Tech-Entrepreneur-on-a-Mission Podcast

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Product Innovation: How AI can help sales teams beat their numbers every month, quarter, year

Season 2, Ep. 55

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation in the sales execution space that has the power to help companies gain 99% accuracy in their sales cycles, hence achieve big leaps in productivity, and my guest is Dr. Cindy Gordon, Co-founder and CEO of SalesChoice, an AI SaaS Predictive and Prescriptive Guiding Selling Company. 


Cincy is an expert in SaaS, AI, business innovation, early-stage software commercialization & sales /marketing practices. She has held senior leadership and partnership roles in global B2B Enterprises, including: Accenture, Xerox, Citicorp and Nortel Networks. In addition, Cindy has also been a founder, VC, and an angel in emerging software companies. She is recognized for her innovation and thought leadership, has written over 13 books, and won numerous awards. 


Cindy’s passion is the constant pursuit of sustainable innovation and the creation of  differentiated experiences to make our world an incredible place. That’s what triggered me, hence I invited her to my podcast.

We explore the large-scale challenges sales professionals have in making their targets. The fact that 30% of sales professionals suffer from attention deficit disorder, and that attention span has dropped 50% over the past 10 years are likely making this worse than better. AI is coming to the rescue here. It’s interesting how Cindy defines it: AI is not then new energy, it’s the new oxygen – we have to breath it to be able to do things we’ve never held possible.


Here are some of her quotes:

“What drives me day to day is probably just ensuring that what is possible is real, and giving people the confidence that they could actually mobilize the change.

It's all about building the confidence to just simply be, enjoy, and make it happen. Too often, we get paralyzed. And I think with the speed that has accelerated in businesses worldwide, people need to make more choices about where they're spending their time and what they're working on,

The roots of the company are very much focused on that specific problem.

The problem is that 30 to 60% of sales professionals don't make their sales plan targets or quotas in the b2b market segment.

The speed acceleration or the age of distraction dynamics, b2b sales professionals have one of the hardest jobs in the world because of the noise factor. 

So that's the backdrop and we thought the thesis was: “Could AI, with predictive analytics and other AI methods, absorb all the historical dynamics of a firm and actually guide them?”


During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why it’s key to always look for audit trails once you add AI to your solution – Someone needs to be accountable for the predictions. And if you can’t stand in for it, the legal issues will be pretty significant
  2. That the new way to deliver your solutions is not to give your users individual insights, but rather universal intelligence of all ‘the moves’. This will enable them to add even more value.
  3. That one of your responsibilities and opportunities as a vendor is to ensure the data keeps improving – that bias isn’t there – and that your predictions are transparent
  4. Everyone knows that to succeed you have to stay focused. Possibly more important is to stay curious. To be looking around the corner for the market dynamics and the edge plays. Leave yourself and your people time to pause, reflect and time to think.


More Episodes

10/6/2021

By thinking differently about three ways in which we approach data, we enable the future of the world

Season 4, Ep. 184
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to move us to where we are at the centre of our own digital life, and back in control over our own data. My guest is Julian Ranger, Executive Chairman and Founder of Digi.me.Julian is an aeronautical engineer specialising in interoperability and the military internet. He founded STASYS Ltd in 1987, and grew it to a staff of 230, with subsidiaries in the USA, Germany, Malaysia and Australia prior to sale to Lockheed Martin in 2005.He's an angel investor in more than 20 start-up businesses, including firms such as Hailo, DataSift, and Astrobotic.His passion for the power of personal data led him to build new businesses.Today he's the Exec Chairman and founder of digi.me, a company that's on a mission to enable the Internet of Me, enabling us to do amazing things with our personal data without compromising our privacy or security.And that inspired me, and hence I invited you Julian to my podcast. We explore how the internet has become a place where no one is in control anymore over their own data, but no one is in control over all data. And exactly the latter is the problem that stops us from having the level of personalization we really want, and the big breakthroughs we all need, like precision medicine.Fixing privacy, security and consent is not the way forward. That's about stopping the bad stuff from happening. What we need is a way to share more and better data - to make the good stuff happening (without the bad stuff)Here are some of his quotes:Rich data, now ask yourself, is there a company in the world that can do that? And people say, 'well, Google, and Facebook and Axiom', but if you take a circle of my data, they have a wedge. But they don't have my health, my purchases, or my media, my wearables, and stuff.In fact, because of all the stovepipes or silos, whichever analogy you like, it is impossible for any company to bring all that data together to get a rich data library view. So we are effectively stopped from our future at this point.And the laws are shrinking those wedges that people have, but nobody said, Well, how do I open up the whole circle to do it? Now when you look at it, no company can. But there is one entity in the whole system that knows all about you and me. Yourself.You know where your data is. You have a right for that data. And you're the only entity with unlimited usage rights. When you understand those three things, you can only aggregate rich data at the individual. And that's the key insight for what my business does. That's our big idea. And it's no less than enables the future of the world.During this interview, you will learn four things:Why too often we approach the problem from the wrong end - by not looking far enough ahead: the simple desired outcome for the userWhat it requires to succeed when your big idea hits the road and you discover that the road is not quite as smooth as you'd likeThat everybody is lucky - but that many are just not seeing the luck around them.Why as entrepreneurs we often spend too much time on the idea and the instantiation of it, and not enough time on the internal and external messagingFor more information about the guest from this week:Julian RangerWebsite Digi.me
9/29/2021

