Sales forecast: the golden rules for alignment with your revenue forecast
How to find out what your business’ revenue will be next month? Is it possible to predict that in a more accurate way? Yes, it’s possible, and it’s thanks to sales forecast. Sales forecast is a type of revenue prediction designed on the profile of your clients, the expertise of your sales team, and the opportunities in your sales funnel. Broader economic factors, seasonality, and the behavior of your competitors also play an important role.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can align sales with your company’s revenue forecast by looking at some simple ideas for improving the efficiency of your sales forecast using business technology.
Turn your sales forecast into an indicator
Business solutions can improve sales predictions by converting sales or revenue forecast into an indicator. For this to work, you also need your entire sales team on board. With unified processes and a common database, you can improve the accuracy of your revenue forecast across specified time periods and identify which employees are reaching their KPIs.
Your sales teams can start delivering sales forecasts periodically so that the accuracy out of your data can be bolstered and cross-checked with other indicators. These numbers should be updated and analyzed monthly, but you can easily start with smaller time periods, such as weekly or biweekly, thus diminishing grey areas and the risk of error.
Understanding your standards and your team’s standards
The insights drawn from data impacting your sales forecast will allow management to understand the level of accuracy and error in the company’s processes, revealing a clear big picture of the sales profile of the company and of its sales department. You’ll be able to understand which team members are high performers, and how they achieve their strong results (the same applies for poor performing team members, though in the opposite way).
Commercial maturity refers precisely to those companies who have a smaller gap between their sales forecast and final sales outcomes. With the data in hand, you can correct any mistakes made along the way and design sure-fire plans to orientate all processes towards stronger overall results, both in the short and long term.
Know your client’s buying cycle
An efficient sales forecast is only possible if you have a deep knowledge of your clients’ purchasing habits, as well as their journey through your business’ sales funnel. Your team needs to have clear access to that information.
It’s also important for the seller to consider, in his or her sales forecast, the internal steps the company needs to take in order to conclude a sale, such as contract analysis, logistics, and stock, among others.
Your business’ sales forecast depends on training your team on the company’s processes and on your clients’ buying cycle. The ideal scenario is that everyone is involved in this process and has access to the information needed in order to conduct analysis from an efficient and automated system.
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