Sales organizations of all sizes are under pressure to provide more accurate top-line sales forecasts. Better forecasts mean a more accurate prediction of the future revenue health of a company. To help improve the accuracy of sales pipelines, best-in-class companies are using sales-analytics solutions that rely on multiple data streams, not just a single source.
Consider the following enabling technologies and the impact they have had on sales forecasting results:
• Sales analytics or forecasting software
• Separate sales forecast dashboards for each sales role
• Lead scoring/assignment based on patterns of profitability, purchase or payment trends
• Predictive analytics
• CRM/SFA dashboard integrated with goal vs. actual sales data
• Sales stage analysis that identifies problem deals by deal velocity
Best-in-class companies that have enabling technologies as well as formal definitions of sales stages, standard rankings to define sales opportunities and a centralized repository of sales data identified by sales stage have the best chance of producing highly accurate forecasts.
Source: Dan Hudson is the co-founder and president of 3Forward and has a B2B sales and sales leadership background of more than 30 years. He can be reached at email@example.com.