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How to Leverage Voice Analytics Software to Improve Seller Performance

In my last article, I gave you an overview of voice analytics software.

This software is a game-changer for Enablement organizations looking to increase the 38% of communication that occurs due to voice quality and tone (as compared to only 7% from the words an individual uses).

In return for your precious time spent reading this article, you’ll walk away with:

  • A brief overview of our VoiceVibes product.
  • An interview from an existing VoiceVibes customer and feedback from their end-users.
  • Example VoiceVibes assignments used by this customer.

A brief overview of VoiceVibes

VoiceVibes became part of the Bigtincan family in January 2021.

VoiceVibes is a voice analytics software solution ​built by experts and PhDs in speech, acoustic psychology, and data science. Built upon one of the world’s most extensive datasets, VoiceVibes measures how humans perceive emotion and intention from voice.

The platform shows a speaker where they sounded most authentic, confident, arrogant, or boring – measuring 20 “vibes” in all. Whether practicing the company pitch or conversing on a video call, every VoiceVibes analysis shows what vibes a typical audience would get from you and provides personalized speech coaching tips to help improve delivery.

The way sellers speak can boost—or destroy—their credibility. Our research shows that people are 13x more likely to buy when a seller sounds confident and authentic. The VoiceVibes automated coaching tool helps people communicate more naturally and polished when they speak, so they can transform how others perceive them.

Sellers need to understand how they are being perceived by prospects and receive the unbiased coaching they need to improve continually.

Okay, let’s move onto the cool stuff.

An interview with an existing VoiceVibes Customer

I recently chatted with an existing customer about their use of VoiceVibes and the results they have seen from its usage.

Q. Could you please tell everyone a bit about your company?

A. My firm is one of the leading independent audit, tax, and advisory firms serving approximately 800 clients from our offices across the U.S. We currently employ over 8,500 employees.

Q. What business challenges did you have that prompted you to begin looking for a solution like VoiceVibes?

A. Overseeing the leadership development programs for the firm, one challenge we had was managing the scope and budget of our programs. We use VoiceVibes as part of our Senior Manager Academy (SMA) program. This program is a three-year career development program[1] . It seeks to build future leaders that will differentiate our firm from its competitors, drive revenue and growth, and engage our top talent.

Once the program was running for three years, and we had a class in each year of the academy, there emerged a need to manage the entire academy’s budget to balance affordability, learner experience, and manageability by our small team. This need led to the identification of technologies, even artificial intelligence (AI), which could ease the administrative burden of managing three concurrent classes while still providing valuable content and actionable feedback to our learners. So to sustain and economically scale the three-year journey, the team incorporated the following technologies into the program:

  1. Intrepid Learning Platform: We use the Intrepid Learning Platform to ‘house’ all background, assignments, newsletters, and a participant and faculty directory. From a sustainability standpoint, the platform reduces email traffic and faculty asking questions while also providing a tracking mechanism to report assignment completion, which previously was done manually. In addition, the website provides an entry point for participants to access other technologies and resources.
  2. Adobe Connect Meetings: In keeping formal learning events (national face-to-face events) to one per year, there was a need for a virtual delivery platform that allows for a rich learning experience while managing the setup and administrative efforts and cost. Like most virtual meeting tools, Adobe Connect allows for video (for presenters), chat, polling, breakout rooms, etc. The polling, whiteboards, group-video breakouts allow for easy assigning of CPE (continuing professional education) credit. It creates an experience of being in-person while minimizing travel by participants and thereby costing 50% less.
  3. Bridge Practice: Our curriculum incorporates a peer-to-peer video coaching platform each year to serve a few purposes. First, to serve as a catalyst and activator for peer coaching relationships. Although the program incorporates faculty that provide rich, personalized feedback, participants’ peers can provide equally rich and insightful feedback – once activated.Another purpose is to build presentation skills. A success attribute for senior leaders is social confidence, or what is often referred to as executive presence. In each year of the curriculum, participants record two to five videos using the Bridge Practice platform. The video assignments are typically tied to project work. They record their video on their mobile device or laptop and upload it into the platform and complete a self-assessment of their video. Once this phase is completed, participants are asked to go into the platform, watch their peers’ videos, and complete an assessment rubric for three to five peers. At the end of that phase, each individual receives a personalized feedback report.
  4. VoiceVibes: Last, and most recently, we incorporated VoiceVibes into the curriculum as a way to put AI to work. Executive presence is as much ‘what you say as it is ‘how you say it. The AI platform of VoiceVibes produces a communication score with details around pace, tone, pausing, pitch, volume, and positive and negative vibes. Using AI allows participants to receive incredibly detailed and objective feedback – without taking time from peers or faculty. And since it focuses on audio/sound and not video – the SMA team aligned the assignments with Bridge Practice. After participants create videos for each of their Bridge Practice assignments, they take their same video and upload it to VoiceVibes to receive a full report on their verbal voice and communication.

