Aviso, the only AI Revenue Intelligence platform for virtual selling that closes the loop from predictive forecasting to deal guidance, recently concluded its “2020 State of Virtual Selling” survey with revenue leaders and teams focusing on the six personas of a revenue team: CRO, CFO, VP of Sales, Sales Managers, Sales Operations, Sales Reps. The company also raised funding from several new Silicon Valley angels, with existing investors doubling down, as it enters Q4 with a blockbuster pipeline for its predictive AI guidance platform.
Aviso also added new advisors to its Advisory Board which include Scott McNealy, co-founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems, Subrah S Iyar, CEO at Moxtra and co-founder and former CEO of WebEx, Paul Chapman, SVP and CIO at Box, Bill Heil, former COO at WebEx and former SVP of operations at VMWare, and PD Singh, Head of AI products at UiPath. Aviso’s full list of Board advisors can be found here.
Aviso raises funding from new Silicon Valley angels, with existing investors doubling down, for its predictive AI.Tweet this
With “working from home” becoming a default model for global organizations, sales teams are scrambling to succeed in a 100% virtual selling model versus traditional selling models that relied on extensive face to face interactions. With traditional CRM forecasts and activity inputs being less reliable than ever before, relying on predictive intelligence tools has become critical.
“Virtual selling is here to stay,” reports Gartner, adding that “by 2025, 30% of B2B Sales teams will use AI Guided Selling and 50% will use Digital Sales Rooms.” Teams must adjust quickly and for the long term. Digital tools and virtual workplaces may have been an abrupt adjustment to this year’s pandemic, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be leaving as abruptly as they came.
Nonetheless, with new changes comes new challenges. These struggles become evident in the results from Aviso’s 2020 State of Virtual Selling Report, the first of its kind focusing on modern revenue teams. According to the report, each persona has been impacted differently; sales reps have been struggling with opportunity management, economic uncertainty has made it especially difficult for sales ops to create accurate forecasts, sales managers and VPs have struggled to keep team morale and enthusiasm up, and CROs and CFOs are concerned about the increase in IT costs. An overwhelming majority of participants believe AI can help their work.
Here are some key insights gathered in our 2020 State of Virtual Selling Report:
Insight 1: Tectonic Shift Toward Data-Driven AI Guided Selling
Gartner reports that in order to stay relevant, “60% of B2B sales organizations will transition from experience and intuition-based selling to data-driven selling by 2025.” Going forward, selling will shift from being based solely on experience and intuition, to being based on data-points and intelligent analysis. This is driven by the fact that companies are storing more data than ever before and breakthroughs in technology have led to AI and machine learning being able to consume the data, interpret it, and deliver accurate reports and insights to human users who can then use AI to their advantage.
According to our report, this appears to be a preferred approach to sales professionals as well, with the following reporting:
- 85% of Sales Ops want an AI-Guided Selling tool for in-depth analysis of opportunities
- 80% of sales reps reported that having a “guiding selling” tool to determine which deals are opportunistic or at-risk would help them meet their quotas
The value AI has in salespeople’s eyes is evident in the short answers respondents had as well, citing: “I feel that A.I. could be beneficially utilized as a pipeline management accessory, in that helping to learn a rep’s successful actions, patterns, and behaviors can help the rep build habit-based and structured workflows.“
Insight 2: Desire to Reduce Sprawl of Digital Tools to Increase Efficiency
The dramatic uptake of remote working also means the dramatic increase in IT costs. In fact, CFOs have reported that companies are now spending $500-800 per user per month on sales tools. Some studies indicate this spend is as high as $20000 per sales user per year. These digital tools include CRM, communication, e-signature, and sales enablement tools.
In order to consolidate these tools and their costs, AI can do all of the combined work of many “basic” tools into one smart dynamic platform at a fraction of the cost. This would give sales professionals additional resources and guidance for their pipeline and reduce IT overhead for CFOs. By using a comprehensive sales tool, CFOs can save 50% or more on sales tool spend.
Insight 3: Virtual Team Morale is a Key Concern
Sales managers and VPs, tasked with upper-level sales strategy and team management, are reporting a significant blow to team motivation levels. Our report found the following results:
- Both sales managers and VPs consistently reported “fostering and maintaining team morale” as their primary struggle, even compared to other responsibilities such as dealing with administrative tasks or ensuring accurate forecasting.
- 75% of CROs are looking to address the increase of organizational silos and improve interdepartmental communication and collaboration.
When the economy is down and business is hard to come by, it’s not hard to imagine the feeling sales reps get when deals aren’t closing. And while the economy may be out of the control of sales managers and VPs, sales coaching isn’t. With AI, more data is comprehensible, meaning that each opportunity now has specific AI-generated insights to help managers coach their reps on how to turn that opportunity into an account. More deals closed equals a happier sales team.