How Salesforce’s Einstein Call Coaching uses AI to help sales reps be top performers


Einstein Call Coaching empowers inside sales managers to build stronger teams and gain strategic AI-powered insights from every sales call through a new channel: Voice.

How Salesforce’s Einstein Call Coaching uses AI to help sales reps be top performers
Einstein Call Coaching empowers inside sales managers to build stronger teams and gain strategic AI-powered insights from every sales call through a new channel: Voice.

At Dreamforce 2019 in San Francisco, TechRepublic’s Bill Detwiler spoke with Efrat Rapoport, director of product management with Salesforce, about Einstein Call Coaching. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

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Bill Detwiler: One of the concerns with artificial intelligence is the effect it will have on jobs, and that’s why I’m really excited to be here at Dreamforce 2019 speaking with Efrat Rapoport about Einstein Call Coaching. So Efrat, tell me a little bit about your role at Salesforce.

Efrat Rapoport: My name is a Efrat Rapoport; I was the CEO and co-founder of the Bonobo AI, which was acquired by Salesforce exactly six months ago. We’re based in Tel Aviv, Israel. We have a great, great team. It’s actually one of the fastest growing hubs of Salesforce.

SEE: The ethical challenges of AI: A leader’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

I was personally always very fascinated by languages, by speech, by the way people choose to construct sentences. You can really learn a lot about people or about customers, in our use case, if you just listen, and today we’re very, very happy and proud to unveil Einstein Call Coaching.

When we designed this product, we constantly had the sales manager in mind. Now think of yourself as a sales manager–you have a team of sales reps out there, they’re making calls, they’re receiving calls, they’re engaging with customers all day long, and very often these calls are the very first interaction customers have with your brand. How do you make sure, as a sales manager, that you’re making the most out of every single call, and how do you coach and support your sales reps to make the most out of every single call?

We’ve talked to many, many sales leaders across different domains, and they all seem to agree that it’s impossible to do this without the help of artificial intelligence, and more specifically conversation intelligence. Today, we’re unveiling Einstein Call Coaching, and this product does exactly that. It gives sales managers the insights, the visibility, they need into every single call. It gives them insight into trends that emerge from calls with customers, such as which competitors are being mentioned in conversations, how are we positioning different products, how are we handling objections, and much more. That’s the product in a nutshell.

Bill Detwiler: This is a little different than what people usually think of when they think of AI and Voice for customer service. Oftentimes, it’s the caller, the customer, dealing with an automated system on the other end. This is really interesting to me because it’s using artificial intelligence, natural language processing, Voice, to help coach humans, to help managers of call center reps make better decisions, produce better outcomes for customers. What was it that drew you to that path when it came to Voice as opposed to just developing another automated call center application?

Efrat Rapoport: There are many, many different use cases for Voice and for speech analytics. We’re really thinking about the experience of the sales manager, and as you said, we’re here to give sales reps what they need to become top performers. We’re here to give sales managers what they need to become informed decision makers at the company.

When you look at the product–if I have to break it down into three different pillars–number one, we have visibility, so we give managers control and visibility into every single call. For the first time we bring this data into Salesforce, the number one CRM, so you can now play calls, listen to them.

Number two, it’s not always enough because how do you even know where to start? How do you find the needle in the haystack. You have so many calls every day, hundreds and thousands, and this is why we’re introducing key moments, and these are the parts in the call that you do not want to miss. They could be a mention of a competitor, mentions of cancellations, upsell opportunities, anything that you are interested in as a sales manager we surface, and then you can jump to the relevant 10 seconds and not listen to the whole call.

Bill Detwiler: What you’re describing is a system where the AI can pick out that key moment from a call without the manager having to go through and listen to the entire call, and pick out that moment where you did a good job, or maybe you missed an opportunity to address a customer issue. Is that right?

Efrat Rapoport: Exactly. This is exactly what we do. And then we get to number three: we can save these calls for future reference for people who would like to learn and improve themselves. So now you can, as a manager–let’s say we have a wonderful call where we listen to one of our top performers handle a pricing objection, and we want to save this call for future reference. We can add it to a library, and then you can access this call as a sales rep, listen to how the objection handling was done, and you’re empowered and you’re better.

Bill Detwiler: Let’s talk a little bit about Voice in general. Salesforce has been incorporating Voice in so many of its products and services, its platforms. You have Einstein Voice, and now we have Einstein Call Coaching. Where do you see Voice going in the future?

Efrat Rapoport: I think that Voice is the new frontier. I think it was clear this morning in the opening keynote that Salesforce is really doubling down on Voice. We’ve seen Call Coaching; we’ve also seen Service Cloud Voice, Einstein Voice, Einstein Voice Builder. These are very exciting times. There’s a lot of demand from customers, and it’s really good to be leading the way and innovating towards the next generation of voice.

Also see

Diverse call center team working in office

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto



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