Analytics for Sales Conversations with Howard Brown [Episode 743]

Howard Brown, Founder and CEO of RingDNA, joins me again on this episode.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Howard describes the sales tools that RingDNA provides to help sales teams perform better to achieve better results.
  • Howard started RingDNA in 2012, providing reps with contextual information in telephony, email, and SMS. In 2014, RingDNA started analyzing customers’ recorded phone calls for them.
  • RingDNA is a sales tool that helps reps to be better conversationalists and ask better questions, get to the point, and add value.
  • Howard applies his background as a psychologist to the analysis of sales conversations at scale. A change in communication can lead to a better outcome.
  • Science is often hard to find. Variables need to be accounted for in testing. The most important part of AI is knowing the questions to ask.
  • There is no super cadence that works over everything. Reps require effective coaching.
  • Is there a case for combining SDR and AE roles? Why is SDR attrition high? Why are sales closing rates so low? A single contact for the customer minimizes friction.
  • Andy and Howard discuss learning. People learn at different rates. Be patient with onboarding. Onboarding is more than product knowledge. Howard looks for improvements in several areas.
  • Reps should ask at the end of each call, “Did this call meet your expectations?” That will reveal the value — if there was value. Take it as an opportunity to grow. Coaches should seek single coachable moments to help their sales reps.
  • To manage change, adopt one change and work at it until it is successful. Then adopt another change. Make changes in sequence, not in parallel.
  • Productivity is more important than activity. If you arbitrarily raise your quota by 15%, have your reps been coached to become 15% better? How will they make quota if they are not better at closing?
  • What are we measuring reps on for improvement? What are we measuring around conversations? How should they be scored? Howard explains how the sales tool, RingDNA telephony scores rep calls with AI.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul 0:00
It’s time to Accelerate. Hey friends, this is Andy. Welcome to Episode 743 of Accelerate the sales podcast. Hey, very excited about today’s episode. Joining me as my guest today is my friend Howard Brown. Howard is the founder and CEO of ringDNA. Now sometimes in our work, we are fortunate to meet really smart people who have fresh and unique perspectives on how we can become better at sales. I mean, let’s just as individuals, and just collectively as a profession, and for me, Howard has been one of those people. listeners know that I believe, success and sales are achieved through the human connections we make and the human connections we develop. And Howard perhaps understands that better than any CEO I’ve met, and perhaps that’s because he holds a PhD in clinical psychology and worked as a practicing therapist, before starting his own entrepreneurial career that eventually led him to start ringDNA. We are going to cover a lot of interesting topics related to the human connection, and we’re going to start by talking about how sales reps can become better conversationalists. It’s a great description of how rep should think of themselves in the job they need to do. Also, dive into how tools like ringDNA can help you analyze comp sales conversations at scale. And how to coach reps, how to modify how they communicate in order to achieve better sales outcomes. We’ll also get into a number of other topics, including how to do a better job of onboarding reps in a way that’s really consistent with how people actually learn. You know, instead of saying, we got onboard people in a fixed period of time, is there a better way to do it that gets the better the best out of people. And we’ll talk about the science of sales, and how we’re using all this data we’re collecting and how we analyze it, and how we can use it better. So we’ll get into that. And much, much more. And let’s do it. Let’s jump into it. Howard, welcome to Accelerate.

Howard Brown 2:38
Hey, Andy, great to see you again.

Andy Paul 2:40
It’s always a pleasure to see you and talk with you. So you’re joining us from where today?

Howard Brown 2:45
Los Angeles, California,

Andy Paul 2:47
Los Angeles. So this is where we’re recording this right before Thanksgiving. So given the weather that’s sweeping across the country, probably a good place to be.

Howard Brown 2:57
I have no complaints. I got a complaint the complaint about whether Los Angeles when I see what’s going on in the rest of the world,

Andy Paul 3:03
yeah, so alright, so for those who aren’t familiar with the founder, CEO of ringDNA, so just fill listeners in a little bit about ringDNA does.

