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Exploring Tiga AI's Role in Bridging Human Judgment and AI Assistance in Sales

Andre Yee, Founder and CEO of Tiga AI

Dive into the world of Tiga AI with Andre Yee, Founder and CEO, as he unveils the secrets behind human-centric selling at scale. From revolutionizing B2B sales to addressing prospecting challenges, explore the synergy of AI and human judgment. Gain insights into Tiga AI’s beta version, shaping the future of personalized prospecting and its imminent launch strategy. Experience the intersection of innovation and authenticity in sales tech through this technical podcast journey.

Tiga AI is powering human-centric selling at scale. They help sales teams conduct deep research, connect rationally with buyers, and communicate meaningfully at the right moment in the buyer’s journey.

Andre Yee
Founder and CEO of Tiga AI

 Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Wytpod. My name is Harshit and I’m the Director of Business Alliances at Wytlabs. We are a Digital Agency specializing in SaaS and E-Commerce SEO. And I’ve got Andre with me today, Founder and CEO of Tiga AI. Now, Tiga AI is powering human-centric selling at scale.

They help sales teams conduct deep research. And connect rationally with buyers and communicate meaningfully at the right moment in the buyer’s journey, a big welcome to you, Andre, and I’m so happy to have you with me today.

Thanks, Harshit. Thanks for having me and happy to be on your podcast.

Now can you please start by telling our audience a little bit about yourself and your professional journey so far?

Sure. Yeah, I’ve spent probably the last 16 years in sales and marketing tech, most of it marketing tech. But it started my journey in this space started with my time at a company called Eloqua.

We’re an early pioneer of Marketing automation SAS and it was a very successful company. And I wasn’t a founder, but I was, relatively, early enough in the company. And was there when we grew the business from about 15 million in AR to 125 million in AR over six years.

So super-fast growth, great people, great culture. I got to learn a lot about the sales and marketing tech space. I, when we sold, we ended up selling the company to Oracle for a little less than a billion dollars. So it was a really good exit. And a lot of my colleagues went to look for the next Eloqua.

I wanted to try to build the next Eloqua. So I ended up starting a company called Triblio account based marketing platform. We were somewhat successful as well. We didn’t raise a lot of money, but we ended up being in. The account-based marketing space for about 5 years before the acquisition, going from 0 customers to about 150 customers selling exiting to a company called IDG International Data Group.

They’re a global B2B media company and I stayed for two and a half years as head of their data and software group. And I left and we grew that business. We did 3 more acquisitions for the data and software group, and then we ended up, I left the IDG the, in January of 2023.

And shortly after that, in March, I started Tiga AI. And yeah I’m doing the startup journey again.

That’s brilliant. And what inspired you to create Tiga AI? And what is the overarching vision that you have? It can make the real of sales and marketing altogether.

Yeah. So I think I’ve been intrigued, having run my own business, having even run the business unit at IDG. I’ve been intrigued with the sales B2B sales. And one of the things about B2B sales is I started to realize it’s one of the most inefficient and costly parts of the B2B Business. 

It’s necessary, right? You have to sell to be successful. But if you chart the growth of a company, say, from 1 to 100, 000, 000, I guarantee you the slope of that curve will correlate very closely, if not identically to the growth curve of your marketing, your sales team spend, right?

And that’s because B2B Businesses and B2B sales in particular still have very human resource constraints, right? Human is the channel for the sales team in B2B direct selling. In B2C, very scalable, right? You have to scale. You have to be able to drive traffic to your site.

You have to be able to scale your transactions. Highly scalable. B2B selling is almost the opposite. It’s not scalable. It’s a human resource constraint. I’ve always been intrigued with this idea. How do we Scale and actually along the way, make more effective the B2B selling process? And I still, as you introduced us, you said we were about 80 guys, but scaling human-centric selling.

And that’s true. I think the human will always be at the center of B2B selling, but, how do we get more scale and effectiveness and make that person more effective? That’s essentially what we’re focused on. Part of the thesis is that if you think of B2C, it’s highly. Scalable because essentially B2C selling is transactional B2B selling is not transactional.

