The Rise of Voice Controlled Devices

Whether it’s smart toilets ordering extra toilet roll and improving the sanitation of facilities. Fridges which calculate when the food is going to expire and tells people in their homes. Or mirrors which you can speak to “mirror mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all!“.

Voice technology is here to stay and it’s predicted that less and less will be touching our screens and more and more will be talking to our smart televisions, smart homes, smart speakers and connected cars.

From saying “Hey Google to turn my heating on” at home or “Alexa open the garage door” these commands will become part of our daily lives. And in fact Alexa has programmed something called routines where by saying “Alexa I’m up” you can get your coffee machine to make a cappuccino, turn the lights on, play the news and turn the car engine on to heat the vehicle.

While some people might say this is plain lazy, it is undeniable that the lower value routine tasks can be eliminated to allow humans to focus on more creative, personal and largely higher value tasks, be that at home or at work.

Which leads me to the point around work. Again we see the consumer tech world overtaking the business tech world. Voice technology is much more prevalent within our homes than it is our businesses. This means businesses need to catch up with voice technology and cash in on the benefits.

Examples might include “Alexa play me my work schedule” or “Alexa book the board room for 10 AM”. “Alexa we run out of coffee” to order more or even better “Alexa order some coffee from Starbucks and deliver to City Exchange”.

Again some people might say this is eradicating the job of a personal assistant whilst others might proclaim that the personal assistance can focus on higher value tasks.

For the travelling salesman speaking to Alexa and other voice assistance in their cars is not only a safer way of driving but a productive way of preparing for meetings and following through with meeting minute actions. Instead of the travelling sales rep getting home late at night and having to type up his laptop notes into a CRM this will already be done!

Millennials might find adapting to this technology easy but other workers within organisations will need to learn the new lingo of Siri, Cortana, Alexa and of course Hey Google. People will need to change their habits to a voice first approach to technology is fast becoming a reality. Although I can’t see people talking to mirrors in communal toilets at work I can see video conferencing through voice activation speeding up connectivity and saving massive amount of time.

How often have we all been in meetings where the technology becomes part of the conversation? If the technology can blend into the background and become silent and unnoticeable we can then focus on the real business and real content of such meetings. After all the voices are much faster method of communication than the fingers.

When the voice technology becomes so powerful and our intent is understood more possibilities will become available. One example might be voice technology taking meeting minutes notes transcribing the voice to text and computing the decisions or actions needed. Automatically everyone who attended the meeting could then be informed.

We can now login to our banks using our voice apparently the human voice is a unique as our DNA. Whether the voice will take over as the next great bastion of IT remains to be seen. One unfortunate side effect voice technology is that some babies first words will now be Alexa or maybe Siri!

Voice Comments on Your Website powered by Sound Branch

Sharing opinions on websites already exists through traditional website commenting forms and approvals by publishers. These comments could be a review of products or services to feedback on articles on websites. People want their opinions and thoughts to be heard more than ever. Text comments can be ambiguous.

More and more brands need to connect the online world with the offline world. Most websites have website comment functionality so the blog posts and other types of articles can receive user comments. Whilst this can drive user engagement when it comes to connecting emotionally with your end-users, voice comments have a distinct advantage.

A voice first approach to website comments means that your users can listen and engage with your community in a much richer way. It’s not what the user says but how they say it which matters.

All of this can lead to increased times on site, better user engagement and more customer referrals all of which are good for business.

With 67 million Americans now listening to podcasts on a monthly basis, voice notes on websites allow you to have a more intimate relationship between your brand and your customers.

Just one line of code from Sound Branch allows you to embed voice comments on your website. Sound Branch is free for all businesses to use and the code does not affect page loading times.

Not only can your end users post voice comments on your website, they can also enquire with you using their voice. Click to talk functionality is available so that enquiries can be rooted instantly to your sales and customer service teams. User generated voice comments on your website can build further trust between your brand and your users. Voice is more personal so your users connect better!

Further information can be found at on how to retain users on your side with voice comments.