Q. Could you share with everyone how you are leveraging VoiceVibes within your business today?

A. This past year, we utilized VoiceVibes with two of our Senior Manager Academy (SMA) classes – first for a class going through Year 2 of the three years and second with our recently graduated class of SMA.

For the group going through Year 2, we leveraged VoiceVibes alongside another tool called Bridge Practice. Over the course of the year our participants in Year 2 created three short videos:

  1. Who Am I? story – This video is a simple message that conveys ‘who you are and what you stand for – your values, abilities, and actions. It should answer the question, What makes you unique?
  2. Who are we? story – This video conveys the firm’s brand and how one’s values, attributes, and actions support the firm’s vision and mission.
  3. What is your personal brand? story – This video summarizes one’s brand and what makes them distinctive and unique, along with how their brand supports the firms’ brand.

After completing their video in Bridge Practice, it goes into a Peer Review. Participants watch and complete a rating rubric for three to five of their peers. The Peer Review rubric focuses on the message/content and visual presence. While this is happening, participants load their videos into VoiceVibes. It’s in VoiceVibes they receive feedback on their vocal delivery.

Next, we used VoiceVibes with our class that graduated from the three-year academy program, in conjunction with group coaching. We created a set of assignments (see below) and asked our group to work through assignments and come to group coaching sessions (up to 4 people) ready to discuss and share things they want to work on. Only a select few completed most or all of the assignments (they stated they didn’t have time), but most completed at least one.

One program participant shared in a follow-up focus group call around the benefit of this approach:
VoiceVibes was a great tool to pair with coaching. The order for me was: we build our business case (for promotion) during SMA, which was useful to think about stories and examples and understand some of the things that I needed to articulate. The Voice Vibes tool forced me to practice and rehearse, and the coaching helped me polish some of that, so it was a good sequence of events. I used those tools together to put into practice a lot of the principles that we had learned.

Another participant shared a different approach:
What I did was complete a couple of the VoiceVibes assignments to rehearse and get feedback, and then brought to the coaching session the need to ‘personalize’ my responses – specifically ‘help me make this more personal to me, help me shine the light on me and differentiate on how I present this.’

Q. What have you loved about your experience with VoiceVibes, the company, the product, the people?

A. One of the big initial attractions to VoiceVibes was the ability to provide individualized, personalized feedback without using our faculty through AI. We want to provide personalized feedback, but that isn’t easy when we have large classes of 60 – 90 each year. The use of AI in VoiceVibes allows us to get to that.

Also, the setup was straightforward and took very little time to get set up and running. The only challenge is we didn’t do SSO, and some participants got confused and didn’t remember the password, but we quickly fixed that.

Q. What benefits/impacts has VoiceVibes had on your business? I’d love to hear any stories, anecdotes, and/or statistics you could share?

A. Here are some other comments from participants in our graduating group from a Focus Group conversation:

Participant: “I have gotten a decent amount of benefit from the tool around the strength of my opening, I’ve slowed down pace a little bit.”
Participant: “VoiceVibes has been good about getting me to answer the same question in different ways. The tool has been beneficial and useful to think about my vocal delivery in different ways.”
Participant: “I had to make what I was saying, my story, more conversational and interesting.”

Examples of VoiceVibes Assignments

If you are interested in learning how this customer structured their VoiceVibes assignments, you are in the right place.

Example Assignment #1: Your Personal Brand

FIRST, TURN ON EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS!
VoiceVibes’ email notifications are very helpful when using the product, so please be sure you turn these on for your account — click on your name in the top right to go to the profile page and then click the “Click to Configure Email Notifications” link. Enable some or all of the different notification types, as desired. Then proceed to the below assignment.

Imagine your local newspaper wrote an article about you and what you stand for. What would the headline say (the Big Idea)? Perfect your personal brand story: “Describe what you have done in the marketplace, the community, and/or within your profession to develop your personal brand and enhance the firm’s brand.”

