Ask for a number and you get a story!

Virinchi Duvvuri

By on December 25, 2017

Winter brings back so many memories. Hot chocolate, Christmas, presents….and let me not forget the dreaded account planning for the coming year.

This is the time of year that we (salespeople) become great storytellers since everyone wants to know “our call” and we need to give a good story on what is going to happen (as though we have a crystal ball). The reason why we can’t give a concrete number is that we don’t have verifiable facts to justify where we “think” we will land.

When I was at Microsoft, we had gobs of data on everything that the customer bought and what they consumed. We could get information on other products that they were using as well as their feedback on us as a team. We had everything…what we didn’t have was the manpower to drive real insights from the data.

That is the issue with most companies nowadays, especially in this DATA ECONOMY. I still remember the massive spreadsheets that we were given to “pivot” to the real data. I had the data but I didn’t have the cycles to look at all the different dimensions to get some nuggets to help me out with my “story”. What I needed was someone that crunched this data day and night and gave me some insights that I could use.

What would have been the outcome of my Account Plan (PTEP for short at MICROSOFT) if I had an AI engine doing all of the heavy lifting for me so that I could focus on the story? How would I have been better prepared to address the needs of my customer using this extra time? How much better would I have been at telling my story and having the data to prove it.

As a final note, for all the sales managers reading this blog from Chris Schwass, Sales Excellence, LinkedIn,

“Managers should be looking for accuracy in defining revenue potential and likelihood of success…”

Perhaps you should find out if an AI engine is the answer to helping you get to this level of accuracy. Let’s start 2018 with a story that we can define to be true with facts and not one that we can only HOPE will come true!

Merry Christmas!

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