EP183: Sales Mastery - Body Language and AI Giving You the Edge
Chris and Corey continue their conversation with Ben Sternsmith of Sybill AI . This episode covers how AI is revolutionizing the sales process, making it more precise and empowering for sales professionals.
Discover how AI analyzes tonality and body language, equipping salespeople with unparalleled accuracy in assessing deal progress. They discuss the importance of building trust with clients and how AI can support but never replace the human touch in establishing meaningful connections.
They also explore the resurgence of cold calling as a powerful strategy in the digital age and introduce Dealy. This innovative AI-driven solution enhances CRM systems by analyzing customer interactions and providing valuable insights.
Join us for this insightful episode that explores the synergy between sales and AI, offering practical tips and inspiring ideas for sales professionals.
Sybill AI is an AI company that originated as a Stanford project three years ago. The founders, frustrated with the limitations of remote teaching, developed a behavioral AI engine over Zoom. This innovative tool records calls and analyzes body language to determine engagement levels. Leveraging the power of large language models like GPT-4, Sybill AI offers generative AI for salespeople. It automatically generates call summaries, writes AI-powered follow-up emails, and even appends CRM data.
Full episode transcript below:
Chris and Corey continue their conversation with Ben Sternsmith of Sybill AI. This episode covers how AI's revolutionizing the sales process, making it more precise and empowering for sales professionals. Discover how AI analyzes tonality and body language equipping salespeople with unparalleled accuracy in assessing deal progress. The guys discuss the importance of building trust with clients and how AI can support but never replace the human touch in establishing meaningful connections. They also explore the resurgence of cold calling as a powerful strategy in the digital age, and introduce DealSync, an innovative AI-driven solution that enhances CRM systems by analyzing customer interactions and providing valuable insights. Join us for this insightful episode that explores the synergy between sales and AI, offering practical tips and inspiring ideas for sales professionals. Join us for this episode of Market Dominance Guys, sales mastery, body language and AI Giving You the Edge.
Chris Beall (01:26):
Imagine this, imagine Sybill gets to the point of being able to do tonality as accurately or maybe more accurately than body language. Now you've got multiple people you've interacted with. So now the question is, how does the tonality of various parts of the conversation go together to make a whole with regard to the progress of the deal? Where's the landmines? That's what we always want to know, we're working in the enterprise. Where's the landmines? Where's the thing that indicates they're listening to the competitor and not you? Where's that stuff going on? That's what, as an enterprise salesperson, which is where the big money is, right? That and where the big committees are and where people come and go, and where circumstances change and where their stock price can affect you. Anybody sold recently to an enterprise where its stock price is down to 5% of what it was 15 months ago? Holy moly, that's a different game.
So bringing all that together with AI and coming, I'll call it up in the deal, up out of the interaction with the individual and into the whole of what's going on. I think that's where the stuff ends up going, and I actually don't think that's a very long clap.
Ben Sternsmith (02:34):
Yeah, I think you're right. It's moving pretty fast right now and what we're describing is not science fiction. A third of it we do today and where it's only 2023, so exciting times. I think it's exciting time to be in sales. A lot of people are fearful of how AI's going to take over and I feel like this goes fast and it goes slow all at the same time where we're still going to be needed. AI's not going to take your prospect out for a steak dinner and build trust. It's not going to happen. So you still got to do that, but you can sure as heck give you more time at the dinner because you're going to have to write up a follow-up note, send it off to your boss. So anyway.
Chris Beall (03:12):
Yeah. AI already does sous vide better than I do. 95% of the cooking the steak will already occur with the AI. Now I have to sear it and get a little sizzle and a little smell on it.
Corey Frank (03:23):
I have a feeling you can order a drone steak by Amazon and you can have the degrees of well done, medium rare, et cetera, and it'll come in a hot pocket via drone to your doorstep. But Chris, you have a good buddy of ours of the podcast or so that was one of the first pilots in Top Gun and was there actually when they filmed the Top Gun with Tom Cruise. That's your buddy Rich, I believe, right?
Chris Beall (03:45):
Rick Brennan, Yeah.
Corey Frank (03:46):
That's right. And one of the things that Rick, I remember we chatted about was he said, I said, what is the most important trait of a pilot? And he didn't hesitate for a second. He'd said, oh, easy situational awareness. And Ben, I know your team is a big proponent. You phrase it a little differently. You call it reading the room. And so maybe you can talk a little bit about that, about if I'm a terrible reader of room, if I don't pick up on nonverbal cues or so because I have a pretty good product, does it really make a difference? Will it make a difference beyond a couple of basis points of me getting a deal or not getting a deal if I don't have the situational awareness of this all powerful civil engine monitoring what's happening between the lines?
