Sales forecasting is a lot like weather forecasting. Here’s how:
Both include the process of understanding a number of variables and practical as well as statistical data. Also, the accuracy of a forecast relies on the proficiency of the forecaster and the tool used. Simply put, it is a fine blend of science, art and technology. Unfortunately, sales forecasting turns out to be a painstaking process for sales leaders and reps all over.
The most important component for accurate sales forecast is a standard or common sales methodology with regard to stages and checkpoints that are consistent and understood by the entire sales crew. For instance, if you have a stage in your sales cycle called “Lead Qualification”, it is imperative for the sales rep to understand and be aware of the sales stage or cycle that takes place during, after and before this stage. Here, it is good to have a CRM solution that helps to log and note all these data without fail.
Nevertheless, a killer sales forecast exhibits the following three traits:
Here, accuracy is all about how close the forecast matches with the outcome. To be specific, it means appropriate application of the sales methodology. The data in your CRM solution reflects real-time state of your opportunities and steps to close the deals are well understood by the sales rep. It is important for sales leader to validate the same. For instance, suppose that you are five days before the end of sales period and a particular sales rep forecasts the deal to close just in the nick of time. However, if it is sitting in stage three of six and the next sales steps coin a series of reviews, chances are high that the deal might not close as forecasted.
Also on Sage Software Blog: Harnessing Sales History for Accurate Sales Forecasting with CRM
Often, most of the sales reps start creating forecast visibility for those high potential deals whilst moving the uncertain ones (that still have the potential to close successfully) to future. On the other hand, an all-inclusive forecast offers great visibility into every single deal that holds the potential to close within the forecast period. Both the sales manager and rep ought to assess each and every deal before determining any uncertainty in the data.
For instance, the customer has approved the budget for the product/service, but the company is undergoing some leadership change or restructuring that could result in reassessment of the budget endangering your deal. Here, an all-inclusive or comprehensive sales forecast report would help your sales managers and reps to prepare for effective risk analysis.
As a sacred drill, a sales rep should always be prepped for an impromptu or surprise sales forecast review by the CEO. Can they defend themselves here? A smart way is to be aware about all the opportunities that can be reasonably closed minus all the hypes. Insightful sales forecasting arms the sales rep in such scenarios to avoid overstating.
If you maintain an accurate and healthy sales pipeline, hold good knowledge about your customer and develop strong relationships based on transparency, trust and safety, you will be in a much better position when it comes to churning out a killer and logical sales forecast.
To discover the potential of a robust sales CRM software that can help make accurate sales forecasts, contact us. You can SMS SAGE to 56767 or drop us a mail at email@example.com for free demo and consultation.