There is a frenzy of interest and activity right now around generative AI and foundational large language models (LLMs). According to Forrester’s new forecast, generative AI will have an average annual growth rate of 36% to 2030, capturing 55% of the AI software market. Conversation intelligence (CI) is a critical sales tool for capturing the interaction data needed to power this AI boom. Sales technology vendors are building or acquiring CI platforms to better enable AI generated insights within their solutions. While the race to acquire CI capabilities is all but over, the competition to fully leverage the power of CI is just beginning. “Me, too” products abound, but few vendors have delivered innovative use cases and even fewer have capabilities that span across multiple use cases, such as sales readiness and deal insights.

As a result of these trends, The Forrester Wave™: Conversation Intelligence For B2B Revenue, Q4 2023, recommends that customers look for providers that:

  • Have a track record of delivering innovative solutions. When it comes to innovation, most CI solutions focus on either deal insights or sales readiness. This focus is important because it is where vendors will focus their innovation efforts. Look for vendors that have a track record of innovation for the use cases that are most important to your company.
  • Have advanced coaching capabilities. The only CI capability that every reference customer has adopted is coaching. While it is the most used, however, it is also rated as the least valuable. This is because most companies only use CI to record and listen to calls, which creates more work for managers and sellers. The top solutions are providing advanced scorecards and triggers that reduce the effort needed to evaluate while also improving seller performance based on conversation coaching.
  • Allow users to leverage triggers to drive results. The most valuable capability for reference customers is analyzing and reporting on conversations. Despite this, most reference customers are using fewer than 20 triggers to do their analysis, with many not using any. This is low compared to what companies will need to identify all the key insights from conversations. Additionally, accurate triggers are required to drive results, as sellers will ignore insights that are consistently inaccurate. Evaluate and test CI vendors’ ability to create accurate triggers to ensure that you can get the reliability needed to improve performance.

Taking advantage of AI in sales requires the ability to aggregate and analyze sales interactions beyond the transactional level and support four key use cases (see figure). Conversation intelligence solutions provide the foundational capabilities to make this a reality and so should be included in any technology purchased to support key use cases.

To learn more on this topic, check out the evaluation, The Forrester Wave™: Conversation Intelligence For B2B Revenue, Q4 2023.