Managing sales in a way that maximizes profitability requires mastering a series of steps that often conspire to actually extend the amount of time it takes to close any given deal. In the middle of that process are sales managers trying to balance the amount of revenue any deal might generate versus what it costs a company to deliver the product or service.
Today, Apttus announced that it is adding artificial intelligence and machine learning to sales management. This addition helps Apttus customers utilize prescriptive data and dynamic recommendations to improve their enterprise revenue processes within the context of a larger quote-to-cash software-as-a-service (SaaS) application.
Kamal Ahluwalia, chief revenue officer for Apttus, says the Apttus Intelligent Cloud employs machine learning algorithms to create a model based on the top percentile of the deals an organization has made. It then applies that model to any given deal entered into the system to let both the salesperson and manager know how best to optimize that deal to the benefit of the customer and the organization.
Ahluwalia says that most organizations only get one real shot to accomplish that goal. Once a proposal is made, it’s not feasible to alter it in any meaningful way. For that reason, organizations need to bring to the sales management process as much intelligence as possible the earliest they can. The sales process now commonly spans multiple distribution channels, and Ahluwalia says the complexity of managing those transactions is slowing down the number of deals that can be closed per quarter.
The Apttus Intelligent Cloud makes it possible for salespeople to model, for example, how to construct a deal in a way that yields them the highest commission possible, while enabling the organization to implement sets of rules that optimize goals such as rewarding salespeople for gaining market share in a particular geography or vertical industry.
Ultimately, Ahluwalia says, the goal is not to replace salespeople but rather provide a mechanism that enables them to close more deals profitably in a given quarter. The result is not only higher margins and more satisfied customers, but greater visibility into a more consistent sales pipeline.