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A Predictable Sales Forecast: Get Off the Roller Coaster

Sales Inbound marketing Omnibound Marketing

by Margery Murphy on April 2, 2020

A predictable sales forecast - is that even possible? We don’t often use "predictable" and "sales" in the same sentence. Our forecast often feels more like a roller coaster ride - not very smooth and not very predictable.

However, we refer to our sales forecast like a prediction of sales to come. So if your sales forecast is a prediction of future sales revenue, we had better stop guessing at the numbers and begin to leverage computing power to create a foundation based on information. Oh yeah - and there is no such thing as a crystal ball.

Start by being honest about your sales forecasting. Stop making projections based on thoughts and feelings (not facts). You've probably experienced this scenario:

January 1:

“We have a great month ahead. Lots of opportunities in the pipeline with good valuation. We are on the upside of a great sales month!”

January 20:

“Oh yes - well, that deal changed and its value will only be 50% of what was forecasted.”

January 29:

"The deal we were about to close is on hold because there is a step in the purchasing process we did not anticipate.”

February 7:

"Oh – I forgot to let you know that the deal we were really strong on went to a competitor.”

Ouch.

Our initial "projections" were based on gut feelings and seemed too good to be true. And we all know that if something seems too good to be true... it probably is.

Your forecast just went up, up, up - then down, down, down. Suddenly your sales forecast is a roller coaster ride. A day at King's Island is great, but we don't want our business to become "The Beast".  Wouldn’t it be great to smooth out the peaks and valleys and have a smoother, more consistent approach to predicting our sales forecast?

Documenting Processes To Achieve Revenue Goals

Creating a documented process can help you smooth out those wild ups and downs in your sales forecast - creating a more reliable revenue stream for your business. 

You begin to achieve this predictable sales forecast with three steps:

  1. Assess how your sales and marketing teams interact, the procedures they follow, and how they use CRM and marketing automation tools.

  2.  Align wherever gaps reside. If your sales and marketing teams don't interact between each other, or if you find that you loose leads because they aren't handled well between each team, these are some areas where you can implement better business techniques. By aligning your operations with customized solutions and documented procedures, your teams will be able to work alongside one another to a higher standard. 

  3. Refine this process by fine tuning with documented data. By reporting sales and marketing results using real-time dashboards, this validates what activities are working best and what drives your revenue.

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Assess, align and refine (and tools like your CRM). These are the quintessential steps that we use to help our clients create predictable sales forecasts, achieve reliable revenue streams, and reach their business goals.

My next several blogs will discuss best practices for creating a predictable sales forecast: No crystal balls, no roller coasters. We promise.

Stay tuned for (or be sure to read) the following:

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