Cloud Communications vendor RingCentral entered the Conversational Sales space with RingSense for Sales. The new service employs generative AI to summarize meetings and calls. Initially, RingSense supports the sales function, but RingCentral plans to extend the service to other roles, including support and marketing.
“We’re going to be helping businesses make their voice, their meetings, their email interactions more intelligent, so they can automatically uncover new, actionable insights that help reduce errors, overhead, and improve performance,” said RingCentral COO Mo Katibeh. “I think of it as a force multiplier for every single employee.”
RingSense for Sales analyzes customer interactions with sales reps and surfaces insights and performance metrics. These insights are also delivered to sales managers to assist with training and mentoring.
“Today marks an important step forward in our journey. Generative AI is a game-changing technology that will fundamentally transform communications and collaboration. Natural language, and voice in particular, has always been a universal interface for information, intent, and emotion that has been largely untapped,” said RingCentral CEO Vlad Shmunis. “Now with RingSense, we have the opportunity to inject cutting-edge AI across the entire RingCentral portfolio and make communications a powerful resource for businesses to unlock new potential and quickly extract meaningful information and insights.”
RingSense for Sales supports:
- Automated follow-ups to drive productivity: RingSense’s AI gathers interaction summaries, notes, and follow-ups. It then syncs them with the CRM.
- AI-generated summary scoring: Interaction-level scoring and reporting call out which conversations should be prioritized by managers, helping them identify coaching opportunities.
- Integrations with 3rd party apps: RingSense for Sales integrates with Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and call and video meeting providers.
- Ability to track keywords and phrases (trackers): Sales admins can set RingSense to track keywords and phrases such as competitor names, objections, trends, or product features. RingSense can also focus on relevant concepts instead of just keywords and calls out positive and negative deal signals.
“Over the last few years, RingCentral has developed a rich set of AI models that delivers conversational speech analysis and emotional sentiment recognition to the RingCentral platform,” explained the firm. “Last year, RingCentral rolled out numerous AI-powered video meetings capabilities and was first to market with Advanced Meeting Insights and Summaries, which uses AI to enable a user to quickly catch up on a missed meeting or use the tool for automated note taking.”
RingCentral also rolled out a set of AI APIs for accessing RingCentral transcriptions, summarizations, sentiment analysis, and interaction analysis for voice, video, and chat. These APIs will be available to their 85,000 registered developers and 350 third-party applications. RingSense, like RingCentral, is an open platform.
“Artificial intelligence (AI) is the fuel that will fundamentally transform how we think about digital transformation today. The era of deploying enterprise AI in isolation while wrestling with outcome uncertainty is over,” said Aragon Research CEO Jim Lundy. “RingCentral has created an enterprise-grade AI with a results-based design. Last year, they embedded this unique AI into their MVP platform to help make employees more productive. Now, with RingSense, they’ve taken it to a whole new level by focusing on bespoke use cases the industry truly needs.”
RingCentral has long partnered with incumbent Conversational Sales vendors such as Gong, Chorus, Wingman (Clari), ExecVision (Mediafly), and Outreach. Many of these vendors have been offering conversational sales tools for three to five years. In addressing their delayed entry into Conversational Sales, Senior Product Marketing Manager Keith Renison listed the following advantages of the RingSense offering:
- RingSense is easy to purchase, deploy, and configure. Get ready for faster time-to-value without the expensive startup, platform fees, and model retraining costs.
- AI-generated summaries, topics, and follow-ups are automatic. This accelerates the disposition of customer interactions creating huge efficiency gains.
- Out-of-the-box “trackers” with higher quality pattern matching. Trackers can be customized or created from scratch. Tune your system to what you’re listening for and make adjustments along the way. AI does the rest.
- AI-generated summary scoring at the top level helps find the important conversations without sifting through conversations manually.
- RingSense is built by a trusted leader in cloud communications.
RingSense is not industry specific but can be leveraged broadly across industries for analyzing digitized sales calls and meetings, said Chief Innovation Officer Kira Makagon.
RingCentral, which has built a customer base of five million customers over the past two decades, can deploy RingSense to “empower person-to-person communications.” RingSense helps “make sense” and “find patterns in these interactions.”
Due to the large breadth of business conversations hosted on its digital platforms, RingCentral is “in a unique position to make sense of all of the wealth of information that is flowing through our platform,” said Shmunis. “By applying these ultra-modern AI techniques, we can really empower users of our system to make better sense as to what is happening in their own employee bases, whether it be sales agents, customer service agents, and, in certain cases, even just knowledge workers who are communicating and interacting with the outside World.”
Shmunis emphasized that RingSense is a platform with RingSense for Sales as the first offering. As an open platform, partners can build verticalized solutions. Shmunis suggested applications in legal, finance, and healthcare. Open RingSense APIs are already available.
Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst at ZK Research, argued that businesses suffer from poor data quality in their CRMs, with reps often limiting the information they key into Salesforce to “Met with customer.” Thus, AI’s most significant initial impact will be improving “data discipline” in organizations. The initial benefit of AI will be as an “input mechanism.”
“So, when I do a call with you, an AI can listen to it, summarize the meaning, put it in [the] CRM [and] update the record. You have contact center agents. You can do that with salespeople and customer success,” argued Kerravala. “You could actually use AI to create a better dataset and so, in theory, good AI leads to better AI.”
Kerravala sees AI improving the pre- and post-meeting experience due to its ability to create, manage, and refine meeting data. “Most of the vendors do a pretty good job mid-meeting. We have virtual backgrounds, transcription, and translation capabilities. But what happens when the meeting is over? Help me get the meeting minutes out to people and help me prep for meetings. That’s where I see this stuff having a pretty big impact.”
RingSense is available in three packages based on function: Observer for Marketers helps them track customer and competitive trends, Coach supports managers, and Professional provides the full complement of deal intelligence and CRM synchronization. RingCentral did not provide any pricing details.