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Talkdesk Delves into AI, Sales Style

Cloud contact center company Talkdesk today announced its first official foray into artificial intelligence, launching Talkdesk for Sales, a product aimed at helping inside sales teams have more productive conversations with prospects and drive higher conversions.


The new offering is meant to help sales team members make a higher volume of calls, gain access to more information and context to help them in prospect engagements, and use AI to gather feedback to land deals, Talkdesk COO Gadi Shamia told me in a briefing.

Currently in beta with several Talkdesk customers, the new solution will be available for demonstration next week at Salesforce's Dreamforce conference. Talkdesk for Sales comprises eight key items:

  • Power dialing -- establishes a call queue and automatically dials the next number when a call doesn't go through or when a sales rep closes a previous call. Talkdesk estimates that the power dialing capability increases connect rates for outbound prospecting by 30% and talk time by 300% per hour while reducing time spent on manual dialing
  • Voicemail drop -- allows sales reps to select from a list of pre-recorded voicemail messages to leave in prospects' inboxes, rather than taking time away from productive work by having to leave unique messages. In addition, the prepared messages helps avoid issues related to unclear messages, including those in which return phone numbers are garbled
  • Local presence -- lets sales reps use local numbers to increase the likelihood of prospects answering cold calls
  • Callbar -- enables simplified calling through Talkdesk's familiar click-to-call application, which also provides access to CRM and other business tools
  • Salesforce integration -- ties together omnichannel, desktop telephony, native reporting, and automations
  • SalesAssist -- leverages AI and voice analytics to pinpoint relevant conversations that can help reps better answer questions in real time. SalesAssist now includes the ability to transcribe calls and call out important moments, such as the mention of a competitor, for example, Shamia said. While this capability is available today, a real-time version will become available in early 2018
  • Call recording -- allows for monitoring, coaching, and training of sales reps so organizations can ensure consistency
  • Voice analytics -- for monitoring, coaching, and training, AI identifies factors leading to successful sales calls, enabling enterprises to extract and scale out lessons learned to the rest of the sales team to improve interactions across the board

"We are working on AI technology both on our own and with our partners," Shamia said. Using AI with sales, provides opportunity to show a clear return on investment, which can be challenging to prove in customer support scenarios, he added. "We're using sales first to help train our algorithms, but we'll be extending AI to other products down the road."