AI in sales forecasting could be soon outperforming human capabilities, unleashing a powerful transformation to fix perennial ‘blind spots’ in sales and account scoring
If you sell B2B, it is akin to fighting the mighty Persian army from the HW movie 300. You know how hard it can be to sit on elephantine data and still wish to win multiple buyers. All this amidst managing the long sales-cycles, and yet dream of accurately predicting sales results.
Every sales leader prefers to steer clear of the quarterly fire-drills and missing out on sales numbers. Talking of Artificial Intelligence and predictive analytics, sales continues to be the most adaptive ecosystem in B2B. With the growth of marketing and advertising technologies, sales too have some remarkable forecasting platforms to be proud of. AI in sales forecasting is definitely outperforming human capabilities, unleashing a powerful transformation to fix perennial ‘blind spots’ in sales and account scoring.
What is Sales Forecasting?
According to an established B2B technology platform for sales and marketing –
“Sales forecasting is the process of estimating future sales. Accurate sales forecasts enable companies to make informed business decisions and predict short-term and long-term performance. Companies can base their forecasts on past sales data, industry-wide comparisons, and economic trends.”
Using AI in Sales forecasting, B2B companies can achieve –
- Accurate revenue forecasting
- Efficient resource allocation
- Better future planning
- High-performing Marketing and Sales teams, with clear unified progression towards objectives
- Man-Machine collaboration to scale and sustain growth
According to InsightSquared, “A sales forecast is a projection of what your sales team’s performance will be at the end of a given measurement period (typically monthly or quarterly), or how much business you can expect to close this period. For future planning, resource allocation, appeasing the suits on your Board and setting expectations, this is absolutely critical.”
When do you need to start using AI-driven sales forecasting products?
You need AI and machine learning, to answer these questions for you –
- Is predicting your sales pipeline increasingly difficult or obtuse?
- Is your sales forecasting inaccurate, despite the availability of historical and live data from CRM?
- Is the Sales Ramp Time (SRT) is lagging in your charts?
- Are you unable to leverage predictive and prescriptive insights to process internal and external data sources to increase your odds of winning?
Here are top companies in B2B that are completely transforming the way you use sales technologies by delivering AI in sales forecasting.
Last year, Salesforce introduced the Sales Cloud Einstein Forecasting, commemorating the first anniversary of Salesforce Einstein. Salesforce Einstein Forecasting is among the most reliable and powerful self-learning sales forecasting channel that leverages company’s data. This AI in sales forecasting tool is capable of instantly delivering highly accurate sales forecasts on Salesforce CRM for sales.
The Salesforce for sales forecasting combines data mining with AI and Machine learning to analyze, process and understand key factors like seasonality and historical performance to make highly accurate, individualized sales forecasts.
Additionally, Salesforce’s AI-powered Einstein Forecasting also learns the individual and team forecasting behaviors. It analyzes whether they are consistently optimistic, pessimistic or on target, and then synthesizes an unbiased analysis for the sales leader. Then, Einstein uses special logic to translate the data behind each forecast into human language so sales leaders know what to expect from the pipeline and why.
Another tool, the Salesforce’s Collaborative Forecast enables sales reps to predict and plan the sales cycle from the pipeline to closed sales, and manage sales expectations throughout the organization.
Other exciting additions to AI in Sales Forecasting in Salesforce CRM are – Einstein Opportunity Scoring and Einstein Email Insights, ensuring sales reps stay focused on the most important deals. (We would discuss these in our subsequent articles).
Clari’s Sales forecasting management is for every ‘sales moment’ that can deliver up to 5X magnification in forecasting accuracy, empowering each sales team to understand and predict where the deals land. AI in Sales forecasting platform also integrated with a handy, easy-to-understand sales analytics dashboard.
In addition, sales reps can also forecast how you can run your revenue model with a customized fit to your sales processes. Enjoy flexible forecasting, deal inventory and parallel forecasting using AI in sales to roll out a consistent and reliable process across the entire team.
Mintigo, a leading AI platform for marketing and sales and Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), recent;y announced an integration of its AI-powered prospecting application, Sales Coach 360, with Oracle Profiler Oracle Profiler is a sales productivity application within the Oracle Marketing Cloud.
Mintigo now enables B2B sales and marketing organizations of all sizes the ability to learn, discover and engage their prospective buyers in personalized ways at scale, powered by AI. Mintigo’s deep integration with Oracle Marketing Cloud is designed to enhance Oracle’s capabilities with robust data, predictive insights, and AI driven engagement.
