10 Ways Marketers Can Use Conversation Intelligence to Drive Alignment Around the Voice of the Customer

10 Ways Marketers Can Use Conversation Intelligence to Drive Alignment Around the Voice of the Customer

June 7, 2019

Shawn Parrotte

At Chorus.ai, we’re always eager to learn how sales teams are using our conversation intelligence platform to understand the needs of their customers at a much deeper and more precise level than ever before. One growing trend we’ve observed is that marketing teams at forward-thinking companies like Guru, Bugcrowd, and Mavrck are using Chorus.ai, and the AI-based insights it provides, directly in their processes. This is an exciting development — although, to be honest, it’s not one that totally surprises me.

The marketing team at Chorus gets incredible value from using the platform to inform our own work and become a more effective team overall. The ability to align our entire organization around the voice of the customer is one of the most important benefits that Chorus, as a company, experiences by having our sales, customer success, product and marketing teams extracting insights from the platform. We can achieve that alignment by hearing the voice of the actual customer — no costly focus groups or surveys required. All we have to do is decide what we should listen for — and then, we listen and learn.

The marketing team at Chorus plays a front-and-center role in aligning our whole organization around the voice of the customer by developing the messaging and content that helps our sales team more effectively understand and address our customers’ pain points.

We like sharing best practices with our customers. So, here’s a look at 10 specific ways that marketing teams — including product marketing teams — can use the Chorus.ai platform to gain insights that will help marketing, sales and really, the whole company, get aligned around the voice of the customer. These are all tactics that the teams at Chorus apply in our work every day:

1. Uncover Your Discovery Pitfalls #

Discovery calls can be challenging — but also, extremely enlightening. During these calls, sales reps often have to dive deep to reveal exactly what the prospect needs and wants. Once they break through, they might learn, for example, that the prospect’s company is already working with a competitor, but users are frustrated by the vendor’s slow pace of innovation. Or, maybe the company is growing fast and leadership worries about the risk of investing in a solution that might not easily scale.

After these calls that yield critical customer insights, sales reps may not always think to share this information with marketing (or even their own team) in a timely fashion, or at all. But because Chorus can securely record, transcribe and analyze customer conversations, marketers don’t need to pester the sales team for insights and take them away from their top job: selling. They can dive right into the recordings of discovery calls to hear the voice of the customer for themselves.

Marketers can also listen to discovery calls to confirm that reps are applying what they learned in training after a new sales pitch or methodology is rolled out. Another use case for marketers: Ensuring reps understand and are using a new talk track effectively to support the launch of a new product. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Chorus helps marketers quickly and easily identify opportunities to create messaging and content that sales reps can share with prospects as soon as they mention a specific pain point or problem. To address the scenarios mentioned above, a marketing team could, for example, develop a data sheet to emphasize a product’s scalability, create a case study that highlights how the company partners closely with customers to drive innovation, and, of course, connect reps with more training, if needed.

Chorus also gives sales leaders and marketers alike the ability to confirm that reps are in fact doing what it takes to learn what will motivate their customers to buy. More than that, marketing can make sure they are developing relevant messaging and content that will help sales reps show prospects and customers that the company can indeed solve their specific pain points — and how.

2. Jump to the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ Questions in Sales Calls #

Understanding the customer journey — why and how someone decides to interact with your brand — is essential to sales and marketing success. When a viable prospect reaches out, you absolutely need to know why they did and how they found you. Your business wants to do whatever it can to get more potential customers to follow the same path to your door.

Did the prospect learn about you because a peer at another firm uses your product and recommended it? Or, did they contact your call center after seeing a digital ad served up on Google? Maybe they picked up a piece of collateral or saw an executive speak at a trade show. What message or asset was the magnet that attracted the potential customer? Even more important, why were they open to being pulled in? Marketers can use the Chorus platform to zip right to the moments in calls when sales reps are asking the “how” and “why” questions. And you’ll hear the answers straight from the voice of the customer.

This is incredibly valuable when mapping out your buyer’s journey and optimizing your programs along that journey. When you start to identify trends in how prospects are entering your funnel, you gain insight into the specific and sometimes difficult to measure ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) - the moment when a buyer decides to research a product online, and then hopefully raise their hand and become a lead. In practical terms, it helps me identify where to spend more resources and informs the budget tradeoffs needed to double down on what’s working.

