Turning Sales Skills Into Life Skills

The building blocks of great conversations never truly change.

Whether you’re trying to sell a product, talk to someone on a first date, or even just chat with your kid to find out how they’re doing, the same rules apply: listen actively, ask open-ended questions, be confident, and have empathy for the other person and their point of view.

AI-Powered Call Guidance = Greater Confidence

We’ve been thinking a lot about the value of having great conversations, because here at ringDNA, we recently released a revolutionary new technology: YODA AI. YODA AI is AI-powered call guidance technology that provides real-time notifications on sales calls to help reps book meetings and land deals. To put it more simply, imagine a tiny little sales coach sitting on your shoulder and giving advice while you’re on the phone. YODA AI can do a lot of things like:

  • Notice if reps are talking too much and remind them to listen instead
  • Pick up on repeated mistakes and provide gentle reminders to avoid them
  • Give reps access to on-topic content and resources to provide to buyers
  • Help reps handle objections and questions with ease by providing talking points
  • Suggest thoughtful follow-up questions, so that the call is productive even if a meeting isn’t booked

…And a whole lot more. But as our reps have been testing and using YODA AI over the last few months, we’ve realized that a lot of the best reasons to use AI-powered call guidance are intangible. Our reps are happier, more productive, and feel more supported. YODA AI empowers them to have all the information they need on calls, and helps them to have natural, valuable conversations with prospects.

All of that translates into more revenue, as you would expect, so it was no shock when our reps booked 80% more meetings over the last 90 days with YODA AI. Yet it’s also translated into something that’s equally valuable, if not more so: confidence.

Bringing Sales Lessons Into the Real World

We have a lot of difficult conversations in life, whether we’re sales reps or not. We ask for new roles and responsibilities. We go on first dates. We negotiate with our spouses and kids on the the minutiae of everyday life: who goes to the grocery store, when to go on a hike, why someone else should empty the dishwasher. So what if we could be confident in our conversational skills throughout all of it? Here are three ways we can use AI to be more confident both in Sales and in our daily lives.

Lesson #1: Active Listening

It’s critical to listen during sales calls, because you need to learn a lot about the prospect that you’re selling to. What their problems are, what solutions they’ve already tried, what their team is like, who else might factor into the buying decision, etc. In fact, 78% of reps 78% say that listening has an extreme or substantial impact on conversion rates, according to a report by Salesforce. That’s why YODA AI carefully listens for monologues, and will provide reps with a pop-up notifications if they’re talking too much and then prompts them to ask an open-ended question.

Now imagine you’re on a date. When you’re first getting to know someone, it’s crucial to listen actively so that you can find out things like: What do they like? What’s their outlook on life? Where do they see themselves in the future? And once you’re in an established relationship, listening actively is equally important for everything from resolving conflicts to matching up daily schedules. If you’ve already perfected active listening in Sales, then you’ve taken a great step forward for all of your personal relationships too.

Lesson #2: Being Prepared for Objections and Questions

YODA AI can give reps tips for how to answer objections and questions by showing notifications with short notes on competitors, links to support articles, and more. This helps reps sound prepared, and makes them confident that they can provide useful information regardless of where the conversation goes.

In the real world, this boils down to being prepared and considering the other person’s point of view. It trains reps to think ahead about what people will likely want to know, what they could be concerned about, and what answers will be most useful to them. This is a particularly useful tactic in the real world when you’re job hunting, since it means you’ll be well-prepared for any questions you may be asked in interviews. A trained salesperson can confidently use the interview to show off their personality, because they’re not stressed and believe in their ability to answer any questions that come their way.

Lesson #3: Asking Thoughtful Follow-Up Questions

In Sales, the ultimate goal for SDRs is always to book a meeting. When they can’t achieve this goal, reps may be tempted to give up, but YODA AI will prompt them to ask other questions that will help them learn useful information. For example, if an SDR is talking to someone who isn’t ready for a meeting yet, YODA AI can pay attention to what information about the account is already in Salesforce and then have the SDR help fill in the gaps by asking questions about company revenue, team size, and current tech stack. This paves the way so that if they take a meeting later, the SDR and their AE will be in a good position when demoing the product.

Asking follow-up questions when you don’t reach your first goal is a great tactic in many personal scenarios as well. For instance, if you’re a parent and your teenager is refusing to do something, it’s a good idea to ask them follow-up questions to understand their point of view. It’s one thing for a kid to get bad grades because they’re not trying hard enough, but if their grades are suffering because their extracurricular activities are too demanding, that’s a different issue. Asking follow-up questions to get a clearer picture of the situation will set you up to resolve it better in the future, just like it does in Sales.

We could go on with many more examples, since being a good conversationalist and a good listener pays off in myriad ways, both in our professional and personal lives. That’s why we’re so excited about YODA AI. By constantly reinforcing the building blocks of great conversations, it’s helping reps to build a strong foundation of conversational skills that won’t just help them to sell things — it will help them wherever they choose to go next in their lives.