So it’s difficult to scale and instead B2C B2B selling is, I would say, relational and confidential. And so if you want to scale B2B selling, you have to scale sales conversations and you have to scale relationship building. And that’s essentially the starting point of what we’re trying to build at Tiga AI.

I would love to know, because your platform addresses the challenges the sales team faces in prospecting, maybe, could you highlight some of the key problems it effectively solves and the impact it has on a sales team’s efficiency altogether?

Yeah. So I think prospecting has always been hard, but it’s become harder.

I would say that 1 of the reasons, 1 of the evidence of that is, that you will see that engagement rates in prospecting, especially over email have plummeted significantly. And 1 of the reasons for that is, there’s just an overload of generic templated emails and the kind of communication that you know, kind of communication techniques that are used by SDRs and BDRs when they prospect, not everyone, but a lot of them.

And so there’s an overload of receiving emails that are very generic and not really what you want. And they’re just like, Imagine going out to your mailbox every day, physical mailbox and opening and seeing like a 1000 letters, that’s what people are dealing with. It’s just not working and it’s declined.

What’s interesting is that over the last 6 months, I have interviewed over 30 salespeople, ranging from CROs all the way. To account for executives, even some senior BDRs I realized there are a lot of things I learned. I wasn’t trying to sell Tiga. I was just trying to learn about the market. One of the things I learned is that BDRs prospect very differently from AEs.

BDRs will just mass-blast you with a lot of emails. But no, I know would never do that. Instead, they’re all about relationship building engaging researching about their client, and having meaningful and personal interactions and we want to do exactly that. We think volume is not the answer.

The answer is. How can you have more insights? How can you relationally connect with the buyer? How can you have optimal moments? How can you detect the optimal moments to interact with the buyer? That’s essentially what we’re trying to do and allowing them to do that at scale.

Yeah, you already mentioned an even, challenge with the bulk emailing again and using templated emails.

Now service providers and email service providers are way too smart, and your chances of even landing on inbox have decreased significantly. Google recently launched one Gmail update, Yahoo is on the verge. So is Microsoft. So it’s becoming more and more challenging as well. 

So yeah, I do agree.

You need to have that personalized effect. You need to have that approach that they usually take to succeed. Now, because the platform employs human in-loop oversight how do you see the collaboration between AI and human professionals evolving in the sales and marketing space?

So I think what we’re building essentially is an AI assistant for sales teams, right? We believe the future is for every AE or every Seller to have their own AI assistant. And I think AI assistants require a new way of working. It’s a different way of working.

We’re used to working with kind of applications where the more we use it, the better. That the more value we get out of it. What’s interesting about an AI assistant is it’s a different way of working, whereas with some that it’s a different way of working because you’re truly working with an assistant.

You dispatch some instructions to the AI and the AI can autonomously execute a body of work based on instructions or information that it receives. In doing that, right? Whether it’s, pre-generating emails in response to different activities in the space, or maybe before you walk into a meeting, it summarizes some notes so that, who you’re meeting with all these things that it does.

It’s not about taking the human out of the loop. We believe the human needs to be in the loop so that they can review. They can edit, and they can assess the quality before they send that email that was pretty generated for them or before they, as they walk into a meeting, see these notes.

And a preset in a pre-generated agenda. They want to be able to review that, take it in, but also make changes if necessary. So the human in the loop that lasts, 5 percent of human insight, I don’t think right now can be replaced. And I think it’s very important, not only in getting a better outcome, but I think it’s important just for people to adopt the technology.

I think they feel more comfortable when they know they’ll have a chance to review and edit if necessary.

Now I would love to know Because your platform emphasizes relationship-building over social channels as well. So what innovative approach does it take to ensure authentic engagement and connection with the target accounts?

Yeah, I think 1st of all, we’re in an age, as I said, where it’s not just about blasting emails to people you don’t know. It’s really about researching, making relational connections, and then having meaningful interactions when the opportunity provides surfaces.

So what we help you do is all 3. We will research on your behalf. The AI will research on your behalf based on parameters that you’ve defined. It then actually will help you engage and build relationships with the buyer over LinkedIn over other channels. And then finally, it does wait for these optimal moments.

