I’ve given up “selling” at this point, we can get back to that later. For now, I’m grateful to be working for a well-managed and well-funded company that is led by people committed to doing the right thing.

As a provider of banking knowledgeable chatbots/virtual assistants, we capture “utterances” made by real banking customers and use these to train our models to be more and more responsive to what banking customers want to talk to their banks about.

Notice the variability of the context of COVID19 utterances in the graphic above — you might not anticipate refund requests spiking, for…


The impact of COVID19 on our daily lives is unprecedented and, of course, banks are deeply affected. For those of you who don’t know, I work for www.kasisto.com and we provide pre-trained conversational AI powered chatbots to banks. We regularly are in communication with clients and prospective clients and see how they are responding. I have a few observations, perhaps they are helpful.

The Future of Banking…
  • The contact center is vulnerable to “people” problems. Many banks are facing an inability to staff their customer service teams. Nobody was prepared for this, and outsourcers around the world are facing the same challenges — because…

Bottom Line Up Front: Conversational interfaces should be the first interaction channel presented to customers across all “channels” with AI directing the engagement to the best resource available for a given customer intent, including meeting their needs right then and there with no further “navigation” of your digital assets.

I speak with bankers regularly about their digital engagement strategies and I’m struck by a particular phenomenon I see in North American banks.

Morning Consult for ABA Oct 2019

Banks have many channels, and customers in North America are accustomed to having them all available. Branch, phone banking, ATM, email support, call center, chatbots, mobile app…


I love selling technology, and have been at it for a long time. I started in technology sales after the “solution selling revolution” had become fully internalized by industry, particularly the technology industry. Companies like Xerox, IBM and even older companies like Burroughs revolutionized how “sales” worked in the ’60s and ’70s and “solution selling” was the way forward by the time I arrived on the scene in the late ‘80s.

This approach saw the tech sales person as helping a client purchase a solution to a business problem with real bottom line impact on the business. We were to…


Got this message from a senior exec at a bank I’m prospecting:

LinkedIn from a Senior Exec to a Prospecting Message I Sent

LinkedIn is not at all oriented to supporting vendors and buyers working together in ways that work for both parties. We as sellers are reduced to sending connect requests and messages with little to no context. We are told to “network” and “give value”. I tend to think all those ideas are generated by people who don’t actually sell for a living (and I give talks and train on social selling and have a top 1% SSI, so please don’t give me your weak pitch on social selling…


Having recently joined the finserv conversational AI company, Kasisto, I’ve been challenged to think more deeply about the implications and applications of AI that are sprouting all around us.

Robot in Shopping Mall in Kyoto Japan — Photo by Lukas on Unsplash

The first thing to strike me is the very use of the term “artificial”. What is artificial about the decision-making and utterances from a digital assistant? Or the analysis of log files? Or even the two chatbots who decided that english was too inefficient, so they created shortcuts and new aspects to the english language that could not be understood by humans?

I think the use of the term artificial intelligence…


Someday Has Arrived…

Naming names isn’t necessary. The harsh reality of the layoffs and coming shuttering of many VC backed SaaS and other tech companies is already upon us. I don’t relish it, I take no satisfaction in it, but it was utterly predictable and avoidable.

Now, here’s the question that will separate the adults from the children in our business: What did you learn from the insanity of the past 5 years of bubble economics driven by delusional central bankers, and its downstream effects on capital markets and VCs who flung capital around at people like confetti at a…


Sales Specialization Process Model

I’m amazed by the failure rate of today’s sales and marketing efforts in enterprise tech firms (startups and more mature companies too). Surveys show that maybe 20% of “marketing qualified leads” are actually leads. Only 1% of of cold calls turn into opportunities. Cold email response rates are even lower. Check the open rates on your marketing teams “death by spam” campaigns to your prospects and clients — you’d be lucky if they are getting opened 20% of the time.

But that’s not the worst of it. The reality of some young SaaS companies is that many of the “customers”…


Why You Need Partners to Go-to-Market

As the SaaS business grows up, it is facing the same challenges on-premise software providers faced in actually delivering value to their customers. It turns out the there is much more to a “solution” than just a sales pitch and some functionality embedded in software. Going to market with partners is about much more than having a “sales channel”, rather it’s the key to delivering actual value to your customers that they can realize in their environment. A few thoughts for you:

Market Intelligence — Partners are intimate with market segments in ways that you cannot be. They can often…


Do They Mean Anything?

Is Twitter really just a bad joke for startups/smallish B2B marketers? I can’t think of a single lead I’ve won new business from or that my clients have from Twitter — ever. Yet all I hear nonstop is the Seth Godinesque mantra of “building your tribe” and how you have to build a following before product. I’m starting to suspect it’s all nonsense, and here’s why.

I have a smallish following on Twitter — 1210 as of this post, but it’s a following comprised of lots of well connected people in the enterprise tech startup and sales space. Many of…

StartupLand

Enterprise Tech Sales Geek and Startup Junkie

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