3. Set Trackers to Gain Insights that Can Shape Your Content #

What topics are coming up most often during sales calls? And are these questions that could be easily answered with content on your website or blog? Remember, today’s B2B customers typically do a good deal of research before they decide to reach out to or take a sales call from a company. So, make their jobs easier — and help sales reps focus more on selling during calls — by using AI-driven insights from Chorus to understand what is top of mind for most customers.

Chorus lets you create “trackers” for keywords or phrases — like a product capability or pricing information — so that you can quickly find them in any recorded conversation or transcript. You can also set alerts for any time the tracker you’ve set is mentioned in a conversation, so the insights are served up automatically to you. That’s a big benefit, obviously, if you have a large and dynamic sales organization you’re trying to track.

So, what can marketers do with the insights they surface with trackers? Here’s one example, from our own marketing team here at Chorus.ai: We wanted to learn what best practices customers were asking about, like, “How often should I listen to my team’s calls?” and “How are other sales leaders using the platform to coach their teams?” We developed a blog series based on data points we gathered through our tracking process.

An added benefit here is the fact that Chorus.ai discovered an opportunity to position ourselves as an authority on the best practices that sales leaders interested in our platform want to know about.

4. Get a Better Handle on the Competition #

Chorus is a great tool for “spot checking” how — and how well — sales reps are handling situations where customers mention competitors. By setting competitive trackers in Chorus, you’ll learn not only which competitors are being mentioned most often, but also, when their name typically comes up during a sales conversation and why. You’ll get invaluable market intelligence that helps you learn where competitors may have an edge on your product and where they definitely don’t.

You may also gain a better understanding of how your offerings may be similar, and what you can do to differentiate your product from the competitor’s. You can then develop messaging and content that will help sales reps handle competitor comparisons deftly — and even proactively, when needed.

5. Use Clips of “Aha Moments” to Create a “Virtuous Cycle” #

When marketing messages and sales tactics are working, you want to make sure everyone on your team is using them. When they’re not, you want to drop them — fast — and move on to new ideas.

You can use learnings from Chorus.ai, from key themes emerging across sales calls to common requests for information from customers, to create a “virtuous cycle” of improvement in your organization. You can easily clip “aha moments” from specific sales calls and share them with others in the organization to underscore best practices for closing sales, to draw attention to product feedback (delivered through the voice of the customer), and more.

The virtuous cycle evolves from getting and responding to real-time insight into what is resonating with prospects and customers and what is missing the mark. If it’s the former, you can brainstorm how to use that information in other ways with customers. Or, if it’s the latter, you can quickly determine whether to drop a message or asset, refine it in some way, or create something completely new. You’re in a cycle where you’re constantly refreshing and refining everything you do to engage and serve your customers.

6. Assess the Value of Specific Sales Collateral #

Marketers: How often do you create sales collateral that either isn’t necessary or isn’t used properly and thus, fails to be effective? The answer is probably this: Too often.

At Chorus.ai, we ask our sales reps requesting specific collateral to offer a proof point that the asset is needed. All they need to do is share a clip of a customer conversation stored in Chorus.ai that helps to make their case. That way, our team can confidently move forward with spending our time and budget to develop a new asset. Even better, we know exactly how it will be used with a customer and why, which helps us decide what messaging and format is best for the asset.

After the new sales collateral is in use, we use Chorus.ai to track its effectiveness in the real world — and ensure that reps are using the asset in the right way. We make the asset a part of our virtuous cycle of ensuring that we are always providing relevant information and engaging content to our customers.

7. Give Assets Code Names to Track How They’re Used #

Context is everything when you’re trying to figure out what turned a prospect into a customer, or what prompted a customer to extend or expand their relationship with your brand. So, another tactic we use at Chorus.ai is to give “code names” to sales assets (e.g., “killer data sheet”), and ask sales reps to refer to the assets by those names during their sales calls. That makes it easy for our team to track and search for conversations where those assets were used. We can then analyze the how, why and when of that asset’s role in helping a sales rep to close a deal (or not, in some cases).

8. Create an Alert System to Prompt Urgent Call Reviews #

Another strategy that we employ to stay on top of customer needs and concerns is to ask our sales team to use keywords or phrases in sales conversations that require our immediate attention. It’s like an alert system for the marketing and product marketing teams, and it allows us to jump quickly to the pertinent information in a call that’s been recorded in Chorus.ai.

