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EMAC 2023 Annual

Analyzing Successful Language Tactics in Sales Calls

Published: May 24, 2023


Robert Muenster, University of Cologne; Thomas Scholdra, University of Cologne; Werner Reinartz, University of Cologne


Language of salespeople is a crucial factor in agent-customer communication. As firms with successful communication show higher returns compared to less effective communicators (Quantified 2020), managers quest for sales agents with high language skills. Nonetheless, literature on how agents’ language in general affects sales performance is scarce. This study sheds light on this issue by using AI-based text analysis of transcribed phone calls between agents and customers from a leading German insurance company. 22 unique language dimensions are quantified from the text information and condensed into six distinct language tactics. More so, the six language tactics are linked to the agent’s sales success. Results show that the agents’ language tactics are a significant driver of sales success. While some tactics positively influence sales success (e.g., speaking in an “educating” way), other tactics are detrimental for sales success (e.g., speaking in an “over excited” way).