THU OCT 22 2020

Drive Revenue Growth with AI-Guided Pipeline Management

by Jennifer Wang

Sales pipelines can often be an enigma – a vague swirl of CRM, convoluted spreadsheets, audacious revenue targets, and irregular team meetings to discuss a “pipeline” that often seems more time-consuming than anything. However, pipeline drive remains a major indicator of future revenue, and having a strong pipeline drive is key to managing risk and driving revenue growth. Graphic on pipeline drive showing companies with effective pipeline management grow revenue 15% faster than companies that don't. Jennifer Wang.

Yet, pipeline generation is a source of struggle for many sales leaders, who may be forced to rely on antiquated tools with limited visibility like spreadsheets and CRM reports to draw out insights for future action. In addition, teams must now adjust to the additional unforeseen variable of Covid-19. Even the most rock-solid of pipelines can falter as a result of the onset of an economic downturn, with McKinsey predicting that over 50% of businesses will cut their spending in response to pandemic conditions. As Q4 approaches and the market cautiously re-opens, opportunities for business rebound and growth are popping up. Nevertheless, the quality of the existing pipeline may be questionable, given the inadequacy of relevant historical data and personal predictions to address the current economic climate.

Sales pipelines created before and after the pandemic are valued differently.

Because different business and individual buying behavior have each been affected differently by the pandemic, pipeline created before the pandemic is no longer trustworthy. For instance, a company or persona you might have counted on to purchase your product may have been more impacted by the economic downturn than others. On the other hand, pipeline created after the pandemic is also more volatile as the global situation continues to oscillate. Sales managers and operations alike report that their pipelines are becoming foggy. Navigating waters of uncertainty can be especially difficult if your tools are increasingly unreliable.

In these times of uncertainty, a change of tactics may be the answer.

Using advanced technologies that can offer deeper insight into the health and potential of a sales pipeline is one of the ways companies can see through the murky waters wrought by the pandemic. More specifically, AI guidance via Auto-Machine Learning algorithms offers a data-driven, objective option that helps sales teams maintain pipeline growth and boost revenue. In situations like these where historical data and individual intuition are no longer reliable, AI guidance can provide the essential boon needed to navigate your deals in a world of chaos, allowing you to see into future pipeline one, two, even four quarters ahead. Here’s how AI-guided selling can help nurture your sales pipeline towards its revenue True North, from creation to cultivation to overcoming uncertainty.Graphic on steps for pipeline drive including adaptation, generation and growth. Jennifer Wang.


Pipeline Planning

Sustained revenue is only possible when your pipeline strategy is long-term. By planning for the future, you can lay out a strategic pathway for your team to pursue and course-correct when necessary. Aviso’s AI Pipeline Planning feature provides insight into potential future pipelines and helps teams determine an optimal mix of opportunities for success.

Pipeline Building

Before sales teams can successfully build pipeline, they must first have a sufficient foundation. Aviso AI surfaces analytics to identify if the next quarter will start with enough pipeline. Teams are notified when pipeline generation slows in specific regions or segments so they can respond as needed.

Chart  and alert for next-quarter pipeline. Courtesy of Aviso product and graphic design team.


Pipeline Health

Maintain the health of your pipeline with periodic objective health check-ups. Advanced analytics provide a data-driven assessment as opposed to CRM self-reports. Teams can compare pipeline at the start of the quarter to new pipeline added to ending pipeline predictions, as well as compare human and AI forecast predictions to determine the source of discrepancies. Aviso AI reveals when and where teams need to strengthen their efforts so that they can stay on track to creating sufficient pipeline one, two, or three quarters ahead. Aviso also highlights deals that have a shot of being won early.

Intelligence Reports

Aviso AI’s Intelligence Reports demonstrate the progressions of past, current, and future pipelines so that sales leaders can better understand their pipeline evolution through the quarter and evaluate the quality of the current and future pipeline. Sales pipelines are dynamic, reflecting changes in customer and market conditions – something that can’t be accurately captured in simple CRM field updates. Aviso AI helps pinpoint exactly how, when, and where a pipeline has changed so teams can prevent and remedy deal slippage, as well as illuminate historical pipeline progression so teams can glean insight into how different factors have affected contribution.

Pipeline Nudges

We understand that your time is valuable. Guided by big data and advanced machine-learning, Aviso AI’s timely Pipeline Nudges provide sales teams with direct insight into deals at risk and what actions should be taken to advance them.

Graph of growth in revenue from pipeline drive. Courtesy of Aviso product and design team.


Covid-19 Risk Indicators

How can AI guidance help you overcome obstacles of uncertainty? Like a wise mentor, AI draws wisdom from deep learning of vast data sources to guide you on the right path to conquer even the most formidable of challenges. Without a precise understanding of the pandemic’s economic impact on pipeline, teams can be led astray by their own predictions and evaluations. Aviso’s Covid-19 Risk Indicator provides sales teams with a robust appraisal of how the pandemic is affecting their current pipeline on the deal level. With AI pipeline guidance, you can not only survive but also thrive in the economy of a Black Swan. Pipeline drive graph that shows effect of Covid on revenue. Image courtesy of Aviso product and design teams.

Build, grow, and cultivate revenue by embracing a robust pipeline strategy. From crystal-clear prospecting to weekly health checks to deal navigation in economic hurdles -- by harnessing the power of AI, you can set your pipeline up for sustainable success. To learn more, hear from one of our customers, Brad Stratton, CRO at Venafi, on how AI can be utilized to improve predictability in a period of uncertainty.