Ask any sales leader what their forecast is and where they are relative to that number, and they can tell you with precision. But once you have your number, what do you do with it?
So much is made of delivering a trusted sales forecast, but few look beyond this critical juncture. The fact is, the accuracy of your forecast hinges on your ability to seamlessly execute deals. Without a proper roadmap in place, achieving your goals is infinitely more difficult.
How to Execute on Your Sales Forecast
There are a number of factors that contribute to your ability to execute, and you must be prepared for every one of them if you are to succeed.
Baseline Questions to Assess Your Executional Readiness
Is my number lower than expected?
Does my number match up against the products or services planned?
Does my number lack predictability?
Once you have established a baseline, you can drill down further into more nuanced scenarios that impact your number.
Nuanced Questions to Assess Your Executional Readiness
When I break my number down into regions, teams and/or individual deals, do I know how to improve or adjust accordingly?
Is that deal in Commit really going to close?
Could that deal considered Best Case be pushed over the line with a few key steps?
You may not have the answers to every one of these questions, but the proper roadmap can navigate you in the right direction. That’s why we, at InsightSquared, aren’t content to leave you at your forecast number.
Your forecast is one of many data points available to managers to help them coach reps and move deals forward.
Questions Beyond Your Forecast to Assess Your Executional Readiness
When was the last productive engagement?
Is the champion actually participating or just a name in a field?
Is there a meeting on the calendar in the next 30 days?
How many contacts are there on this opportunity? If your rep is single-threaded, that’s an obvious step that was missed.
Has there been recent engagement with the economic buyer?
Does the timeline keep pushing?
Have there been too many meetings without any meaningful progress? Which competitors are involved? Are they companies you should even be in contention with?
Is your rep actually following your chosen sales process (e.g., MEDDICC, Challenger, Sandler, Force, etc.)?
Once you have all these data points in a single place alongside a comprehensive engagement timeline, you can quickly identify any gaps and coach your reps on their ideal next steps. You can also implement real-time alerts so you don’t get too far into the quarter without knowing where the risks lie. The more groundwork you lay upon rolling up your forecast, the more confidence you will have in achieving it.