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January 27, 2015
The Future of Forecasting: Stop Stealing from Selling Time
Nobody wants to take their reps out of the field. Less selling time = less revenue. And it gets worse. When reps lose selling time massaging a forecast, they are typically frustrated — frustrated at not selling and frustrated at doing the sort of administrative work most reps hate. And you know we’re not done yet. The long-established practice is to push reps reps to spend their evenings or weekends updating the data. After all, it’s their job, right? But too often the result is more frustration… and a frustrated rep rarely crushes their number.
Of course some reps avoid the lost time (and frustration) by simply ignoring the request. Some reps go weeks without updating a deal’s status — but that doesn’t mean the deal is stagnating. It often means they focus on selling, not forecasting. And for most teams, top reps can get away with this quarter after quarter.
Resigning ourselves to reps burdened with desk-tethered data entry can’t be the right answer. Fortunately, employing the right technology is like adding a small army of analysts to your team — not the bad kind of analysts who bug your reps to fill out forms, but the smart kind who comb through CRM, emails, and calendars, and who know how to distill all that insight into something you and your reps can use.
Sure, there is some information only your reps know — like which competitor they face or whether the executive sponsors is on your side — so add a mobile component to help them capture that info while walking to their car rather than while locked in their basement.
It’s time to reduce data entry, increase selling time, and increase data quality. You will never look back, you’ll laugh about the “bad old days” of purely manual forecasting, and your reps will owe you one.