Making a sales call? Otter.ai wants to listen, summarize, and help


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As the generative AI era continues full steam ahead, and more and more enterprises figure out how to deploy the technology for their own gain, one of the more enticing areas is in sales and revenue generation.

Otter.ai, the company best known for its auto-transcription software (used by VentureBeat journalists during interviews, though we accepted no compensation or benefits from Otter.ai for this article), is the latest in a series of companies targeting sales and revenue teams with its AI solutions.

This week, the 7-year-old company debuted OtterPilot for Sales, an AI assistant that automatically listens to sales calls, auto-transcribes the conversation and keeps track of each speaker, and analyzes key decision-making factors such as Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline (commonly known as BANT), displaying these in a helpful sidebar called “Sales Insights.”

As the Otter.ai website notes, thanks to Otter.ai’s realtime auto-transcription technology, sales leaders “can even coach [their] reps while they are on a live call, without ever joining or interrupting the call.”

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After each call ends, OtterPilot for Sales automatically integrates these insights directly into Salesforce’s industry-leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, essentially acting as an admin that puts valuable information right at the fingertips of sales leaders. This not only saves time but also enhances the visibility into ongoing deals and projects.

Screenshot of OtterPilot for Sales from Otter.ai
Screenshot of OtterPilot for Sales. Credit: Otter.ai

The time crunch

According to Greg Holmes, an advisor to Otter.ai and the former Chief Revenue Officer at Zoom, sales reps often find themselves bogged down by tasks that aren’t directly related to selling.

In fact, Salesforce data suggests that salespeople spend just a fraction of their time—less than a third—actually making sales.

OtterPilot aims to liberate sales teams from this time sink by automating the process of capturing and syncing key sales insights, such as BANT and the popular MEDDPICC strategy (Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Paper process, Identify pain, Champion, and Competition), to Salesforce.

Think of it as a productivity boost, like adding turbochargers to a car engine, helping sales teams speed toward their goals.

Key features of OtterPilot for Sales

  • AI-Boosted Sales Insights to identify and records crucial sales metrics.
  • Otter AI Chat for Follow-ups: This is akin to a virtual assistant that can draft emails for you based on meeting data, ensuring you never miss an opportunity to follow up.
  • Centralized Note-Taking: This feature is the organizational backbone, making sure that all customer call notes are stored in one place for easy access.

Otter.ai is also making no secret of the competition it’s going after in the space: Gong, which just recently introduced its own Call Spotlight AI that offers similar auto-transcription, auto note-taking, and AI-driven CRM integration features.

In fact, Otter.ai promotes a case study on its website of a customer, Canidium, that chose OtterPilot over Gong.

Earlier this year, Otter.ai launched its own Otter AI Chat, a feature allowing users to ask questions about a meeting in-progress through a large language model (LLM) chat interface, which is now being included in OtterPilot for Sales. Gong also offers a rival service.

What OtterPilot ultimately helps sales and revenue teams achieve

Sam Liang, the co-founder and CEO of Otter.ai, points out that today’s sales teams are tasked with generating more revenue but often have fewer resources to do so.

OtterPilot for Sales is designed to be the wind in their sails, streamlining workflows and helping them close deals more rapidly to boost revenue.

Beyond its primary sales focus, Otter AI Chat can also be leveraged for other collaborative activities. Acting like a virtual team member, it can answer questions on the fly and collaborate during meetings, making it a versatile tool not just for sales teams but also for customer engagement.

For now, OtterPilot for Sales is rolling out its red carpet for enterprise customers, signaling the company’s focus on serving larger organizations with complex sales needs.

By automating time-consuming tasks and delivering key insights directly where they are needed most, OtterPilot acts like a supercharger for sales engines, helping teams cross the finish line faster and close deals faster.

Update/correction Thurs. Sept. 7, 11:35 am ET: This article previously erroneously stated Otter.ai did not offer an LLM-powered chatbot. The article has been corrected accordingly in the copy. We apologize for and regret the error.

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