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.

Marketing AI: The New Frontier

Marketing AI: The New Frontier

Marketing AI: The New Frontier
If you haven’t seen the cover story for the latest issue of PeerSphere magazine, check it out! The article features Conversica CMO, Carl Landers, along with other Marketing leaders in the technology industry, on their perspectives on how marketing AI will positively impact the way Marketers work.
During Super Bowl LI, more than 100 million viewers heard that “one of the most powerful tools our species has created” was being unleashed to search out every possible deduction for individual tax returns this year through H&R Block. An hour later, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeared to leverage his own version of artificial intelligence when he learned the subtle weaknesses of a clearly more talented Falcons team, overcoming a 25-point deficit and securing a win.

While marketing AI functions have been widely deployed for years to improve everything from manufacturing efficiencies to personalized searches, Marketing teams have yet to realize the full potential of this game-changing innovation. However, it is most certainly on Marketers’ radar.

A report by Weber Shandwick shows that 68 percent of CMOs are planning for the AI revolution, and a majority said they expected AI to have a bigger impact on Marketing than even social media.

Dario Debarbieri, Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Watson Customer Engagement—North America, also believes that AI represents a revolution for Marketers today—and that the CMO who fails to leverage cognitive computing tools today would be like the CMOs who failed to establish company websites in the late 1990s.

“Imagine you were a CMO in 1999, and you decided that you were not going to create a new digital channel by building a website that had the capability to sell your products,” Debarbieri says. “It’s almost the same comparison today with cognitive computing because if you’re a CMO, acting and reacting on old data and using unintelligent tools will be a fatal mistake.”

Marketing AI: Looking Beyond the Past

The ability to look toward the future to predict consumer behavior is potentially one of the greatest benefits that marketing AI has to offer. While most Marketers still look to past data to inform their customer engagements, the holy grail lies in Marketing’s ability to process and act on customer data in real-time to create the personalized, relevant engagements that they expect. However, according to a CMO Council study, only 7 percent of Marketers revealed that they are able to consistently create real-time, personalized engagements for the customers across both digital and physical touchpoints.

Debarbieri says that another recent survey illustrated the importance of cognitive computing tools for CMOs: 75 percent of companies today struggle with 25 percent of their available data, and worse still, they have virtually no access at all to the remaining 75 percent of their unstructured data.

“We know that all CMOs have problems dealing with data,” Debarbieri says. “We have so many dashboards and so much information, but most of the information is not real-time, and a vast amount of data is being created in multiple forms. There is the data that a company will create or acquire and will know well. Still, the unstructured data—which comes from comments on social media, different channels of communication like video, audio, email, instant messaging, etc.—represents an immense amount of information that we can’t grasp without cognitive capabilities. For the most part, Marketers only understand the impact of that data in past tense and have to develop their own conclusions and decisions based on the information that they receive. On rare occasions, conventional data tools will also give you real-time information that helps you to make rapid decisions. But what you cannot do—which AI allows you to do—is actually predict events with intelligence embedded so that you have a sense of future outcomes as well.”

Attention Marketers: Marketing AI Is Your Best Friend

Most companies have reached a point at which the sheer amount of data coming in and the ability to process, interpret and act upon those insights are beyond what humans have the capacity to do. According to a CMO Council study, only 3 percent of Marketers’ data sources are delivering a comprehensive view of their customers that would enable personalization.

However, the digital transformation that Marketers today are seeking most certainly entails the ability to mass-personalize content and communications at scale and to an audience of one. With machine learning helping companies to gain a better understanding of customer behavior and more accurately predict the next action, marketing AI holds a great deal of promise when it comes to the ability to deliver a comprehensive view of the customer and personalize at scale.

Carl Landers, Chief Marketing Officer for Conversica—an AI solutions provider—explains that when it comes to personalization, the possibilities are really endless:

“AI is going to give us the ability to automate things that we’re already doing and free us up to focus on things that we’ve never been able to do before,” he explains. “This includes personalization at a mass scale. With machine learning and natural language processing, the machine is going to be able to extract insights from all of the internal and external data that we have about customers and make the right decisions in terms of what an individual should receive, what that next offer should be, what a web page should look like, etc. in order to best fulfill their needs. As a Marketer, this mass personalization has not been humanly possible, but the machine is going to do it for us, and it’s going to be a win-win for the Marketer and consumer.”