Howard Brown 3:12
So simply, we help sales teams achieve better results through a variety of tools built that we encapsulate as a sales acceleration platform, it could be called sales engagement platform, it could be called sales enablement platform. It could be called rev ops platform. The basic concept is that we help teams perform better. So it’s not simply about doing more. It’s about being more effective. It’s about training your team. It’s about helping folks really focus on the things that matter to help their performance

Andy Paul 3:52
Music to my ears, as you know, so. So ringDNA part of your platform you sort of compete in this contract. Intelligence space with the usual suspects. So interested in your take on how you see that category evolving, right? Because it seems to be very focused now and sort of I call it sort of fundamental coaching, I guess, but I’m sure that’s the right term for Ventra. See what you think about that?

Howard Brown 4:23
Yeah, so it’s funny that we call them the usual players. So we started ringDNA in 2012. With the idea of enhancing reps performance providing them contextual information. Really, we provide the telephony as well as the variety of other engagement tools, including SMS and email, and those sorts of things. Right. And one of the things we noticed early on is that managers wanted the ability to listen in to their reps calls to provide feedback to really help them with their sales process and onboarding and training. And once we started recording those phone calls. We started analyzing them back in 2014. So we can talk about the usual customers. I’ve seen this influx of new products in the market. But you know, ringDNA has been in the conversation analytics space really analyzing calls for our customers since 2014. And now we have over 130 million phone calls, which is just a massive amount of data. We take that data, and we really mash that up with all the metadata that comes from Salesforce for more information from what actually transpires during the phone call to help reps with better outcomes. So, yes, it is coaching. Yes, it is onboarding and it is analyzing sales conversations. But even more importantly, it’s really helping reps be a better conversationalist, right, so we can help them do more, but we can also help them be better and that’s what this is really about.

Andy Paul 6:04
So to find conversationalists and when you say that are referring primarily to SDRs, or we’re talking about AE’s as well.

Howard Brown 6:12
Yeah, no, so conversationalist I think of you as a great conversationalist, Andy. Yeah, I mean, you, you know how to ask the right questions to get to the point. Right. And, but, but really, it’s about two-way communication, right? If a conversation is simply one way, it’s not very effective. And whether it’s an AE, or an SDR or somebody who’s handling inbound. It’s really about helping the other person on the phone. For me as as a sales rep, my job is to hopefully provide value and value quickly. Never I’m speaking to whether I’m an AE and SDR a success or support. Rep. My job To provide value, and that’s where we’re primarily focused, right?

Andy Paul 7:03
Because it seems like for some of your competitors is that they seem to be so focused primarily on the SDR part of the equation right then, which has always sort of concerned me, it’s like, Okay, well, that’s a small fraction of the whole sales process. Why not use it for everybody? Right? That’s, you know, from your point of use customer success and so on.

Howard Brown 7:25
Yeah, I guess for me coming out of with my background in clinical psychology, having been a psychologist, really, the idea of studying conversations has always been not only top of mind but truly within my heart, how to help people. build rapport, build, relationships better communicate with one another. And with the advent of incredible storage technology and computing power, I’m really able to analyze conversations at scale. So you read these psychology books when you’re in your doctoral program. a master’s program and you learn so much and so much is similar. But it’s really hard to apply those theories unless you’re one on one with clients. And then you don’t really get to see the outcome of that. Unless you work with them over a period of years, you don’t know what they’re like with their spouse or their children behind the scenes. With the technology we have today, we’re actually able to see, we coach someone on how to ask better questions, how to build better rapport, how to address objections. And then through the data, we receive the outcomes, the disposition, the next steps, we’re actually able to see if changing how they communicate actually equates to better outcomes. So for me, I’m like a kid in the candy aisle to analyze conversations at scale, which is so powerful.

Andy Paul 8:51
You and I’ve talked about this offline before is that, yeah, in this field, there’s companies that have you know, lots of calls are answered. Analyzing and they publish these articles on LinkedIn, which to me are pseudoscience and statistically unsound, right? I mean, they draw conclusions based on all these variables in the data that isn’t controllable. And so right now they generalize right then there was one recently as you know, salespeople apologize too much, I guess was that Danielle should only apologize 13% of the time. And, and I love the idea of having this data, but only if we can have something meaningful that comes out of it. That’s, that’s not basically clickbait in my mind is because, you know, the variables you gotta control for is, you know, they all talking the same type of customers with the same type of products. It was men selling to men, men selling to women, what does that mean? I’ve got a dozen items that have an impact on that. But I don’t think you don’t necessarily revert to the mean over a larger sample size. So how do we handle that so that we can use these hundred million calls and say, yeah, here’s something really meaningful that applies. Yeah, not saying nothing’s gonna apply to 100% of the people but as solid science around what people should do.

