Marketo Integration: Conversica Recognized for AI Assistants

We were happy to recently be named Technology Partner of the Year by Marketo.
This recognition resulted from our AI Assistant technology integration with Marketo. This Conversica-Marketo integration leverages the synergies between marketing automation and conversational AI to drive high-efficiency sales lead follow-up.

Conversica is a member of Marketo’s LaunchPoint partner program, which delivers seamlessly integrated, best-in-class partner solutions that solve business challenges. The focus of the Marketo-Conversica relationship is giving organizations the tools they need to maximize revenue.

Conversica customers expect us to serve them not only as vendors but as trusted advisors in their digital transformation, so we see it as our responsibility to invest in partnerships with leading technology companies like Marketo, as well as agencies and systems integrators, to best serve our customers. 

Keeping Great Company With LaunchPoint Partners 
While choosing companies to be named partner of the year, Marketo aims to highlight the top contributors in the LaunchPoint partner program. Past winners include other innovative companies including ANNUITAS and Oktopost. Simply put, these awards showcase powerful integrations that help businesses grow. Another business that was honored as a partner of the year for 2019 by Marketo is also a Conversica partner, DemandGen. DemandGen helps marketers drive results by transforming customer experience and engagement capabilities.

The partnership between Marketo and Conversica positively impacts the sales process for many organizations. Wyatt Tucker, Global Marketing Operations Manager at TIBCO and Marketo Certified Expert, describes his experience with the Conversica integration, “Through the use of Conversica and Marketo, we can ensure every one of our prospects is followed up with and gets the information and assistance they need as they research and evaluate TIBCO’s Connected Intelligence Cloud platform. As a result, we’ve improved the overall prospect experience and exponentially increased incremental pipeline in less than six months.”

Likewise, having our Conversica AI Assistant technology integrated with Marketo has achieved wide marketplace acceptance and our team was honored to receive the Technology Partner of the Year award from our colleagues at Marketo.

Marketo Integration Drives Productivity with AI Assistants
Conversica’s award from Marketo highlights the value of conversational AI in sales applications. AI provides context and valuable information to sales reps when they need it. This technology drives productivity and empowers reps to know who to talk to, when and what a lead is interested in before a phone call ever happens. We’re honored to know that our solution has been recognized by Marketo and that the power of conversational AI is helping organizations interact with prospects.

Join us at Adobe Summit next week. If you plan to attend, you can schedule a demo with Conversica at: https://calendly.com/myconversica/conversica-adobesummit-demo

2019 Predictions: Conversica Partners Predict Sales & Marketing Trends for 2019

In follow-up to our 2019 Predictions webinar, we asked some of our partners to share their predictions for 2019. Conversica Partner Marketing and Sales leaders and C-Level team members at IMPACT, LeanData, Metadata, SnapApp, Uberflip, Vengresso and Vidyard share their top Sales and Marketing trends and predictions for this coming year.

Metadata

Gil Allouche, CEO, Metadata

I think marketers will break the status quo in 2019 by implementing 3 tactics:

  • Break the silos between their marketing automation technologies : every marketing tool is a public API that allows marketers to free their data from those tools into one place to see it all. No more switching around between tools.
  • Optimize their marketing operations and campaigns based  on real business KPIs (pipeline) vs vanity metrics (eg email opens, impressions). With technologies like Bizible from marketo or Datorama from Salesforce.
  • Leverage agile marketing and experimentation (vs waterfall approach) for everything digital marketing campaigns  —— this is the biggest one. So far marketing has been done in a manual form, testing only 3-4% of what’s possible. Using experimentation technology  (eg metadata.io) companies can (without hiring a single more person) go through thousands of different combinations and iterations to hone in on what exact campaigns work best for them. 

IMPACT 

Vin Gaeta, Director of Strategic Partnerships, IMPACT

For 2019 marketers trying to break the status quo, my belief is they’ll be changing how they approach content and the buyer journey by focusing on more video for human to human marketing and selling. To further that, my hope is they don’t shy away from the sometimes “scary” questions that always get asked – but rarely get answered (when they really should). Things like pricing, honest comparisons between their company and their competitors, and quite frankly why the prospect would find value in what they offer – rather than only talking about themselves (which is shockingly still a trend).

SnapApp

Seth Lieberman, CEO, SnapApp

“Marketers are going to blow up their lead gated content models in 2019.  They don’t work for anyone, not the prospect, not the marketer, and definitely not sales.”

“It will take all of 2019, but it will be the year that marks the tipping point where content marketing becomes just marketing.”

Vidyard

Tyler Lessard, VP Marketing, Vidyard

“2019 will see a big shift in how marketers use tools like video, chat and conversational content to build more authentic relationships and to personalize the customer experience. Gated white papers and clickbait will be replaced with un-gated videos and conversational chatbots to align with the shifting expectations of today’s buyers, offering new opportunities to expand reach and build human connections with audiences at scale.”

