Want to Make That Perfect Sales Call? Ask Ciara, the Inside Digital Assistant


A new German start-up is developing a customer relationship platform with an Alexa-like digital assistant to help inside sales reps make challenging phone calls to prospects, some of whom may be unaware they will be contacted.

“The job market for inside sales reps is growing by the day,” says Konstantin Krauss, a founder of the German CRM software company CiaraOpens a new window , “In order for software-as-a-service companies or other industries that generally sell remotely to have success, they must ramp up their people fast, provide them with sales resources and give them access to training.”

Ciara says its mission is to help a sales team that works solely in an office learn how to make that perfect phone call – even to an unannounced contact known in the industry as a cold call.

While the claim may strike some old sales pros as more smoke than fire, others agree that Ciara’s sales approach subtly compares its CRM platform to a head football coach and the sales team to a football team. It reinforces the old adage that sales is, indeed, a contact sport.

Playbooks and Strategies

Ciara says it provides playbooks with easy-to-learn principles and furnishes interactive guides. It schools the team’s members in smart ways to handle objections from prospects and lays out strategies for structuring phone conversations to get results.

A key function is to offer sideline advice by a digital sales assistant named Ciara that uses voice recognition technology to deliver what the company calls deep learning from Ciara’s daily interactions with the team.

The digital sales assistant is already available for free from Ciara, and the company says further funding will be used to turn the Ciara platform into the Alexa of sales calls. The aim is for the assistant to understand voice conversations in full and deliver a range of sales skills that reps can draw on throughout the workday.

Hundreds of Clients Claimed

Ciara launched officially in May in Germany and is expanding into the American market following seed funding. The company says it has closed a seven-digit funding round and is signing up hundreds of US clients.

It’s opened an office in Silicon Valley that will serve as its American headquarters. German software engineers Martin Heibel and Krauss founded the company, and it will approach the US market for a Series A funding round to enable it to build what the company says will be an enterprise-level productivity solution.

“Every day new technology products are launched in the United States that require expert inside sales reps to sell them,” says founder Heibel. “With that type of growth happening, Ciara is a natural fit in the market as we are an easy-to-use, no-risk technology solution with a proven track record of success.”

Key takeaways:

  • German software developer Ciara is launching in the United States a mere three months after its European launch. The company has established its North American office in Silicon Valley, seeking Series A funding for an enterprise-level venture.
  • Available for free in its basic offer, Ciara is a platform designed to use technology similar to Alexa to support sales reps with challenging calls.
  • Productivity assistants are a relatively new type of CRM software designed to make the lives of sales reps easier. For example, the objection-handling features allow the reps to deal withy customer questions, particularly those they might not have had to manage before, but which other members of the company could have seen.
  • It’s important that digital sales assistants can integrate closely with the major CRM platforms already in use within businesses.