Howard Brown 10:26
Yeah, and I think you really, you nailed it when you talk about the differentiation between clickbait and true science. And I think we live in a world of clickbait today, short. And true science is usually ignored. And that’s because it’s harder to get to. So it’s one thing to have 130 million phone calls. It’s another thing to set up a testing environment that allows you to tweak out all the variables So to your point, a man speaking to a man speaking to a woman, what stage of sales process is someone in what type Are they speaking to exactly what type of product? What’s the dollar size? All right, opportunity amount, all of those sorts of things need to be tweaked out. And you can’t do it with a small sample size. And it’s not a one size fits all. If it was a one size fits all, I tell people who came into therapy, hey, just be nicer to each other. Apologize more, tell your wife You love her. And you know what, Andy, you get a lot of divorce people, you get a lot of miserable people because it’s not simple, right? People are complicated conversations are dynamic, right? Now, having said that, if you have a large enough sample size, and you tweak out the data in a way that you use artificial intelligence, so let’s talk about that for a moment. I’m sure. The most important part of artificial intelligence is the questions you ask. You can have a tremendous amount of data. You can have incredible models, but unless you’re asking the right questions, you’re not going to be able to get at anything.

Andy Paul 12:04
So asking the right questions, in a sense in terms of the questions, you’re asking the algorithm basically, correct. Yeah.

Howard Brown 12:11
Right. So in a sales conversation where the amount is in excess of $500,000, and I’m talking to a VP of sales, and this is my fifth conversation, and they’ve looked at five pieces of content, and they’ve introduced us into an IT person and, you know, we’ve already discussed pricing, we’ve gone through competitor conversations, we’ve aligned the features and benefits, we’ve set up a p OC. What are the things that my reps are most effective in talking about at this stage of the conversation? That my friend is science, as opposed to? You should apologize more in this conversation or less in that case?

Andy Paul 12:59
Well, and I write and I think this then becomes really relevant to sellers because I think one of this is human nature and human psychology she told me but especially true in the server clickbait world I see even this in behavioral economics, right, is that we have these books been written these well-known authors and they say, okay, you know, if you take these steps to influence somebody in this situation, right, but even in their studies, which for the most part, conducted fairly small sample sizes, and so on, it was only true a fraction of the time. Right, right. And yet everybody takes or this finding and says, well, hmm, 100% of the time, this is what I should be doing. And I and I think we get this problem is that you know, we’re taking these everyone’s to have a process to follow instead of trusting their intuition, their experience. Yeah. And this is part of the problem I see with some companies, the way they’re applying conversational intelligence is they’re trying to say, look, here’s what Jennifer does and she’s number one. So do what Jennifer does, as opposed to saying to your pointer Hilaire has your unique. Yeah, we want to coach you to be the best version of you, not a copy of Jennifer.

Howard Brown 14:15
That that is actually the point is, how do I make you the best you can be, as opposed to trying to turn you into Jennifer. Right. And, and that? Look, I think as because I’m also the CEO of a company. I think we all have a mandate to grow faster, more revenue, more customers. And I think in an effort to scale quickly, we want that magic bullet. We want the formula we want the super cadence that works across everything. The problem is, yes, certain things you can build automation towards certain things. You can standardize but at the end of the day, the reason you’re hiring reps that are athletes or people who are coachable is they require coaching, and they’re able to take that coaching, but unless you’re coaching them unless you’re spending time with them listening to their phone calls, because it’s one thing to analyze 100 million phone calls, it’s another thing to analyze 50 of one rep and hear, you know that rep make the same mistake over and over again. How do I help that rep. And where do I? How do I surface the calls where that rep is continuing to make a mistake that is causing them to not close the deal? And that’s where you can truly use artificial intelligence across your team surface, those moments where I can coach this rep, not, not, hey, give them one quick fix across the team. No, we have 1000 reps. The reps are of all different levels. They’re at different levels of ramping. They’re they have different abilities. How do I help each individual rep Where are the reps that I need to focus on and what do I need? need to focus on to get them to a point where they’re now being effective? And then evaluate? How effective was that coaching didn’t in fact work, right? Because just because you’ve coached someone on something that you’ve assumed or the technology has surfaced as a coachable moment, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to see the benefit of that single coachable moment.