For you to be able to just detect optimal moments for you to make a meaningful outreach to the buyer. And as we just talked about, you’re always in the loop. So it’s not independent of you, but it helps tee things up. And you’re there to review and approve and yeah it’s probably easier to show it than it is to explain.

But if anyone wants to see a demo, I’m happy to do one for them. We don’t have a video, an explainer video, or a demo, but right now we’re in private data. And we’re happy to do demos for anyone interested.

How does the solution continuously learn from basically about the contact and buying teams and what mechanisms are in place to ensure the adaptability to changing market dynamics?

Yeah so How we do it is proprietary and also very complicated to explain, but I can just see that we learn from several sources. We learn from social channels, and we also learn from the web in general based on who your target audiences are and the space that you’re in, it’ll look and learn about your company and for happenings in your particular space, right? And then it’ll synthesize that information, distill it to kind of material and significant insights that you can use in the selling process.

Now considering the beta version, what feedback have you received from the users? And how has your user experience shaped the ongoing development of the product?

Yeah, we got to beta just around Thanksgiving and so we’re about roughly a month in, but the early returns, if you would, the early assessment from our users is very positive.

One of them said recently, yeah, I have booked, I’ve had a lot of meaningful conversations as a result of using, Tiga has been able to help me relationally connect and being able to have several meetings that would another one said, the other day I generated an email campaign and it got like over 50%, open rate and all that kind of stuff, which is an anomaly.

So I don’t expect that to be the case. But what it shows is that emails generated by AI actually can be very engaging because our AI doesn’t, by the way, it doesn’t just generically generate things. The first thing you do is you train it on your business. So you have it learn about your content, about who you are, just like you would train a human.

If you hired a human SDR, you would train them, right? And you also have what we call long-term instructions injected into the AI so that it knows how to handle different situations. And it can conduct conversations. Different types of sales conversations. It can conduct not just the initial email, but it can go back and forth.

But anyway, in this case, this person had it generate an email that he sent out and got very good returns because it knows who you are. It knows your talking points, just like a human salesperson would. So that’s one of the first things you do is you tune it or train it for that with background about who you are and so we expect it to be as good as a human as the heart, or human a pitching your product.

So that was positive. And then the last 1, another individual said he ran a campaign for, and he said he drove it using yet-to-do outbound. And he said, more than a third of my pipeline has been through Tiga, right? So that’s a very positive start so far and we’re always improving it.

So yeah, I think we’re on the right track.

How exactly is a typical customer journey on the platform? What are the stages and what are the steps that we are taking?

Usually with a kickoff meeting, we start with that and you Pretty much at the end of the kickoff meeting is 45 minutes.

We learned a little about your business. And then we ask you to come prepared to provide information to train and to instruct an instructional background for the AI. And then by the end of the 45 minutes, if you become ready, the AI you’re deployed and the AI will start learning about the target accounts and contacts in your watch list.

It will know how to craft emails, and it will start generating, it will start researching those companies. Within a few minutes, and even, within 20 minutes or so, it will generate recommended actions for you to take that you can approve. And then, you can go ahead and do that.

So you’re up and running basically at the end of the 45 minutes, more or less. And then over 4 weeks, we meet with you every week, because right now, I think we just want to make sure you people understand how to use this. We meet with you every week for 4 weeks and we will show you a little more about what the AI can do for you because we found we tried to jam everything on this 1st day, it’s you forget 80 percent of it.

Every week we show you a little more like that 1st week is just to get you running the 2nd week. We show you how to run some highly hyper-personalized campaigns. With things that you can do that the AI can personalize for you in a way that is far more than what the sales engagement tools can do that are just like, templates that, merge fields.

This is much more sophisticated. And then after that, we show you other things that you can do with the platform, but by the end of the meeting with you 4 times, more or less you know how to use it and, you get in the rhythm of that.

I’m sure educating customers is vital because they should have that adaptability.

 I think most of the SaaS companies have, but those have higher churn rates somehow, don’t put a lot of emphasis on that. Another question, because you’re on your beta version right now, have you planned the marketing or already started executing it? And what channels are you leveraging or planning to leverage?

