Imagine you’re a winning quarterback. You’ve studied hours and hours of opponent game tapes, and memorized dozens of offensive plays and defensive formations. You’ve got outstanding instincts and your team trusts you. Still, to accurately call a play, you need more than skill, intuition, and rapport. You need instant access to real-time data. Without that, you’re not going to make your goal — and you’re probably not going to win the game.
You only have seconds in the huddle to plot your next play. There’s no time for conversation or speculation. You take the data you have and you run with it. Literally.
In many ways, the football huddle is a lot like your sales forecast call. You have to show up prepared, understand the signals you’re getting from the sidelines, make sure you’ve got good coverage, and be ready to make bold decisions — in the moment — on the line of scrimmage to guide your team with confidence.
Are you missing your moment?
There are critical periods during every week, month, and quarter that determine how you execute sales. At Clari, we refer to these recurring moments (e.g., 1:1s, board meetings, QBRs, etc.) collectively as the sales operating rhythm. All along the way, there are key questions you need to be able to answer quickly to drive your opportunity-to-close (OTC) process and achieve both your short- and long-term goals. Your forecast call is one of those moments — and Clari can help you ace it every time.
You want your team on the field running plays, not on a call justifying them
So, in real life, you’re not actually a quarterback. Sorry. But, that means you do have more than a few seconds to figure out your call, and it’s not likely you’ll be sacked by a 300-pound defensive lineman if you mess up. Still, you DO need access to that real-time data, including what your team is calling and how their deals are tracking. You also want to be able to identify which deals are likely to close and which are at risk. Finally, you want to keep your forecast call focused (like a huddle) because, ideally, you want your team on the field running plays, not on a call justifying them.
Forecasting is more than just rolling up a number, in the same way that quarterbacking is more than just calling a play. To quickly identify risk and upside, you need to know how much business your team has already closed, how many deals are legitimately still in play, and how much pipeline coverage you really have — in the moment. You also need to be able to put all of that in context, factoring in historical performance data from other quarters and seasons.
Unfortunately, few sales execs have real-time access to information and insights like this. The limited visibility they do have comes from stale spreadsheets and less-than-complete CRM records. So the whole forecast call process tends to become a labor-intensive and lengthy ordeal — not just for management, but for the whole team. And, it seldom yields the results you want. That’s where Clari can help.
Stop scrambling and start calling your number from Clari
Today, more and more sales leaders are running their forecast calls on Clari. They’ve left the spreadsheets behind and use Clari to easily huddle with their team to update the number based on real-time deal data and historical trends. No matter how unique their forecasting process is, they can view, track, or update their number on Clari and better collaborate with their team.
What does it mean? It means they quickly get a read on the team’s roll-up against the quota. And, they get something even Tom Brady doesn’t have — an Opportunity Score. It’s like a competency rating that uses data science to predict the likelihood that a deal will close. Think of it as a totally legal competitive advantage. With that, they understand the true health of the deals that make up the forecast, which means they don’t have to waste a lot of time researching opportunity status and chasing reps and managers to update their activity logs. And, they’re leveraging AI-based predictive forecasting to pressure test their number. After all that, they’re ready to call it with confidence.
Forecasting doesn’t have to be hard. If you’d like to learn more about how you can up your game, and run a more efficient and productive forecast call right from Clari, download our step-by-step guide.