Recently Aviso partnered with VentureBeat for one of the biggest AI & Data events of the year — VentureBeat Transform 2022! During this event, industry experts came together for two weeks to provide comprehensive coverage across the breadth and depth of the world of applied AI. The event was jam-packed with insights on leading GTM, product, and R&D transformations within AI.
Mitigating Risks and Driving Revenue Using AI
Aviso hosted a panel discussion on — ‘From Honeywell to startups: How leaders use AI to mitigate risk and drive predictable revenue.’ It featured Charles Forsgard, VP of Global Sales at Honeywell, Brian Young, former Chief Commercial Officer at Johnson Controls, and Lori Harmon, Global VP of Business Development at Cloudflare.
Our panel of experts shared their experiences on how AI is helping them transform their sales and customer engagement culture, gain ~98% forecast accuracy, and augment their go-to-market team members with guidance on each step of the journey.
In case you missed the event, check out the 30-minute masterclass on shattering data silos, eliminating revenue risk, and guiding sales teams to crush targets with AI.
AI in the Face of Adversity
As the pandemic rolled on, many companies swiftly adapted to a virtual selling environment and embraced new technologies that enabled the sales process in the virtual world. While the pandemic side-swiped many businesses, it triggered positive changes for some companies. For instance, many companies saw an increase in the net number of customer touchpoints. And with an increase in business, the role of an intelligent tool becomes even more critical.
According to Charles, who had a similar experience at Honeywell — “If we're touching customers more, we are going to be doing more things and getting more business. And that's where software tools for the Salesforce become more important.”
Now that we're going into recession, there's more uncertainty. Lori and Brian talked about how AI-based sales forecasting provided by tools like Aviso has become important with this new level of uncertainty. Companies are pulling back on their spending. Sales leaders and executives are looking for technologies to speed up and enhance the sales process, drive productivity, and enhance growth. Without an AI-based tool, reps will have limited information on how the current macro-economic environment will affect their deals. There will be extraordinary competition for funding internally, and having a single pane of glass will be critical in this new and challenging environment.
AI for Aligning Sales Plays with Digitally-Savvy Buyers
As the buyer works through their buying journey process, it involves many stakeholders, such as a salesperson, a technical expert, and an executive. Brian discussed the need for technologies to enhance collaboration with an increase in the number of stakeholders —
“From a seller or leadership perspective, we need to make the process as efficient as possible, and the concept of team selling is becoming more important. Enhancing the net sales process with tools that allow the sales team to collaborate and what Aviso calls swarming around the customer journey is key to adapting sales motions to the slowdown and recession.”
As we move further into more people-led or virtual-led sales, where more salespeople are involved, Lori talked about having the right technology to help salespeople focus on the right deals —
“Sales teams that use AI-based technology spend less time prospecting and more time selling. Predictive analytics can maximize sales users’ efficiency in closing deals by giving insights into whom to contact, when to contact, and what deals to focus on.”
Charles highlighted the role of predictive analytics in adapting the sales process for teams —
“The biggest thing I've gotten out of using Aviso's predictive analytics on deals is helping sellers from two perspectives: what are the deals you should be focusing on, and what are the ones you have in the bag that AI shows at-risk? Aviso’s predictive analytics capabilities go beyond just scores and give explainable AI, unprecedented deal intelligence, and sales coaching. It gives the opportunity for more productive conversations and shows deal risk signals. This can help sales managers effectively coach and think about the deal better.”
AI in Aviso’s RO&I Platform
As our panel experts discussed how Aviso’s AI helps in supercharging their forecasting, sales coaching, and deal execution, here’s what Charles had to say about the benefits that Aviso offers at Honeywell —
“Aviso is much more accessible than conventional CRMs. And as we get more people into Aviso, we are getting more people offering insights on deals. That's where the future is; different parts of the organization need to come together as a team as sales users find ways in which AI fits within their sales operating system.”
Whether it be conversational intelligence, sales forecasting, or collaborative selling, sales leaders are looking for ways to simplify the sales process. The simplicity of the commercial process at Aviso lies in providing better point solutions in a single pane of glass, reducing the burden of having multiple negotiations or integration.
Brian talked about Aviso’s single pane of glass framework in driving ROI while reducing friction for CROs and CFOs —
“One of the friction areas I’ve seen in the past is that every point of solution requires a commercial engagement with a particular vendor, consuming a lot of my time and the time of the IT and purchasing teams. With Aviso AI, it has become much easier to engage engineering and the supply chain, especially in the bigger deals. In the past, it was just the sales team; now the process is much more collaborative.”
Lori highlighted that the key to quick ROI is to sell the way the buyers want to buy, collaborate with your internal team, and have AI on top to give you key insights. She discussed how a platform solution like Aviso has given her a better total cost of ownership and a much quicker ROI than trying to implement a bunch of point products.
"Related to ROI, one of the things you can do with a product like Aviso is you can set up a war room or digital selling room. You can invite your internal stakeholders to see the deal flow online without spending time briefing them in meetings. This saves time, drives rapid collaboration, and helps get through more deals while spending more time with customers and doing the right customer touches.
In addition to internal collaboration, Aviso lets you set up a digital collaboration room with your customers to collaborate with them the way they want in a digital environment. Aviso’s conversational intelligence is also critical in understanding this customer engagement and whether and how the customers will move forward.”
New revenue leaders need to turn to intelligent solutions like AI to navigate the dangerous waters of the looming recession. As Brian pointed out —
“Don't wait! There's no better time to start than now. If you haven't started, you must look at the available tools. I would certainly recommend Aviso from my experience using its capabilities, but you have to get started. On a parallel path, you must plan for success, particularly if you are a small company. Many start-ups are moving so fast that their process is loose. With the marriage of robust technology and process, you are setting yourself up for success. Get started, embrace the great revenue technology like Aviso!"
Adding to Brian’s point of quickly adopting AI for sales in these uncertain economic times, Lori mentioned —
“You have to start now with AI. If you don't start now, you will fall behind your competition. This is more important than ever because we are going into uncertain economic times. What is your most significant risk, and where can you apply the AI to solve that risk? Start there, and then you can branch out and add more functionality.”
Finally, as revenue leaders get on board this AI journey, they need to understand that when we say machine learning, it's literally a machine that is learning. You can't expect it to be perfect at the beginning. Stressing the importance of being patient with AI for revenue leaders, Charles mentioned —
“You need to be patient with AI. As the AI learns more about your sales team and individual sellers and gets a timeline of their behavior, it gets more and more accurate. That's one of the great things about AI — the more data it has got, the better it will get.”
Interested in knowing more? Check out our 30-minute masterclass.