Yeah, we’re in beta, we haven’t done a lot of marketing only because at this stage, we are executing a private beta. So most of that comes through referrals. People emailed me and they heard about it and they’re excited. As I said, we’ll do a demo and then we will be happy, but there’s a waitlist for the beta.

And it’s a paid beta. So it’s a commercial beta, but yeah we are. We’re working with a set of companies right now. We haven’t launched a broad-based marketing strategy. Having said that in the new year, we will start to do that, as we get through this 1st phase somewhere in Q1, we will start marketing outreach.

And be more public about what we’re building and that kind of thing and doing it a little more public. We’ve been semi-stealthed all the way leading up to the beta and now we’re starting to open up a little bit.

And what channels are you primarily focusing on?

Yeah, obviously, we’ll do email. We’ll take you to help us with the prospecting of email. We’ll also use marketing automation. I think email LinkedIn is a channel for us. And, at some point, we will also do events online webinar events to start with I think there’s a lot of education and there’s 1st of all, there’s a lot of interest, but there’s a lot of education to do in the space of AI and sales.

Yeah. So I think I did, we did the same thing when I was when I started Triblio, it was the account-based marketing space, it was early. And a lot of the first couple of years was just education before it fully became mainstream and well understood. And I think it’s going to be very similar here as well.

All right. Now finding the right balance between automation and personalization is crucial. How does your platform ensure personalized prospecting? plays by maintaining a scalable and efficient process.

Yeah, I think actually, I think part of the answer is what we talked about already.

The human is always in the loop, right? No automation takes place. You don’t have to act on these tasks that the AI is, whether it’s generated an email for you to send or generated notes for you or whatever. You’re always in the middle and you don’t have to, you don’t have to, you don’t have to execute on everything and approve everything to be the AI T’s up. 

But so you can apply that judgment yourself. For instance, let’s say there’s an interaction with somebody, and actually. I just saw the person yesterday at an event and it’s strange for me to send this email because AI didn’t know that I met the person at an event yesterday then I didn’t do it.

Once again, as I said earlier, I think. Human judgment is still important. What we’re about at Tiga AI is not removing the human. It’s amplifying the human, right? So that the human can do and apply judgment and do strategic thinking in a way that is difficult to do when you’re bogged down by a lot of Menial and very detailed tasks that the AI can do on your behalf.

Research takes a lot of time. For instance, researching your, target list of accounts. I talked to a lot of salespeople and they said, Oh yeah, research takes a lot of time. So usually I only focus on 30-plus accounts in any given quarter. And I do deep research about them and the people in the accounts as I’m trying to prospect for them.

That’s that approach that thoughtful research-based approach prospecting works, but we want to help people do it. Not just for 30 accounts, but 430 accounts, right? Give them scale in the thing that they already doing and finding joy in and being successful in. How can we help them amplify them?

Yeah, I think the answer to your question is, how do you find the balance? I think, our system we believe is allows you to apply judgment in finding that balance. Excellent. All right.

Andre, we’re coming to an end and I would love to have a quick rapid-fire with you.

Are you ready for that?

 I’ll see how quick it is, but yeah, go ahead. Okay.

What is not a big deal to most people, but is torture to you?

Probably like taking out the trash, I would say. If you ask my wife, that’s what she’ll say. You never take out the trash. It’s a torture to most of the people, man. Come on. Oh, you think so? Yeah. All right.

What Guinness world record do you think you have a shot at beating?

What world record do I think I have a shot at beating?

Oh man, I am so bad at these quick-fire things. Taking naps.

Okay. Interesting. Are you more cautious or bold?

I am I would say bold.

Okay. What never fails to make you laugh?

Episode of Modern Family. Oh, yeah. That’s a brilliant one.

Okay. Now coming to my very last question. What’s your last Google search?

What’s my last Google search? Probably something to do with Christmas shopping.

Okay. All right. Thank you so much, Andre, for all the time, all the wisdom all the key factors about the platform, and everything that you share in today’s session.

I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Thanks.

You’re welcome.

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