Ben Sternsmith (04:33):
Well, I mean, I don't think it's going to close your deal for you, but I think Chris kind of nailed it when he was talking about the silent, we call it a silent champion sitting in the room. So we can see that they're nodding because they're engaged, but they don't say anything. So a lot of our calls that we record with large buying committees, there's at least three people and an eight-person call that say zero. So if you're using traditional technology, you have zero recall of what the meeting was like. And in most call recording solutions, they don't record that person because they record an active speaker, which is whoever is talking basically if zero recording of some of the most important people in the room, which are usually the economic buyers, say very little or nothing. And with our technology, you can find that silent champion because they're rated for you.
All the nods and smiles and moments of engagement non-verbally are captured. And if they're sitting their arms crossed, they're not paying attention or shaking their head, we pick up on that too and then we rate them poorly. Because you can go back and on that critical call, let's say it's a closing call, really dissect and this is what the enterprise sellers do because if they don't close that deal, it's probably one of two in their pipeline for that quarter that's going to make or break, go to club, or no. And it's a binary outcome. And so in my opinion, the bestsellers are de-riskers of deal outcome. They're great forecasters of deal outcome, but they make things happen by taking risk out of the equation incrementally as the sales cycle closes.
And I personally would go back and pour through that thing two or three times and Sybil will help me go to that moments of disengagement where I could be like, Bob was not into what I just said right there. And that was a critical moment I need to go work on Bob and I will try to get Bob off by himself and try to make sure he heard any access point I could to de-risk the fact that Bob could torpedo my deal. And that's how our technology can assist the rep. But the rep still has to go do all the work, but it's signal to maybe areas that you missed on the live call because you were too busy demoing or doing your job.
Corey Frank (06:37):
Yeah, I like that. And if those sales reps maybe that are those rogue elements, right, Chris and Ben? In an organization where they just bring the carcass, they just bring the scalp, they don't want the accountability because they hit their number, they probably exceed their number, they probably leave a wake of bodies in their midst. But as far as us as a sales leader, we're only seeing that hey, they're 110, 120, 130% of number, every single month. And so I would imagine a weapon like this and some insight to actually give me some guidance on how I interrupt, maybe how I talk too much. I talk too little, I don't answer somebody's question and I can see it in their face that a lot of those signals are missed. That I can see at again, the edges, the poor performers, but also the top performers probably really, really taking advantage of this type of AI.
Ben Sternsmith (07:34):
The smartest reps will see this as a weapon. I mean, I talk to CROs all day CEOs too, especially those that are getting into conversational intelligence because believe it or not, 80% of the market doesn't record calls today. And they always ask me, well, how am I going to get my team to use this? And I tell them, once they realize what additive value this gives them in their cycle to figure out these signals from the customer, they will fight to record, keep camera on, read body language, record the call in general, not have you kick out the recorder like a lot of people fear because the output is so valuable to the rest of the cycle and they will end up fighting for it, I guarantee it.
And there's some change management in there, but for the most part, that's what ends up happening. Even with the most skeptical reps that says, ah, my customers don't want me to record calls. It's because they know it's a weapon and it's a different amount of data than you ever had in the previous 30 years of your career, definitely is for me, and I've only been at this 24, so.
Corey Frank (08:35):
Well certainly Chris, you as CEO of one of the most powerful weapons on productivity, you get the weasels the weasel factor, again, as we come back to that where yeah, I don't want an autodialer boss. No, I don't want to, I'm fine. I just call my own accounts boss. All the reasons about why an increased level of accountability is always a bad thing and never a good thing.
Chris Beall (08:52):
Yeah, you know the fan club for accountability, the global fan club for accountability is waiting for its first member.
Ben Sternsmith (09:04):
That's good. Well, for what it's worth, I think cold calling is the new weapon, like Chris said, to ambush people, there's no other way. I think the digital ambush is really tired, is my personal opinion. I've worked with the Branch folks, Branch 49's been great for us, getting people that still pick up the phone. It's amazing what that has now come full circle. From cold calling in 2000, Oracle, the old way Chris, dialing for dollars. I would've loved a parallel dialer like ConnectAndSell back then, but God, had to do with the hard way. 50 calls a day, Oracle Direct, and to what it is today I think people, it's the pattern interrupt in my opinion, in this whole digital tide of spam and now AI personalization, I mean it kind of does work, but for the most part, I think cold calling is absolutely back in vogue and actually pattern interrupt to traditional methods. So good on you guys for helping us do that.
Chris Beall (09:58):
For sticking with it for 17 years. No, it's kind of funny. My wife, the one and only Helen Fanucci, the author of Love Your Team, a Survival Guide for Sales Managers in a hybrid world. She tried ConnectAndSell a few weeks ago, and of course she's been listening to me on about it since we met, so she knows a lot about it. But after she did it, I asked her, what'd you learn? She said, well, first it's you don't have to go to the gym. It's probably greatest weight loss program in the world. Your heart rate goes up to 160 and kind of magical. You get a full day of exercise in the first call you wait for. But she said the second thing is what she didn't realize until she did it was that you have an instantaneously open direct pipe into another person and you have their full attention.
