The Problem with Conversational Software

The Problem with Conversational Software

Anyone who has spent any short period of time cold calling knows the euphoria of not only getting someone on the phone but also the endorphin dump your brain experiences when the person you are talking to says “I’m interested”. It is one of those scenarios where all logical thought, everything you learned in onboarding and all common sense goes out the window as your natural instinct is to seize the opportunity to win. Reviewing calls like this in traditional, reactive conversational software, is in a lot of ways like playing Russian roulette. You never know what is going to happen next… could be really good, or the call (and subsequent opportunity) could quickly die.

When “interested” is an antonym for “leave me alone”… 

How your reps handle their “happy ears” is the key to success. Here are a couple of other examples of things a prospect says that sales representatives love to hear, but almost always lead to disappointment. 

    • “I’m interested, can you tell me more?”
    • “Can you call me back later so we can talk?” 
    • “I’m actually in a meeting, can you send me some information.” 

The last one is actually my favorite. So you’re saying that the meeting you are supposedly in is so important you were willing to answer a phone call from an unsolicited number, but the moment you realize it’s a sales representative, the meeting is more important? When sales leaders review cold calls using their conversational intelligence platform, what is the end result you think they typically find for that lead? No one ever talks to them again. 

Ways to get out of cold calls

A quick search on Google for “ways to get out of cold calls” actually doesn’t return any help for me as a prospective receiver of said call on the way to get out of it. That being said, it does yield 256,000,000 results in large ways to improve cold calling. So, the Conversational AI Market is expected to grow to $13.9B by 2025, but hundreds of thousands of sales reps every day still struggle with cold calling techniques. Why is that? 

Here’s the problem, all the technology in the world hasn’t been solved for hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution. It is only within the past maybe 20 years that technology has enabled humans to build, and explore things never thought possible. The problem with that is that it only represents .000003% of the time our brains and various systems have evolved to keep us alive. To think that we have rewired our brains more in 20 years than we did in the preceding several million is silly and naive. 

So, that being said, when a prospect says something that triggers a certain chemical to be released in our brain we are naturally drawn to pursue more of that chemical reaction. Logic is lost. Herein lies the problem with Conversational Intelligence tools on the market today, they do absolutely nothing to trigger a pattern interrupt for the sales representative at the moment that it’s happening. Absolutely nothing. 

Just because it’s successful doesn’t mean it shouldn’t evolve 

Ok, maybe it is a bit of an over-exaggeration to say tools like Gong, Chorus, ExecVision, Refract and others are not effective because they did lay the groundwork for what is now real-time call coaching software but the response from the market around reactive technology is a bit puzzling for us here at ABSTRAKT. 

Or maybe, it’s because Conversational Intelligence software filled a portion of the gap that revenue leaders have been looking to fill for years, visibility into interactions their teams are having with prospects and customers. The pain was so great, they settled for half measures. So, looking back at the history of how technology has enabled organizations to capture, analyze, and then deliver impactful changes, maybe we should be a little more gentle on the companies who laid the groundwork (and established the line item in the budget) for what the future would hold. 

What is that future? The future is in the palm of your hand already, real-time automated speech recognition. Most would argue B2B behavior is laggard when compared to B2C behavior, and our hope is that the adoption of automated speech recognition will become mainstream very quickly. You are likely already using Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and maybe even some type of speech recognition assistant in your car. It is only natural for that same level of automation to make its way into B2B buying, selling and our hope is ultimately to support the entire lifecycle of revenue for our customers here at ABSTRAKT. So, while traditional conversational software providers race to catch up to the behavior already in place with users today, ABSTRAKT will keep providing the only real-time call coaching software on the market today.


John Bunting - CTO

After being told "no, this can't be built" by 30+ other potential Technology leaders, John was the first person who said "let's try and build this!" when approached with the idea of Abstrakt. John started his career building computer games, and now builds Enterprise A.I. Software solutions.