Conversation tracking is the ability to capture and understand every interaction your organization is having with prospects and customers. At Fireflies, we believe conversations are fundamental for closing deals, delighting customers, and building better products.
Your organizations sales and customer facing calls hold a treasure trove of insights that can now be unlocked.
Today, most of your org’s conversational data is either completely lost on calls or completely unusable.
In order to make sense of this data, teams require sophisticated tools that can record, transcribe, and analyze conversations in a highly scalable fashion. 5 years ago this was not possible because of multiple factors including the sheer computational horsepower needed to mine unstructured voice and text data. There has also been a fundamental shift in speech to text transcription that is also enabling the synthesis of this conversational data by Machine Learning companies like Fireflies.
Trying to understand the right customer conversations can be equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack.
The other problem is that your organization will end up having so much data that it won’t know how to leverage it. Remember, too much data is as good as having no data if you’re not able to cut through the noise.
Over the past two years, we’ve worked with our customers to develop not only software but also a methodology for leveraging conversational data in various parts of fast growing organizations to generate maximum utility. Today, this new source of data and insights becomes a competitive edge when scaling up.
At the end of the day, those companies that truly understand the customer will eventually win them over from their competitors.
The way to achieve that is by bringing the entire organization around the voice of the customer. We’re not saying it’s easy by any means. Fast growing organizations naturally create silos where customer information is not reaching them or helping them make business decisions.
We want to share with you how successful organizations leverage the Fireflies platform and conversational data to transform their business across
- Sales Enablement
- Sales Operations & Forecasting
- Sales Productivity
- Marketing, Sales, & Customer Success Alignment
- Product & Engineering Alignment
Sales enablement is the process of equipping your front line sales reps with the tools, content, coaching, and training needed to engage buyers and close deals.
We can further breakdown enablement into two parts that are relevant to conversational tracking: Onboarding & Coaching
Slow Onboarding Kills Sales Acceleration
The number one goal of onboarding is to get new reps up to speed as quickly as possible and making them as effective as possible to the point where they can start handling real leads.
Shortening ramp time of new sales hires is critical for any organization looking to build a repeatable sales process.
It usually takes a new hire 3 months to be effective. Part of the problem is reps are asked to shadow other reps, but they have to wait long periods of time to coordinate with experienced peers to hop on calls. It will take months to shadow enough calls each day to get the required learning to do it on their own.
Training Inexperienced Reps Requires Major Resources
More often than not, you are hiring junior level reps fresh out of college or with little to no formal experience. So how do you teach freshly minted reps a technical product that has dozens of features and how do you get them to convey that message to prospects in an educated way?
You don’t want to hire a ton of people and then accelerate a broken message.
As sales organizations grow in headcount, the likelihood of sales reps saying the wrong things on calls also increases. In other words, the more reps you have, the more difficult it is to ensure everyone is doing and saying the right things, while avoiding things that may damage the sale.
Having basic guardrails is a must for both onboarding and quality control. You need a way to understand the conversations these reps are having and correct bad habits early.
How To Build A Faster Onboarding Process?
Allowing reps to refine their pitch by seeing real-world examples or in this case real calls in one centralized place. This will help them nail down the message and ramp up faster without waiting to shadow demos with existing reps.
By seeing when prospects are talking about competitors or by seeing how the best reps handle objections, reps train more efficiently without burning leads. We see new reps dive into recorded calls in the conversation tracking platform looking at what wording was needed when discussing pricing or how much they needed to wait before asking the next question.
Recorded calls and searchable transcripts of top performing reps are a goldmine of training resources.
Playlists of good calls that managers curate help reps quickly go through best practices, challenges, do’s and don’ts quickly. New reps can start seeing patterns and start internalizing how to get customers to share more info. In addition, when selling technical products, getting the lingo and value props in a particular way is absolutely essential. Playlists help scope training down to the meat of the conversation for new reps, which in turn helps them onboard faster.
This is a dream come true for managers because they can start quantifying rep training and replicating a consistent pitch across everyone in the org. It shaves weeks to months off from onboarding, and more importantly it makes sure that new reps don’t fumble when given fresh leads for the first time.
