Outreach KAIA Meeting Assistant

Sales Engagement vendor Outreach presented its 2020 product roadmap at its Unleash virtual conference.  The most compelling announcement was Kaia, its voice-enabled sales assistant that works alongside sales reps during video calls to record, transcribe, and deliver real-time assistance.  Other new capabilities include Sequence Intent Reporting, Outreach Voice Connectors, and Bombora Intent Scores.

“I’ve been waiting five years for Outreach Kaia.  This is the most powerful tool to be introduced in the sales industry in a long time, and we are very excited to be bringing the next generation of sales technology to life,” crowed Outreach CEO Manny Medina, who demoed the digital assistant during his keynote.  “Now more than ever, sales teams need Outreach Kaia — especially when so many of them are working remotely.  Outreach Kaia’s ability to surface real-time information exactly when a sales rep needs it during a live conversation is powerful.”

“Imagine you’re on a sales call, and someone asks you a question about your product or your competitor’s pricing, and you don’t know the answer.  Well, Outreach Kaia will automatically pull up the information you need – in real-time.  This level of intelligent assistance will make sales teams productive immediately.  Outreach already drives a nearly 5x return for our customers.  Now, with Outreach Kaia, we expect that ROI to soar.”

Outreach CEO Manny Medina

Kaia (Knowledge AI Assistant) delivers guided engagement for sales reps.  At the outset, reps are shown meeting and attendee information.  Tabs provide additional details on the account and opportunity, providing a quick pre-meeting review opportunity.  As the call gets underway, real-time transcription and analysis take place so that reps do not need to jot many notes during the call.  At any point, the rep can set a bookmark or add a short note.  As the note is stored in context, it might only require a word or two (e.g. Roadblock, Budget).  

Outreach Kaia operates as a real-time intelligent assistant that supports sales reps during customer calls. It transcribes the call, sets bookmarks for review, notes attendees and action items, and provides topical summary cards.

Kaia both records and analyzes the discussion, providing in-line prompts to the rep, such as a quick overview of a third-party mentioned during the call, short answers to technical and product questions, or objection handling tips.  The answers and objection handling are customer-defined, ensuring that company-specific details are displayed on a just-in-time basis.  Not only does each content card provide a technical and product backstop for new sales reps, but it allows experienced reps to speak with confidence on more technical details or dynamic topics from which they might shy away.

Content and people cards are trackable, “so managers can see which cards produce the best results and scale these insights across their teams,” wrote Product Storyteller Sunny Bjerk.

Kaia also notes action items during the call, again relieving reps of note-taking duties.  After the call, a summary is emailed to the rep with a set of action items, bookmarks, notes, and attendees.  The rep can then customize the document and share it with other stakeholders.

Kaia is displayed as a meeting participant, with attendees alerted at the beginning of the call that is it being recorded.  Transcripts and recordings are “securely stored within Outreach, which has enterprise-grade security measures already in place.”  Transcripts are available for training or review after the call.

Outreach Kaia is available for Early Access Signup for the summer 2020 beta and will be generally available in late 2020.  It is currently available for Zoom video conferencing with additional video partners in development.

SalesLoft Conversation Intelligence

Sales engagement vendor SalesLoft rebranded its Meeting Intelligence functionality as Conversation Intelligence.  SalesLoft describes four sets of features which help reps schedule meetings and then listen to, understand, and engage with customers and prospects.  SalesLoft supports a broad set of conversation tools including appointment setting; automated recording, transcription, and indexing of calls; time-stamped notes, and call analytics.  This functionality is available for prospect, customer, and internal calls.  Managers, mentors, and trainers can join calls or whisper into a sales rep’s ear.

“Through the evolution of SalesLoft’s platform and user experience, one feature has changed so much that its prior name no longer did it justice,” wrote SalesLoft Head of Community Aly Merritt.  “Meeting Intelligence is now Conversation Intelligence, because sales isn’t just meetings – it’s every conversation and interaction.”

Call recordings can be stored in a training library or shared for coaching or questions.  For example, if a sales rep does not know the answer to a question, it can be forwarded directly to customer support or engineering for a response.

Conversation Intelligence supports both SalesLoft’s native dialer and leading web meeting applications: Zoom, GoToMeeting, join.me, UberConference, Cisco WebEx, and Cisco WebEx Enterprise.

Sales calls come in many forms: prospecting, discovery, demos, stakeholder alignment, and so on.  All of these interactions make up the foundation for the long-term customer relationship.  High-value customer relationships are made possible when prospects feel that the relationship they are entering into is mutually beneficial.

How can you build such a relationship?  By working to ensure your prospects feel heard and confident that you understand their needs.  Work to engage them throughout their journey.  After all, sales doesn’t stop when the deal closes, nor does engagement cease when a seller hangs up the phone.

▪ SalesLoft Product News

SalesLoft said that it is “designed to flex around the needs of the user based not only on their role but also on their preferred workflow.  This empowers SalesLoft customers to offer consistent value at every stage.”

“Sales meetings are the moments in the sales cycle where you have the opportunity to provide the most value for your customers.  As such, they are some of the single biggest opportunities for your team to influence revenue.  It’s where your deals are won and lost,” wrote the firm.  “Despite this, sellers often don’t get the opportunity to improve on this critical component of the sales process.  Combine this with the challenges that face sales leaders around how much time it takes to digest sales meetings, gain visibility into what’s really happening, and be proactive in the deal cycle.”