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Forecasting in an Opportunities Based Business

Posted by Paul Davenport on 7 May 2019
Forecasting in an Opportunities Based Business

As a business owner or manager, have you ever had issues with sales people forecasting revenues?

Sales people often either forecast revenues way too early or the opportunities fail to actually close.

We find that many organisations often have either no consistent method of forecasting or they base forecasts on the 'Stage' of each Opportunity.

For instance, if the sales person has undertaken a demo of their solution - but is yet to provide the customer with a formal proposal, the amount forecasted may be calculated as 50% of the value of the Opportunity.  Likewise, once the proposal has been provided the forecast may increase to 75% of the Opportunity value.

We often see this method of forecast calculation built into the heart of the CRM.

Unfortunately, this can often contribute to a failure in forecasting for two key reasons:

  1. The correlation between stage of the deal in the CRM and the outcome may not be realistic
  2. Salespeople often move through the steps of the sale well ahead of where they are "really at in the deal"
We have found that a far more appropriate approach to forecasting is to take an 'issues based' approach to an Opportunity as the closure of an Opportunity will most likely occur when all issues (internal and external) have been clearly addressed by the vendors solutions.
Paul DavenportAuthor: Paul Davenport
About: Paul has over 20 years of experience in sales and senior management in large and medium sized businesses in the Banking, Finance and Commercial Data industries. Paul brings sound business acumen and an expertise in leading, coaching and developing high performing sales teams to his clients. Paul has a strong track record in assisting clients to win new business and grow revenues through robust key account management. Paul has an ability to work across a diverse range of sales teams, and effectively engages across the business, from the CEO, Sales Director, Sales People and new starters to ensure sales behaviours are optimised to improve sales performance and maximize outcomes for the business and the individual.
Connect via: LinkedIn
Tags: CRM Sales Behaviors

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