Using AI, Landers points to the Los Angeles Film School, which was able to increase lead engagement by more than 33 percent due to the implementation of an AI Assistant, which followed up with prospective students to set up appointments for them with admissions consultants.

“When you have 10,000 leads coming in every month, it doesn’t make economic sense to have a human try 12 times to reach someone when there are constantly new people coming in, so you might try two or three times and move on,” he explains. “However, research shows that to reach people, it can take up to 12 attempts to get their attention, so think of all the money they’re spending on advertising to drive that interest and not reaching people. With the AI Assistant, the school generated a 1/3 increase in sales pipeline, which wouldn’t have been humanly possible otherwise.”

The ROI of Marketing AI

When it comes to measuring the real value of marketing AI, there are two types of AI that must be viewed in much different ways. According to Landers, autonomous marketing AI—which processes information and automatically serves up the next offer or content based on data, thus requiring a much higher level of trust—makes it easy to determine ROI because the numbers are direct correlations to the implementation of AI technology. However, advisory marketing AI—which provides intelligence but ultimately allows the marketer to make a final decision before implementation—is much more difficult to justify because the technology enables better decision-making, but at the end of the day, the Marketer still makes the decision, and it is difficult to place a dollar amount on a better decision.

For Kathryn Morrill—former Inside Sales and Marketing Manager for CoolFront Technologies—the AI Assistant that her company implemented was viewed as a true extension of the Marketing and Sales teams as it managed all of the leads that came in. When a potential prospect viewed a piece of content, they entered the top of the funnel, and the first point of contact with those at the top of the funnel occurs through their marketing AI. The marketing AI then did lead qualification, which made the role of Sales much easier and the entire sales process much more effective, so the most obvious initial value from AI was qualitative.

“Before we could really put a quantitative value on our marketing AI, we knew the amount of time that it was saving and that it was providing a much better quality of life for our Marketing and Sales teams because we didn’t feel like we were drowning in things that we couldn’t get done,” she explains. “Quantitatively, there were initial savings because we didn’t have to hire another employee, but when we started comparing the conversion rate of those who engaged with our marketing AI to those who did not, we were able to see a 10-percent increase in conversion, and we attribute that to the fact that the AI is better at gauging who is a true, ready-to-go customer.”

Before Taking the Leap With Marketing AI

As with any new strategy, it is important to understand the complexities involved in marketing AI implementation upfront and to have a plan in place to streamline the process as much as possible. Landers emphasizes that while AI will ultimately make it much easier to streamline communications between buyers and sellers as much of this process will one day occur automatically through virtual assistants, the responsibility of the Marketer will be in packaging and articulating the brand’s value as commerce moves beyond self-service and toward auto-service.

“Today, AI is really about empowering humans to do better work,” Landers says. “Tomorrow, it’s going to be about AI interacting and taking a lot of things off our plate so that we can live better lives. It may seem far off to have a company AI interacting with a personal AI in order to make decisions, but I believe that is what we are moving toward.”

that we can live better lives. It may seem far off to have a company AI interacting with a personal AI in order to make decisions, but I believe that is what we are moving toward.”

As companies move forward in this new world of AI, Debarbieri says that regardless of the implementation choice, it is important that companies retain ownership over their own data. While he says that conventional data analytics software can offer important value for CMOs, he believes the increasing prevalence of unstructured data and the importance of real-time campaign recommendations will make AI platforms indispensable for CMOs.
In addition, Morrill explains that both the greatest benefit and greatest challenge of what AI can do is that the possibilities are endless, which can be enlightening but intimidating as well.

“If you don’t limit yourself to what you’re accustomed to doing traditionally, you’ll be able to see greater results just pushing by yourself a little bit outside your comfort zone,” she says. “The opportunities are endless, which can be very daunting because it’s very time-consuming to implement an entirely new strategy, and it requires a huge transition. But even if you’re a little hesitant, implementing AI will not be something that Marketers will regret.”

