As a sales manager, it’s tough to maintain consistent performance among your entire team.
When you’re split in a million different directions, making time to listen to critical conversations between reps and prospects can seem like a luxury. However, monitoring your reps’ best (and worst) sales conversations is crucial to decide what is or isn’t working, so you can improve your overall team performance.
But how can you do this at scale without eating up your entire day? That’s where call intelligence comes in.
Call intelligence is a critical technological advancement that enables sales managers to coach their teams at scale. It does this by analyzing sales calls & automatically surfacing key insights, allowing you to coach to the most critical moments.
This, in turn, boosts your team’s productivity, develops insights, and enables a predictable pipeline.
Let’s cover what call intelligence is, how it works, and why it’s a worthwhile investment for your sales operation.
Call intelligence vs. call tracking or recording
Nearly every sales manager is familiar with call recording. It’s a great way to have a record of sales performance. Essentially, it’s a “game tape” to help identify areas for improvement.
But when you manage a large sales team—especially if you have multiple levels of managers—other things take priority over call reviews. Eventually, you end up with a ballooning library of recordings that no one is reviewing.
Call intelligence helps solve this problem. Consider it a step up from simple call recording: it’s an AI-powered technology that surfaces insights that would be nearly impossible to process on your own.
Call intelligence tools automatically transcribe and analyze sales calls, pinpointing key moments that could be “red” or “green” flags in team performance.
These could include:
- Conversation openers and closers
- Talk-listen ratios
- Keywords from both reps and prospects (e.g. product names, competitor names, value props, etc.)
- Action items and next steps
- Customer sentiment
Using call intelligence technology also enables you to share these insights with other team members—like front-line managers or peer coaches. With this information at your disposal, you can streamline rep performance, enabling more predictable pipelines and consistent quotas.
Why your sales team needs call intelligence
Missed quotas and languishing pipelines usually result from problems much earlier in the sales cycle.
The rep may have misqualified the lead, ignored red flags during the conversation that indicated this prospect wasn’t a good fit, or simply didn’t understand how to address key concerns. Sometimes, something as simple as how a rep opens a call can have major ramifications on the success of that relationship.
If you can identify these problems early, you can make simple fixes that have major ramifications down the line.
But if you don’t know what your reps are doing on calls, how will you know what to fix?
This is why call intelligence isn’t a “nice to have.” It’s essential to improve your team’s efforts and effectiveness.
Some reps, especially more senior reps, may be uncomfortable with “Big Brother” watching. But for most reps, the minute that they understand how call intelligence helps them improve their performance (and, as a result, their quotas), they’ll get on board.
So if you want your team to get onboard, you need to understand and communicate the benefits clearly. Here are some that you should definitely keep top of mind.
Better customer interactions
Call intelligence enables you to more quickly identify conversational moments that drive the relationship forward. By analyzing which interactions have a positive vs. negative impact, you can find points of alignment that reps can use to improve conversation quality.
Tailoring conversations to prospects’ behaviors, emotions and sentiments which creates better interactions, long term relationships, and more closed leads.
Real-time course correction
Because it surfaces insights in real time, call intelligence alerts your managers to issues early in the sales cycle, so they can coach those reps and fix the problems before they impact revenue. If something isn’t working, and especially if it’s wasting time and resources, your managers can course-correct to a more effective method or activity.
More predictable pipelines & revenue
By the time you know a rep is missing their quota, it’s too late to fix the problem. Call intelligence identifies the behaviors that predictably impact pipeline performance, and address them early in the sales cycle. When reps are consistently performing well, your pipeline predictions become more accurate.
Increased win rates
Every manager knows what it’s like to deal with underperforming reps. Fewer managers have a consistent, predictable method for pulling back the hood and figuring out what’s causing the problem.
There are host of reasons why a rep or team’s win rate is languishing:
- Poor qualification caused bad fits to enter the pipeline
- Rep didn’t make the value prop clear enough
- Rep waited too long to follow up, resulting in loss of prospect enthusiasm
- Rep reveals pricing info too early, before the value is clearly stated
These are just a few reasons. Call intelligence can mine your calls to quickly figure out exactly where things are going wrong, so you can recover and prevent potential lost leads.
One of the great things about sales as a profession is that success isn’t in the eye of the beholder. Reps either make quota or they don’t. If they do, they’re good. If they don’t, they suck.
Of course, if benchmarking was that simple, we’d all be experts at it. However, waiting to analyze rep performance until you get to the end of the month, quarter, or year means that you’re letting poor performance persist longer than it needs to.
Call intelligence can help solve this problem, analyzing conversation in real time to identify whether reps are on the path to meeting their benchmarks.
Final thoughts on call intelligence
Incorporating automation into your teams via call intelligence is a great way to get fast results to what is and is not working with your team from a clear analytical viewpoint. That said, surfacing insights is one thing; acting on them is another.
That’s why it’s helpful to think of call intelligence as coaching intelligence. Instead of just gathering insights from your calls, you’re gathering insights to inform how your coach reps and drive performance improvement.
Click here to learn more about what coaching intelligence is, and how it can help you make your team better.