LeanData

Asher Mathew, VP Business Development, LeanData

Today’s customer wants, and demands, a personal – and even intimate – focus on nurturing the relationship. As a result, marketing strategies for innovative companies will revolve around what I like to call the 3 Cs: conversation, clarity and commitment. Let’s have a one-on-one conversation with our prospects to find out what they want, let’s provide clarity on what they need versus what they think they want, and then let’s get a commitment from the provider and the prospect to work together to meet joint goals and all-around success.

2019 will be the year in which marketers will use any and all data and technologies to search for the context to have the right conversation that will convert a prospect to a client or customer. Just like a hot referral vs. a warm or cool referral, this super-targeted approach adds immediate value because it shortens the time in the pipeline and enables more meaningful connections.

Uberflip

Randy Frisch, CMO, President & Cofounder, Uberflip

Personalization

  • In 2019, marketers will lean on content experience platforms to help them leverage intent data to serve the right content to each unique visitor at the right time. Consumers spend their downtime enjoying the hyper-personalized experiences of Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon and have come to expect this level of personalization when making B2B purchases too. Buyers’ expectations have evolved, and we have to give them a lot more than a one-size-fits-all experience if we want them to engage with us.

Focus on the experience

  • When content marketing first came to be, marketers neglected to think ahead and look at what they were actually going to do with all the content they were creating. Now, creation is only the first step in an organization’s investment in content. In 2019, marketers will place a heavier focus on creating content experiences that are designed to convert.

Vengresso

Bernie Borges, CMO, Vengresso

In 2019, marketers must stop thinking about marketing as the domain of their department – or their logo – and rather look to empower the sales staff to be trained and brand-compliant brand ambassadors. Marketers who think that salespeople don’t want to be marketers have asked the wrong question. Don’t ask sales if they want to be an extension of marketing? Ask Sales if they want content and the training and tools to share content with their buyers to start more sales conversations. Marketing in a silo doesn’t work in the connected age. See LinkedIn’s State of Sales 2018 report: “62% of decision makers look for an informed LinkedIn profile when considering working with a salesperson.” If Marketing doesn’t enable “an informed LinkedIn profile” they’re not doing one of the most needed things a salesperson needs from Marketing. After all, Marketing exists to help enable Sales as much as possible.

Want to see more AI predictions for 2019? Watch our fireside chat 2019 Predictions: 10 Ways Conversational AI Will Change The Way We Work.

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.

CTA Live Demo

Guest blog: How AI will serve as a business concierge in the future

Welcome to our guest blog, courtesy of Aman Naimat of Demandbase:

Over the past decade, B2B marketing has undergone a massive transformation. According to Forrester Research, the entire B2B sector represents more than $1 trillion in digital commerce every year, more than double the size of the B2C economy.  But what’s next? Is artificial intelligence the rocket fuel to take us through the next decade of marketing technology?

AI is not about inventing a new task or a new way of being intelligent, but simply mimicking human intelligence. It’s about doing the same old human tasks at super-human scale. Given that it’s a machine doing the work, AI can be done at infinite scale since it can read and process billions of data points with perfect memory.

The abundance and availability of data around marketing is why marketing processes are such a sweet spot for AI. Marketing is also a process that still has very low yields (0.03 percent, from an initial inquiry to closed business) and thus provides ample opportunities for ROI. We’ve already seen everyone jumping into the fray, including Salesforce with Einstein and Microsoft with its new Dynamics AI platform. In addition, Sundar Pinchai, the CEO of Google, recently announced that AI will be the central component in all of their products.

AI is different from just sorting data or predicting leads based on a limited CRM database. It’s a lot closer to Amazon Echo than to a spreadsheet. The next frontier for AI will be on the frontline of the brand communicating directly with the buyers rather than some back-office process. But to do so, it must be able to understand and communicate in the language of buyers and gauge deep insights about them. Given that most of the world’s knowledge is expressed in natural language, it has to be able to understand and communicate in human language and not in scores or numbers.

Hyper-personalized conversations at scale

There are many areas in marketing where current and future AI can be applied, including lead ranking, buyer identification, data cleansing, dynamic account assignment, opportunity forecasting, and the next sales action. But the most interesting and valuable use for AI is the ability for marketers to have a one-on-one personalized conversation with buyers who know their pain points, goals, and ambitions. The value of hyper-personalization comes from its ability to eliminate one of the scourges of marketing: worthless spam. It allows the brand to scale a personalized conversation to millions of buyers as if there were a personal concierge attending to them.

