NICE Systems Executive Interview
Aviad Abiri, Vice President Portfolio Sales Enablement, NICE Systems
Industry Veteran Drives Business Development by Helping Salespeople Put the Right Pieces Together
Since the blurring variety of available options in the contact center space has made selecting the right technological tools a far more complex task for managers and executives, it’s logical that it has also raised the knowledge bar to new levels for sales professionals whose job it is to influence their choices.
During his 18-year career at global customer experience/ financial security /fraud prevention specialist NICE Systems, Aviad Abiri has taken on ever-increasing responsibilities in shaping the company’s evolving sales priorities. In his current position as Vice President, Portfolio Sales Enablement, Abiri is the point person in charge of ensuring that all client-facing employees have the capability to consistently conduct productive conversations with current and potential clients.
“Our CEO, Barak Eilam, has challenged us to create an increasing coverage model and to touch more customers in a direct way,” said Abiri. “Every organization that we deal with has its own business initiatives and even some companies that we now do business with are not necessarily aware of all of the ways that NICE can help them. It’s our job to develop more use cases for our products –to put together the right value propositions that will enable businesses to see the complementary benefits of our products and show them why it’s to their advantage to invest in supplemental solutions.”
A concrete example of this policy would be enabling salespeople to demonstrate how deploying NICE’s Customer Engagement analytics and quality management applications could help a company improve the effectiveness of its Voice of the Customer (VoC) program. “Many businesses survey their customers to learn what they are thinking and determine what they want,” said Abiri. “But in too many cases, departments don’t talk to each other and a lot of valuable input is not completely used. Organizations can increase their success by connecting the survey to front-line personnel to better align customer expectations with agent performance.”
Abiri believes that in past years contact centers had looked inward for improvement, focusing on tools to mobilize and optimize the workforce, but now would be better served by looking outward. This would entail using interaction analytics to go beyond simply reporting what agents are doing and offer a more holistic view of the complete customer experience, including looking at their sentiments about the products and services being offered and what motivates people to contact them. “In many cases, the root cause of problems has nothing to do with the contact center,” said Abiri. “The issue could be IT, it could be billing, production or marketing or even a delivery issue.”
Previously, most VoC results went directly to marketing. Now Abiri sees companies connecting the survey with what actually happened by using the same tools for new purposes. “More organizations are finally getting it. I recently met with a large company that is making organizational changes, moving control of the contact center from operations to customer experience. The interaction between customer and agent does not take place in a vacuum. If the data aren’t being connected between touch points, the tools to understand context just aren’t there to provide a consistent customer experience. Context is particularly important when dealing with millennials who now always expect a company to know their story.”
In his leadership role, Abiri develops and implements sales enablement strategy to support NICE’s growth in key business areas and promotes ongoing best practices, tools, and training. He also ensures consistency across multiple content providers and oversees the creation of new sales training content while updating and integrating existing content. His career path as a facilitator of optimal use of available technology actually began in the military, where he started out as a manager in data communications for the Israeli air force.
He sees the key to success for contact centers as better collaboration. “It’s not just having the best technology solutions, but making them work together,” he noted. “Companies not only need to gain actionable insights, but to make sure they deliver them to the front lines.”