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How was my pitch, Jenny? Zoom's venture fund invests in conversational AI platform

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Second Nature's sale coaching platform analyzes a simulated client conversation and identifies strengths and weaknesses of a salesperson's pitch. This is the dashboard a trainee sees after completing a simulation. Another assistant just got a significant chunk of money to make her name just as familiar. Jenny is a virtual assistant who specializes in training salespeople. Second Nature, the company that created this conversational robot, announced a $12.5 million round of investment Wednesday, Jan. 11 to build out the conversational artificial intelligence service.


Second Nature's AI-based Sales Coaching Integrated with Corporate Visions

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Second Nature announced an agreement to integrate its AI-powered sales conversation simulations into Corporate Visions sales messaging certification and fluency coaching programs. The first ever AI implementation at scale by a prominent sales training company, the integration will enable Corporate Visions to provide an automated feedback and assessment program that will increase sellers' competency on mission-critical commercial conversations. With the agreement, Second Nature gains a trusted, world-class partner that works with industry-leading B2B companies around the world while Corporate Visions further augments its industry-leading sales skills training, coaching and message certification programs. "It's a perfect partnership," said Second Nature CEO and Co-founder Ariel Hitron. "Corporate Visions helps companies develop new stories and skills to drive strategic initiatives, while Second Nature's immersive simulation platform enables individual reps to practice whenever and wherever they want. With this partnership, companies gain increased confidence to turn strategic initiatives into sales practices that drive results."


Sales Enablement tools powered by Machine Learning and AI Artificial intelligence

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After a decade of Sales Enablement vendors having to optimize their experiences for mobile, now almost every new vendor seems to have a Machine Learning (ML) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) story to tell. Here my list of Sales Enablement tools powered by – or at least integrating – ML / AI (obviously most uses of the term Artificial Intelligence are talking about Machine Learning). Sales Enablement: Transform your sales strategy with impactful sales enablement applications to sell more. "Sales teams rely on our AI-powered WinScores, Opportunity Insights and Opportunity Maps to take control of pipeline and deliver better, more predictable outcomes." Aviso's AI-powered platform for sales helps close more deals. The company's mobile, AI-powered sales enablement automation platform's user experience empowers reps to more effectively engage with customers & prospects & encourages team-wide adoption. Customers include AT&T, ThermoFisher, Merck, ANZ Bank.


Sales Doesn't Seem Ripe for Automation, but It Is

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Modern sales is more about long-term customer relationships than big, one-and-done deals. This has always been true -- lower customer churn decreases marketing costs -- but it's especially true today, as everything from designer clothing to SaaS products moves toward a subscription model. "The best way to be successful in sales is to know yourself, know your customer and know how you create strong relationships with other people," Samantha Harrington opined in Forbes. "Once you've built that relationship, shown you care, and earned their trust, you are on the road to making [a prospect] a customer," Lee Ann Obringe wrote in HowStuffWorks. Machine-learning algorithms can master repetitive, predictable, and, in a word, mechanical tasks -- but despite the future foretold by Her, artificial intelligence hasn't yet learned to empathize or make jokes.


The 3 Biggest Obstacles Standing In The Way Of Excellent Sales Coaching

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No matter what you're selling, you need an effective sales team to discover your prospects' needs, present possible solutions, answer questions, and close deals with new and existing customers. Like diamonds, however, natural born sellers are rare gems. If you rely on finding diamonds to build your sales team, you'll be waiting an awfully long time, which is why every successful enterprise makes sales coaching a key part of its strategy. Sales coaching is not without its own challenges. In an ideal world, sales employees would enthusiastically complete their sales coaching programs and emerge from them knowing how to pitch successfully and close deals. In the less-than-ideal world we live in, enterprises get frustrated with their sales coaching attempts.