Today, I sat down with Marco Pasqualina, SVP & Head of Sales at Toluna, a leading provider of on-demand digital consumer insights. He shared one of the many use cases that their team is utilizing BoostUp. Today’s focus – Forecasting. Let’s dive in.
Brandon, BoostUp: Before we dive into how you use BoostUp for forecasting. How many people at Toluna use BoostUp today, and in what roles?
Marco, Toluna: We’ve got around 40 people using BoostUp heavily today; over 30 sales reps, 5 team leaders, myself, and a few people on the Operations team.
Our team uses it every day. We use it to understand deal risk and understand deal velocity, which helps us forecast more confidently and with a heightened level of accuracy. We no longer rely on spreadsheets and modeled seller-reported data; we rely on the truth inside the data and what we need to focus on to move deals through the funnel.
Brandon, BoostUp: Tell me more. In what capacity does each of these groups you mention use BoostUp?
Marco, Toluna: Sales reps use BoostUp as a tool to prioritize their deals based on engagement, the sentiment (whether positive, negative, neutral) of those engagements, and other risk factors. They use BoostUp to understand which:
- Deals are single-threaded vs. multi-threaded,
- Deals have the highest “positive” engagement to plan their week/quarter,
- Deals are at the highest risk any why.
Whereas our sales leaders use is as an auditing tool to help facilitate deal risk reviews conversations with their reps. They no longer use the sales stage, estimated close date, or deal size as indicators for whether a deal will close within a particular quarter. They can sort all deals by engagement and overall risk and prioritize those deals. The real-time alerting on “at-risk” deals help the team prioritize their focus as well. They can dive into the details (engagement activity, sentiment, etc.) to help coach their reps to maximize their 1:1s.
I rely on BoostUp to ensure that we have strong pipeline strength, for forecasting and overall account and deal management. We use as a part of our deal review process, QBRs, and our Forecasting strategy calls.
Brandon, BoostUp: You mentioned forecasting. How did you put together your forecast before BoostUp?
Marco, Toluna: The same way most organizations are today. We export deal data from SFDC, get in a room with your Operations and Sales Leaders, and put together a forecast plan based on sales stage, close data, estimated deal size. We looked at historical win rates to forecast what we believe we could win based on the number of deals we had.
It was manual, relied on seller-reported data. It also has built-in natural flaws that are hard to fix, around the inflated pipeline, sandbagging behavior, and reps consistency in managing and updating their deals. Everything was reported at a place in time, versus a real-time view based on actual sales activity data and deal risk data.
Brandon, BoostUp: Why do you think people are still relying on the old way of forecasting?
Marco, Toluna: I think VP’s/CRO’s are a little skeptical of these tools that rely on aspects of artificial intelligence. And another is that many do not know this technology exists. They are aware of forecasting reporting tools, like Clari, that use seller-reported data or data pushed into the CRM. They are not aware of BoostUp, for example, BoostUp collects all sales activity, looks at risk, engagement, and other deal drivers to inspect the deal and provide an aggregate risk score for each deal in real-time early warning alerts. This allows me to forecast more accurately and have a predictable revenue stream that I trust and well as our extended leadership team.
Brandon, BoostUp: It’s great to speak with you today, Marco. I am so glad you are getting the value you expected when choosing BoostUp.
Marco, Toluna: BoostUp exceeded our expectations. The software is easy to use and gives our entire sales team a singular view of deal stages, and we no longer rely on spreadsheets for forecasting, saving us over 20 hours a month. Additionally, we have found that we are significantly more confident in our forecast numbers because of the deal-level risk analysis and alerting of BoostUp. I can’t count the number of at-risk deals BoostUp flagged that we got ahead of and saved.
With BoostUp, we are easily 5 times as efficient and 100% more confident in our forecasting approach and projections.
BoostUp’s contextual revenue intelligence platform enables companies to drive revenue through efficient and reliable forecasting, from new pipeline to renewals to optimize customer lifetime value. Purpose-built for digital, hybrid, and remote workforces, BoostUp automatically ingests data from dozens of digital channels and business applications. BoostUp then extracts context and sentiment from that data to increase forecasting accuracy, accelerate deals, reduce account churn, and get AI-driven guidance on pipeline gaps. For more information, please visit: www.boostup.ai.