Dario Debarbieri
Chief Marketing Officer, IBM Watson Customer Engagement–North America

Dario Debarbieri began his marketing career in 1990. He studied law and economics at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Throughout his career, he has held several leadership positions, starting as a Marketing and Communications Manager for what became the largest private pension funds company of Argentina. When he joined IBM in 1997, he was responsible for several strategic projects, including the IBM Argentina image recovery plan as Marketing Manager, and later became Manager of e-Business Marketing for Latin America. In 2001, while in New York, he managed the largest web-based collateral project while working with the Corporate Marketing Identity and Design team. He managed the One Voice Marketing project that expanded IBM’s marketing into 25 countries, including the first investment plan for IBM China and India. The project later became the Marketing Management System for all growth markets. In 2003, Debarbieri joined the IBM SWG Team, where he held leadership positions in IBM USA, IBM Spain, IBM Middle East and Africa, and SWG Marketing in Somers, New York. He now serves as CMO for IBM Watson Customer Engagement in North America.

Carl Landers
Chief Marketing Officer, Conversica

Carl Landers has been Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at Conversica LLC since March 2015. He oversees all strategic, operational, and financial aspects of Conversica’s marketing efforts, including corporate marketing, demand generation, communications, and events. Prior to joining Conversica, he served as Chief Marketing Officer at Serena Software, beginning in 2000. He joined Serena as Vice President of Product Marketing and Demand Generation after serving in a similar role at CA Technologies in its portfolio management business unit. His previous experience includes senior marketing, product management, and product development roles at Niku Corporation, Tyco International, and Raychem Corporation, as well as startups Perfect Commerce and Zoho Corporation. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

Kathryn Morrill
Former Inside Sales and Marketing Manager, CoolFront Technologies

Kathryn Morrill is a former Inside Sales and Marketing Manager for CoolFront Technologies. She is a results-driven professional business manager with key management skills and expertise in business development, comparative growth sales, trade marketing and CRM. Prior to CoolFront, she worked as a Trade Marketing Manager for EC Scott Group, a training, service, and sales company that focuses on building strong partnerships with prestige beauty brands and independent retailers. Previously, she worked as a business teacher for Williamson Central Schools in Buffalo, New York. He earned her master’s degree in business, management, marketing, and related support services.

This blog post originally appeared on PeerSphere and was reprinted with permission.

How Our Conversational AI Platform Personalizes Your Marketing Efforts


Today at Conversica, we celebrated another technology milestone and delivered advanced new capabilities to the Conversica AI platform which powers the millions of front-office conversations between people and AI Assistants.These capabilities give business users even more freedom and flexibility to personalize their AI-powered conversations with prospects and customers while still benefiting from the hundreds of proven pre-built conversations that allow Conversica’s AI Assistants to be productive from day one.

Users of this newly released version will benefit from a completely reimagined Conversation Editor, expanded conversation library and added visualizations of conversation flows. These easier-to-use interfaces and additional controls over the Conversica AI platform allows business users to focus more precisely on the purpose of each conversation they wish to deploy while Conversica’s data science and engineering teams make sure the conversations result in faster time to value and greater outcomes.

New Customer Success AI Assistant Tutorial for Conversation Editor
In a tutorial on our Conversation Editor page, Melia Spath, a Senior Customer Success Manager at Conversica, shows how Conversica’s Customer Success AI Assistant helps with account retention, scheduling reviews and up-selling to current customers. Malia also demonstrates how easy it is to set up a fresh campaign using our next-generation Conversation editor. She shows how to map a conversation to the UPSELL/CROSS-SELL Skill within our Customer Success AI Assistant to target any customer that may be right for an upgrade including how to easily navigate to the Conversation tab in the Conversica environment, select the UPSELL/CROSS SELL feature, map a new conversation, add an ID, change the status to active, and view the exchanges with your AI Assistant.

New Sales AI Assistant Tutorial for Conversation Editor
In another tutorial on our Conversation Editor page, Breanna Wilson, a Customer Success Team Lead at Conversica, shows another example of the flexibility of Conversation Editor within the Conversica Sales AI Assistant. Customers across a variety of industries use the Conversica Sales AI Assistant to drive engagement, schedule appointments and create opportunity pipeline. In this tutorial, Breanna shows how to create a new campaign using the SALES / ATTEMPTED CONTACTS conversation. This is part of the ACTIVATE Unresponsive Demand Skill which is a conversation designed to reach out to contacts or leads where a sales rep has attempted to make a connection but has been unsuccessful.

