The sales forecast is a crucial process because the accuracy of your sales forecasts impact every aspect of a business, from the most nitty-gritty details to key-decisions that may build the future of the business itself. Sales forecasting is all about putting things into perspective. It enables businesses to foresee sales opportunities and possible challenges in managing the sales pipeline. The accuracy of sales forecasting is essential to any business as it helps businesses to gain control of the sales pipeline. In a nutshell sales forecast is a process of taking the necessary steps and applying appropriate sales tactics to contemplate and predict the most promising sales figures. However to be a sales forecasting expert you need to follow certain steps that are as follows:
Say No to Guessing: Another important aspect that should be considered for accurate sales forecasting is to stop guessing. Build your sales forecast based on the prospects’ buying timetable. The responses that you get from your prospects regarding the purchase date should be considered as part of your sales forecasting process. With a fair understanding of prospects’ buying timetable, you can accurately plan your sales forecasting.
Add Real Prospects: It’s a well-known fact as a sales opportunity gets older it gets more difficult to convert into a customer. Therefore add real prospects and refrain yourself from adding old sales opportunities in your sales forecasting process. You will be more efficient and accurate in sales forecasting as you start considering real prospects that are not stagnant in the sales pipeline.
Weed-out Old Prospects: It will be of no use of considering old prospects as a part of your sales forecasting as we know that every lead or an opportunity has a sales cycle, once it goes beyond that cycle time the chances of that prospect turning into a customer becomes less likely to happen. So, it would be better to remove old prospects from the sales pipeline and not consider them to be a part of your sales forecast.
Define the Sales Process: In order to be a sales forecasting expert, you must invest your time in defining your business sales process to effectively manage the sales pipelines. You should have a thorough understanding of your sales process and have an idea of what should and shouldn’t go into your sales pipeline. It is essential to establish a well-defined sales process that enables all the members of the sales team to be on the same page while assessing sales opportunities and discussing the sales pipeline. This seamless communication among the sales team promotes accuracy is the sales forecast process.
Build Rapport with the Marketing Team: In an environment of a complex buying process where you as a sales professional targeting B2B prospects then make sure you have a thorough understanding of how the marketing team of your business works. Try to build rapport with them. It is necessary for a sales team to be in sync with the marketing team as it has been found in a study conducted by MarketingProfs that perfect alignment and coordination of sales and marketing team lead to 38% higher sales win rates with 36% higher customer retention rates. Thus, the perfect coordination between both teams encourages the motivation to achieve targets efficiently and sales forecasting becomes accurate too.
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