Mintigo’s predictive Sales Coach 360 application integrates the relevant buyer insights, buying stages, likelihood to buy, sales plays and latest contact and company insights with Oracle Profiler. This collaboration allows sellers to engage with buyers intelligently across the entire buyer lifecycle.
A recognized leader in Sales Analytics, Aviso delivers accurate sales forecasting based on predictive intelligence. Aviso’s AI platform for Sales Forecasting enables leading sales teams to manage pipeline and close more deals using accurate forecasting.
Aviso applies AI and machine learning to three key areas in the sales processes –
- Pipeline Management
- Opportunity Management
Aviso’s AI in sales forecasting management product runs on a flexible technology that offers full visibility into forecast data, drills down capability into supporting deals, and forecasts powered by AI for data-driven comparison.
Sales reps using Aviso can stay on top of their deals using the full-suite sales technologies that work in a cohesive fashion. You can view all deal-relevant CRM data, analytics, and forecasting based on AI insights.
Though the company recently launched Zia, a virtual sales assistant, sales leaders could benefit more from an AI-driven sales forecasting and management product.
Based on your sales activities inside CRM, Zia can forecast sales trends and compares that prediction to your actual growth. The virtual assistant from Zoho links to the CRM account to identify the areas in the business that are under-performing or surpassing expectations. Moreover, Zia detects anomalies.
People.ai leads the pack of sales technology companies that provide AI in sales forecasting tools. With a clear objective to apply AI and machine learning to the process of predicting the revenues and costs associated with your sales activities for a given period of time (a quarter, year, two years, etc), People.ai turns your traditional CRM into a powerhouse of analytics and productivity.
Using People Insights, the AI-powered sales management solution lifts sales team performance significantly, giving them 20% or more time back to actually sell rather than manually entering data into the CRM.
Base CRM – Apollo
Base CRM offers Apollo as a prescriptive insights provider that automatically analyzes millions of data points across your sales activities to uncover ‘blind spots’ in your sales growth.
The sales dashboard flow from Interactive Insight Feed to Progression Goals to Data Health – sales leaders can visualize real-time monitoring to see what percentage of data fields are completed by their sales teams. Then, you can improve your sales process with Base insights that are easily accessible to all levels of the organization.
You can get answers to –
“Which deals will close this month?”
“What deals am I about to lose?”
Interloop was recently featured in an IBM Watson case study. Interloop’s sales execution and forecasting platform, powered by IBM Watson and IBM Cloud, helps sellers understand where to focus in order to close more business predictably.
This AI-driven sales forecasting & intelligence platform for modern sales teams delivers predictive sales analytics with new visibility metrics into forecasts and at-risk deals, combined with insights and tools for reps in the field to take immediate action.
Appier’s Aixon Platform works with a massive volume of business data, extracting useful insights from this data. Powered by proprietary deep learning and machine learning technologies, Appier is capable of closing the perennial gap between data and insight-based decisions. A powerful monetization tool for sales forecasting teams, drives more online sales and conversions, significantly boosting your revenue by finding the right audience for your advertisers.
Powered by AI, Appier analyses user behavior, modeling how people move between and use their different screens, such as what types of content they like to browse on phones, laptops and tablets, and at what times of the day. In a way, it is a collaborative platform for marketing and sales teams to make cross-screen conversions easier.
MoData uses predictive analytics to improve the accuracy of forecasted sales revenue. Their AI and Machine Learning technologies deliver highly-refined and accurate prediction based on historical data and current trends to make estimates for the future. It’s a data-driven process that enables you to dive into what’s to come with a high probability of success in sales forecasting.
Companies that could Soon Go the AI Way in Sales Management Technologies
- ProsperWorks CRM
ProsperWorks CRM is a borderless sales management and forecasting platform that seamlessly integrates with G Suite. The sales forecasting solution removes or cleanses manual data with effective optimization.
Piepdrive is a great tool for sales leaders and reps. Sales managers use Pipedrive Forecasting to dig too deep into individual pipelines; while salespeople have the detail and clarity that comes with individual views. We wish the company also adds AI in sales forecasting as a marquee offering.
As we see sales teams getting more focused on driving their pipeline to close sales and sustain customer expectations, AI in sales forecasting could be the ubiquitous sales tech star technology for B2B in 2018-2022.