Slippage. Blood Commit. Bottom Drawers and Bluebird Deals.
The language of sales forecasting can be confusing and deeply unsettling at times. Over 20 years I’ve seen the very best and the very worst practices.
As we enter the final days of EoQ madness, forecast calls become a daily (sometimes hourly) exercise inside many B2B companies. If you get a quiet moment, amid the unnatural acts of end of quarter, here’s my thoughts on the best (and worst) forecasting behaviours.
The worst of sales forecasting:
- Over or under forecasting – missing either side is bad (but missing low is career limiting)
- Letting information become stale – old status updates, data which is no longer valid, kills deals
- Poor CRM management – critical info sitting in spreadsheets or notebooks not CRM can cost you big time
- Naivety or happy ears – Hearing what you want to hear or believing everything your told
- Zombie deals that never die
The best of sales forecasting:
- Consistently accurate forecasts – you can set your watch by them
- Acute attention to detail – cover all of the bases
- Asking the right question – path to closure, risk factors
- Healthy dose of paranoia – validate everything, assume nothing, leave nothing to chance
- Linearity – don’t leave it all to the last month, last week, last day.