Andy Paul 16:22
Right, you have to actually measure the effectiveness of not only the coaching, but the coach, how well did they do it? And how do we coach our coaches to be better? Well, which brings up serve? I think sort of a global issue that I see is that there’s certainly a general consensus among sales that salespeople don’t get enough coaching period. Right. And, and as well a general consensus that we’ve not done enough to coach our coaches how to coach sorry, too many coaches. Okay. So now we bring more technology, it’s just not coming. With AI, but there’ll be other technologies that come in that provide the coaches with the ability to provide more specific coaching and a path to greater effectiveness. But if they’re not investing the time to do it now what’s the motivation to get them to invest the time to use these tools? To effectively coach? And that’s, to me is sort of a conundrum, right? I mean, we’re gonna have all these technologies out there that can do these things, but we just have to change the fundamental culture underlying culture say, yeah, we need to how do we motivate our, our coaches to coach?

Howard Brown 17:38
Yeah, and that’s a great question. And I think, at the end of the day results are what drives change behavior, right, and what we’re seeing and not to sing my own tune here, that’s why you’re on the show. Well, I’m on the show because I like talking to you and but I will say that, you know, we just pulled our report and If we look across our customer’s rant time decreased across all ringDNA customers, on average eight weeks for a ramped rep. So from 33 weeks without ringDNA to 25 weeks, so that’s eight weeks, weeks faster, they’re hitting revenue. That’s massive, you take that across a team of 100 reps, or 1000 reps and you’re seeing a significant change in revenue.

Andy Paul 18:28
So, but some a follow up question that though this is because this triggers a thought is that okay, that’s we’ve decreased ramp time got yet we still have this incredible problem with attrition, certainly with SDRs, who are onboarding is, you know, less than a year roughly a year in Valley, spoken globally about the tech industry. So we’re saying, Yeah, we’re onboarding them. We’re saving getting eight weeks faster, but we’re still losing them after a year. So right It’s not like we get out a room marginal game with that extra eight weeks if they’re just disappearing after a year, right? Because we expect to get the full productivity the full second year they’re on board.

Howard Brown 19:10
Correct. But to your point, part of the reason they attract is because they’re not hitting quota. Right, and they’re getting dissatisfied. So they’re not being trained. They’re not hitting quota fast enough. I think on average across our customer base 40.4%, had hit quota prior to ringDNA. After using ringDNA for six months, we see a 13% increase, reps will stay longer if they’re making more revenue, and we’re not turning them into machines, we’re actually training them to be better communicators, right? We’re using AI to humanize them to actually allow them to improve their skills to improve their performance to see the benefit of coaching which helps them with their business acumen which helps them with all different areas of their personal life. growth, their professional growth. And that’s what matters. And that’s what’s going to help them see a path to success beyond just SDR but moving into the AE or management or any other areas of the business. Because if we’re training our reps correctly, we’re teaching them about business. You can’t just throw them in and say, sell these features. You have them. Yeah, you have to teach them about not only the product they’re selling, who cares, but how are they solving problems that real businessmen have every single day? That’s what they need to solve. And when they start to understand that, and they connect with people on that, and they see the results of their work and their conversations, benefiting other businesses, they feel a real sense of self-worth. And that is what keeps people in the job longer.

Andy Paul 20:48
So let me ask you a question then, is as a follow up to that as if we’re making our SDRs more skilled. Then do we begin to reach a point where we say, well look, this division between an SDR where we have these specialized roles. Maybe that’s counterproductive at this point. Because if we’re making our SDRs, that much more skilled at being conversationalist, and you know, training them better and they form that rapport and that bond with the customer, why not let him finish the deal? Why not? Why not do as many companies are these days actually is starting to go back and say, Well, yeah, maybe we’d have a lifecycle sales rep instead of partition wait is currently?