50 Reasons to use Sound Branch


Have you ever thought about using Sound Branch on your smartphone with voice notes (like a PTT walkie talkie), text and photo? Here are 50 reasons for you to consider using the app:

  1. 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020
  2. Thinking more and speaking less is what all good leaders know
  3. Allows people to prepare for answers
  4. Playback conversations
  5. No need to take meeting minutes
  6. Reduce your reliance on email
  7. Communicate across time zones avoiding anti-sociable meeting hours
  8. Use conversational analytics to make data based decisions
  9. Measure people’s engagement
  10. Gives people a voice
  11. Get people working outside of silos
  12. Flatten the hierarchy
  13. Communicate the way millennials want to be communicated to
  14. Learn languages in new ways
  15. Get to the customer truth
  16. Use the wisdom of the crowd
  17. Feel the empathy of the human voice
  18. Evidence your work and build a portfolio
  19. Create a podcast on the fly and in the cloud
  20. No need to edit your audio because all audio is in 10 second chunks
  21. No need to script your podcasts
  22. Like and share people’s opinions
  23. Post audio on Twitter using Twitter cards
  24. Create podcasts for all your blogs
  25. Interview people in an innovative new way
  26. Create audio based frequently asked questions
  27. Re-imagine the telephone interview
  28. Create audio profiles with people skills and experiences
  29. Conduct interviews over weeks not set days in time
  30. Improve your communication skills and play back what you have said
  31. Create voice memos and to do reminders
  32. Understand it’s not what somebody says but it’s how they say it
  33. Manage your Salesforce in an innovative way
  34. Better connect your remote workforce
  35. Increase transparency within your organisation
  36. One in four Americans listen to a podcast on a monthly basis
  37. Support staff at the point of need
  38. Understand what’s going on at Ground Zero
  39. Turn some meetings and online meetings into voice messaging conversations to save time
  40. Transfer knowledge between people
  41. Play your audio on Amazon echo and Google home devices
  42. Allow people to connect using their voice in connected cars
  43. One-to-many voicemails so people are kept in the know
  44. Businesses and other organisations are starting to use messaging apps to speak to customers
  45. Giving feedback is no longer a chore
  46. A new innovative way to gain feedback versus the boring online survey form
  47. Remove the time dependency and pressures of a phone call
  48. Powerfully search for keywords in audio conversations
  49. Understand the mood of your key stakeholders and their agenda
  50. The voice is the best human organ of communication, not the fingers – get people looking up away from their smart screens!

Sound Branch for Sales Teams Case Study – Webanywhere

It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges in a business is effective team communication. Whether it’s poor feedback between a manager and an employee or how a business resolves its conflicts, there’s always room for improvement in how a company communicates.

The internal and external sales team at Webanywhere, an award-winning tech company based in Leeds, UK, has been using Sound Branch as a team communication messenger for the last six months. Here are the thoughts and experiences of some of the sales team.

“Sound Branch is a quick and easy way for myself to communicate with my field sales team, I can get an overview of their day without having to play phone tennis throughout the afternoon and into the evening. An email is not very personal and can be interpreted in the wrong way, audio allows people to detect your tone and mood. It also allows for regular short group catch ups, when working hours and travel commitments make team meetings impossible.”

Sam Dixon, Education Manager, Webanywhere

“The implementation of Sound Branch within Webanywhere has not only streamlined communication within our sales team but also inter-departmentally as we now have a quick and easy way to communicate feedback, issues and praise to all departments of the primary division. Our team is split between two different offices in two different countries. Sound Branch has enabled me to create strong relationships with colleagues I have never met, meaning we work as a far more efficient team, delivering a far stronger product.”

“A key benefit that I feel has drastically benefited our team is using Sound Branch to deliver our daily debrief. It means that everyone no matter where they are can relay how their day went, whether a success or not, passing on key information or knowledge gained to the rest of the team. This particularly helps new starters as they can draw from this knowledge base and learn tips and tricks from colleagues that have been succeeding in their role for a number of years.”