This is a great example of how to drive leads to receive information, work toward scheduling a meeting or branch into other conversations based on a lead response. For example, if they respond and say they are not the right person, the AI Assistant will ask who they should connect with instead and automatically take action to update the CRM system and notify the correct salesperson.

More Flexibility and Personalization with Our Conversational AI Platform
Conversica puts more flexibility in the hands of business users by enabling them to design and deploy intelligent, customer-focused AI conversations in response to dynamic business conditions without involving IT departments. The company automates the routine, tedious but important interactions and tasks, thus, freeing business people to do the higher value work they enjoy and together driving toward better business outcomes.

At Conversica, we are driving toward a future where every business person has an Intelligent Virtual Assistant.

You can read the full press release detailing these new product capabilities here.

Blog: Awards Momentum Continues for Conversica — Receiving 7 Honors So Far in 2019

It’s been an exciting year for Conversica — and we’re only two-thirds of the way through!

Conversica’s commitment to bringing sophisticated, yet easy-to-use Intelligent Virtual Assistants to market — including our Sales AI Assistant, Customer Success AI Assistant and Admissions AI Assistant, to name a few — is recognized not only by our customers but also lauded by influential third parties including the media, research groups, and other thought leaders.

Let’s look at some of the achievements and honors that Conversica has been awarded thus far in 2019.

Conversica Secures a Coveted Spot on the Constellation ShortList™ for Sales Productivity Solutions in Q3 2019

Most recently, Conversica was included on the Constellation ShortList™ for Sales Productivity Solutions in Q3 2019. Constellation Research, a respected technology research and advisory firm based in Silicon Valley, determines its list by inquiries and interviews with the nominees’ clients and partners; while also factoring in market share and internal research. This honor signifies Conversica’s dedication to providing solutions that optimize a sales team’s performance and productivity.

Even more encouraging is the fact that this is Conversica’s second consecutive time to appear on the Constellation ShortList™ in this category, the first was in Q1 of this year.

Conversica Included in the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America for the Fourth Year in a Row

In August, Inc. included Conversica in the Inc. 5000: The Most Successful Companies in America for 2019. Perhaps even more impressive is that this choice marks Conversica’s fourth consecutive year on this prestigious list.

Appearing first in 2016, Conversica significantly climbed in rank (more than 2,000 spots) on the list and accelerated revenue growth 206 percent over the past three years. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Conversica Named Digiday Finalist for “Best Sales Automation Tools and Platform”

Online trade magazine Digiday is known for its quality coverage of disruptive technologies across the marketing industry. In August, Conversica was honored to be named one of the finalists for the “Best Sales Automation Tools and Platform” alongside Plate IQ, KBMax’s Snap, Ellie Mae, Inc.’s Velocify, and Savings United GmbH.

While we didn’t win the top designation this time, we are proud to be a finalist among what we are sure was a vast list of companies seeking this accolade.

The AIconics Awards Honored Conversica in Categories of “Best Innovation in Intelligent Automation” and “Best Application of AI for Sales and Marketing”

Among a wide entry field of over eight-hundred companies, Conversica was named one of only eight finalists in two categories: “Best Innovation in Intelligent Automation” and “Best Application of AI for Sales and Marketing” by The Alconics Awards in June.

This was an especially rewarding experience for Conversica since we understand the pivotal changes AI technology offers by augmenting sales and marketing teams. This year was also our second consecutive year to be named a finalist by The Alconics Awards.

Conversica Ranks Sixth Most Innovative AI Company in the World by Fast Company

Conversica prides itself on delivering innovative solutions to alleviate common pain points affecting Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams; which is why we were thrilled to be listed among Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in February.

In response to this announcement, Conversica CEO Alex Terry says, “With so many companies doing amazing work in the AI space, it’s a great honor to make Fast Company’s global top 10. We are, of course, thrilled that our AI-powered business conversations drive revenue and customer satisfaction. But this recognition is really a testament to our team’s ongoing commitment to innovation — a commitment that we continue to make a top priority.”

Conversica Named “Technology Partner of the Year” by Marketo

The company you keep says a lot about your business. While we are always pleased by the praises we receive, we are especially happy to receive nods from our partners.

