If you’re selling your product or service to other businesses, you likely:
- Have calls with prospects and customers to close deals and serve them on an ongoing basis
- Record those calls
- Rarely, if ever, listen to them
Or worse: you have calls but don’t record them, and are losing all those insights into thin air.
Sales and Customer Success conversations are goldmines for customer knowledge, but that information is lost unless someone is actually spending hours taking detailed notes, capturing and collating insights, and then sharing those insights within their organization.
If a business does record their calls, nobody goes back to actually review those call recordings since nobody has time to review every call. They also don’t have an easier and systematic way to understand the key insights across all customer conversations.
In light of these challenges we wanted to answer the question - how can an entire organization benefit from everyone’s customer conversations.
A wealth of information remains hidden in that collective dialogue, and if mined, those insights can help sales, customer success, marketing, and product development teams work together effectively towards business growth.
We started Avoma when we realized that artificial intelligence technology has finally reached a level where this problem could actually be solved.
- Automatically listens to a conversation, takes notes, detects next steps, highlights key points discussed, and integrates to push that data to your CRM
- Lets you easily find those important parts of a conversation and share a brief recording clip or transcript with your team
- Finds common trends and themes across all conversations for a 10,000 foot view of what is being discussed
In this post we’ll discuss why we built Avoma and how organizations can end information loss from important conversations by using our platform.
The Challenges We Observed in Today’s Customer Conversations
Before we started Avoma, we noticed some fundamental problems that were common to the other startups and companies where we had worked:
1. It’s difficult to take notes while focusing on customer conversations
While there are diligent note takers in most organizations, some reps hate taking manual notes and doing data entry. Other reps barely take notes in order to focus on the call and lose the important information. While Salesforce and Google Docs allow centralized note taking, they don’t have the help of AI to account for the all-too-common human error of not entering information into the system.
If one team member is asking another team member for last-minute context before their calls, it can be disruptive. It can also damage the prospect’s experience if they need to provide the same information multiple times to different team members.
2. Sales calls and customer meetings are a black box today
When they aren’t recorded, meetings are a black box to anyone who wasn’t in them. Even listening to entire meeting recordings and analyzing their data can eat up a lot of time as anyone who has done it will agree. Yet the information there is often important for the entire company.
3. Product and marketing teams can not build customer-driven products
There is a correlation with building what customers want to conversion rates and sales. If you build products in a vacuum rather than offer relevant solutions based on hard evidence, sales will struggle.
Product and marketing teams would normally get firsthand customer feedback through surveys, arranging 1:1 interviews with customers, usability testing, and other methods that essentially allow them to hear what customers are saying, but these inputs are collected in a controlled context.
To learn what customers are actually saying when they are not “being studied,” internal teams have to either listen to calls themselves or get secondhand customer information from customer-facing teams.
Capturing information from conversations automatically could help marketing teams to position their offering and present the story that resonates with their customer’s world. Meanwhile, product teams could better build data-driven products that customers want and are asking for.
Why We Decided to Develop Our AI-Powered Meeting Assistant Tool
Because of these challenges, we were convinced that we (and other companies) needed a way to easily access and share insights from calls with prospects and customers.
Automatic note taking could thus remove stress and busywork for sales and customer success teams. But more than that, it could help them close more deals, close them faster, and help marketing and product teams to build better products people care about.
Soon, we were convinced that this was needed so much that we had to create it ourselves and started Avoma.
Our goal was to build a tool that notated the key components of a customer conversation and organized them in a way that was easy to look through and actionable for both individuals and the business as a whole.
This is why we built Avoma’s 3 major solutions:
- Centralized AI note-taking for collaboration
- AI meeting assistant for note-taking
- Conversational intelligence for coaching
These 3 solutions are available in one interface so Sales reps and Customer Success Managers can access different tools they require to run a customer meeting from one unified experience.
To keep everything in one place, Avoma seamlessly integrates with your favorite tools:
- Google Meet
Here are more details about Avoma’s 3 key solutions:
Solution 1: Centralized AI Note Taking Software for Collaboration
When people attend the same meeting, they’ll typically take their own notes in their own note-taking apps. After the meeting is done, the host will ask each participant to share their notes via email and try to collate different notes into one document.
The current way of capturing customer meeting notes is time-consuming, cumbersome and results into information being scattered into disparate systems.
We wanted to flip that model by having a centralized place where everyone can collaborate to brainstorm, strategize, and capture important customer information.
But we also knew that this won’t be enough. People don’t just want yet another manual note-taking app. We want to provide 10x more value than the current tools.
So we built a solution in which an AI assistant will also collaborate with your team to capture most comprehensive notes.
With the best blend of Human Intelligence (i.e. you and your team) and Artificial Intelligence, no customer information will be ever lost into thin air.
