Are You Ready for a Revolution in How Revenue Teams Do Business?

Are You Ready for a Revolution in How Revenue Teams Do Business?

The world is running mad—and it’s negatively affecting revenue teams. Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success professionals are tasked to do more with less—leading to overwork, subpar results, and lots of stress.

You haven’t stopped trying to improve, of course. You’ve invested in your tech stack—heavily. But it’s become needlessly tangled, bloated, and unwieldy. It’s more like you’re business is suffering from MarTech madness!

Not to mention that many businesses have seemingly hit a plateau of what they can accomplish with what tools they have. Clearly, forward-thinking organizations desire to reach new heights—which includes driving opportunities with ease, building stronger teams, and growing resilient brands that will gleefully tackle the challenges ahead.

Luckily, we think we’ve found the solution. Are you ready for a revolution in revenue teams? Stay tuned for a big announcement from Conversica in October—designed to help your revenue teams achieve and overachieve with ease.

Don’t miss out. Get ready for a game changer. Sign up for updates and be the first to know about our big news coming in October.

AI in Our Everyday Lives Leads to Smarter and Faster Decisions, But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…

We came to work this week with a slight holiday hangover from President’s Day weekend to a pleasant surprise, Conversica’s been recognized as one of the most innovative AI companies in the world by Fast Company. As much as it’s a testament to our hardworking team, a quick glance at the list and we’re excited to be a part of a larger celebration of AI’s prevalence into our everyday lives. The verdict is in: Artificial Intelligence cuts through the noise to enable smarter decisions, faster.

Looking at the other companies that are recognized, these SaaS businesses are solving a specific problem and utilizing AI technology to drive insights from large data sets to enable quicker decisions.

Similarly, Conversica’s AI Assistants help Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams by utilizing AI to deliver a personalized human touch at scale and helping to identify the hottest leads, faster. We help our clients implement AI to build higher performing teams by augmenting their workforce with AI Assistants and accelerating their best leads.

So, how is AI helping us to get to daily smarter and faster decisions?

Take a look at Deserve. The financial services industry has a notorious amount of data from credit scores, to bank balance, to outstanding debt. Instead of drowning in the ocean of data, companies like Deserve are using AI to develop a credit card for college students and young adults who would be ineligible or higher-risk under the traditional credit-scoring system. It predicts a user’s ability to pay back any expenditures by considering his or her schooling, earning potential, etc…Deserve helps companies to quickly access and provide credit to suitable individuals who otherwise would be labeled as ineligible and lost in the mirad of data.

How about AI enabling quicker decisions by improving and accelerating the process of recruiting top talent?

Anyone who has ever had to go through the painful process of pouring over hundreds of resumes will appreciate HiringSolved’s solution that deploys artificial intelligence to improve recruiters’ productivity and diminish unconscious bias. The company has created an AI-powered voice assistant so hiring managers can simply tell it what they’re looking for and receive in return names of people who meet their criteria.

What if I told you that the writing of this blog involves intense AI?

One of our favorite tools (to the chagrin of middle school English teachers everywhere) is Grammarly, which helps you write mistake free utilizing AI to streamline spell check to enhance your writing skills and eliminate grammar errors (Grammarly may or may not have been an integral contributor to this article). Centuries beyond Clippy and the squiggly red line we’ve come to love in Microsoft Word, Grammarly quickly analyzes millions of characters to help you quickly make editorial decisions to make you sound smarter than you may be.

At Conversica, we use AI and machine learning to analyze millions of data points from 370M+ leads emailed and 6M+ leads engaged via text to quickly identify buyer intent to help organizations to identify and accelerate their hottest leads, faster. By augmenting your workforce, our AI Assistants have authentic conversations with your leads to answer questions, follow up politely, and assess intent, freeing up your human workforce to do what they are the best at: building lasting relationships.

Reach out to a Conversica team member today to learn more about how we can help your teams make smarter and quicker decisions. Check out our Conversica AI Assistant or request a quick demo to see how we fit into your organization.

We’re helping organizations make smarter and faster decisions by turbocharging their marketing, sales and customer success teams to drive higher performance while improving efficiencies and delivering a better customer experience through AI.

Reflecting on 2018: Our success is our customers’ success

As we enter the holiday season, it is always useful and rewarding to reflect back on the past year. Not only is it a time for gratitude, but it is also a time to observe lessons learned along the way. 2018 has been an exhilarating ride at Conversica, and the company is doing well by any objective standard. Serving over 1,000 customers worldwide, we have helped our customers generate over $10 billion in incremental revenue. In addition, Conversica was just named one of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, a list of  fast-growing companies releasing emerging technologies, while at the same time securing the largest Series C round ever, at $31 million, for a conversational AI company.