In February, Marketo named Conversica “Technology Partner of the Year” for its powerful yet straightforward integration with this popular marketing automation software. The central focus of the Marketo-Conversica relationship is to deliver seamlessly integrated, best-in-class partner solutions that solve real business challenges, such as maximizing revenue opportunities.

Although summer is coming to a close, there is still plenty of time left in 2019 to delight our customers, our partners, the media, and industry thought leaders—and that’s exactly what we intend to do.

See for yourself how Conversica’s AI Assistants can help to augment your workforce and Request a free demo today.

Blog: Conversica Wins 2019 Artificial Intelligence Excellence Award

We’re proud to add yet another AI award to our awards display case at the Conversica HQ!

This time, our Conversica Conversational AI Assistant for Business was one of two technologies selected to win an AI award in the Self-Aware category of the 2019 Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards. The other winner was ignio – a cognitive automation platform. It’s flattering to keep company with other technologies pushing the boundaries of today’s artificial intelligence for business.

All in all, 20 other companies won awards in the 2019 Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards, including other business-focused AI companies, products and people who are bringing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to life and applying it to solve real problems. Winners were chosen in all four of the categories of AI including Reactive Machines, Limited Memory, Theory of Mind, and Self-Awareness.

“As evidenced by all of the nominations, Artificial Intelligence is set to transform nearly every aspect of our lives and culture,” said Maria Jimenez, chief nominations officer for Business Intelligence Group. “As more and more companies build new tools, launch new services or deploy the AI of strategic vendors, it is important to recognize the truly unique solutions and how they impact the market. We are so proud that such an incredible group of companies won this year’s program. Congratulations to all of them.”

Other AI Technologies

Capgemini was chosen as the overall winner for its “Cash Collections Assistant,” a human-like voice collector that responds quickly to customers in 24 languages. The AI speech generation engine is trained and backed by natural language processing (NLP) to fit finance models and semantic topic understanding. The solution is implemented using cognitive NLP, live voice transcription, autonomous micro-services, and modern web frameworks. All of its elements operate in the cloud, enabling key enterprise features such as scalability, multi-tenancy, leading market security compliance, and continuous deployment.

“Capgemini’s Perform AI portfolio of solutions moves organizations beyond a proof of concept to pragmatic delivery at scale for real business impact,” said Adam Bujak, global head of Intelligent Automation Practice, Capgemini’s Business Services. “Capgemini’s Business Services team delivers Intelligent Process Automation to transform our clients’ operations by assisting, augmenting, and automating them – with a human team member at the center executing higher value tasks. This award recognizes the passion and determination of our experts to support our clients’ transformation journeys.”

AI Awards Recognize Individuals, Products & Services

Within the four categories, the 2019 Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards winners for Limited Memory, Reactive Machines, Self-Aware AI, and Theory of Mind were:

Limited Memory

  • Brad Mascho, Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, NCI Information Systems, Inc.
  • Oliver Tavakoli, Chief Technology Officer, Vectra AI
  • Liran Zvibel, Co-Founder and CEO, WekaIO
  • Cherre
  • Trax
  • BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) for Boehringer Ingelheim – Think. Act. Breathe.
  • Cognito Platform
  • Exabeam Advanced Analytics
  • OrboGraph

Reactive Machines

  • OneConnect Financial Technology
  • Zebra Medical Vision
  • Algolux Eos Perception Software
  • Jumio
  • Invoca: Signal AI

Self-Aware

  • Conversica – Conversational AI Assistant for Business
  • Digitate: ignio – cognitive automation platform

Theory of Mind

  • Marwan Salem bin Haidar, EVP Innovation and The Future Division, DEWA
  • Shaukat Shamim, Founder and CEO, Youplus
  • Hypergiant Industries
  • Capgemini: Cash Collections Assistant
  • Intuition Robotics: Platform Q
  • OJO Labs

This awards program also recognized several companies as finalists including:

  • AllyO
  • Wolters Kluwer
  • Darktrace
  • Chorus.ai
  • Response Path
  • SoundHound Inc.
  • TransPerfect
  • Visulytix
  • Zyprotect

The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, these programs are judged by business executives having experience and knowledge. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

Read the press release about this award announcement.