FRI AUG 16 2019

Focus, Organize, and AI: Stop Kidding Yourself

by Amit Pande

Have you ever wondered what qualities top salespeople consider vital to success? Well, lucky for you, in the book Stop Kidding Yourself, Charles Forsgard outlines what he considers the most important aspects of a successful sales team. Forsgard, an authority figure in the field, brings together over 30 years of sales experience at Schneider Electric, GE, and Honeywell in this book. We were so inspired by Charles’ book that we recorded a bite-sized video of key takeaways.   [embed][/embed]   [embed][/embed] In this post, we go deeper into the main takeaways from this book:


Forsgard emphasizes that sales organizations should design processes and tools keeping sellers at the center of their efforts. They should know their salespeople and cater to their strengths. What type of salesperson are they? What help do they need to close more deals? Are they a true salesperson? These are some questions that can help sales managers optimize their team. Furthermore, managers should coach their teams by asking them questions to stimulate thinking and help reps solve problems autonomously. Coaching in this manner is tough; it requires active and thoughtful questioning. The end result however, will be a sales team of A+ players, all playing to their strengths.


Forsgard highlights the importance of being organized. Salespeople need to stay on top of their calls and appointments, which involves keeping a rigorous calendar. Having this calendar in your head, or notebook may be easier, but this often leads to a mistake. The question is: Will this be a thousand dollar mistake, or a million dollar mistake? This includes actively and intelligently capturing customer data with modern tools, carefully planning every touch (especially calls), ensuring follow ups for each opportunity, and using time wisely. Asking for help when it's needed saves both time and resources.


Last but not least, Forsgard explains that AI is the future of selling. What this means is that CRM and other data from past quarters can be plugged into a predictive software. This helps sales teams forecast where they'll land for the quarter, and determine whether or not specific deals will close and what amount they would close for. But what does this mean for a sales rep, manager, or CRO? For the rep, it means they have guidance, and know which deals to focus on. They get reminders when a deal is going stale, and alerts about at-risk deals in commit. They can also get visuals of what deals have been booked, what deals are left in the pipe, their quota, call, and AI Prediction. Managers are provided with the same visualization for each rep, and AI insights enable them to analyze which deals the rep should be coached on. This helps have laser focused coaching focusing on relevant deals. The CRO is provided with an accurate forecast of where the sales organization will land for the quarter, eliminating guesswork and holes in knowledge. The CRO or their Sales Operations team can segment this data by region, product line, or even by each individual.

Putting It All Together:

Working together, these elements provide the entire sales team with visibility, make their pipeline cleaner, and allow for more effective use of time for both sales reps and managers. Forsgard emphasizes that these three traits need to work together to create a sales team with visibility and purpose. Here at Aviso, we strongly agree with Forsgard’s philosophy; we have built an AI platform that brings together forecasting, deal execution, and guided selling. Aviso WinScores gives the probability a deal will close in the current quarter. These WinScores are accompanied by insights around deal pacing, anomalies, and next best actions. Aviso insights are precise, accurate, and proven to be 90%+ accurate. We are able to do this by inputting data from CRM, financial tools, deal/rep activity, and more into our time-series database. From here, we can backtest our data and ensure the most accurate model is chosen. At Aviso, we fully agree with Charles Forsgard’s message that AI can focus, organize, and turbocharge your sales team while preventing the waste of time and resources. Learn more about Aviso’s philosophy and the world beyond CRM by clicking on the logo above.