Step #1: Perfect your brand. Distill the essence of your personal brand down to one or two words.

Step #2: Personalize your story. Think through how you would explain your personal brand to “Aunt Gladys.” Get to the so-what of your brand in as few words as possible – a phrase that captures the ear and the imagination of your audience.

Step #3: Find your headlines. Complete this sentence (or some version of it). “My personal brand headlines are…”

Step #4: Put it all together. Take at least one headline and share what that headline means in a personalized story and how it enhances the firm brand.

Target three minutes for your response. When you’re ready, click the “Record for this Assignment” button below. Once you record, the system will give you immediate results. Go through all of the feedback in the system. You can re-record as many times as you like to try to improve your scores. Pay attention to your positive and negative vibes. The positive vibes of personable and authentic are good to look at for your personal brand while being conscious to minimize detached or confusing negative vibes.

Example Assignment #2: Expanding Existing Relationship

Craft and practice your hero story to the question: “Give an example of how you have been able to generate additional business for the firm within an existing client relationship.”

Remember, hero stories use “I” not “we.” Focus on what you did to expand the business. An instance where you built a relationship, learned of a business issue, or made an introduction. While the firm culture is a collaborative one, and others contribute to your success, give yourself permission to shine a spotlight on your individual role.

Step #1: Identify the client and specific instance where you were essential in identifying and generating additional business.

Step #2: Construct your story.

  1. Start at the beginning –Describe where, when and who [firm and client].
  2. Build the action – Identify the pivotal meeting, conversation or instance.
  3. Stick the landing – Share what you did and how it resulted in additional business.

Target three minutes for your response. When you’re ready, click the “Record for this Assignment” button below. Once you record, the system will give you immediate results. Go through all of the feedback in the system. You can re-record as many times as you like to try to improve your scores. For this assignment, pay attention to your pace and the effective use of pauses. And we’ve added “we” into the word spotting. Check your “Word Spotting” results to see if you used “we” vs. “I.”

Example Assignment #3: Business from New Client

Share another hero story, this time around the question: “Give an example of how you have been influential in winning new business from a client prospect.”

Hero stories use “I” more than “we.” Focus on what you did to identify the prospect, build the relationship, craft the proposal, or deliver the pitch. Give yourself permission to boast about yourself and what you accomplished. You don’t have to ignore the team effort, but make sure you’re highlighting your specific role in winning the new business.

Step #1: Identify the client prospect as well as the pivotal point where you were essential in winning the new business.
Step #2: Construct your story.

    1. Start at the beginning –Describe who [client prospect], where and when.
    2. Build the action – Zero in on the point where you played an influential role.
    3. Stick the landing – Share what you did and the new business outcome.

Target three minutes for your response. When you’re ready, click the “Record for this Assignment” button below. Once you record, the system will give you immediate results. Go through all of the feedback in the system. You can re-record as many times as you like to try to improve your scores. For this assignment, pay attention to the variety of your volume and pitch. And we’ve added “we” into the word spotting. Check your “Word Spotting” results to see if you used “we” vs. “I.”

Example Assignment #4: Why should you be a partner in the firm?

Craft, practice and be ready to share the answer to the question: “Why should you be considered for as a partner?”

Step #1: Identify the combination of your personal brand, your readiness and the value you can bring to the partnership and state it in just a few words.

Step #2: Turn your words into headlines. Go back to your personal brand headlines and adjust to highlight your readiness in action, your value in action.

Step #3: Take your headline(s) and construct a personal story. Ensure it’s personal and highlights your unique background/value. Work on a strong opening headline and a memorable closing statement.

Target one to two minutes for your response. When you’re ready, click the “Record for this Assignment” button below. Once you record, the system will give you immediate results. Go through all of the feedback in the system. You can re-record as many times as you like to try to improve your scores. Strive for overall 6 or higher in Vocal Delivery. And pay close attention to your positive and negative vibes, particularly the positive vibes of personable and authentic. Work to minimize negative vibes, particularly any detached, confusing, or boring vibes.

Final thoughts

Voice Analytics Software can transform the experience you deliver to customers and prospects.

Software like VoiceVibes also strengthens your employees as they grow better informed and more skilled in all communications.

The investment in them is an investment in your own business.

Are you ready to get started? Get a demo of VoiceVibes today!

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