Howard Brown 21:34
Yeah, look, I think, all is worth evaluating. And I think that’s what we can do with the data. Right? You’re talking about a full-stack salesperson, right? Top to bottom, carry a bag, you know, knock on the door, have the conversation, build, build the story, build a use case, do all the work. Yes, that that makes a lot of sense. And I think what you’re talking about really is investing in people. And that’s what we’re trying to help business businesses to invest in the people that they hire, super expensive to recruit people. It’s super expensive to find them. It’s super expensive when they fail, or they leave. So let’s invest in them. Let’s make them the best, best person, they can be within the organization, train them properly, onboard them properly, armed them with the tools, they need to hit success, whatever success means to them and their organization. And then they can grow. So I, I don’t disagree with you. I think it’s easier to put people in these boxes and sort of, here’s what we need to do. And you’re going to be an SDR and this is the training program. But to your point, there’s so much attrition that maybe we need to reevaluate that.

Andy Paul 22:48
Well, I think yes, I think that’s part of the reason I think the other part though, too, is Yeah, to my belief, and again, you and I’ve talked about this before is, is I think we have this fundamental productive problem in sales, right? We’ve certainly in the tech business, SAS business like the win rates are, I think, unacceptably low, there’s no reason for them to be there. I think part of the catering factor to that is that this handoff, right, because suddenly the customer has to form start all over again with somebody again. That’s right. And, and, you know, part of what you’re trying to do, and you and I’ve talked about this before, too, is that is part of the functional relationship is to have the customer say, Look, I’m going to give you the power once me. Right. That’s fun. But what that relationship is about is I’m opening myself up for you to influence the decision that I’m going to make. Are you going to stop that or if you could just one step at thinking how much quicker you could get to the end result perhaps than we do currently?

Howard Brown 23:49
I mean, again you’re building a relationship, right at its core. I’m allowing you to influence me which means that I’ve put some trusting you and I’m assuming that you’re going to lead me down a road where I may or may not choose your application or your service, but you’re going to inform me, you’re going to help me make a decision. And that decision may or may not be to go with you. But I’ve built a relationship. And now if I start a relationship with you, and oh, by the way, I’ve done my job. And here’s Johnny. And Johnny’s gonna take it from here, and I don’t hear from you anymore. There’s one I’m lacking that continuity. The trust that we’ve built just has been broken because I know that Johnny’s not you and you’re not Johnny. So now I got to get used to another relationship and he may have another sales technique and he has a different comp structure and he’s looking at things very differently. And now I’m left feeling like oh, I just got abandoned I started talking to her, and now I’m ending up with her friends. So what just happened? Then

Andy Paul 25:00
Well, then that’s friction, right? That’s friction and the customer experience. And so if you compare that with an organization that says, look, we’re really committed to minimizing that friction, because we are trying to help the customer move quickly go to what the customer wants, what the customer wants to quickly gather information to make a good decision, with the least investment of time possible. If I can help them do that, then I start building that relationship from day one where they’re restarting trying to build a relationship. We’re still on the path that we were on before. And so we’re ahead of the game. And I think more companies are seeing that and I think there’s it made to bend a little bit few more transactional, product wise, then, yeah, sure. Yeah, splitting it up the way it is, that’s fine. But with a store complexity, like what do you guys sell, and so on? I don’t think companies need to rethink about it. I want to go back to a point you’ve mentioned before, because, yeah, this whole thing about onboarding is a real interest to me, because now if you read Epstein’s book range. So um, but it’s this idea that people learn at different rates. Right and if that’s okay, but it certainly seems like you know, we’ve become so concerned about onboarding time, understandably so but on the other hand to your point is we are dealing with individuals and I always draw the analogy to like athletes, right? You see somebody come into the NBA. Let’s take at our soccer that I follow. highly-touted Coming up college will send to the NBA but, you know some guys adapt to the pro game quickly. Some guys take longer. I mean, Steph Curry took the better part of a year and a half to people were served to doubt initially, you know, it’s just gonna be the guy. But then it got it but it doesn’t seem like we have the patience to give people the leeway to develop at their own rate. And as the consequences, we miss out on people that could be very productive.

