialing for a 5% connect rate is daunting. LeadIQ has high performant cell phone data as a stop gap measure.
I think Bombora intent data is a really futuristic way to approach account targeting. I just had a demo. It can see which companies are searching on various keywords. You could see surge data from “Hadoop” to position Cloudera, as Lars Nilsson did – way ahead of its time. Business Intelligence to improve ABM targeting is a cutting edge tactic.
We must reevaluate a remote prospect world and the tooling most optional for our prospects to feel trust and intimacy and to collaborate effectively with distributed colleagues. New families of technology are releasing quarterly so run a skunkworks to continuously test, learn, purchase and optimize.
Justin Michael, aka the Tony Stark of XDRs
is Vendor Neutral’s Futurist and author of “Tech-Powered Sales” releasing on HarperCollins in 2021. After two decades of consulting 100+ early-stage startups on hypergrowth and holding leadership roles at LinkedIn, Salesforce, and reporting to Sean Parker, Justin was part of a stealth project where engineers built an AI model of his brain while prospecting with the goal of fully automating sales development itself. He is passionate about AI, ML, NLP, Deep Learning AI, and Neural Network evolution in order to bridge toward the Singularity. His writing seeks to unlock all the ways Marketing and Sales leaders can apply these mechanics to free up the human in the sales process, restoring quality consultative exchanges that drive value.