So you get the full attention, the undivided attention of a human being that you might be important to in their business and vice versa. And you get it right now, whenever right now happens to be because you're ambushing yourself also with our technology, you push the button, you're ambushing somebody else, but then the fact that they answer ambushes you because God knows you could be petting your cat, drinking your coffee, whatever. You got to talk right now. That idea that you can get the undivided attention to somebody, compare that to the digital outreach world. Can you get anybody's undivided attention? One of the people at our company sent me a very interesting email two days ago about somebody who might want to do business with us in a great way. He didn't back it up with a phone call and he didn't back it up with a text either one of which I'll pay attention to.
Do you think I saw that thing with whatever funny subject line it had internally among the 1,137 emails I get per day, almost all of which are generated by robots? I mean no. And the other part is when you think about the vendor's bot, at which point in your life are you going to say, okay, I'm there. I trust every vendor's robot to be on my side, to have my back. That ain't going to happen. You know the vendor's robot was programmed by intelligent people to manipulate you. Oddly enough, a salesperson may be programmed by somebody to manipulate you too, but you can still trust them because you have channels in your brain that cause you to trust other human beings when they do certain things that indicate that they're trustworthy and you can't turn those off, but you can't turn them on from the bot side either.
As soon as you recognize it's a bot, you don't trust it. Now when it's following up, great, it's just a better writer. I mean, sales reps are horrible writers for the most part, and Sybill's using technology that frankly is a much better writer than any of us. It just is a really good writer. So it writes fast, it writes effortlessly from our perspective and it writes well, and it can be trusted because it's actually speaking on behalf of the rep. That's a very different game from cold outreach where the bots after you.
Corey Frank (13:03):
That's right. That's right. A hundred percent, a hundred percent. Well, that's great stuff. Ben, any predictions on where this is going to continue to go? Chris had mentioned he thinks, again, the tonality certainly as a weapon like Sybil may indeed help with tonality over times, but what are some of maybe the skunk works, if you don't mind sharing that Sybill's working on that the market is certainly ripe for?
Speaker 1 (13:28):
We'll be back in a moment after a quick break.
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Ben Sternsmith (15:08):
Yeah, I mean, we touched on it a little bit, but I'll double-click. Our newest product is called Dealsync, and Dealsync is basically a pending CRM systems with multiple calls and emails that have been between the sales rep and the customer or the CSM and the customer. And layering those in to a structured framework, whether it be MEDDIC or SPICED, working with the winning by design guys on that. So pick your flavor of qualification framework, bant, even for the front end of it, using something like ConnectAndSell. All of those things that we report on in the enterprise will become enriched via Sybill's Dealsync technology.
So it's really exciting stuff. We're in beta today, so definitely excited to get GA with it, but I think it's a hard problem to solve. It has not been solved by anyone to date, at least at scale, but I think we all could benefit from technology like this over time because it basically enriches our systems to be more valuable to read again. Whereas a lot of them are just warehouses of stale information that we had kind of discard like, oh, I'll pick on Salesforce. The market leader, ah, Salesforce never up to date. That world is about to be turned on its head very rapidly. I think that will change faster than most people realize. And then we'll slow down on things like AI taking over our sales reps jobs because I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.
Chris Beall (16:29):
Yeah, I think AI's going to generate more products to sell so fast. I mean, you think about it, that's really what you can do with AI is make new products and you can make new products very, very quickly by taking existing buried treasure troves of data and turning those into harvestable experiences. Harvestable value. So I was playing with our CRM over the long weekend here, and what I was doing was basically synthesizing revenue out of bookings in different circumstances in different ways so I could examine some scenarios and talk to some people in a more useful way. And the main thing I noted about the CRM was only one field, and I sort of did the rough math. One field out of 43 was being maintained. So 42 out of 43 fields in general had been put in by somebody at some point thinking it was like a hot tub or a gym membership is a field in a CRM. And you put a field in Salesforce thinking it's going to be some great thing, it's going to be maintained, you're going to get value out of it.
And then at about the amount of time that it takes for you to decide that you're not going to go out to the hot tub or go to the gym anymore, it's abandoned. It's used for a little while and abandoned. So most of the data in the CRM is actually, it's not just that it's not kept up to date, it's no longer relevant, but somebody thought it was relevant, that data is hiding in there somewhere. So if Sybill can figure out how to figure out what's important, like what's significant in there, what speaks to deals being done or speaks to targeting? Which is a super important thing to understand or speaks to renewals. Oh my goodness, that's a good one. Most of our deals now in the world of SaaS are actually renewals. They're not net new logo captures. Just finding what in that data is currently being used. So I don't have to go in and have big project to take my CRM apart and fix it because I won't do it, but I can treat it as though it were intelligently built.
