When we meet someone we like, we naturally want to learn more about them. We might satisfy our curiosity by searching for the person on Google, clicking through their LinkedIn profile, or browsing their Instagram pictures. Learning more about someone helps us establish rapport and move a relationship forward.
In sales, reps will go to great lengths to gather relevant intel on the people they meet with, including:
What do they do?
Who do they work with?
Who are their competitors?
What have they mentioned in past conversations?
All these pieces paint a picture for sellers, helping them connect with their buyers in a meaningful way. Whether it's through prep work, the actual meeting itself, or the follow-up of a call, sellers are always collecting helpful information.
While sellers can gather this info manually, AI-powered tools can help optimize and automate this process, turning it into meaningful meeting intelligence. As a result, sales professionals can channel their energy towards more impactful activities, like building relationships and closing deals.
The Quota, a sales newsletter with a following on LinkedIn of nearly 9,000 sellers, regularly surveys its network to discuss the most pressing challenges in sales. In this article, we’re sharing the key takeaways from some of their biggest surveys, and demonstrating how meeting intelligence can help solve some of today’s toughest problems.
Why sensing engagement is the hardest part of virtual selling, and how AI tools can help
Virtual selling has proven to be an effective sales tactic, with no plans to revert to pre-COVID business processes. In one McKinsey article on how the pandemic has changed B2B sales, they note that “70-80% of decision-makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service” over in-person meetings.
When asked about where sellers are struggling with virtual selling, respondents from the Quota said:
12% struggle with taking accurate notes
19% struggle with managing distractions
69% struggle with building rapport
When the Quota dug deeper—asking, “What’s the hardest part of building rapport on video calls?”—the answer was clear. It’s hard to sense engagement.
In-person, you have all the social cues you’ve learned since the day you were born; eye contact, body language, nonverbal communication. In a virtual call, there might be glitches, distractions, maybe their camera is off, or the audio is laggy. It’s no wonder just 33% of salespeople say they are effective at virtual selling.
But what if you could use a trained AI to gauge engagement?
This is the future of virtual meetings. Salesroom is building out a feature that gauges facial expressions, fidgeting, and tone of voice—an AI trained on psychology and human behavior, to understand when someone is losing interest or if they are fully engaged. In real-time, the seller will get notified if their prospect is fading out, or leaning in. This kind of information is invaluable to mastering discovery calls and closing deals.
Jeroen Domensino, Senior Director of Enterprise Sales at vFunction, used this feature to improve his own practice.
“If you're able to get real-time feedback about what you're trying to do and you realize you're missing out on some things you can still course correct,” he says.
Salesroom will also periodically show you percentages of speaking time per person. If you find your number rising, it might be time to listen. This helps keep a balanced conversation going and keep your prospect engaged in real time.
AI capabilities help bring your call from a simple video chat to a high-quality, value-driven engagement between buyers and sellers. These tools put the seller in the driver's seat and help move the call from discovery to closed won.
How you can take your 15 minutes of post-call decompression, and use AI to synthesize your meeting notes for you
So much effort goes into preparing and managing a discovery call. Equally important is the time that goes into the follow-up once a call is over. The Quota respondents focus on different activities right after a sales meeting concludes, but the winner is clearly—rest.
8% of people focus on other deals
25% of people review their notes
26% send a recap email
41% decompress for 15 minutes
Taking the time to decompress, synthesizing your information, and giving yourself time to breathe before moving on to your next task is an essential mindfulness strategy. It also helps you maintain your focus and presence throughout the day.
Another important part of relationship building is showing your customers you’re listening by following up with them on relevant milestones and referencing previous conversations. Naturally, it’s hard to remember every detail about each customer call; highlighting key moments and keeping customer information well-documented makes it so you don’t have to. Use tools and rely on technology to keep track, and you can use the information to build rapport.
💡 The Salesroom Meeting feature automatically generates summaries after each call and sends them to all participants. This can help alleviate some of the heavy lifting, allowing you to take the time you need to relax after a dense conversation. Plus, Salesroom Notes allow you to look back at the call and review what was said, with the added context of what you were thinking during the meeting.
With our AI coaching, we help support sellers along the way with our seamless meeting framework, airtime analysis, question detection, and real-time next-step detection.