Luke Clarke, E-Learning Consultant, Webanywhere

“Sound Branch has helped us to develop a convenient, consistent foundation of communication for the team. Before, we’d have to wait until people were in the office to hear what’s new – restricting us to idle chatter. Now, we get personalised insight on how everyone’s doing each day, paving the way for our team to learn from each other’s perspectives. Up until you try it, you don’t realise how simple it is – I’d have never expected the voice was the ‘next step’ for social media at work. It really shows just how much you can learn in so little time. For us, it’s redefined how long ten seconds actually is.”

Dan Boyd, Business Development Manager, Webanywhere

“Sound Branch has been a pivotal tool used company wide for the past 6 months. During that time communication has been massively increased worldwide connecting our company offices around the world. With a wide range of uses like end of the day debriefs, brainstorming branches and private voice notes, communication between members of staff has never been easier and more efficient. Not only is it incredibly easy to use it also has a professional look and feel that fits in with any business. Sound Branch is a must have in any business where communication is key. I highly recommend it to anyone.”

Michael O’Donnell, Business Development Manager, Webanywhere

“Sound Branch has changed the way that we communicate, here at Webanywhere for the better. Innovation is easily summarised with this quote ‘There’s a way to do it better’ – I believe Sound branch is the key to improving corporate communication, not only on a small scale but it has application for every level. The 10 seconds it allows, makes each message concise and informative, it allows no room for misguidance or bumble. The public page is a perfect home for the learning animal, branching the user into a world of information and curiosity. Plant your own seed and watch it grow, as the many users all with a passion for growth, comment and leave their ideas. Sound Branch has become the foundation on which our sales communication is built on and i look forward to seeing it compliment other companies, as it has ours so well.”

Jordon Bolton, E-Learning Consultant, Webanywhere


The ability of Webanywhere to communicate with Sound Branch was crucial to their success. The app dramatically improved the quality of communication between sales executives and management, which led to increased effectiveness and efficiency.

As the ultimate communication solution Sound Branch can help you transform your business. Get in touch with us today.

Sound Branch Team Based Communication for Sales Teams

When it comes down to it, a business is only as good as the relationships it fosters, the quality of the conversations and the expectations that are set.

If you work on the basis that you recruit the right people who fit your organisation and build appropriate relationships, and that your staff handbook and objectives set the management’s expectations and those of your customers, then all that’s left is the quality of the conversations.

Now when it comes to conversations you can look at their depth and breadth. A deep conversation, more often than not, will be face-to-face and one to one. You probably can’t have a deep conversation by email or on the phone; you need to see the whites of their eyes!

When it comes to considering the breadth of conversations, many people are likely to be dancing around emails or jumping from one meeting to another, either virtually online or face-to-face.

Now anything that can save time is worth money – not only to a corporation – but also to the individual because they will have more time to focus on other work.

We’ve all had experience of attending meetings that don’t start on time because the technology isn’t working; we may spend more time organising and rescheduling a meeting than the meeting itself. And, of course, the first question to ask when planning a meeting is do we really need it?

Whether we are wasting time trying to empty our inboxes or wasting time in unnecessary meetings which drag on, there has to be a better way!

You will have read in the press the great success that Slack has had with teams and latterly whole organisations. Slack is great for both keyboard warriors and introverts in organisations. It’s often adopted by a small team in IT and then through ‘land and expand’, makes its way to other parts of the organisation.

However, the problem with Slack is that it doesn’t convey people’s’ emotions. You’ve got the team communication in a timeline which reduces email but you don’t have the team’s temperature, their feelings or their emotions.

And of course in communication isn’t just what somebody says, it’s how they say it that matters. Just as emails can be misconstrued so can Slack text messages. Furthermore, some people are just sick of emails or people who avoid verbal conversations hiding behind emails.

In enters Sound Branch to save the day. Top management prefer face-to-face communication and want to hear somebody’s voice. Phone calls are old school and you still have the issue of pinning a person down to a time slot similar to trying to organise a meeting. Sound Branch leverages the idea of voicemail and brings it into the 21st century. Where traditional voicemail is one to one, its digital equivalent can also be one to many allowing wider communications, thereby eliminating the need for long email chains and threaded conversations.

