Kevin Colosimo podcast interview on lead gen with AI

Identify Conversation-Ready Leads Faster With An AI Assistant


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Bernie and his guests have discussed using AI assistant technology for increased marketing efficiency several times on the show and each time in a slightly different way. Bernie’s guest today is Kevin Colosimo, Senior Director, Digital Strategy and Innovation, North America Marketing at Oracle. Kevin describes how his team is augmenting their workforce with virtual sales assistants powered by AI to produce more conversation-ready leads, aka CoRE.

Oracle is best known as the world’s leading provider of database software, but after investing over $6 billion in research and development today it’s recognized as the global leader in business software with a broad portfolio of solutions for companies of all sizes. Kevin is part of the North America Marketing team reporting directly to sales. His goal is to help marketing and sales work more effectively together to achieve better results. One solution his team is implementing is identifying conversation-ready leads faster with AI assistant technology from Conversica. If your company has considered integrating AI sales assistants into your sales and marketing workflow, you won’t want to miss this episode. 

🎧 Listen to learn how to identify conversation-ready leads faster with an AI assistant with @bernieborges #CMO of Vengreso and @kcolosimo of @Oracle on this episode of @MMEnginepodcast. #socialselling #AI #AugmentedWorkforceClick To Tweet

This episode is sponsored by Conversica, AI software for marketing and sales that fosters real conversations to discover the most qualified sales opportunities. Learn more at

What Are Conversation-Ready Leads And How Do They Impact Sales And Marketing?

Kevin defines conversation-ready leads as those that are ready to talk with sales; they are actively in a buying journey. The issue that Oracle faced prior to implementing AI powered sales assistants was that marketing brought in tons of leads, but approximately 80% weren’t ready for a sales conversation. Neither sales nor marketing were happy because the leads weren’t converting fast enough into opportunities. 

Oracle’s sales and marketing teams approached the problem in two ways. The first was to identify qualified leads through a machine learning lead scoring system. This system ended up being less than effective because the lead scoring model identified leads that hit several of the metrics, but they weren’t resulting in more conversation ready leads. The second was through implementing AI-powered virtual assistants. Rather than funneling more non-CoRe or non-conversation ready leads through the nurture campaigns, they pushed them towards the virtual assistant programs. 

How AI Assistants Have Altered The Oracle Team Structure

Oracle now has four virtual assistants that the marketing team funnels potential leads to when they are not conversation-ready. The four assistants Cynthia, Nicole, Isabella, and Wendy answer questions in a prompt and polite manner with responses specifically designed for certain projects. They also reach out to customers on a consistent and persistent basis that the human element cannot maintain. Through their conversations with the leads, the virtual assistants identify CoRe leads and automatically funnel those leads to the sales team. 

By augmenting their workforce with AI assistants, Oracle has opened up opportunities for their reps to become more efficient and effective in their roles. Rather than nurturing leads that are not yet ready to be delivered to sales because they’re not yet ready to have conversations, the sales reps can focus solely on those leads who are “conversation-ready” because they’re in the buying mindset. The reps have more meaningful conversations with those buyers because of the information obtained by their virtual assistants. The result is faster conversion to opportunities.

How has #AI assistant technology altered the @Oracle #marketing team structure? 🎧 Listen as @bernieborges #CMO of Vengreso and @kcolosimo discuss on this episode of @MMEnginepodcast. #SalesLeadership #MMEShow #AugmentedWorkforceClick To Tweet

Of Course There Were Challenges When Implementing The New Program…

As with all major infrastructure changes, there were certain challenges to overcome. The North American Marketing team at Oracle put in place three key principles that increased their level of success when implementing the AI assistants. Those principles were: 1) building an internal support system with program champions, 2) selecting the appropriate use cases for their pilot program, and 3) redesigning their email messaging to support helping versus selling. 

Instead of moving the entire sales and marketing department to the virtual assistant program at once, they created specific scenarios in which to use the assistants. By starting small and selecting the right lead development reps and managers to work with, the transition to the use of virtual assistants was fairly seamless. When you show the positive impact a program has had on one group of reps, the rest of the teams are more likely to want in. If you decide to go with the same strategy, make sure to integrate software for virtual assistants for maximum productivity.

The Results Of Implementing AI Assistants Into The Lead Workflow

Oracle’s AI-powered virtual assistants have been operating for about a year as of this episode and their results have been positive to say the least. They are generating high-quality conversation-ready leads that convert faster into pipeline. While their sales teams receive fewer leads overall, the quality is much higher. They also KNOW that their AI assistants are better at identifying CoRe leads that convert into opportunities than their traditional nurture programs, which both the sales and marketing teams love!

AI Virtual Assistant

For more insights on how you can implement AI assistants into your lead generation programs, listen to this episode. Kevin gives an in-depth look at the process Oracle uses to implement the technology and how that implementation is positively impacting their sales and marketing results. Listen in for a unique look at the AI conversation.

What were the results of implementing #AI into the #marketing workflow? 🎧 Listen as @bernieborges #CMO of Vengreso and @kcolosimo of @Oracle discuss the changes on this episode of @MMEnginepodcast. #digitalselling #B2BClick To Tweet

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Outline of This Episode

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This episode is sponsored by Conversica, AI software for marketing and sales that fosters real conversations to discover the most qualified sales opportunities. Learn more at

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What are conversation-ready leads and how do they impact sales and marketing? 🎧 Find out on this episode of @MMEnginepodcast with Vengreso's @bernieborges and guest @kcolosimo of @Oracle. #MMEShow #AI #MarTechClick To Tweet
Of course, there were challenges when implementing the #AI programs… 🎧 Listen as @bernieborges #CMO of Vengreso and @kcolosimo discuss how @Oracle overcame them on this episode of @MMEnginepodcast. #DigitalMarketing #MarTech Click To Tweet

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