From Copilot to Pilot: Using AI to End Manual Sales Tasks
We end our first season chatting with Santi Suarez-Ordoñez and Ashley Wilson, who along with their third co-founder, Moiz Virani, founded Momentum.io, an AI sales platform. They initially crossed paths at their previous startup, Sauce Labs. We start the conversation by talking about their background, the Momentum founding story, and most notably, the dynamics of being married to their work and each other!
Sales call summaries are core to their platform. This is an evolving space, so we discuss how it’s changed over the past few years and how Momentum was positioned for success once the AI boom began—leveraging their established expertise as new companies emerge every day. Santi touches on Momentum’s transition from AI assistance to make sales reps more efficient to AI-driven automation. This was made possible once they had enough usage to train their custom models.
Ashley goes into the impacts automation has had on revenue organizations and processes, and her predictions on the future of the sales tech stack. One big trend she sees is the increased importance of qualitative data, such as call summaries and notes, in driving forecasting, training, and key business decisions.
I hope you enjoy this episode!
* 4:50 – Timing your disruption
* 10:18 – The future of revenue
* 26:14 – Importance of qualitative insights
* 33:49 – Implementing AI into your org structure
SANTI: When GPT models starting entering the scene, we started really realizing AI is now hitting that point in which it can meet expectations and it can deliver legitimate value. And what has been more transformative for us is we have transitioned from using automation to help humans do a work that they always did a little more effectively to using automation to just let AI go lose and do the work itself.
SANTI: When it comes to timing on this disruption, we were lucky enough to be at the exact right time. I think there’s a curve of companies. You have the companies that were built well before this transformation, and they are built on different ways of thinking and to power of different types of workflows, and they have a certain inertia and a customer base, and a product roadmap that makes it really challenging for them to fully adapt.
And then on the other side of the spectrum, you have the brand new companies that are getting built. Exclusively with AI on site, but they’re just getting started right now. The benefit of companies like Momentum is we had a couple of years in the market, and had built a foundation of automation and integration.
We had a customer base and all of a sudden AI comes in as a perfect drop in and you are three kilometers ahead on the trend, but you were very able to tack and take advantage of it day one. So we feel very lucky and privileged to have been at just the right time at the right place.
GAURAV: So being early, but not too early is the Goldilocks formula. Can you quantify the three kilometers ahead in terms of customer traction?
ASHLEY: What we’re seeing is just the velocity of customers coming in, seeing Momentum, and saying they want to do a POC. That’s just going a lot faster than before, because everyone’s really hungry for bringing AI into the sales process.
It’s an exciting kind of growth time for us, and we’re ending the year super strong. And I think what’s interesting about our customer base is we have public companies with a thousand plus reps using Momentum. And then we have state stage startups with three reps using it.
And depending on where you are, you can get a lot of value out of this. And the smaller stage companies build on top of Momentum and kind of embed Momentum in the process so that AI and automation just become part of how they do sales. And then on the public company side, you’re getting kind of the mandate from the top down of saying, Okay, how do we leverage AI? Where are we going to bring it in? And what’s been cool is those companies are equally open and ready to embrace this software.
GAURAV: Let’s talk big picture, what does the revenue organization look like five years from now?
ASHLEY: Our hope is that for reps in particular, [there’s an] end to a lot of these manual tasks. And a lot of the manual admin work that they’ve had to do is taken care of for them. Today we’re seeing it in terms of automatically extracting insights and pushing them to the CRM without them having to do anything. Maybe they’re just editing it to make sure that the right fields are getting filled out. But our hope is that in five years, reps are really able to get on a call like I’m doing with you right now—I’m listening, I’m making eye contact, I’m talking to you. But I’m not furiously taking notes, I’m not thinking about what I’m going to have to do after this call. So that’s, that’s something that I think we’re going to see more of.
I think another trend that’s happening certainly with our customers is this kind of merging of the pre- and the post-sales process and just moving towards one customer journey. So a lot of our customers have that continuity at the rep level from first touch to closing the deal to renewal. I think you’re going to have a lot more reps really engaging with their customers to make sure that you’re getting value out of the product and not just on the CSM side.
I think you’re going to have a lot more pairing of a CSM and a rep to just say “How do we make sure that our customers stick with us?” Because I think today we’ve learned that renewals are just not a given anymore. I think coming out of this buy, buy, buy, and companies just having a lot of money to spend in tooling. It was pretty easy to just sail through. Now you have to fight for your customers and make sure that they’re getting a lot of value. So I think that’s going to really influence how the sales process is done in a good way.