Amit Garg — Matters of “Survival” and Clicks – Applications of AI in Sales Operations

Seminar | September 9 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 1174 Etcheverry Hall

 Amit Garg, CRMantra

 Industrial Engineering & Operations Research

Abstract: This talk will focus on two applications of BigData and AI techniques in Sales Operations.  Revenue projections drive capital and operational expense budgeting decisions for companies.  Impacts of this process include head counts allocated to each functional area, amount of capital for different corporate projects, etc.  Revenue projections are driven by different deals sales people are working on.  The challenge for Sales and Finance Operations managers is to project deal flow, the outcome of deals in the pipeline (win or loss), their respective closure timings, and resulting revenues.  We have used Survival Analysis techniques on sales deal data to help with the planning.  Insights from these analyses have resulted in improvement in sales management practices in the organization.

In a 1000-agent call center, an extra click in the flows agents execute can cost $2m annually.  We have also worked with customers with over 20,000 call center agents!  The second study involves improving User Experience (UX) by redesigning views and screens in CRM applications, and reducing the number of clicks for call center agents.  This work involves the use of AI techniques such as clustering to design “view clusters” or “responsibilities” to improve UX and deriving dominant paths in the application to increase agent productivity.

Bio: Amit Garg is the CEO of CRMantra, a company specializing in technology and strategy in the areas of Sales, Service and Marketing - broadly classified as CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Amit has over 15 years of experience with business practices and technologies in the areas of salesforce automation, pricing and contract management, and omni–channel sales and service. At CRMantra, Amit has been instrumental in successful CRM deployments at many customers in telecom industry with approx. 40 million customers and over 20,000 call center agents), medical device manufacturing (with over 10,000 sales and service agents), publishers and providers of content subscriptions, advertising sales, and oil field services, etc. Before founding CRMantra in 2005, Amit was a Product Line Manager at Siebel Systems (acquired by Oracle) a pioneer of CRM applications, where he managed and revamped their CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) products.

Before Siebel Systems, Amit spent a decade working in the areas of Price Management and Supply Chain Management. He started his career as a Research Staff Member at the IBM T J Watson Research Center where conducted research in the areas of supply chain, price optimization, and design of markets and auctions for transportation and semiconductor manufacturing industries. Amit’s research at IBM resulted in filing of seven patents. After IBM, Amit was the Chief Scientist at NonStop Solutions (acquired by Manhattan Associates) where he and his team developed data-mining and pattern recognition algorithms for large-scale retail and distribution industry supply chain optimization.

Amit has a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University, an MS in Industrial Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo, and a BTech (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur.

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