The conversation tracking platform serves as an ideal training hub for new reps as it helps aggregate all the calls, feedback, and coaching into one place. This helps provide rich resources to reps and the benefits compound over time for new batches of reps that join your organization.
Existing Reps Need Coaching Too
It’s hard for managers to hit their numbers for the quarter, train new reps, and still have time to coach B and C players.
Different reps learn in different ways. some need things to be white boarded out while some need more structured resources and examples than others. Managers invest a lot of time in group learning sessions, but they might not be able to cater to every rep’s needs or focus on the right skills that lead to the desired outcomes.
1:1 meetings end up being more surface level check-ins rather than an opportunity to do root cause analysis on deals that a rep is struggling on. Most importantly, all this coaching and training is not scalable to other low performers. Managers are left giving ad-hoc feedback that unfortunately is not being delivered consistently enough to get the most out of a rep.
Managers Are Short On Time
You wish you could hire a rep who has the exact experience you need in your industry that can quickly go and close deals that meet your target ACV. This is rarely the case. There is a knowledge gap that needs to be filled for reps. We hear managers tell us how they feel reps are trying hard but that gap can only be filled with more personalized training, which managers don’t have the additional bandwidth to provide outside of 1:1s.
Even when reps are closing deals, real problems arise 1 to 2 quarters down the line. Sometimes, reps may optimize for quick short term sales that end up affecting long term customers and renewal. Customer success get’s pissed at you and this ends up messing up your numbers at the end of the year.
Many sales execs also run global organizations where teams are in different parts of the world or sometimes remotely located. Getting every single person on the same message is insanely hard when you don’t have a consistent coaching process in place.
How To Uplevel Reps With More Consistent Coaching?
A conversation tracking platform like Fireflies allows managers to run a tight sales process with all their coaching in one central place. In Fireflies, managers can access any call a rep has had, listen to it, read it, skim it, and leave actionable feedback that the rep can review at any time.
By consistently documenting every piece of feedback, managers and reps are creating collateral that can be shared with other members on the team facing similar challenges. We hear our customers tell us how they can they can now easily refer reps to the calls and feedback of other reps that they had coached on similar problems.
Managers can also review calls with their teams with the Fireflies dashboard open right there so that people can listen to key parts and follow along with the transcript. 1:1s are much more succinct now with reps doing their prep beforehand and managers getting a chance to actually dive into the conversations.
Fireflies can fundamentally be leveraged in every call review and coaching session.
Something we’ve found that works well with teams implementing Fireflies is the buddy system. Reps are paired up with each other and can listen to each others calls and provide feedback. This scales coaching especially when you can link up top performers with middle of the pack performers or reps with complimentary skills.
Scaling learning from the best reps to the rest of the team is the best way to bring your entire sales org up to quota a lot faster.
Now reps don’t have to wait for their next scheduled 1:1 to do this. They can make use of their downtime on slow days to get up to speed.
Using a conversation tracking platform to go back and review real pitches either your own or a fellow reps’ helps improve listening skills. As a rep you become much more critical of your pitch. You cringe at parts where you should have been silent or have said something different. This get’s ingrained a lot faster than when a manager keeps harping general feedback.
Psychologically, we learn a lot from watching ourselves.Just like an athletes coach, Fireflies provides a game-tape for reviewing your mistakes.
Teaching reps to be more aware of why deals are being won and lost is foundational to helping them accelerate at your organization and take their careers into their own hands.
Sales Ops & Forecasting
Sales operations is typically dedicated to optimizing sales performance. administering tools like CRMs, and generating reports that help with forecasting and planning.
Missing CRM Data
All these responsibilities require really good data. Unfortunately, data hygiene is one of the largest issues any organization faces when administering a CRM. Only 20% of customer facing data ever makes it back into the CRM. Missing data means it’s harder to track rep performance.
Missing CRM data leads to missed follow ups, missed appointments, and ultimately missed revenue.
Sales activities inside CRMs are not just valuable for managers but they are also valuable for the reps themselves who are managing, mitigating, and handing off these deals. As your organization builds out it’s sales team, processes typically get split into different functions. You may have BDRs & SDRs focused on just qualification. Account Executives are dealing with demos and contracts. Customer success is required to kick off onboarding and help retain customers.
