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Stay Ahead or Fall Behind: Leveraging AI with Craig Walker, CEO, Dialpad

As tech continues to evolve, businesses will be divided into two types: Those that leverage AI and those that don’t.

It’s time to abandon the old ways of doing things and leverage technology and innovation to improve processes and drive results.

As the founder of multiple successful startups, Craig Walker, Founder and CEO, Dialpad, has valuable insights and experiences that have shaped his entrepreneurial journey and the growth of Dialpad. Craig joined the LEARN Podcast to explore the intersection of innovation, unified communications, and creative ways to use AI to transform businesses. 

Creating an “A-team”

Craig stresses the importance of creating a focused team of innovators to build a successful org, known as the “A team.”

Craig shares that Dialpad assembled a group of experts in project management, design, and AI engineering to launch a new AI-powered product every month for a year. This approach allowed for rapid product development and brought the excitement and agility of a startup into a larger company.

“The question for us was how do we pull out a tiger team of innovators without disrupting everyone else’s roadmap and the important heavy stuff that they’ve been working on,” Craig says. “And we called it the ‘A-team. There’s a project manager, designer, and six AI engineers, and we committed to launching a new AI product every single month for 12 months. The first one was AI recaps in May, and in June, we did AI scorecards. Next month, we’re going to do AI playbooks. So if you’re a sales rep or a recruiter, it’ll tell you what to ask.”

Leveraging AI to revolutionize business operations

AI is everywhere, but the challenge is for teams to use it strategically to improve processes and help teams improve. 

Dialpad integrated real-time AI technology into their platform to revolutionize the way sales, support, and recruiting teams operate. 

With features like real-time coaching, sentiment analysis, and scoring, Dialpad’s AI-powered customer intelligence platform elevates the performance of every team member and enhances overall business communication.

Developing a strong team and strong vision

The most successful teams aren’t the ones with the most skills but those in alignment who work together towards a common goal. 

With his Chief Product Officer as a long-time partner, Craig has built a core group of individuals working together in several companies. This familiarity and trust enable them to execute efficiently and align their efforts towards the company’s goals. Craig emphasizes that having a tight-knit team with shared values greatly contributes to the success of any venture.

“I think one of the things is, you have this core group of people that you can start a company with, and you know what they’re going to be excellent at,” he says. “And you don’t have to go through this process of like, ‘do we share the same values and work vision and do we work hard and things like that?'”

Redefining a category from unified communications to customer intelligence

Craig challenges the notion of unified communications, which traditionally referred to fragmented solutions. Dialpad’s mission is to provide a truly unified platform called TrueCast, capable of integrating multiple communication channels seamlessly. 

By leveraging a scalable microservices architecture and focusing on innovation, Dialpad aims to redefine this category. Craig introduces the term customer intelligence platform, underscoring the company’s commitment to incorporating AI to enhance the customer experience and streamline business operations.

“I always thought unified communications was this total misnomer because it was always a silo,” Craig says. “We’re unified communications, but we only do the phone system. They didn’t do meetings, and they didn’t do a contact center, but it’s unified. It never made any sense to me.

“We wanted to have one platform that could do everything, like Google-type microservices architecture that can scale infinitely, and you can add features very easily, and everything’s little microservices. You can innovate much quicker than these legacy players that weren’t built that way.”

The future of AI in sales conversations

Craig predicts that in the future, there will be a significant divide between the organizations that leverage AI and the ones that don’t, especially when it comes to learning about customers and prospects. 

“My strong belief in the future is there’s going to be two types of companies,” Craig says. “Ones that learn all their conversations from when they talk to their customers and prospects and recruits and things like that. And the ones that do it the old-fashioned way and just hope to wing it and keep doing it the old way.

“I think AI gives such an advantage to the ones that are learning. Based on the conversations they’re having. And those conversations can be digital now; they can be over social, in meetings, or in video calls. It really doesn’t matter because it’s this truecast platform, but it gives you the ability to go sell against any competitor and be like, ‘Look, not only is it a better solution just on the communication side, but it’s going to help you run a better business and be more successful and have happier customers and close more deals more often.”

Organizations must not ignore the power of focused innovation, the impact of AI in business communications, and the importance of building a strong team  

Craig’s insights serve as inspiration and guidance for entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology and communication.

Watch the full episode to hear more from Craig. And remember to subscribe to the LEARN Podcast on Apple, Spotify, or Google for expert advice from top leaders in SaaS on revenue enablement, customer success, customer education, employee development, and more. 

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