But the story behind our momentum isn’t really about us. It’s about our customers and how they are relying on Conversica’s innovative technology to improve the experience of both their employees and their own customers when they interact with each other – while also improving their bottom line.   

Boosting productivity and employee enjoyment

At Conversica, we are laser-focused on helping our customers free their employees from routine but important tasks so they can focus on creative and authentic conversations and other activities. With the help of Conversica AI Assistants, our customers boost the overall productivity of their employees and the enjoyment they have in their work.

With Conversica, sales teams can now spend more time on more sophisticated and productive conversations, increasing sales opportunities, conversion rates, and overall revenues. A Conversica AI Sales Assistant can reach out to a prospect over email or text, gauge the prospect’s interest over the course of a conversation, which may span weeks or even months, and, when the prospect is finally ready, connect this prospect with a sales employee for a meaningful, relevant and authentic conversation.

Listening to our customers drives our momentum

The reason that Conversica continues to achieve high growth as a company is because we are part of a circle – we’re being “pulled” into the market because of the innovative and powerful AI Assistants that our team has created, but that “creation” is built hand-in-hand with our customers. Our task has been to listen intently to customer needs, understand those needs, and then build the most elegant and effective software solution we can, one that will help our customers manage and grow their businesses and deliver tangible results.

Because of this collaboration we’ve been able to expand our international footprint, with new employees and offices in the UK and Latin America. We have been similarly privileged to make important new additions to the Conversica team in data science, engineering, marketing, customer success, and sales.

The power of conversational AI

The world has changed over the past several years.  Artificial Intelligence can now consistently do things that previously only humans could do.  AI is certainly still in the early innings, but our momentum speaks to the power of using conversational AI to automate routine but important business conversations that lead to real business results. It’s a category that Conversica created and continues to lead. As the company moves forward, we’re investing in our larger vision of people and their AI Assistants working together harmoniously to solve important business problems.  We’re automating important conversations and processes across the enterprise – to create a better end-customer experience, free employees from mundane tasks, improve financial results and ultimately deliver on the full promise of conversational AI.

We’re thankful for the progress that we’ve made in 2018 and, as CEO, I look back on our team’s accomplishments with great pride as we head into the new year. On behalf of the entire Conversica team and myself, best wishes for a happy holiday season.

Alex Terry
CEO, Conversica

 

Conversica Raises $31 Million Series C Funding to Fuel Conversational AI for Business

We’re excited to announce that Conversica just won another round of funding. This time, we’ve secured the largest Series C round ever for a Conversational AI company: $31 million!

Our current investor Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners L.L.C. (PSG), an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners, led the round with participation from our other existing investors Toba Capital and Kennet Partners, and we welcome two new investors CIBC and Savano Capital Partners. This funding round follows $34 million we raised in our Series B round and $22 million we received in our Series A round.

With the Series C funding we just received, we plan to:

  • Continue enhancing our award-winning and patented conversational AI platform and suite of AI Assistants
  • Grow our Marketing and Sales efforts
  • Expand our footprint globally
  • Selectively consider additional acquisitions

We would like to thank our loyal customers who have entrusted us with their hard-earned time and money and have believed in our vision of leveraging conversational AI for sales and marketing. With this Series C funding, we will fund our global sales and marketing expansion, as well as continue development on our award-winning technology platform,  for which we were recently awarded first U.S. patent.

Conversica continues to define what it means to deliver breakthrough customer success and business growth in the Conversational AI category. Our market traction and performance are why our current investors have doubled down on Conversica with this Series C funding, a resounding endorsement of the hard work of the hundreds of Conversica employees working hard to deliver great products and services to our customers around the world.

We believe even more strongly today in the power of AI to deliver an improved customer experience and to free humans from the routine work that limits us reaching our full potential. We’re thrilled that our investors share this same vision and have reaffirmed their commitment to the company’s success. Our AI assistants have now touched more than 70 million people, equivalent to a quarter of the U.S. population.

Our AI assistants are able to conduct human-like conversations and take actions by themselves. Our team has been working hard to realize their vision of workers and their AI assistants working together to accomplish real business objectives, and for our customers to both be more financially successful and enjoy their jobs more.

