A successful sales organization starts with a good sales forecast. The forecast determines the entire operating rhythm of the company. Sales executives need an accurate forecast to plan strategic moves and investments, managers need to understand how to plan for their territories and coach their reps, and reps need to know how they will meet their goals and targets for the quarter.
So where to start?
Having led sales teams for over 20 years, I’ve found that the key begins with measurement. In 5 Non-Negotiable Sales Forecasting Metrics for Sales Leaders, I explore the five metrics that are critical to sales forecasting, what they are, how to measure them, and why they matter for your sales team’s success — from one sales leader to another.
Here’s a short excerpt. You can download the full eBook with the link below.
Sales reps are often asked: “Will you hit your number this quarter?” Our answer: let’s rethink the question. Meeting quota is table stakes. The better question is: “How can you exceed your number this quarter?” The key to successful sales forecasting starts with pipeline measurement — consistent tracking in each stage of the sales cycle will bring consistent results. Careful focus on five areas will strengthen the sales forecasting process to drive better capacity planning, smoother operations, and most importantly, more revenue!
- Accuracy: the variance of the projected forecast to the actual number for a given measurable period.
- Variance: the distance between the commit and the upside in the pipeline.
- Pipeline Coverage & Mix: the assessment of pipeline size to evaluate whether forecast goals can be met or exceeded, as well as is the content and makeup of your pipeline, including not only deal size, but also deal strength and probability to close.
- Compliance and Commitments: the indication of whether all sales team members have submitted an accurate forecast and proper close dates for all committed opportunities.
- Linearity: the balance of deals closed over the course of a quarter.
To learn more about how these five metrics can drive better sales execution, download the full eBook here.
Jeff Williams is an Operating Partner at Bain Capital Ventures and the former Senior Vice President of Sales at FireEye.