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Conversational intelligence for sales

Sales technology and automation are changing the game.

Sales is inherently conversational. Each interaction is rich in data, and with the right tools, this data can be used to create better processes and and close deals faster.

But many organizations struggle with clunky sales software, disconnected channels, and the perception of their prospects and customers as a number rather than a conversation.

Conversational intelligence has myriad applications in sales, whether it’s deployed on conversational, digital channels to capture information (think chatbots and AI), or if it’s layered onto sales tools to transform these conversations into usable data (like sales force automation).

Intelligent, conversational personalization means making the most of technology to provide an experience where customers and prospects feel valued – and that the conversation ultimately leads to a solution.

With sales leaders gaining familiarity with the importance of conversational intelligence in sales, it’s becoming clear that AI and automation are changing the game.

Read on to better understand how conversational intelligence, AI, and automation are helping sales teams harness the power of data, personalize the customer experience, and bring disconnected systems together.

What is conversational intelligence?

Conversational Intelligence is the technology that provides real-time insight into conversations with prospects and customers. Typically this technology keeps records of conversations, making it easier for sales teams to intimately understand their customers, personalize and automate their interactions, and drive revenue.

Definition of Conversational Intelligence: The combination of AI, NLP, and sales automation used to record conversations and derive analytics to create optimized and automated workflows.

In the age of Conversational CRM, we understand that conversations are at the heart of every sale. Yet most organizations are not equipped with the right sales tools to track and record their conversations while leveraging intelligent insights, leading to lost opportunities and wasted time.

Sales teams can benefit from conversational intelligence and AI because it can help them have more efficient interactions. The data in these interactions can inform future sales motions.

Most importantly, everything – from the conversations to the data itself – is in a single, unified workspace. No more switching between tabs and applications.

How conversational intelligence can help

  • Full context of the customer journey: Deliver personalized and relevant experiences with visibility into key customer data. Enable sales and other teams like support to better understand customer needs so they can drive revenue
  • Collaborate with easy-to-use tools: Improve collaboration across the entire organization to create a consistent, personalized customer experience.
  • Streamline operations. Lower your total cost of ownership for the business by implementing one solution across sales and service, informed with conversational data.

Conversational intelligence applications

There are numerous applications for conversational intelligence in sales software. Sales teams that do not leverage automation for handling data and repetitive tasks often spend too much time chasing low-quality leads, poking around for crucial info, and may even forget to follow up on leads.

Conversational experiences are a natural part of sales. In fact, the methods used by salespeople to engage prospects are now being replicated in customer service. Interactions over social messaging channels, like WhatsApp, over the phone, and even virtual selling [link] with video chat are already table-stakes. Now businesses are turning to AI to make the most of their conversations.

“71% of sales leaders say that teams must be data-driven and capable of personalizing sales conversations through digital channels”

State of Sales

Zendesk Sell is a platform that makes it possible for sales teams to have all the information they need at their fingertips. With advanced reporting and analytics, your organization can take advantage of real-time, highly useful and actionable insights to drive quality engagement with leads.

Beyond conversational channels for engagement, your team can derive amazing insights by layering AI and applications on top of your sales software without adding complexity.

View the Zendesk Marketplace for conversational sales applications and integrations that will better serve your team.


Let’s face it. Sales reps are dealing with a litany of repetitive tasks, made worse by disconnected systems, conversations on disparate channels, and antiquated software.

Without the right tools, brands can’t easily connect channels like Slack, WhatsApp, or conversational channels into their sales force, and sales managers spend more time than necessary plugging leads and contacts into their CRMs and mailing lists.

In the age of conversational CRM, channels like WhatsApp are key for salespeople to connect with prospects – and managing those conversations at scale, while being able to leverage the data inherent in the conversations, is a high priority for businesses.

“Seventy-five percent of CRM leaders we surveyed agreed that sales teams must be prepared to engage in personalized sales conversations in digital channels. However, only 27 percent have conversational sales capabilities in their CRM today, with even less planning to invest in this area in the next 12 months.”

State of Sales

When WhatsApp threads are not contained in the same instance as the rest of your contacts, your organization can lose out on valuable data sourced by conversational intelligence.

For sales people struggling with productivity, it could be as simple a fix as implementing the right tools. For sales managers, who may struggle with accurate forecasting, the fix could be as simple as implementing a modern conversational CRM solution to capture, report and analyze sales conversations.

What does this look like? A fully integrated, unified sales tracking platform where all conversations, records, and sales data are contained in the same interface, and a layer of conversational intelligence that provides insight into your activity with prospects, leads and contacts.

For more information on connecting conversational channels to Zendesk, check out our integrations for WhatsApp.


Sales and marketing fit together like cheese and crackers – a logical, yet highly underrated combo. In many organizations, sales and marketing operate in silos. Marketing efforts are where many leads are captured before being processed by sales reps.

Marketing automation software and conversational intelligence are must-haves for managing web traffic, attracting visitors, and managing the email campaigns that generate leads, revenue, and pipeline.