Sound Branch has particular value in solving the problem of field sales communication. Before a sales meeting a sales rep can listen to audio messages to prepare themselves. After the sales meeting they can record voice notes on Sound Branch and pass them to the CRM to avoid having to type the meeting notes later.

Sales managers and directors can quickly interact with their field teams to understand what opportunities are surfacing and what problems might be occurring. Sound Branch enables your sales people to have conversations they wouldn’t ordinarily have.

Slack might be great for team communication but for sales teams, it’s not fit for purpose. CRMs are useful for tracking companies, contacts and opportunities but they don’t adapt to the natural way a salesperson communicates which is with their voice.

The best salespeople are hopeless when it comes to administration. As a team communication messenger, Sound Branch allows sales forces to play to their strengths by using their voice to record and capture all the opportunities keeping customers, colleagues and management happy in the process. Sound Branch can be used to level the hierarchy, get people working outside silos and bring great transparency to organisations.

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The Importance of Real Time in Sales

The sales process is more complex than it has ever has been, with the rising use of the internet, consumers are more knowledgeable about your product or service than they ever have been. This trend is putting a strain on the modern sales professional. How do they keep up to date with the latest trends, how do they acquire knowledge faster about their products, what are the challenges their clients are facing?

In fact, the modern day consumer has researched your product or service that much that 60% of the buying decision is already made before they connect with your sales professionals.

‘’The modern sales professional needs knowledge at their finger-tips which is faster than ever.’’

Businesses are starting to leverage sales enablement tools to support their sales teams in the sales process. Unfortunately, a lot of these tools are focused on the Customer Relationship System, effectively a bunch of databases with special reporting and fields to type in information about your clients.

Are we missing the learning angle here?

Sales enablement is about providing information, content and tools to allow sales teams to perform better.

According to Shalina Mitha, Head of Global Solution Marketing at SAP;

“Having powerful tools at their fingertips, anywhere, on any device, allows sales professionals to keep the customer at the center of their focus, which is the secret to customers becoming loyal advocates of your brand.”

Providing this information in real time can make the difference between winning and losing in sales, especially with larger and more complex sales processes.

Breaking down the silos

A common problem for business is the information silos in sales and marketing. A recent report published on Forbes, found that 87% of companies with below average revenue results had poor sales and marketing alignment. Businesses are using sales enablement tools to break down the barriers between marketing and sales teams.

Using sales enablement tools, sales and marketing are able to;

  • Provide client insights
  • Keep up to date about product updates and promotions
  • Ensure the team is communicating in real time

Furthermore, the Forbes research found that sales enablement tools were the top investment (55%) for boosting sales productivity, followed by analytics (54%), CRM (53%) and learning technologies (45%).

If you’re interested in sales enablement tools using audio messaging, you can make an enquiry via Sound Branch by clicking here.


Sound Branch – a great tool for keeping in touch

What I love about Sound Branch is that it’s such a cool tool to share a thought or to tell someone something. Why type it when you can talk it? It’s a hellova lot easier than sending an email.

It’s been called “Twitter for voice” – but, unlike that app of 140 written characters, you can hear the emotion in the voice notes, the person’s personality! Plebeians to presidents could and should use it instead of Twitter – it forces you to be direct, to the point and not to repeat yourself.

You can say a surprising amount in the 10 seconds (a seed) that’s available. There’s two ways of looking at this – if you get tongue tied, you might want to jot down first what you want to say, or you may want to embrace the spontaneity that Sound Branch offers and just record your words as they enter your head. Either way, you don’t have to post what you’ve said until you’re totally happy with it.

Another great plus is that you can use Sound Branch while you’re on the move – so easy to record something while you’re walking along.

It’s a godsend if you have trouble spelling. I recall one note in which a mum informed the school that little Johnny wouldn’t be attending today as he had diara – crossed out, dairro – crossed out, and instead, was written “the runs” (well actually it wasn’t, it was another word that begins with ‘sh’ but I have no wish to violate your sensibilities!) A Sound Branch message would have avoided any associated embarrassment. It also avoids predictive text – too late you find out a word was replaced with one you didn’t want.

