Oliv unveils AI Copilot to boost sales team efficiency

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Ishan Chhabra is a mad scientist—at least, that’s what’s in his job title. “I just love to experiment,” he tells VentureBeat. “I love to experiment too much, often creating a Frankenstein…” But you’d be mistaken if you think he’s working on a revolutionary robot or something just as eye-popping. In fact, Chhabra is the co-founder, chief executive, and chief mad scientist of Oliv, an AI startup helping sales teams be more effective. The monster he’s building: a sales enablement juggernaut.

Credit: Oliv

“Salespeople aren’t set up for success in today’s world. Their day-to-day job is overwhelmed with redundant activities that waste their time and talent, and minimize their capacity to do what they are best at,” Chhabra said. To solve this problem, Oliv is launching its AI Copilot, purpose-built GPT models designed to automate administrative work and let salespeople close more deals. The company boasts the tool can scour the internet to provide users with detailed prospect research, along with generating a summary of previous engagements, handle live notetaking, automate real-time CRM data entry, and address any and all follow-up tasks.

Credit: Oliv

Think of it as having capabilities similar to a supercharged version of Rapportive but with more AI tailored specifically to the sales profession. Chhabra explains that when you have a meeting, Oliv will conduct research and prepare contextual information for the customer. It’s powered using large action models (LAMs), models that turn large language models (LLMs) into agents. They scour the internet and other data sources to learn about the people on the call, giving you a dossier about the attendees. The AI can pull from the web, Google or Outlook, chat messages, LinkedIn, CrunchBase, WebEx, Salesforce, HubSpot and even SEC filings.

Using AI to turn vision into reality

Building an AI Copilot wasn’t Oliv’s first attempt to make sales teams more effective. Chhabra admits the company “took a couple of detours along the way.” Initially, it developed a calendar for sales teams, similar to the AI-powered time-management calendar app Clockwise. This product analyzed calendars to optimize schedules for customer meetings, ensuring salespeople allocate sufficient time to pipeline-building conversations rather than casual customer chats. And though around 500 organizations embraced the tool, Oliv found pricing limits constrained the company’s growth—more popular services like Calendly helped dictate market prices.

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Credit: Oliv

It was the surge in video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic that led the company to its current state. Customers asked the company to solve an important problem they were having with Zoom calls, specifically with preparation and creating effective interactions. “We had kind of the vision all along. We were trying to find the right entry point,” Chhabra remarks.

And AI is playing a big part in the company’s evolution. While it was part of its foundation initially, Oliv had primarily used “baby large language models.” But it wasn’t until the LLM wave that the team felt it could execute the expansive vision it always dreamed about. “It was in our heads and we wanted to build it, but we thought it’d be more like 2026 or 2028. That was our expectation of how things are going to go along, but things have really accelerated beyond our wildest imaginations.”

Helping organizations move forward together

Oliv wants its AI to be a salesperson’s administrative assistant, doing the mundane but necessary work that occurs after meetings to capture relevant information. Doing so will free up the sales team to focus more on the bigger picture—growing a pipeline to bring in revenue. “The minute reps see and use our product, even for one meeting, they realize that this is something fundamentally different because they don’t have to go and do the steps themselves,” Chhabra said. “There is an agent and LAMs taking care of all the tasks for them…”

Image credit: Oliv
Credit: Oliv

He’s betting a lot on LAMs, which aren’t often used in the market. But Oliv’s CEO thinks it’s AI that we need to get things done after getting a response to our prompt. “You’re not getting a generated paragraph, a set of bullet points, and then you have to do the manual work,” he asserts. “The LAM is doing the work for you. It is figuring out what should be done after a meeting—we need to schedule a follow-up like you discussed in a meeting…So there’s a lot of things that you discuss on a call and you want it done.” Put more succinctly, the difference between LLMs and LAMs is that the former is telling you insights on what needs to be done while the latter will actually do it for you.

The end goal for Oliv, Chhabra said, is to develop solutions that can move organizations forward and AI plays a role in that. “What I see is that the organization is extremely misaligned. Everybody’s kind of running in their own direction. People spend a lot of energy trying to get everybody to move in the right direction and to do the right things at the right time. But that doesn’t work. And I feel like AI will become this glue that guides everybody in the right direction.”

That’s the Frankenstein Chhabra’s team is building, an AI agent that’s more like a coach, guiding sales reps to “do the right thing at the right time and move them forward to successfully close every deal.”

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