Sequencing & How Call Centres Can Improve Sales using AI

If you know the exact sequence of events in your Buyer’s Journey…the better you can predict your Sales targets/Conversion/ Lead to Close ratio etc.…right?

Prediction is the brain’s ability to assimilate past experiences or memories into probable outcomes. In life we are pretty good at it. If we weren’t, our species will still be in the dark ages.

According to some neuroscientists the aim of Artificial Intelligence, is to mimic the brain’s processing of inputs to determine how we think, react, communicate and ultimately behave. ….and understanding the patterns of how memories are formed, have allowed technologists to build software that is able to learn, discover, and adapt in ways that computers haven’t been able to.

Natural Language processing started in the 1950’s ,most famously by Alan Turing — which lead to machines being able to translate or transcribe speech into text. Now you can buy a button that you just press, which records your voice, syncs to an app, to write down what you think. Unfortunately — as far as I know — we don’t yet have an in-ear devices that can that translate any language into your own, in real time.

Call Centres

As an example of how AI can assist your Call Centre/ Contact Centre /BPO -consider the following…

Company X sells insurance. They buy a list of names, and run a campaign to get people to respond to a marketing message that talk to their ‘struggle’. Those who respond via SMS/email for through a CTA ( call-to-action) receive a call.

Does the Sales agent have enough info at his/her disposal? Most probably not. Do they know the exact journey their customers have taken, how much they know or understand what it is they replied to? or do they have to make certain assumptions, based on a week’s training they had? or do they just mimic the approach of more senior agents who are closing 5% of their calls, yet making their target number?

If they start the conversation by making certain inferences and then follow a strict script, or just start building rapport with someone ( for rapport sake) or thinking time on the phone will lead to a close …maybe it’s why so few actually attain their quotas!?

The consequential fallout is the continuation of bad practises in a business model/industry with unparalleled high rates of agent churn. If Moore’s law rings true, then it’s a ticking time-bomb for a business model that will soon be challenged by a few star AI players, while the rest has their heads in the sand.

How can better syntax — the arrangement of words and phrases — lead to smarter Sales learning, better on-boarding programs and improvement of Salespeople’s execution skills?

Through intelligent software, being touted as AI.

I recently spoke to the team from Balto Software , based in St Louis, Missouri , who’s developed real-time coaching software that sits on top of VoIP calling systems, to recognize certain word speech patterns and syntax, to assist Salespeople to execute their sales calls better.

Very much like Siri (best for all things trivial) , they program sets of industry keywords and syntax to pick up certain words and phrases which triggers best response options; and also make real-time suggestions.

By understanding this and aligning it with a hypothetical call sequence that qualifies a lead — by asking a few specific questions — which is then programmed against historical responses, to be dynamically adjusted —and in turn allows for better rebuttals of objections.

By doing this, Sales Agents can improve in staggered, on-the-job, real-time training modules and also assist managers to get better insights to their customers journeys and the effectiveness of their marketing team.

If it’s true that new memory patterns are created faster through multi-sensory stimulation in immersive virtual environments, then maybe this is a more cost-effective baby step which makes going from — crawling, to walking, to running — a near term reality.

As Bill Gates remarked recently in a series of tweets — the three areas he’d focus had he entered college now are : AI, Biosciences and Energy

I’m jumping on this fast moving train… to understand people better, to spot opportunities for my business, to Partners with startups, and to better visualise the future of Sales.

I’m currently reading On Intelligence and Know This by John Brockman

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