Hand-offs and Rep Turnover
Throughout this customer journey, the value of conversational data becomes more valuable as it compounds over time across multiple interactions. One of the most painful challenges for modern sales reps in high velocity sales teams is deal hand-offs. Each person ends up relying on the sparse notes left inside CRM records. Calls or previous interactions are not logged.
Key data that would help facilitate the sale are lost in translation from one rep to another.
You don’t want to forget about turnover. 34% of Saas sales reps will churn before the end of the year. As a sales leader, you’re constantly going to be hiring to plug the gaps, but what do you do about the accounts that were left open by reps who left the company.
Poor Data Quality Impacts Forecasting
Data quality is also a massive problem when it comes to forecasting and analytics. As more conversations happen, reps actually end up entering less data or incorrect data altogether. Many organizations rely on CRM data and the information that reps put in to create forecasting reports. We’ve seen the insurmountable challenges managers face at the end of the quarter when they’re stuck figuring out if deals are in commit or if they are not going close at all.
The CEO, CFO, and CRO are waiting for accurate reports from sales leaders that will impact next year’s planning, product roadmaping, and fundraising goals. Jobs are on the line for both reps and sales management.
There needs to be a better process for getting the right information into the CRM without chewing up so much time on the reps’ end.
Likewise, there needs to be better visibility to go back to a deal, look at the conversations and make a judgement call on the status of a deal.
How Sales Ops Can Enable Better Data & Forecasting With Conversation Tracking?
With a conversation tracking platform, reps can push data into their CRM with a few clicks. This data goes upstream and helps managers and the team when they use various tools to crunch projections for the quarter. Data quality starts with pulling the right information out of conversations.
It’s tough to get reps to enter data, but we’ve seen with teams that implemented Fireflies, the process was a lot easier to enforce because Fireflies simplifies the data entry process right from within the conversation tracking system. Because all the customer conversations are right there to review, reps enter accurate data faster.
Managers also have access to any call that pertains to a specific buyer. Within seconds, they can identify specific issues on the status of a deal. Seeing the comments left by reps and managers can help clarify any doubts about the stage of the deal. More frequently, when a manager asks a rep to finalize their forecasting numbers, reps usually make some numbers up because they can’t recall specifics of the deals. With Fireflies offering 100% visibility into calls, they can spend a few minutes reviewing and coming up with accurate numbers.
This is part of the process. It’s not easy, but now teams have no excuse for coming up with completely inaccurate forecasts. The data that Fireflies generates and plugs into the CRM will help ensure reps have a resource for improved data quality.
We noticed how even a 10–15% lift in data quality and accountability by teams that leverage conversation tracking really adds up across an org.
When managers have to present to senior leadership, it makes them look good, and no one has to worry when they are getting grilled about projections.
Sales Productivity & Effectiveness
Sales reps spend a 1/3 of their time in their CRM today.
That time could be used to spend in front of customers and closing more deals. CRM data entry is important like we talked about earlier, but it takes so painfully long to get information into the system.
Many sales reps told us the biggest challenge for them was not gathering the information needed for their CRM, but actually inputting it in a consistent fashion. They have information scattered in Evernote or random Google Docs and it never ends up making it back into the CRM. This makes tracking customer conversations extremely difficult, especially for those follow up calls.
The job of a CRM is to help you have 100% recall of a conversation with a prospect and show you the next steps needed to close a deal. However, CRMs that lack information and have complicated workflows fail at that job.
When your sales reps are spending 15 clicks or jumping through 20 different fields to access the information they need, they become less effective at the job they’ve set out to do.
How Does A Centralized Conversation Tracking Platform Help Sales Reps Close More Deals?
Having all your conversations in one place makes you a a more informed rep. You’re able to prep for meetings in a matter of seconds and you’re able to close with confidence by personalizing your pitch. You’re able to update your CRM as you are talking to customers with a few clicks. Reps are also able to do deep dives into past calls when they have free time, review that information and pull the right information into Salesforce with a click.
