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Zoom IQ provides more intelligence for sales teams

Zoom's latest enhancements to IQ for Sales represent a product diversification strategy focused on delivering better intelligence to sales teams.

Zoom has added data from Zoom Phone and Microsoft Dynamics 365 to IQ for Sales, providing sales teams with information that the company said would help them close deals.

IQ for Sales, released last week, analyzes phone calls and other data helpful in honing sales pitches. The software transcribes and reviews sales conversations to flag action items based on customers' questions and how often they mention a competitor. It also helps salespeople avoid speaking too quickly or using filler words.

The AI product costs $79 per seat per month.

Before the Zoom Phone support, IQ for Sales supported only video meetings. Now, companies can filter the product's analysis by medium, viewing insights from video conferences and phone calls.

The IQ for Sales and Dynamics 365 integration lets the former pull data from the CRM software and combine it with information from video and phone calls to add context. Companies will gain intelligence on frequently discussed topics, the length of negotiations and customers' key decision-makers. IQ for Sales already works with Salesforce's CRM.

While COVID-19 restrictions wane, video conferences and phone calls remain important ways for sales teams to reach customers. A 2021 McKinsey survey of 3,498 tech buyers found that 35% of sales meetings took place remotely. While the percentage of in-person interactions grew between August 2020 and February 2021, only about a third of buyers preferred real-world meetings, the consulting firm found.

Zoom is diversifying its product portfolio as video and phone services become a commodity in collaboration platforms. Its focus on providing sales-related intelligence could help differentiate it from Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex, 451 Research analyst Raúl Castañón-Martínez said.

"[IQ for Sales] reflects how Zoom is looking to support communications-enabled workflows, as opposed to providing a standalone communications tool," he said.

Zoom IQ for Sales insights
Zoom IQ for Sales searches call transcripts to flag possible next steps for sales teams.

Zoom is not alone in supplementing its communications offerings for sales teams. Collaboration vendor Dialpad also sells AI software to boost sales by determining customer sentiment.

Zoom plans to expand the use of analytics with its communications platform in the future. For example, an upcoming update of Zoom Contact Center will help companies learn more about the common problems customers face.

AI tools that analyze customer data have drawn criticism from privacy activists. In May, nearly 30 advocacy groups sent a letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, asking him to abandon research into AI emotion analysis. The groups worry that the technology could misread data from people who are non-native speakers, have disabilities or are from other cultures.

Mike Gleason is a reporter covering unified communications and collaboration tools. He previously covered communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily News, Walpole Times, Sharon Advocate and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and served as a local editor for Patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

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