Before the Meeting: Prepare Well with Shared Agenda and Call Script Templates
One of the most common behaviors we observed was, reps copy a template of their questions or notes sections into a new document before every single call.
We decided to provide customer-facing teams with the ability to have one-click agenda and call script templates that they can insert quickly and be prepared for an upcoming meeting in no-time.
As more conversations happen with your customers and templates need updating, each team member can collaborate to edit the flow or add more questions to ask.
Now a rep, their team or manager can collaborate on preparing an agenda using shared templates before a meeting.
During the Meeting: Take Collaborative Brief Notes
The most common challenge with taking notes during the meeting is - you can’t type detailed notes while paying attention to the conversation. So you end up typing brief keywords, and then you spend additional time later on to fill in the details. The problem with this approach is - often you don’t remember the details, so you end up spending more time trying to remember the details and then typing those notes.
We wanted to fix this issue by letting you take brief notes while the meeting is happening, but then ensuring your manually typed notes will be automatically linked to actual conversation in recording and transcript. With this, you can easily go back and listen to the recording to get the context and review transcript to quickly copy and use the verbatim discussed in the meeting for your notes:
After the Meeting: Get AI-Generated Notes
If you didn’t get time to take good notes during the meeting, Avoma extracts AI-generated notes and appends them to any of the notes you did manage to take (we will talk about this in detail in the next section):
When a customer gets handed-off between pre-sales and post-sales teams throughout the customer’s lifecycle, now everyone has access to past conversations and summarized notes so they can quickly get up to speed.
This keeps your manual notes and the AI’s extracted notes in one central system:
- Sales reps can focus on conversation to handle objections and pitch confidently to prospects
- Implementation teams can understand accurate customer requirements first hand
- Customer success teams can have complete context they need to onboard customers faster
If something is not extracted by Avoma’s AI Assistant, then other team members can search through the transcript, listen to the past recording and get the full context of the previous conversation:
The interface also provides an intuitive experience to create clips of the key info and share important part of the customer’s feedback with your team easily and quickly:
With this, now your team doesn’t have to listen to the whole 30-45 mins long meetings with a lot of irrelevant details. Instead, they can quickly understand the voice of the customer in less than a few minutes and can build better products based on customer needs.
The next section will discuss in detail how Avoma’s AI Assistant helps reps in day-to-day meetings.
Solution 2: AI Meeting Assistant for Note-taking
We want to provide an AI meeting assistant that would assist and augment time consuming manual tasks related to meetings, and this starts with notes and summaries. Avoma intelligently mines meeting recordings for key information and presents it in a scannable format:
As shown in the above example, the notes extracted for Technologies, Use Cases and Next Steps were automatically extracted by Avoma’s AI without any human intervention.
In case Avoma doesn’t extract things that you care about, you can always search the topic of your interest in transcript and review the verbatim details as discussed in the conversation:
You can also track custom keywords to make it easy to see how often those keywords were discussed in the conversation:
In other words, with Avoma you get call recording, transcript, AI Summary Notes & Insights - all in one unified interface.
Solution 3: Conversation Intelligence for Coaching
We wanted Avoma not only to be used to capture customer information but also to help management and leadership to better understand what their reps are doing. It’s hard for managers to actually know how a call went without listening in to the live call or listening to a recording.
Avoma’s conversation intelligence platform analyzes all conversations at scale, breaking each conversation into topics discussed in the call such as Pricing, Next Steps, Objections, etc. Managers can quickly review these moments to provide reps with feedback that will help them improve their performance.
You can also identify trends across all conversations with any keyword or key phrase. You can see and understand what is being talked about across specific users, teams, and customers to make data-driven decisions:
You can also see aggregated conversation insights across all your team members. You can learn their talk-to-listen ratio, their longest monologue, and more insights that help with 1:1 coaching, peer coaching and self-coaching. These reports can also help you learn what top performers do differently from the rest to enable the use of that information to teach other reps.
The Avoma approach
We know that collecting information from meetings conversations, analyzing that information, organizing it, and sharing it takes untold hours of manual human labor.
We also observed customer-facing teams have a specific workflow they follow for every single meeting with their customers. They also have weekly cadence and specific workflow with their managers to review and strategize on customer conversations, and lastly, they also need support from cross-functional teams.
Considering the same solution can deliver these numerous benefits to the customer-facing organizations, we have decided to provide the most comprehensive solution that primarily helps customer-facing reps on day-to-day basis to get 2x more effective and efficient in their customer meetings, their managers and leadership to improve their business goals and outcomes, and lastly, the rest of the cross-functional organization to collaborate faster and work better.
Ultimately, Avoma’s mission is to help customer-facing teams to achieve their desired outcomes faster — by making their meetings 10x more productive and helping them to extract 10x more value from their conversations.