What’s Wrong With Your Sales Forecast

Babar Batla


on August 7, 2017

What’s Wrong With Your Sales Forecast?

We know how most sales forecast meetings go.

The manager sits in a conference room with the team and opens up the CRM. One by one – painstakingly slow – the manager proceeds to interrogate each of the reps about each deal in their pipeline.

“Is this really gonna close next week?”

“When was the last time you spoke to them?”

“Have you heard back from their legal team yet?”

“You are telling me that your contact has been on vacation for 4 weeks and that is why you haven’t spoken to anyone over there for month?”

After an hour or two of this – everyone is upset. The reps are tired of being berated, the managers are mad at the reps for being lazy and everyone is mad at the CRM.

During the meeting – the manager is constantly updating a spreadsheet that she is building that will eventually be shared with her superiors and circulated amongst the executive team. The spreadsheet will be a neat, concise list of the key deals that she thinks are going to close this quarter.

Eventually, the grueling meeting ends and the manager cobbles together what she believes is an accurate forecast. She then adds some cushion to the number and discounts it by 20%. She got it wrong last quarter and doesn’t want to disappoint the VP again.

After sending the forecast spreadsheet to her VP – the VP calls her in for a meeting and they re-enact a summarized version of the same meeting the manager had with her reps (often times asking the exact same questions). The VP, in turn, incorporates the “discounted forecast” and adds to his forecast spreadsheet. Like the manager did – the VP also adds some cushion to the forecast and discounts it by a random percentage of 15%. Afterall, last quarter he discounted it by 25% but was grossly over the forecast – mostly because of a large global deal that came in the last week of the quarter that wasn’t even in the forecast!

It’s a shame that we all spin up spreadsheets to manage our forecasts.

It’s a shame that we can’t trust the data that is in our CRM.

And it’s a shame that we don’t trust the very reps that we hired to sell for us.

If you are interested in learning about a better way to manage your sales forecasting process – read this blog or give us a call – we’d love to hear from you.

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