Aviso, a two-and-a-half-year old startup, has launched its first product, Aviso Insights. It is a sales forecasting analytics tool that uses machine learning and portfolio management frameworks to help sales managers answer a fundamental question: What deals can I expect to close this quarter?
The application has a mix of features that allow a manager to forecast, analyze and prioritize leads in the pipeline. It also offers insights based on current activities to help reps improve their chances of hitting their targets. There are also performance metrics and coaching tools to help managers guide reps through closing deals.
Aviso Insights originated with the frustrated imaginings of one of the company founders when he was a sales manager at another firm.
“Trying to find the buy signals amid all the noise was very challenging,” said K. V. Rao, cofounder and CEO of Aviso.
Too Much Racket
There were approximately eight sales reps working on about seven to eight deals each month, with one deal per rep, on average, closing every month. Rao’s job, among other things, was to guide the reps in the sales process — and when the time was right, swoop in with addition resources. He might possibly even visit the prospect’s office to nudge the deal across the finish line.
It was crucial, therefore, for Rao to know with some measure of certainty which deals truly were about to close and which fell into the wishful thinking category.
“A rep would come to me and say, ‘this CEO has told me they will buy our product.’ I would ask the rep, ‘what makes you believe this CEO, especially when it is so soon in the sales cycle?’ Rao told CRM Buyer.
“The rep would tell me then about this conversation and that email and insist that the CEO was poised to close the deal.”
Maybe that was true, Rao continued — but more likely, it wasn’t, as similar situations had shown that few companies would buy that type of product so soon after a sales pitch.
“Chances are, the CEO wasn’t ready to make a commitment,” Rao said.
Multiply such predictions based on gut reactions and instincts by 20 or 30 sales reps on a team, and it is easy to see how a manager could get overwhelmed.
This is the problem Aviso is designed to address, Rao said.
Essentially, Aviso applies intelligence and predictive analytics to tell the sales manager which deals in the pipeline are most likely to close within a certain time period.
There are data-driven forecasting tools that can be compared with and contrasted against human judgment. Other tools identify the gaps in target sales numbers early in the quarter and then make the appropriate course corrections.
Prioritization features guide managers in divvying up resources so the key deals for the quarter can be nurtured.
There are also ways to measure productivity, such as collaboration tools that allow reps and managers to share their insights across team and product lines.
Finally, the system is equipped with performance metrics for trend analysis.
Aviso Insights features strong data security protections, with the data encrypted using SSL and the ETL files encrypted in the database. Other productions include two-factor authentication and role-based access controls and permissions across individuals, teams, and the organization’s hierarchy.
Aviso Insights can integrate with other CRM applications, including Salesforce.com, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft Dynamics.
All of this, Rao said, delivers a “wealth of analysis that we can expose to the user in the context of how he can meet and exceed his target.”