Startup Of The Week

Startup Of The Week: Talkdesk

Talkdesk, a startup that is gaining traction with its cloud-based call center software, is now additionally focusing on leveraging AI and machine learning to improve the way businesses sell to customers.

On November 1 the company launched a new product called Talkdesk for Sales that aims to increase the effectiveness of inside salespeople by helping them make a higher volume of calls and convert more prospects.

Talkdesk for Sales uses AI and voice analytics to identify relevant conversations, find answers to questions and present those answer to sales reps in real-time. The goal is to allow sales reps to spend more time selling and less time searching for the information they need to engage prospects.

Features of the new product also include call recording, enabling coaching to ensure call quality and consistency standards, and using AI to identify successful sales calls in order to share knowledge about what works across the sales team.

The six-year-old company, which was founded by Portuguese engineer Tiago Paiva and is headquartered in the US, has raised a total of $25 million in venture capital from backers that include Salesforce Ventures.

Talkdesk has over 1,400 customers for an existing offering that helps companies create digital call centers.

Companies use Talkdesk to create centers where customers can call in to get assistance. Those calls are connected to internal company databases like Salesforce and Zendesk, which bring up all the relevant information about a caller in order to help a customer service representative better resolve the issue or route that customer to the best person.

Allowing call center employees to know –before they even pick up the phone — who the caller is and even what their problem maybe, increases customer satisfaction, says Marco Costa, Talkdesk’s General Manager EMEA. On average, Talkdesk customers achieve a 20% improvement in contact center productivity and 23% wait-time reduction, he says.

Talkdesk has offices in over 50 countries and does its R &D out of Lisbon. It was one of a number of companies on a start-up tour of Lisbon organized by Portuguese innovation hub Beta-i during the Web Summit technology conference November 6–9.

About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.