Keith Jones, A Frontier Go-To-Market Leader
As part of Aviso's Revenue Navigators Series, we spoke with Keith Jones, who spearheaded the go-to-market team at Mural. Keith has spent the majority of his career in growth-stage startups as an operator and technologist with his most recent adventure taking him to Gartner to focus on revenue technology strategy.
This post is the second of two segments breaking down Keith’s interview with Aviso. As a revenue technology strategist with expertise in operations, sales, solutions engineering, and systems, Keith spoke about the factors to consider while building or buying tools and AI solutions, how AI can help sales teams to leapfrog at delivering excellence, and how Aviso's AI is pushing the envelope on deal forecasting and revenue intelligence.
Aviso: How to decide when to buy versus build AI solutions? What's the best approach for revenue teams?
Keith Jones: I don't think there is one policy that fits all because building or buying solutions largely depends on the resources available to your revenue team. We all want to build our own creative solutions in CRM, but it only works when you have the right resources to handle the development of features and ongoing maintenance/support. Without it, you're better off buying a solution that fits your needs. With buying technology, you get at least some kind of support irrespective of the vendor you pick, or how well they operate.
Building things is a lot of fun, I love it. That being said, I am able to build AI solutions because I have the right resources allocated to the development and ongoing support of what I have built. And I am very decisive, I don't just build everything, I build what makes sense.
If building something feels like an ambitious task, then that might be where you should stop and consider buying instead.
Aviso: How do you see the role of AI and tools like Aviso in using revenue intelligence to drive the sales processes?
Keith Jones: There's a couple of different layers to that in my mind. The first is how I view it, i.e.. AI can do what humans can do but at a much faster rate and a much higher volume.
Look at the tools like Aviso and the insights they generate, such as the engagement scores.
These are all calculations and algorithms and analyses that a human is capable of doing with the right amount of time and resources. But there’s a limit to this — there are only so many hours in a day, and only so many people you can hire to look at the excel spreadsheets all day long.
Then the other layer to that is AI can ingest large volumes of data. Look at the conversational intelligence arena of sales technology. It started off with just knowing that the call happened. Now we are starting to see different players in the space being able to provide more context around not just the fact that the call happened but how it went.
Of course, there are sellers who can do all of that intuitively. They can look back at their customer or prospect meetings and understand what worked for them, what didn’t, and figure out the next steps. But the sellers that can do this intuitively are often those who have years of experience and learned these skills over time.
AI is able to do all of that at scale. AI can capture different signals, drive revenue intelligence and guide teams to replicate success faster. It can help sales, as a profession, to leapfrog at delivering excellence. Just like humanity has become faster on the backbone of technology, AI can help younger salespeople to develop at a rate faster than ever.
Aviso: How has Aviso helped you push the envelope on deal forecasting and revenue intelligence versus other companies?
Keith Jones: The experience [working with Aviso] has been great. I look forward to every call with the team at Aviso not only because the general spirit of the call is always forthcoming, and proactive but because they ask deeper questions. What has been great about our experience with Aviso is that it always asks a layer deeper to understand the problem that we are after and then offering AI solutions whereas, with other vendors of all categories, I have hit a wall. They either don’t have an answer to our problems, or they ask us to build that solution on our own.
Just like any other product, there might be limitations that Aviso has, but they push that envelope a little bit more when faced with the impossible. One of the things that we have unlocked with Aviso is deal forecasting — the ability to look forward toward the end of the fiscal, getting tighter on our predictability, and understanding what levers we must pull. And we moved from forecasting using spreadsheets to doing it with the help of technology. I think that's a really interesting discipline for a sales organization or a muscle for the sales organization to train because now you have a way to look at deals with nothing more to be squeezed of or deals that have more potential and should be pushed on a little bit harder.
I think that deal forecasting is a layer that is nuanced but is going to yield a lot of benefits for sales organizations including Mural.
As businesses strive to remain competitive in today’s challenging selling environment and drive revenue intelligence, algorithmic-guided selling using AI solutions will continue to play a key role.
In this interview segment, Keith Jones spoke about how AI-powered selling can help organizations replicate the tactics top sellers use across the whole team and drive performance improvement. Keith also discussed some tips to consider while building your own AI solutions.
If you are interested in knowing how Aviso’s AI-guided selling can help your go-to-market teams close more deals, accelerate growth, and find their revenue true north, please sign up here. You can also read other customers' success stories here.