ZoomInfo Buys Chorus.ai? Faceless Avatars Take Over B2B Sales? | This Week In Sales

On this week in sales we’ll be looking at: 

  • Zoominfo buying Chorus.ai
  • Faceless avatars being set to take over the sales profession
  • How much should you spend on Sales Enablement
  • If a college degree is worth the investment

And much more! 


ZoomInfo drops $575M on Chorus.ai as AI shakes up the sales market

ZoomInfo announced this morning it intends to acquire conversational sales intelligence tool Chorus.ai for $575 million.

Sales intelligence, Chorus’s market, is a hot space that uses AI to “listen” to sales conversations to help improve interactions between salespeople and customers. ZoomInfo is mostly known for providing information about customers, so the acquisition expands the acquiring company’s platform in a significant way.

The company sees an opportunity to bring together different parts of the sales process in a single platform by “combining ZoomInfo’s historic top-of-the-funnel strength with insights driven from the middle of the funnel in the customer conversations that Chorus captures,” it said in a release.

Chorus.ai will likely not be the final exit in the conversational intelligence space. Its rival Gong (often known by its URL, Gong.io) is one of the hotter startups in this space, having raised over $500 million. Its most recent raise was $250 million on a $7.25 billion valuation last month.

The implication of the Chrous.ai exit and Gong’s enormous private valuation is that the application of AI to audio data in a sales environment is incredibly useful, given the number of customers the two companies’ aggregate valuation implies.


The Pay Is High and Jobs Are Plentiful, but Few Want to Go Into Sales

Demand for sales roles has shot up as companies emerging from the pandemic switch to growth mode, but recruiters say they struggle to convince people to make sales a career.

ZipRecruiter, an online job platform, shows the number of sales roles advertised has risen steadily this year, up 65% to more than 700,000 open positions around the U.S., after big layoffs decimated the field at the outset of the pandemic a year ago.

Keith Wolf, managing director of Houston-based recruiting firm Murray Resources, said the number of sales jobs advertised by his clients between January and May is double what it was for the prior five months.


Business use of avatars: Avatars save costs, boost sales

An associate professor of marketing at The University of Texas at Arlington says digital avatars can replace a sales force and customer service employees at a fraction of the cost.

In this context, avatars are typically computer-generated representations of people. UTA Associate Professor Fred Miao says they can fill the void in interactive assistance that a majority of shoppers says they want.

“An Accenture survey of online shoppers shows that 62% never completed their purchases because there was no real-time customer service or support. That Accenture survey also shows that 90% of those shoppers wanted some sort of interactive assistance during the shopping process,” said Miao, faculty fellow of the John Merrill Endowed Professorship in Consultative Sales in UTA’s College of Business. “Avatars, used in the right way, can fill this void at a fraction of the cost of hiring and training human salespeople and service employees.”


 “An Emerging Theory of Avatar Marketing,” – Journal of Marketing

How Much Should Companies Spend on Sales Enablement?

  • A typical marketing budget for an enterprise-level organization came out to approximately 10% – 12% of company revenue. 

What about the percentage of their marketing budget that companies specifically allocate to sales enablement? 

  • 66% of participating businesses spend at least $150 per user/per month on sales enablement tools. A dramatic increase from a similar survey performed in 2017.

A whopping 90% of marketing-produced content goes unused by sales; and only 9% of marketing content gets used more than five times.  A disconnect between your marketing and sales departments.


Selling Signals Receives Funding From Marc Waring Ventures to Launch Online Publication for Salespeople

Selling Signals announced a seed funding investment round of $300,000 from Marc Waring Ventures. Selling Signals is an online publication for salespeople.

“We identified a gap in the online marketplace where most sales education topics are being addressed by generalist writers, generalist publications, or brands selling products and services.” says Evan Tarver, co-founder and CEO at Selling Signals.


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