I think that's sort of the promise, is letting all the junk in the CRM be used as though it had been intelligently designed and built so that it comes into service for us. I think that's really a big, big exciting moment. And then we'll have so many new products to sell as salespeople. We can just pick the best.
Corey Frank (18:50):
Ben Sternsmith (18:50):
Corey Frank (18:51):
I love it. And Chris, I think the 200 plus episodes we've done, I don't think we've had more than a handful of vendors on, and when we do, it's because of products that we use currently in our own ecosystem. We endorse or people that owe us money. No, I'm just kidding. Or it's folks that we know that really believe in the same philosophy we do. As you had mentioned, Ben, which we appreciate and we're a believer in, is the power of the cool call. There's a really cool technology. I got a cool call from today called Quiler, Q-U-I-L-I-R. It's a presentation software that takes your boring stay at presentations and bring them to life. But Ben, Chris is a picker-upper, I'm a picker-upper, and I'd say that's interesting area code. So Colorado, who do I know in Colorado? It's Chris is, you know.
So I pick up the phone and it's a sales rep from Quiler, a new biz dev rep, and I asked him, I was like, do you use phone as your primary vehicle of prospecting of cold outreach? He's like, no, they want us to do a LinkedIn first and then they want us to do an email and then a phone call. But I found that the most successful is just a phone, pick up the phone. I said, schedule me for a demo, have your sales manager on it because I'd like to talk about that because that is just brilliant as what you had said, Ben earlier about just the noise of the digital outreach is just so superfluous and sometimes a conversation bust through it all.
Ben Sternsmith (20:17):
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I mean, it is the new weapon. It's just coming right back around. But you must use technology if you're not using a parallel dialer to do your cold calls, you're just not paying attention. So that's why one of my cold callers talking to people, not leaving voicemails, not dialing numbers. So you got to be smart about it. But I think it is absolutely the game changer in the sea of digital paralysis that we're all in. I mean, can't believe how many emails you get Chris per day, but it looks, so my inbox is a fraction of that, and it's still so hard to sift through the noise, and so I just don't pay attention to it.
Corey Frank (20:51):
Absolutely. Well, excellent. Well, Ben, hey, thanks for carving out the time, sybill.ai, S-Y-B-I-L-L dot A-I is where to go. Chris, any final thoughts for our newest old friend, Ben Sternsmith?
Chris Beall (21:07):
Well, I have a final recollection. So we did a podcast episode Corey, with Helen, you and I and a live audience, which was pretty fun, the live kind of behind us and asking some questions. And the thing that stunned me the most about that day was you showed me that in a matter of some minutes, you turned that podcast discussion that we had into a course of study for your people at Branch 49, and you did it with Sybill. That was amazing because that shows taking a medium that we tend for it to be instructive and that audience obviously consumes it, but transforming it into something that they could consume efficiently in a different way by reading and having that happen with, I don't know how much effort on your part, but I know you, Corey, you're not going to put in more than 2.7 ERGs per day of energy to use. I'd have to get you another bowl of pasta or something. So I don't have that kind of money.
Ben Sternsmith (22:12):
I'm not sure if this is a business podcast or a comedy show, but it's somewhere in between. I very much appreciate you guys having me on and I hope you guys have a great one.
Corey Frank (22:20):
Well, I bring that up, Ben, because when we had Chris's future podcast partner, Mr ChatGPT help write our book, I'll let Chris tell the story of when you asked it for some anecdotes and some quotes and some testimonials of what happened, you know speaking of comedy show.
Chris Beall (22:38):
I said to ChatGPT, my prompt was, could you go find some complimentary quotes about The Market Dominance Guys that we could use as blurbs on the book? And boom, it came out with 12 of them and they were all spot on and they were from people that I know, and that Corey knows some of which have been on the podcast, some of which aren't. I don't think one of those quotes was ever said by a single one of those human beings, but they were so good that in context they were usable. And I decided since ChatGPT was writing the book, it would've been disingenuous of me not to use the quotes it made up.
Corey Frank (23:13):
Chris Beall (23:13):
So are they really quotes? Well in the world of generative AI, what is really real?
Corey Frank (23:22):
That is right. Yes. The Abbott and Costello of Sales podcast, I think that was one of them, that ChatGPT came up out of nowhere.
Chris Beall (23:31):
It did come up with that one. Yeah.
Corey Frank (23:31):
But I have a feeling with our eight listeners, I don't think any of them know who Abbott and Costello are, so that's probably a little moot. So Ben, thanks once again for jumping on another episode of the Market Dominance Guys, this is Corey Frank for Chris Beall. Until next time.
Ben Sternsmith (23:46):
Thanks guys. Take care.
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