Howard Brown 27:28
Well, I think part of it is what are we measuring? right if we’re if all we’re measuring is their ability to close the deal in X number of days, weeks, or months, we may be missing the whole picture. So when you talk about onboarding, we have a bucket of things that people learn about our product about the industry about their ability to have conversations with others their ability to handle pricing objection Deal with competitor mentions those sorts of things. What we’re really looking for is an improvement. Right? So their ability to improve in any of those categories is really for us a leading indicator, right? So I’m not just looking for them to close the deal. I’m looking for them to have more conversations, set up more demos, solve more problems, get greater feedback from our customers, whether or our prospects whether they bought or not. I want to learn what was the sales process like for you this month? And then I don’t think people get Net Promoter scores after people become customers or after they deal with support. But how about how was that sales process for you? What did you learn? You may not have been interested in buying anything when this person called you but did you leave that conversation richer? Are you thinking about your problem in a different way? Did they illuminate a different problem than you may have even thought you had? And is this a person you would reach out to when you may be further down in the buying process?

Andy Paul 29:10
And so raise a great point because I was writing about the section this morning as is and talking with my client about it recently. So do your reps, ask those questions of the prospects at the end of each call? Did this call nature your according to your expectations for what you thought was gonna happen? You know, so on which is such a great opportunity to find out Okay. What’s the value here for the prospect? There is no value.

Howard Brown 29:40
Yeah. And how do we get reps or people in general, to a point where they feel safe and comfortable, asking for feedback, knowing that not everything’s going to be glowing and to take those lessons learned as an opportunity to grow as a person to criticism. So I think that what I see a lot in the sales training in the conversational analytics or intelligence space is your manager will listen to a call, they’ll find 47 things that you did incorrectly during the call, they’ll pepper you with everything you need to change about you, and your self-esteem and your performance actually goes down, right, as opposed to finding a coachable moment, allowing the application to find that coachable moment, training around that and then testing and measuring if that training, in fact, benefited this specific Rep. Because I’ll tell you, if if I’m taking a swing in golf and I have some instruction, the guy tells me 12 things I need to improve. My score goes down, I get confused. I get uncomfortable. It’s happened in basketball and baseball. Don’t give me too much because then I’m on a swallow at all. And all I do is end up a disaster. All right, and do that. People, whether they’re in sales or any other area, I do it with my kids. Like, if I’m giving my kids some advice, or I’m giving them some coaching, if I’m giving them too much, they just shut me out.

Howard Brown 31:13
Yeah. And why would we expect anybody else to do anything differently?

Andy Paul 31:16
Why, as always remember, not back in the 80s, reading a paper from these MIT scientists about change management. And they said it’s really very simple. How you make it successful, adopt one change, work on it. So you’ve succeeded at it, integrate a second chance. Don’t do things, you know, in, in parallel, do them in sequence.

Howard Brown 31:41
And I love it and whether it was the old 80s or now I think it’s still applicable. Oh, I think it’s, it’s very applicable. So to start, we’re talking about AI.

Andy Paul 31:54
You know, the rate of improvement. So I guess the question is, is do you have metric for the rate of improvement because to me this is I asked us purely self-interest because I think it is one of the real opportunities for us to have a meaningful metric in several dimensions about the rate of improvement that really speaks to sales productivity as opposed to activity which is what people serve counters productivity stays, which is not the case. And I was speaking to a group not that long ago and I was asking this group of CEOs a private equity firm brought their CEOs together and I said, well, who’s planning on raising quota this year? And they all sir raise their hand or UPS they’re trying to grow. I said, Great. Yeah. So how much you’re gonna do that? No. Yeah, sorry. Average, like 15%. Perfect. Okay. So half your people have gotten 15% better this year. I mean, have you invested in the training invest in the coaching Do you have Have a metric to say, Yeah, my people have gotten better, or are you just raising that number and expecting people to hit it? But this is the way we operate still in sales is we just kind of arbitrarily raise the number. And we don’t say, look, have we improved as the underlying improvement been there in terms of how we’ve trained and upskilled our people. And so when you talked about sort of rate of improvement, I just think that is a metric we need to start tracking and developing and tracking for individual reps.