Having created and defined the conversational AI category eight years ago, Conversica is distinguished by its innovative natural language processing and natural language generation technology; its extensive conversational data set and deep data science expertise; its deep domain expertise in process automation and integration; and its diverse global customer base of more than 1,000 forward-acting organizations, including Box, Chrysler, Snowflake Computing, CenturyLink, the Sacramento Kings, Gainsight, LeasePlan, Textron and Epson.

You can read the full press release announcing our Series C funding here.

Additional Information

 

Industry-changing Admissions AI Assistant launched for higher education

Conversica just added a new type of AI Assistant to the company’s portfolio of Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) powered by intelligent automation—an Admissions AI Assistant for higher education. The new Admissions AI Assistant aims to help busy admissions teams engage prospective students in a personal, yet automated way. Today’s prospective students are busier than ever and need gently persistent yet highly personalized outreach.

The Conversica Admissions AI Assistant is designed to engage these prospects quickly, and in a scalable way. Admissions departments at educational institutions have limited resources to deliver the kind of high-quality, personalized experience needed to attract new students.

Further complicating the recruitment challenge is that students are difficult to reach, and most are contacting multiple institutions. Our industry-leading Intelligent Virtual Assistants help thousands of companies across a dozen industries to more effectively engage their leads, and we are excited to deepen our commitment to the education industry.

Admissions AI Assistant pleases early adopters

Early Admissions AI Assistant adopters are already reporting impressive results, including one education company that “hired” an Admissions AI Assistant to re-engage applicants who had become unresponsive. The Admissions AI Assistant began autonomous outreach to leads that had engaged on behalf of more than 15 universities but had been unresponsive for six months or longer. These efforts resulted in a 26 percent increase in engagement rate and a 35 percent increase in conversion rate.

Research shows the education industry needs AI

Conversica’s most recent research on inquiry follow-up in higher revealed that 27 percent of schools contacted did not respond at all — not a single email or phone call — to the prospective student (as documented in the Sales Effectiveness Report in Education).

Additionally:

  • 37 percent of educational institutions made only one or two attempts to contact a lead
  • Admissions departments had an average first response time of 38 hours, compared to the 24-hour average response time of other industries
  • 8 percent of schools took longer than one week to respond to prospective students

To address these follow-up challenges, our Admissions AI Assistants can automate the lead follow-up process and engage every prospective student in a two-way, human-like conversation. With a response rate often three to five times higher than marketing or sales emails, our assistants have been shown to significantly increase the number of quality conversations with prospective students, while reducing the time the admissions department has to spend following up with these leads.

Engaging prospective students and boosting enrollment

By using the new Conversica Admissions AI Assistant, admissions departments now can:

  • Follow up with high-quality interested students and accelerate the best to a human enrollment counselor. Making a personal connection to advance each lead is expensive, but with Conversica, institutions can more easily master “digital efficiency.”
  • Re-engage potential students and inactive applicants. Students – especially non-traditional students – drop out of the funnel for all kinds of reasons. Institutions using Conversica engage them personally and at scale, automating the outreach that admissions staff don’t have time for.
  • Be more effective at cross-selling. With thousands of programs available, students may not know their best fit. The Conversica solution uses the right cues to intelligently suggest other opportunities.
  • Drive attendance to recruiting events. Potential students are hard to reach and busy with other priorities. Conversica Admissions AI Assistants use polite but persistent outreach to enroll students for events and remind them to attend.

 

 

Early adopters already seeing results

Another organization seeing impressive results is The The Los Angeles Film School:

“We were looking for a way to have more persistent —and consistent — conversations with prospective students,” said James Winstead, Vice President of Marketing at The Los Angeles Film School. “Stephanie, our AI Assistant, does her magic and finds even more who want to engage, which are fully attributed to Conversica. We’re also using the AI in our retention efforts, allowing for constant communication with our students even after graduation, which helps promote ongoing brand advocacy.”

Available now, the Admissions AI Assistant communicates over multiple communication channels, interacts in multiple languages, and integrates with the leading CRM and marketing automation systems, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua.

Read our Case Study about The Los Angeles Film School’s use of the Conversica AI Assistant.

Additional information

  • Learn more about the Conversica Admissions AI Assistant here
  • Watch a two-minute video overview of Conversica
  • Download a two-page brochure on the Admissions AI Assistant

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The Rise of AI Tools: Verticals to Watch, Part 5

Welcome back to our five-part series on the rise of AI. In part four of this series, we took a look at how legal and regulatory professional are using AI to examine risks and improve performance, and how those in the science fields use AI to push their research further.

In this final part of our series, we’re going to talk about AI use cases that are particularly close to our heart. Curious how HR, sales, and marketing are currently using AI to exceed their goals and leave competition in the dust? Read on!