Keep things simple so that sales reps will easily remember the keywords and won’t sound awkward inserting them into a real conversation. For instance, your product marketing team would likely want to know if a customer said, “It would be really great if your product had XYZ feature. My business could really use that.” And your sales rep might respond, “Thanks for sharing that. I’ll give that feedback to our product team.” The key phrase in this instance could be “@product team feedback.”

9. Prepare for Case Study Interviews More Efficiently #

As a marketing leader at Chorus, I use our platform to prepare for customer case study interviews. So, instead of conducting a separate intake call, I can listen to key moments in calls with our customers to customize a set of interview questions for my internal team and me to use. It saves a ton of time, not only for us, but also, for our customers. It takes less time for us to prepare, and it allows us to move faster during the interview by getting right to the heart of what we want to talk about most with our customers. And we know our customers appreciate our thorough preparation because it helps them to be more focused in the interview, and they walk away feeling like we respected their time.

10. Motivate Sales to Use the Platform for Onboarding and Coaching #

Using the Chorus.ai platform for onboarding and coaching of sales reps is a natural part of our everyday business at Chorus.ai. (Check out some details about our amazing internal onboarding and coaching programs here.) But it can take a while for companies new to using Chorus.ai to unlock the full value of the platform for ramping up new reps quickly and driving better performance from all team members, no matter how long they’ve been with the company.

Marketing has an important role to play in helping sales leaders use the AI-based insights from and capabilities within Chorus.ai to simplify and expedite the onboarding process. By using clips in Chorus.ai, for example, new reps can listen to call playlists and hear the voice of the customer firsthand. And that reduces the burden on marketing teams, who otherwise would need to invest a lot of time in “hand-holding” sales reps as they learn how to talk about the company and its products with customers.

Marketing, through its tracking and analysis of sales calls, can also alert sales leaders to reps who might need more coaching on when and how to use certain assets and messages in customer conversations. Or, the marketing team might identify an opportunity for the entire sales team to take a different approach with prospects based on insights gained during sales calls about competing products.

Transforming on the Inside to Become More Effective on the Outside #

The 10 tips outlined above are just a few examples of how marketing teams can use the Chorus.ai platform to achieve the ever-elusive “sales and marketing alignment,” which is only possible when the whole organization is aligned around the voice of the customer. So many efforts to realize alignment fail, because all of the focus is on getting sales and marketing in sync, when really, everyone must be on the same page — especially all teams involved in revenue generation.

AI-powered tools like Chorus.ai are the answer to getting everyone aligned faster — that is, becoming attuned to the voice of the customer. The voice of the customer is a manifestation of a customer’s needs, expectations, and likes and dislikes — and even their previous experiences with your brand or product. And, as explained in this post about our new partnership with Clari, the voice of the customer is a key leading indicator of how a sales deal is progressing and how likely it is to close on time.

The voice of the actual customer is of course what you want to hear most — not some composite voice derived from focus groups and surveys. Those things have their place, but they are no substitute for a customer, on the phone, telling the story of their pain in their own words.

So many businesses today are eager to identify viable use cases for AI. They want to develop externally facing applications for the technology that will wow their customers and differentiate their brand and offerings. But there’s so much they can and should do internally with AI that will make those efforts stronger. They can use AI to fundamentally transform their approach to marketing, product marketing, sales, and more, just by using the technology to really hear the voice of their customers.

Marketing and AI today, Two Years from Now, and Beyond! #

The relationship with AI and marketing won’t be fleeting. Over the next two years, you can expect businesses across industries will apply advanced AI in practically every function, including marketing and customer experience. That’s according to a global research study from consulting firm Protiviti and ESI ThoughtLab. In fact, 73% of respondents to that survey said marketing is an area where they expect advanced AI to have the greatest impact in their organization in the next two years.

The takeaway: Marketers already using AI-powered tools like the Chorus.ai platform to better understand their customers’ needs are ahead of the game. They are well-positioned to help their organizations get aligned with, and stay attuned to, the voice of the customer. And they can use timely, specific, AI-based insights to create messaging and content that helps the sales team to break through with and win over prospects; the product team to create relevant solutions, and the company to keep innovating new ways to deepen customer engagement and loyalty. Those are all things the business must do to succeed — today, two years from now, and beyond.

What’s happening in our marketing organization, and at our company, as well as in a growing number of businesses working with Chorus.ai, can happen in your marketing organization, too.