Howard Brown 33:34
Yeah, give me some examples of areas you would see rate of improvement were scoring.

Andy Paul 33:41
What could be types of conversations you’re having, right? Is and maybe you know, certain progress points within conversations that are about certain things, you know, in the scenario has this person over the last 20 instances have they got a better outcome based on the coaching that we’ve given them So if you see some sort of consistent improvement in specific areas, then you’ve got something to work on. Yeah, that’s why I was yes, you know, I’ve advocate we should get rid of quotas and revert to a product not revert to, but go to evolve to a productivity metric that has to do with dollars of revenue generated per hour of actual selling time. Because then that gives me a lot of information about what I need to do to catch up and train up this person to help them get better.

Howard Brown 34:30
Yeah, that’s truly revolutionary. Right. And it’s, I think it’s the idea of figuring out what are the components that make somebody better, right. So your point, we’re onboarding people, but onboarding them on what’s right, so are we onboarding them on a better conversation? What does a better conversation mean? Well, it may mean asking more open-ended questions where I’m able to collect more information and build better rapport so that at the end of that conversation when I asked the person was this question, Conversation helpful when you do have a need for this in my somebody you will talk to, it may be in scoring something like competition handling or pricing objection.

Howard Brown 35:14
You know, it’s a variety of components within a conversation. Remember conversations are different. Is it a opening conversation where I’m prospecting? Is it a conversation where I’ve now brought in a sales engineer and they’re helping us design a solution? Like there are a variety of conversations that we need to score around and we’re utilizing the conversation analytics to score different parts of the conversation on different types of conversations to see what is improving. And I think ultimately, as we build those scorecards out and automate all of that part of the process, you can get to a point where we are looking at a metric like productivity by the hour or effectiveness, by the hour and then that’s fascinating.

Andy Paul 36:02
I think I’d showed this to you on some in the past is, is, you know, simple call scoring system. Totally, you know, there are only three outcomes for a call. You may progress customers close to making a decision when we’re before I start the call, it’s neutral or as negative. That’s right. And I think you can put every interaction you have with a buyer into one of those three scores, right? I just call it a one, a zero or a minus one. If you have something that scores at that simple if you ask and you take the first call, is, you know, if you don’t make that connection on the first call, then you know, let’s say, the you and a competitor, you’re one, the max score for the calls is one they’re zero. Well, suddenly you have the advantage the rest of the way through Through totally, totally now doesn’t mean they’re not talking to the other guys. But it’s a different relationship, the stability we talked about, earn the trust to be able to influence them. They may go through the process, but they didn’t let you in to really influence them, whereas you got in, because you did better upfront. And I think there are really simple ways to conceptualize this to your point about the scorecard. When you said scorecard it triggered the thought. Where Yeah, then you can start saying, Yeah, this is really useful information because we find out what the impact is of each of the interactions.

Howard Brown 37:36
Let me tell you something else that we’ve done in lieu of asking so because ringDNA is different in that we’re actually the telecom layer, right? We provide the telephony, we’re actually the marketing data. We’re the calendaring piece of it, where the email and the SMS, us we’re embedded in so many parts of that process. We’re actually able to evaluate things like did the disposition change in a positive way? The call disposition? Was lead status change to some to the next stage? Did opportunity get created? Did the opportunity stage increase or percentage increase? Those sorts of their softer than asking the question? Sure. We have all of that data because we have all the conversation data, we’re able to make assumptions that this, in fact, was a one versus a zero or a minus one. And so that’s what we’ve essentially done. We’ve looked at all of these signals throughout all of the phone calls to make that determination to then score that call with an automated in an automated way and then look at the parts of the conversation that in fact, move the conversation to a one versus a zero or a minus one.

Andy Paul 38:54
Right. And I think that’s fantastic. I think of you in cases where you can get the real feedback. All right, Howard, we could go on forever.

Howard Brown 39:13
Thank you. Andy, it’s been an honor and a privilege as always, and I look forward to more time with you.

Andy Paul 39:35
It has been fun. Thanks a lot. So talk to you soon. Take care. Thanks.
Okay, friends, that was Accelerate for this week. First of all, I want to thank you for joining me. And I think my guest, Howard Brown. Join me again next week as my guest will be Rob Shell.