Predictable growth is helping businesses to achieve consistency year over year, and it is the forecasting where it all begins. Following the right sales forecasting tips is helping companies to make critical business decisions, manage budgets, plan the headcount strategy and investment, and know future earnings, thus helping businesses to set the North Star.
The right sales forecasting techniques can lead to predictable revenue and accurate, actionable data. The best sales forecasting techniques are able to provide answer these two simple questions: How much does the business plan to sell? And when will the business is going to deliver those numbers?
4 Accurate Sales Forecasting Tips
To help you better sell from anywhere, we have brought some tips that could be fruitful. It answers the most common questions we hear about sales forecasting from sales reps and leaders.
1. Get Answers to These Questions
Your team should concentrate on these simple questions when building their forecasts:
- Who? Sales teams should make forecasts based on who their prospects would be. They need to identify if the prospects are the decision-makers or just influencers, as it will determine if the forecast will be more or less exact.
- Why? Identify why is the prospect or existing customer considering your new services? Is there a big event that you should be aware of? It is important to know this answer as without a forcing function, the deal may stall.
- What? Your forecasts should be related to what solutions you plan to sell. Base those solutions on problems your prospects have mentioned, which your representatives can uniquely solve.
- Where? You need to know in what location is the prospect making their buying decision. Sales teams can identify better accuracy when they get closer to the center of the action.
- How? You should know how this particular prospect is making purchasing decisions. If you’re not accounting for how your prospects have done it in the past, it may be fuzzy math for you.
2. Negative Forecasting Can Highlight Business Risk
You can also use your sales forecast to assess the current risk to your business, and this is called negative forecasting.
For example, you can add a COVID-19 field in Sales Cloud to tag deals and see the pandemic impact. The two key benefits of this approach will be:
- The sales team can expedite deals involving a customer who needs products related to COVID-19.
- You can track deals lost or pushed due to the crisis.
Negative forecasting can help you gauge possible risks, thus making your forecast evolve with your business.
3. Sales Forecasts for All, Not Just for the Sales Team
Every department relies on sales forecasts. Not a single part of the organization goes unaffected when forecasts don’t prove to be accurate.
For example, using the sales process business can prepare a plan to ship products, strategize marketing, and hire needed employees. Accurate forecasts help companies make better investment plans, like hiring a needed number of Salesforce developers or opening a new sales office in the prime territory if the requirement is identified.
On the contrary, if the sales forecasts are off, likely are the chances that the company would face challenges across all business functions – from pricing to product delivery. Everyone relies on the ability of the sales team to pull off an accurate forecast. So never underestimate the importance of your forecast.
4. Forecasts Can Change in a Flash. Keep Tracking It
Extreme weather, global pandemics, economic crisis, and any other such factor can be responsible to bring a dramatic change to your forecast. Even if you thought that you knew about expected revenue growth with Salesforce, all of it can suddenly flip within an instant.
This makes it important to track the accuracy of your forecasts with changing conditions and markets as you would never want to risk your strategy failing because of inaccurate forecasts.
Follow These Sales Forecasting Tips for Sustainable Growth
A good sales forecast helps you make better decisions about the future. You just needed to know the right tips that can take you across. With accurate forecasting, you’ll know if you should prepare for a rainy day? Or will you just need sunglasses and smooth sailing?
Become a forecasting pro to put resources and energy in the right places so you can continue to thrive with the help of our Salesforce consulting services, offered by certified and experienced professionals.