Best of all about Sound Branch is that it’s free – what’s there not to like about that? And it goes back to human communication in its simplest and oldest form – speaking and listening.

What Sound Branch needs is a new verb for the utterance. We now have the verb ‘to text’ and Sound Branch needs something similar – ‘utterance’ is too long a word, ‘speech’ or ‘talk’ don’t quite fit the bill of something that cannot be longer than 10 seconds, so what could it be? Thoughts, not on a postcard, but on a Sound Branch seed – go to and let us know!

I’ll leave you with a couple of things to avoid because, like anything, it’s horses for courses! Don’t try to shoehorn your talking into the 10 seconds – anyone would be hard pressed to make sense of what you’re saying if you’re gabbling at the speed of sound. And I’d definitely recommend you use intonation in your voice and sound interesting. If you sound like you’re bored saying it, the chances are your listener will find it boring. So, add vibrancy to your voice and let your speech be special!

Podcasting for the Many, not the Few

Today, 24% of Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. That’s about 67M people. If you are in the kitchen or traveling to work by car or train, consuming audio is attractive for entertainment and for education.

Now, not everyone likes the sound of their own voice. Some people prefer just to listen but there are people who have opinions and want to voice their thoughts. These thoughts could be from topics like ‘Donald Trump’ and ‘Brexit’, which polarise communities through, to simple questions and answers asking for help and advise.

You can already use voice messaging in private groups through popular messaging apps such as Messenger, WhatsApp, WebChat and Kik, but these voices are not public and they are not searchable. So how about the ability to post your voice notes to the public and for anyone in the world to be able to find your voice and talk back?

Well, now you can podcast and get your voice out on the World Wide Web for free. Sound Branch is a free cloud-based platform where you can start with a 10-second seed and then branch out with further 10 second recordings called branches.

This allows non-linear conversation and podcasts, where topics can drift off in all sorts of directions and tangents. Most conversations in the world are not recorded but this is starting to change with smart homes, Amazon Echo and Google Home listening into our conversations. With this in mind, there is also an Alexa Skills available for Sound Branch accessible on the Amazon Echo.

Whether we are talking to our TV to change a channel, talking to our connected car or talking to our Amazon Echo to play music people are starting to use voice-controlled technology and assistants to do stuff. And whilst it’s fine for Siri to talk back with its computer voice or for Alexa to reply, they don’t always understand what you say. Humans however do and humans’ brains are still more powerful than supercomputers. So I think it’s much more interesting to talk to your Amazon Echo than to talk to virtual assistants. And whilst virtual assistance through machine learning trying to have more of a personality they aren’t there yet.

In summary, voice search is coming and 50% of people will be using their voice to search the internet by 2020. With this sweeping change in technology and users not needing to touch their screens, opportunities for new platforms and media will emerge. Sound Branch is one of those platforms that take advantage of voice technology connecting human beings. Sound Branch makes podcasting available to the many, not the few and lets everyone grow their voice in new ways. Sound Branch allows you to talk to people around the world and broaden your horizons!

Why there is no need for scripting in modern day podcasting

There are many things you need to consider in order to create a popular podcast. For example, the audio equipment for producing high-quality audio and a room, perhaps, which is sound dampened to ensure there is no echo.

When you are recording your audio it is worth making sure your computer’s volume is at 70% and that the gain on your microphones is at around 60%. This way, if your listeners want to increase the volume of your podcast they can.

Setting the scene for your podcast, making sure the narrator reads with enthusiasm and excitement are all aspects of best practice.

So scripting is yet another hurdle to creating an authentic podcast. Now, if you can remove the need for a script it becomes the cheapest method of producing media. No scripts mean podcasting is cheaper than blogging and its video counterparts.

By eliminating scripting and the need to edit the audio you can mass produce podcasts just-in-time. So how is this humanly possible? What would you need to do to avoid scripting and audio editing?