 

Marketing

Whether they know it or not, marketers have been using solutions augmented by artificial intelligence for a few years—particularly if they’ve run a PPC campaign. Most ad campaigns that are run through Facebook or Google AdWords (and that accounts for most campaigns, with Google accounting for 40 percent of the digital ad market, beside Facebook’s 19 percent) are targeted based on optimization algorithms that match your ads with ideal prospects.

As we’ve covered previously, there’s a lot of noise to contend with on a daily basis. That’s why it’s more important than ever for marketers to create experiences that cut through that noise. Artificial intelligence seems to be a way that many companies are able to further differentiate themselves.

Marketing teams are able to use AI to support classic strategies like product recommendations and predictive lead scoring. For example, AI will help marketers take their campaigns a step further using customer insights from consumer data hidden in keyword searches, social media, and other online data for smarter and more effective retargeting campaigns.

As with other industries, AI removes some of the technical burden from marketers’ shoulders. It frees them to be more creative and focus on the customer experience, rather than spending time making sure they coded an HTML template correctly.

Marketers are fiends of good data, and AI is excellent at extracting valuable insights from huge quantities of seemingly unrelated data.

This is especially valuable when it comes to providing sales teams with content and guidance about new leads. Forty percent of marketers believe their sales teams are not equipped with the right account intelligence to engage with prospects. Luckily, sales is also using AI.

 

Sales

Anyone who’s been in sales knows that every deal is won on top of a mountain of drudgery. That includes cold calling, managing the CRM’s data hygiene for your accounts, scheduling prospecting and researching time, emailing and meeting with your manager. It’s a lot. And when you think about it, all of that is beside the point, which is getting a prospect to say yes to your solution or at least take the first step in that direction.

Forty percent of time spent on sales-related activities can be automated by current AI technologies, found McKinsey Global Institute. That’s a lot of time that can be used for nurturing relationships with prospects and guiding deals to the finish line. In a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, companies using AI for sales reported a 50 percent increase in leads. That’s a significant return on investing in state-of-the-art technology.

If those results aren’t enough to convince you, it’s been proven that monotonous work leads to burnout, dissatisfaction, and low productivity.

 

HR

According to Josh Bersin, a veritable guru of HR technology, “the heart of AI is better-informed people decisions.” And if we’ve established anything in this post, it’s that AI empowers people to make better decisions based on the data that’s available. When it comes HR, AI can help users answer questions like “Who do I hire?” “Who do I promote?” “Who is leaving leftovers in the fridge?” Well, maybe not the last one, but when it comes to making unbiased, data-driven decisions about the people you hire and the people you work with, AI can help HR professionals take things to a new level.

Bersin believes that “the biggest impact AI will have on HR is augmenting corporate training and coaching,” which might be true. According to George Elfond, CEO of Rallyware, a workforce engagement platform, companies who use AI-based learning technology have seen “a 32% increase in employee productivity and a 43% increase in employee retention.”

What about hiring those employees? Well, companies who use AI to recruit are seeing a 71 percent reduction in cost per hire. That’s on top of a three times improvement in recruiter efficiency. This is largely because AI allows much of recruiting to be automated.

AI can leverage analytics to help recruiters find the candidates who are most likely to succeed in the open role. Recruiters can also use AI to save time by allowing an algorithm to screen CVs and resumes for ideal candidates—which, when you receive hundreds of applications, saves a significant amount of time.

Additionally, AI can pair your new hires with the optimal team and recommend career development opportunities, such as skills trainings and conferences. And if that learning development opportunities just isn’t doing it for an employee, AI can even predict how likely they are to leave.

A lot of companies are using video calls to interview candidates. These videos can be recorded and analyzed by an AI to help assess a candidate’s truthfulness and other body language indicators that might help a hiring manager make a better decision.

People are often speaking to you in ways you can’t perceive, either through a pattern of behavior or imperceptible body language. AI can help HR professionals make decisions that not only benefit their company, but also help put candidates on the right course for success.

 

What’s Next?

There are a lot of research firms making predictions about AI. Some are optimistic and many are pessimistic when it comes to job displacement. But there’s really no consensus on overall impact or timeline.

Jim Adler, the managing direct of Toyota’s AI Ventures, reminds us, “Whenever there is tech disruption, more jobs are created than before in places we don’t expect. The tech opens up new markets. People sometimes forget that.”

If you want to see how AI can help improve your business, check out Conversica’s AI Assistant, which can help you see results like those found in the Harvard Business Review study.

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