Yet in silos, sales teams lack insight into which campaigns customers and prospects are receiving, and lack visibility into which actions readers took with campaigns. Marketers rely on analytics and data from sales to optimize their efforts, but miss out when their organizations lack the right integrations.

Integrating marketing automation software into your salesforce automation software is a win-win for both sides: Prioritization of conversations leads to higher quality engagement. Data sourced from conversational intelligence leads to optimized outreach, and a better understanding of which sources yield the best opportunities.

A healthy fusion of sales and marketing is a key revenue generator for growing organizations. Your marketing team and sales organization, who can now collaborate on campaigns and lead generation (with the help of conversational intelligence for better analytics), will thank you.

For more information on how to make the most of marketing and sales, check out our Mailchimp integration for Sell.

Customer experience

Important data is forgotten, time is wasted, and opportunities are lost when sales and support can’t work together. This fundamental disconnect is a revenue killer for teams on both sides that lack visibility into each others’ records and conversations.

Sales data and support data are important for CX leaders, sales managers, and business operations who require insight into their customer conversations and prospects. Antiquated, legacy software and clunky integrations deeply entrench the silos in your organization that cause this data to get lost.

Instead of falling behind competitors, who are readily adopting AI and conversational intelligence, it may be time to invest in a combination CX-Sales strategy that puts the customer at the center of your vision. Conversations are everything to customers – and they’re extremely valuable to businesses.

Customers and prospects will engage with your businesses across multiple channels, and keeping up requires persistence. Luckily, a Conversational CRM can turn your customer conversations into a meaningful, ongoing, and mutually beneficial relationship.

Conversational CRM prioritizes interactions with your customers while leveraging highly visible, accessible data. An ongoing relationship between the customer, sales and service means the customer is never obliged to repeat themselves, while sales and CX teams benefit from the convenience of deep insights into their customers’ journey.

To better understand how conversational intelligence is changing the way we think about CRM, click here.

How does conversational AI for sales work?

Beyond turning conversations and records into rich insights, conversational intelligence can also be deployed across customer-facing channels. Chatbots and conversational AI are a basic feature of CX and support, but sales channels can leverage them too.

Sales channels are inherently conversational – think WhatsApp, chat, email, phone, and even video calling. Chatbots and automation can be deployed on these channels to capture leads and turn them into qualified, fruitful contacts.

Messaging and conversational experiences allow business to be always on, on any channel. When a prospect strikes up a conversation while sales reps are unavailable, chatbots and conversational AI can capture their information before passing it on the lead to a rep.

No more FOMO – chatbots can help sales teams save time while ensuring fewer leads are lost. Visitors to web properties and mobile app users who strike up conversations, or people who engage with brands on social messaging channels often turn to qualified leads. By arming your team with automation, there’s less chance of missing out.

To learn more about how to implement conversational AI in your sales channels, check out our AI integrations here.

How to leverage conversational intelligence technology for sales success

Three ways conversational intelligence can be used to help sales

  1. Unify data from conversations everywhere. Conversational intelligence takes real conversations between sales reps and leads and turns them into real-time, actionable insights with dashboards fully integrated into Zendesk.
  2. Bring together sales and support. Say no to silos – make the most of marketing campaigns and data, while letting support and marketing organizations make the most of sales data. Conversational intelligence can help sales, marketing, and support optimize conversations and turn leads into customers.
  3. Automate repetitive tasks to save time and cut costs. Internally, conversational intelligence uses data to automate sales activity and other repetitive tasks. On customer facing channels, conversational AI allows your business to be always on and capture leads that would otherwise be missed.

How to choose conversation intelligence software

One of the biggest issues facing sales teams is that they can’t make their tools work for them. Further, they aren’t making the most of their available data to better inform workflows. Their conversations are all over the place, leading to inefficient processes and lost prospects.

In truth, most legacy sales software leaves a lot to be desired, and results in lost revenue and locked potential. With advancements in sales technology, that’s all changing:

In modern sales force automation software, with the help of conversational intelligence, sales teams are engaging with prospects and customers across multiple channels, with visibility for the entire organization, resulting in higher efficiency and more closed deals.

One of the most powerful features of Zendesk is its apps and integrations. It’s possible to turn an easy-to-set-up out-of-the-box solution into a fully customized conversational CRM with the help of integrations.

Conversational intelligence applications can bring sales and CX together in a unified workspace. For sales reps, BDRs and sales managers know how important data is to their teams. Their conversations are treasure troves of data and insight, which can be used to inform sales pushes and marketing efforts. All you need are the right apps and integrations.

To build a custom conversational intelligence strategy in your sales software unique to your business needs, size and budget, check out our integrations and apps for Zendesk here.

Try Zendesk Sell for free

Conversational intelligence for data-driven sales: By 2025, 60% of sales organizations will make the switch from experience and intuition-based selling to a data-first strategy. Sales processes, applications, data and analytics will be merged into a single workspace.

Give your sales team the tools they need to deliver meaningful conversational experiences that drive revenue.

Book a demo and see how you can leverage conversational intelligence in your sales team.

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