Radical Product Thinking - the art of creating world-changing products

Season 4, Ep. 183
This podcast interview focuses on the art to transform our visions into reality - and with that create products that create meaningful change. My guest is Radhika Dutt, Author of Radical Product ThinkingRadhika is an entrepreneur and product leader who has participated in four acquisitions, two of which were companies that she founded. She is an Advisor on Product Thinking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s financial regulator and central bank. She teaches entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern’s D’Amore McKim School of Business and is an advisor to several startups. She graduated from MIT with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering, and speaks nine languages, currently learning her tenth.Radhika co-founded Radical Product Thinking as a movement of leaders creating vision-driven change. She was on my podcast in December 2019 as a consequence of that. Recently she released her book Radical Product Thinking - and that was the perfect reason to interview her again. We explore what's broken in the way we build software products - and the challenges that lead to excessive cost, compromised growth potential, demotivated teams, and so on. We discuss in detail how you can recognize looming problems, and what you can do differently to fix them once and forever.Here are some of her quotes:It's not that companies don't have a vision, you can have varying degrees of good visions. But it's incredible how expensive it is when your vision isn't quite right, or you haven't uncovered these misalignments.And the cost of not having this alignment is what really keeps coming up in organizations. You see it at every step where somehow your vision becomes disconnected and you start running into what I call 'product diseases', which is where innovation kind of dies on the vine.And that's really the cost of them. Not starting with a deep enough detailed enough vision.During this interview, you will learn four things:The methodology to create a remarkable vision and translate it into everyday action.What signals to look for to understand whether you have a sizeable innovation problemThe simple framework to avoid vision debt in your organization and how to empower everyone to successfully apply ithow to engineer a culture of innovation by approaching it as if it was a productFor more information about the guest from this week:Radhika DuttWebsite Radical Product Thinking
9/22/2021

How taking a radically different approach to solving a problem can move an entire industry into having a massive competitive disadvantage

Season 4, Ep. 182
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to provide all of us with a highly intelligent and hyper-personalized assistant. My guest is Peter Voss, Founder, CEO, and Chief Scientist of Aigo AIPeter is a serial entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, and pioneer in Artificial Intelligence. He coined the term ‘AGI’ (Artificial General Intelligence) with fellow luminaries in this space.He started in electronics engineering, then fell in love with software. His first major success was developing a comprehensive ERP package and taking that company from Zero to 400-person IPO in seven years.Fueled by the fragile nature of software, he embarked on a journey 15+ years ago studying what intelligence is, how it develops in humans, and the current state of AI. This research culminated in the creation of a natural language intelligence engine that can think, learn, and reason -- and adapt to and grow with the user.He founded Aigo in July 2017 where he's focused on commercializing the second generation of their AGI-based ‘Conversational AI’ technology. The most simple way to explain what the product is about is this: It's a chatbot with a brain.What does this mean? It remembers what was said before. It can learn interactively. It has a deep contextual understanding. It can reason and explain itself. The result: It finally makes meaningful ongoing conversations with technology possible.And this inspired me, and hence I invited Peter to my podcast. We explore what's broken in the world of Chatbots - and why conventional approaches can only bring us so far. We then explore what can be i.e. what potential is ahead of us if we take a different approach. Peter further talks about the challenges he faced and overcame through sheer perseverance.Here are some of his quotes:We started with a brain. This was really my motivation of initially starting the AI company in 2001. It was not to build a chatbot. The motivation was to build an intelligent machine, an intelligent system, a system that can learn and reason and understand and remember, and so on.So that was the starting point. And then we said: "Okay, we have a brain. What do we want to use this brain for?" Do we want to put it into a robot to help, run the robot? Do we want to use it for conversation? Or do we want to use it for image recognition, to help it to drive a car or something? And, as I said - we decided that the best path forward for us was to focus on the conversation.During this interview, you will learn four things:That the more human our software becomes, the less friction in adoption we'll experienceThat staying true to your vision and aiming to be different (not just better) will give initial pushback, but will help overcome the biggest hurdlesThat true innovation is not about embracing the latest shiny technology, but about solving meaningful problems in a remarkable way.How to overcome the trap of losing all your resources and energy on building table-stake features to overcome sales bottlenecks - thereby risking you'll lose your biggest sales argument: your edgeFor more information about the guest from this week:Peter VossWebsite Aigo AI