This Cyber ‘Sales Assistant’ Uses Artificial Intelligence to Hook New Leads
Following up on sales prospects can be a time-consuming process, one that isn’t guaranteed to come with a payoff. Artificial intelligence software firm Conversica, which on Wednesday disclosed $34 million in venture funding, has created a smart “sales assistant” that automates just that.
Conversica’s technology uses scripted conversations to respond to incoming emails and messages from a company’s website, mobile app, or other lead-gathering campaigns. It connects with close to 50 different sales and marketing systems, including applications from Salesforce and Marketo.
If the Conversica software finds it difficult to interpret a response, or if the prospect sends signals (using certain keywords or phrases) that suggest he or she is receptive to a deeper sales conversation, the exchange is escalated to a human on the sales team.
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The 9-year-old Conversica has more than 1,000 customers, including IBM, CenturyLink, and Fiat Chrysler of America. The company, which has about 140 employees, started life as a lead generation business, but it changed its model several years ago. It claims an annual recurring revenue of $18 million. A typical subscription is “a few thousand” dollars per month, Terry said.
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The new funding, led by Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners, brings Conversica’s outside backing to approximately $56 million. Terry declined to disclose the company’s valuation.
The latest infusion will be used to develop other applications of Conversica’s technology, such as processing messages handled by a customer support or service organization and expanding support to other languages outside of English.