Sales Tech Simplified: How to Deliver Accurate Forecasts and Improve Pipeline Management @AvisoInc

October 19, 2017 Jennifer Wyne

In this series, we ask tech executives to describe the why and how of their solution. We call it Sales Tech Simplified.

This week I interview Michael Lock, CEO of Aviso.

Nancy: Why does the industry need your solution?

Michael: There are three critical sales processes that are central to driving revenue: forecast management, pipeline reviews, and deal reviews. For companies who haven’t moved into a cloud-based system, these processes are managed in spreadsheets and supplemented with inadequate, single point in time CRM reporting. Unbelievably, despite the critical importance of getting it right, sales teams are relying on good old fashioned “gut feel” and human judgment. Pipeline Reviews are done using a “tops-down” method and plodding through deals in Excel.

We offer a better, smarter alternative. Aviso offers the only product on the market that was purpose-built for sales and sales operations teams to manage forecasts pipelines and deals in a data-driven way. We show you three important things: how your quarter is currently set to unfold, what’s standing in your way of hitting your goal, and where you should focus to proactively impact quarterly results. With Aviso technology and a powerful AI smart layer powering our platform, sales and sales operations teams work within a collaborative tool to deliver accurate forecasts, improve pipeline management, and make smart selling decisions to close more deals.

Nancy: Why should it be prioritized above other options?

Michael: The sales stack is growing increasingly complex and sales and sales operations leaders should allocate resources carefully. There is no more important task for sales than closing more deals. Aviso Sales Vision allows sales leaders to take a data-driven approach and leverage insights and AI predictions to manage pipeline and deals. With offer technology and AI assistance we help reps accurately forecast deal amounts, close dates, and improve commit accuracy. They use our AI as a selling guide to ensure that they’re working on the right deals at the right time, and receive warnings if something looks off in their forecast, so that they stay on track and close more deals.

We enable Sales Managers to review pipelines and allocate resources to the most crucial deals. With smart views of their pipeline, they know what deals to prioritize and how to move them through the pipeline. Sales Leaders leverage 360-degree visibility across the entire sales lifecycle. They can see how the forecast, and the business, is changing by geography, product, sales type, industry, or any other attribute they can define. With Aviso they not only know if a rep, product line, or business segment is forecasted to miss the number, but by how much, and what to do about it.

Nancy: What are the symptoms that indicate an organization would benefit from your solution?

Michael: Companies with sales organizations larger than 50 employees start to experience challenges managing the forecast, pipelines, and deals without data-driven, collaborative, real-time systems in place. Especially early in the quarter, forecasts become inaccurate, pipeline management becomes unwieldy as deal volume grows and organizations have difficulty managing their business as the sales organization becomes more complex.

Companies add wider geographical sales teams; they segment their business by channel of business size. Organizations move from a single product to multiple products, and they add different sales types like renewal, upsell, and services. This complexity makes it harder to forecast. See below for a checklist of the main challenges we solve.

Nancy: Where does your solution fit in the Hierarchy of Revenue Needs™?

Michael: Aviso fits squarely into the Managing, Forecasting and Analyzing segment. We enable the rest of the needs in the other hierarchies to be more effective and more efficient. It should also be noted that a successful Aviso implementation will also enable sales leader and managers to be more effective sales coaches and enable rep development at a faster rate. The most important sales manager rep interaction is the weekly forecast/pipeline review session. Aviso systems eliminate the overhead and data challenges typical of that meeting and enable sales managers to discuss pipelines and deals in a data driven way that will enable that crucial section to be pipeline and deal coaching sessions.

Nancy: How mature is a typical organization’s sales stack before adding your technology?

Michael: The Aviso Sales Vision platform sits on top of CRM systems and can be implemented regardless of the maturity of that CRM system. No other parts of the sales stack need be implemented to get value from the CRM systems.

Nancy: What are some of the challenges your solution solves for Sales?

Michael: As you know, Aviso offers the only product on the market purpose-built for forecasting and sales visibility. Our platform aligns sales forecasting, pipeline reviews, and deal reviews on one, collaborative tool. With key sales data from three critical processes all in one place, we’re able to provide unprecedented, 360-degree visibility across the entire sales lifecycle, from call number, to closed deal.

Who needs Aviso forecast management?

Companies who are growing rapidly and increasing in complexity and can no longer afford to rely on error prone spreadsheets with limited visibility or insights, making them unable to assess strengths and weaknesses in their forecast.

Here are the main forecasting challenges for which we solve:

  • Inaccurate Forecasting especially early in the quarter
  • Lack of forecast visibly by attribute (i.e. –geography, product, sales type, business segment, industry)
  • Inability to forecast run rate business (deals that open and close in-quarter)
  • Inability to see status of future quarters
  • Large amounts of time needed by sales ops to roll up forecasts in Excel
  • Need to eliminate errors in forecasting
  • Visibility across the entire sales lifecycle
  • Inability to drill down and see which deals make up your forecast
  • Trouble accurately forecasting split deals
  • Inability to see forecast/pipeline changes
  • Inability to see forecast/pipeline changes by attribute (i.e. –geography, product, sales type, business segment, industry)
  • Inability to understand which deal are in or out of the forecast

We help companies who are currently using a “tops-down” approach to run pipeline reviews and wasting time looking at the wrong deals, while overlooking deals that need immediate attention.

Here are the main challenges for pipeline and deal review for which we solve:

  • CRM/Spreadsheet systems do not do a good job of driving a productive Rep/Manager Pipeline review meeting
  • Current systems only show existing status of deals and do not provide and change history or deal insights
  • Deal reviews are cumbersome processes usually requiring large amounts of data reentry and use of PowerPoint slides

Nancy: What are some good resources if someone wanted to learn what questions to ask, what others are doing, or purchase considerations?

Michael: Visit our website.

Read our blog:

OR, speak to a sales rep.

Aviso at Dreamforce

Note: Aviso is a proud sponsor this year at Dreamforce. You can find them exhibiting their world class sales forecasting solution at booth 1813 November 6-9
Aviso is also co-hosting a Pre-Dreamfest Happy Hour Social on Nov 7, 4-7 pm at District SF 



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