We’ve had reps tell us Fireflies is the first thing they look at most mornings. It saves them hours each week being able to get the context they need and identify the next steps for each account instantly. Managers no longer nag them about CRM hygiene.
For a rep, the magic happens when they can look back at calls from 2 months ago and know exactly what is needed to move a deal forward. This helps them sell more efficiently without having to do more work. More productive reps means additional headcount gains without the added cost of having to hire new reps to handle the same amount of overall leads.
Marketing, Sales, Customer Success Alignment
While marketing’s job is to bring qualified leads to your sales org, your customer success team is needed to take new customers and set them up for long term success.
In order to acquire leads, close customers, expand or retain accounts successfully, each organization needs to be in sync with each other. That’s far from reality though. Silos exist between these organizations that lead to challenges in the overall pipeline.
We’ve talked to sales leaders who felt their biggest challenge was that marketing was sending the sales team unqualified leads.
They weren’t setting the right expectations for these leads. This makes the sales org struggle to re-educate prospects. Customer success complains about sales orgs setting unrealistic expectations and not really knowing what closed the deal. Many times what closed the deal is not what made the buyer come to your org in the first place. Even more importantly, what factors retain customers or expand contracts may be different from why customers decided to buy.
If each of these functional roles can track customer conversations throughout the lifecycle, whether that conversation is happening with marketing, sales or CS, it would be instrumental in making your org more efficient. Better aligning your 3 outward facing teams with the customer journey is critical to delivering the right message and optimizing each step of the funnel.
Product & Engineering Alignment
Engineering and product teams are really far removed from customers even though they shouldn’t be. Many PMs talk about joining sales conversations and interacting with customers, but that doesn’t happen enough. As your organization grows larger, that wall keeps growing. PMs end up incubating features internally that engineering executes on. The product development team gets so busy with their own roadmap that they don’t have the bandwidth to deal with customer complaints or feature requests that Sales & Customer Success brings up.
What ends up happening is you’re spending months building features no one wants and wasting dev time that could have been used to close deals and retain existing users.
Like with marketing, sales, and CS alignment, Product & Engineering teams need to be better aligned with the voice of the customer for this very reason.
How do you bring customer alignment across your entire organization?
Most times you have one shot at talking to a prospect. Getting them on a call is expensive as you might see from your outbound and inbound efforts. Having all that info is critical for every person on the team.
Marketing can leverage Fireflies to come up with better collateral, battle cards, and create messaging that resonates with customers.
We’ve seen the best teams take the words of buyers and turn that into marketing material.
The customer usually knows what they are talking about and the way they say something will resonate with other similar prospects. Marketing is quickly able to bridge the gap between their internal message and the message that actually closes deals.
We’ve had SDR teams tell us that they no longer have to throw qualified leads over the wall to AEs and pray. They can get feedback from AEs on meetings that were booked and see how the prospect calls went with the AEs. SDRs can understand why or why not their prospect was truly qualified by seeing how the prospect interacts with the AE.
This is a huge learning moment for SDRs. Since part of SDR team’s commission is based on deals that close, this aligns them to be invested in the customer journey.
Sales reps follow a similar process when trying to understand who their most successful buyers are and how they are interacting with customer success. As a result, a conversation tracking platform brings accountability and transparency to every stage of the buying cycle.
We’ve had customer success thank us for making it so much easier to communicate with product and engineering teams.
Customer Success can pipe feature requests, complaints, and feedback straight from the customers to the development team with recorded proof.
Product teams usually didn’t take what CS said seriously until now because they get to hear the exact words from the customers. This causes a shift in thinking for every person in the org to tune into the needs of the customer.
Overall, you get increasing value when you invest in a conversation tracking system and the methodology behind it. Most teams get bogged down by the potential complexity of implementing such a system. At Fireflies, we took that to heart and built a way for Fireflies to be plugged in within minutes and it only needs to be connected once.
Fireflies automatically plugs into customer calls and starts uncovering key conversational insights for the entire organization to tap into. The platform coupled with customer centric methodology to do what’s best for the customer transforms nearly every team within your organization.
Undoubtedly, there is value created in leveraging conversations and you can turn the voice of the customer into tangible revenue for your organization.