Why coaching is vital to building a top performing sales team, and how AI can be your assistant coach
Coaching and self-development are an integral part of every seller’s journey. The Quota’s respondents agreed, as 87% of their 6417 voters say B players can turn into A players with the right coaching.
But their research also demonstrates that most sales managers don’t provide formal coaching.
Why is this?
There’s not a clear answer, although we could posit it’s due to overpacked schedules. Coaching takes a time investment, and the ROI is not always clear. However, the data shows that by taking a “short term pain for long term gain” approach of coaching your B players, you can help them excel. In a time where employee retention is at a low, now is the time to invest in your talent and give them a clear path for career progression and growth
💡One way to save time and still invest in coaching is with Salesroom. With our AI coaching, we help support sellers along the way with our seamless meeting framework, airtime analysis, question detection, and real-time next-step detection.
This is a missed opportunity, as sellers are passing up a chance to find areas for improvement, even though most modern video platforms now support video recording. Our Salesroom recording feature can help ensure you never miss an opportunity to record a meaningful moment.
Why less than 50% of your people are hitting quota, and the time is now to lean on meeting intelligence to help
Companies everywhere feel pressure as they buckle up and prepare for a downturn. Closing deals is more important than ever. And yet, this also means every purchase is more scrutinized than ever. A recent poll in The Quota revealed that, with 5,175 votes, most people said the number of people hitting quotas at their company was less than 50%.
When it comes to supporting his team through high-pressure times, using a dedicated meeting intelligence platform can help you meet your goals.
You need to have systems, tools and processes in place that minimize your margin for error, Tools like Salesroom are an insurance policy to make sure that you're managing your downside, and you don't take actions that lead you to wildly miss your goal.
💡Salesroom is the only platform that integrates the data from discovery calls, your sales reps, your managers, and industry best practices, into the meeting to foster a better outcome for the buyer. When less than 50% are hitting quota, it’s time to consider new ways to support your sales team. Salesroom can help.
New challenges mean new solutions
Virtual selling comes with its own new set of challenges—and new challenges mean new solutions. It’s time to get innovative when it comes to selling ahead of competition and supporting sellers in this new virtual world.
This is where AI capabilities and meeting intelligence tools come in.
The ability to build strong relationships will always be an advantage that the human touch can provide, and AI capabilities cannot. Yet, sellers can benefit from providing value where they can while offloading low-value work to AI-driven tools to support them.
Picture this—a seller jumps on to a video meeting. Let’s call him Tony. Tony’s had a jam-packed morning and he’s running behind on his notes. Not to fear—before he joins the meeting, a virtual Co-Pilot briefs him on the prospect’s name, title, how they found you, and any other important notes, as well as a list of questions to cover. Tony enters the call prepared.
Right away, at the top of the meeting platform is a time bar showing how much time they have, and how much time is remaining, so he can stay on track. Throughout the meeting, Tony gets notified of the prospect's engagement, how much time he’s talking (so he can make sure to let the prospect speak more), and can click the “Star” button when something important is said (to save in his notes for later).
At one point, the prospect asks a question Tony’s not sure of the answer. But instead of saying the dreaded, “I’ll get back to you,” he clicks into the Co-Pilot, and the AI has already detected the question and pulled material from the companies case studies and sales information to answer. Tony answers the question and the prospect is pleased.
At the end of the call, Tony wraps up by referencing the notes and showing the prospect he was listening. The Co-Pilot gives him names of who else needs to be involved in the sales process, and he asks to set a follow-up meeting with the whole team. The prospect agrees.
After the call, Tony has a moment to breathe and decompress. Meanwhile, the meeting platform’s AI compiles the highlights, notes, and questions asked and answered and has it filed away in that prospect’s folder for Tony to review when he’s ready. An automated meeting follow-up is sent to the prospect with a brief outline of what was covered. All while Tony is resting so he can bring the same energy to his next call, where he and the AI assistant will do it all over again.
This, I believe, is the future of virtual sales. It’s the future we’re building with Salesroom.
Whether you need support through a discovery call, the post-call follow-up, coaching, or simply a lifeline through the next 12 months, Salesroom has you covered. Book a demo today.