We Need Waze for Sales!

Where would a business be without goals? Particularly without sales goals? It goes without saying that businesses realize their potential and promise by setting goals across all functions of the organization. It also goes without saying that revenue, the most critical function of a business is best driven by setting goals (quotas) for the sales organization.

Once goals are set, we spend our time and energy figuring out the best path to achieving and hopefully exceeding them. This is what makes sales exciting, rewarding, and challenging because more often than not, the path is not clear and it requires enormous talent, discipline, and hard work, and all the help in the world to achieve goals, i.e. make quota!

Speaking of help, we see how AI has transformed our day to day world : Waze, Netflix, Pandora are using AI to help us achieve our goals, whether it is reaching our destination, finding appropriate video content, or listening to the right music. These are just a few ways that AI has made our lives better.

Given the success of AI in transforming our lives, it is not surprising that there is a gold rush of companies claiming to transform business functions in the same way. The reality is almost none have come close to delivering on their promise.

In particular, the current state of the art of sales technology is shockingly primitive compared to what we have in our non-business world. It is static database applications, which are much like the printed maps of the past, which are often out of date, not-real-time, and more importantly don’t show you a path, leave alone the best path to help us get to our destination and/or achieve our goals, and dynamically reroute you when there are obstacles/hazards.

Would it not be wonderful to have a Waze like assistant to help us meet our revenue goals?

Just like Waze learns from others trying to get to various destinations, or Netflix from our viewing patterns and from our cohorts’  viewing patterns, it would be great if such a guide existed that would help sales organizations determine and navigate the best path to meet their quota.

  • The guide would inspect our pipeline and review our opportunities looking for patterns and make recommendations on which deals are likely to close and which are not.
  • The guide would give us Waze like warnings (Congestion ahead or in sales terms – Warning : This deal is stuck for too long in this stage compared to its cohorts which were won)
  • Just as Waze allows others to collaborate/comment on the path : Warning pothole ahead, our sales guide would help us collaborate with our account team to review our opportunities, identify potholes/risks and make appropriate adjustments

One can go on and on about the potential to revolutionize sales  leveraging AI with Waze-like conversational user interfaces to empower sales teams meet and exceed goals on a consistent reliable basis. Sales is hard, but we have made it harder in recent years even as the plethora of sales tools that have showed up, with sales performance actually gone down. It is time to bring the AI revolution to sales!

This week’s post is by guest author, K.V. Rao, Founder of Aviso, Inc., which gives you AI-powered forecasts, deal accelerating insights, and 360-degree visibility into forecast data.