What exactly do I mean by that? Today, strategic account or field marketing managers act as such a concierge; they have in-depth knowledge of the accounts, business landscape, and industry and know how to align their conversation to the buyer’s business priorities. Until recently, such conversations happened only with an exclusive realm of highly paid people. But now AI can allow each of a company’s 10 million website visitors to have a unique conversation with a brand.

We already know this tactic works when conducted by humans. In fact, according to McKinsey, personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend.

Types of hyper-personalization

Every industry has slightly different methods and channels in which they communicate to their buyers. To make hyper-personalization work and to avoid sounding disjointed, AI has to be applied consistently to all the ways in which a brand communicates to their existing and new customers. Three ways marketers can apply hyper-personalization across the buyer’s journey are:

  • Dynamic ad copy: Today, we don’t think of advertising as part of a conversation, because it’s stuck on a billboard or a website and doesn’t apply to 99 percent of the people viewing the ad. What if the ad copy could actually change for every buyer and account? We know that would be more effective. What if we knew that the ad impression was going to a female CMO of an auto parts manufacturer in Detroit, with a new partnership with Mercedes, targeting Tesla as an account, with budget for a new digital marketing system? AI could develop personalized ad copy tailored to this CMO — “Marissa, download a case study of how Mercedes is using our marketing engine to transform their digital experience.”
  • 1-to-1 emails: This is the most exciting opportunity for hyper-personalization at scale, since emails still remain the primary communication for deals. While generic messages don’t really work, researching buyer interest to create personalized messaging does. If a human does this, it is inefficient and rarely effective. With AI, you can understand buyers’ interests at scale and craft highly personalized emails to them.
  • Unique website experience:  The same advertising conversation has to continue to a brand’s website. Today, about 50 percent of the people bounce, and 97 percent of the people don’t really find what they’re looking for. Imagine a Netflix-style personalization engine where richer content is weaved from individual pieces and net new web content is generated with suggestions for what a prospect would like based on past viewing experiences. What if the same CMO of the car parts manufacturer clicked through the personalized ad and we knew that she likes her content in video format? Would you want her to be on a generic website or just show her the video case studies you have for the auto industry?

How can marketing organizations make this happen today?

In some not-too-distant future, each hyper-personalized conversation across ads, the web, and email will be automatically generated from scratch. But that’s not possible today. Natural language generation is still a complex developing field. Thankfully we can hack around this problem by weaving in pieces of existing content.

There’s nothing wrong with that, and in reality that’s what your smart sales and marketing people are doing when they’re asked to do something custom. Companies like Netflix and Amazon have become masters of product and content recommendations over the past decade, and there is absolutely no reason why other businesses can’t apply the same techniques based on data on their own websites or third-party identifiers.

By combining a company’s internal clickstream data and simple machine learning, effective personalized experiences can be delivered today so we are not sending our users down a structured maze of industry or product categories.

Velocify plus Conversica equals one awesome lead management solution

One of the cooler things about Conversica – aside from the super-cool fact that it gives your salespeople more opportunities to score and your marketers better insight into lead sources – is the way it pulls together a larger sales/marketing automation partner ecosystem.

Have Salesforce? Conversica is a partner with Salesforce leads management and will integrate directly into your campaigns and dashboards, and leverage the prospect insight it gains to keep your lead lists clean. Have Marketo? Conversica will use what it learns about prospects’ intent with Marketo software to directly improve the quality of your lead scoring. The benefits are multiplicative – one plus one equals far more than just two.

So we’re proud to introduce another important partner: Velocify. Coupled with Conversica, Velocify brings more speed and control to the entire sales process, helping teams prospect with more precision, accelerate lead engagement, and implement optimized workflows, ultimately helping sales teams find and convert even more leads.

So Conversica ensures that every single lead is followed up on and that your salespeople spend their days talking with the ones who want to talk with them. And Velocify ensures that they do so as quickly and optimally as possible. Talk about a winning combination – maybe one plus one equals ten, or a million, how about a billion?

You can learn all about this exciting partnership when both companies’ CEOs speak at ELEVATE, Velocify’s free virtual sales kickoff on December 3. Or of course feel free to contact us directly. Do the math – Velocify and Conversica make a winning partnership for all our customers.

C-Level Execs Share Sales Development Best Practices for High Growth Companies

Salesforce recently hosted a webcast with partners to explore best practices for sales development. Salesforce’s Doug Chaney, Director of ISV Channel Sales, moderated a C-Suite panel including Will Wiegler, CMO of SteelBrick, Matt Close, Chief Revenue Officer of the TAS Group and our own Mark Bradley, CEO of Conversica.

It was a great discussion, with each executive sharing their experiences in creating and scaling Sales Development organizations to help their companies grow. You can listen to the complete webcast recording here.

We asked each of the executives to share some of their best resources as a follow-up to the webcast, and here they are:

-Eric