Now I’m not saying you don’t need to plan your podcast. Nor am I saying you don’t need to think about what you are going to say or read around a subject in question but by using Sound Branch you can accelerate the speed of production of podcasting and make podcast creation accessible to all.

So how does it work? Well, the key principle is that all audio is recorded in 10-second bites. Narrators can re-record these 10-second bites, playback, and only post when they are happy with the quality. So the pattern goes somewhat like this. Think, speak for 10 seconds and post, think, speak for 10 seconds and post.

To grab the attention of audiences, it is good to change your voice in a podcast, and Sound Branch allows other people to contribute to a concept of seeds and branches. You start with a 10-second seed, which can be posted using your account or your Sound Branch mobile app. The mobile app is free to download on Google Play for Android and the Apple App Store for iPhone users. From a 10 second seed, either yourself or other users can branch with further 10 second recordings on the subject in question.

So there is no need for audacity or Adobe Audition. All you need is a computer with a microphone built in, which most modern laptops have these days, or alternatively a smartphone with an internet connection. Your audio is recorded and posted on the cloud and Sound Branch is hosted on scalable and secure AWS technology.

And finally, you can create a podcast that is non-linear in nature. This means listening to a seed and then navigate off different branches to consume differing stories. So you don’t need fancy software or to script anyone, you can get podcasting straight away. All your podcasts are discoverable by because all voice notes are converted to text. So people can simply Sound Branch your thoughts and start listening to what you have to say from anywhere around the world!

How to Get People Interested in Your Business in Just 10 Seconds

To everyone, ten seconds is a very short space of time. Think of what you usually do in ten seconds. You can tie your shoes, post a letter, open a door. But what if you could sell your business? There are countless theories about how you can make every moment of the day mean something, and most come to the same conclusion: it isn’t the time scale that matters, it’s what you do with it. Imagine if you could get more done in ten seconds than most people get done in a lifetime, all with a simple voice clip. Sound Branch aims to help you with just that, providing you with the stage you need to get people interested in your business.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of how you can attract people to your business using the Sound Branch app:

What are you advertising? This may sound like a silly question, but it’s one so many seem to miss the mark on. You want to get to the crux of what you’re selling- whether that be a product, collaboration, or your core message. For example, if you’re a charity, your business sells itself on ethical practices, and it won’t be your services that are the selling point of your company. Therefore, there’s no need to elaborate within your ten seconds if it won’t help promote your business. Simplify it, strip it down, and say exactly what it is that will get your market interested in you.

Say something people haven’t heard before – In the business world, people hear a lot of white noise. Many often promise the same thing, and even if they’re not, it’s easy to tune out of what they’re saying because of how they’re saying it. Ask yourself what makes your business different, what makes it useful to people, and zone in on that. Try to avoid slipping into sounding like every other business, but also pay attention to what works- it’s okay to gather inspiration. To make sure you know how it sounds, it’s worth recording your clip and running it by people who can help. This way, you can finely tune it to stand out from the crowd.

Be specific – You’ve been hearing it since your days learning how to write essays, and it’s a principle that will be floating about for the rest of your working career. Try and be as specific as possible. Think of the ten seconds as your headline, your jingle, the first thing your target market will see. If you’d prefer to be short and snappy, choose words that have the most impact and emphasise them; if you want to convey as much information as you can in your short space of time, avoid filler words where possible. Try not to pause, be as clear as you can, and most importantly slow down. It won’t get you anywhere if you speak too fast for people to hear, or are mumbling into the microphone. You can always replay it, or re-record it until it sounds perfect.

Be accessible – Headlines account for 90% of advertising dollar, so if you’re treating your voice clip as such, you’ve got to get it right. This is where Sound Branch doesn’t just help with giving you your ten seconds. Your voice notes can go anywhere, either on your public feed, into group chats, or to one person, so it’s wise to think about who you’re targeting. Once you’ve nailed this, you can choose your words and your tone of voice to match your audience, personalising it to make your business as accessible as you want it.

To start making your ten seconds count, make sure to download Sound Branch.