How Strong is your Sales Forecasting Strategy?

A good sales forecasting strategy can help streamline internal and external sales processes and help create a foundation for better long term success. In simple terms, sales forecasting can help predict how much sales your company will be able to generate in the future. 

A comprehensive sales forecasting strategy can act as a framework or guideline to ensure future sales success and help predict if there are challenges ahead or chance of weak sales pipelines. 

To predict the future revenue and to plan a good sales forecasting strategy, information based on historical data, the current and past (average sales) state of your pipeline for specific timeframes, the state of your current pipeline can help create a basis from which to chart a course of action. 

To achieve a robust sales forecasting strategy that enables sales teams, in addition to knowing what  sales metrics to track and when, sales teams should know how to optimize their sales tech stack to enhance sales information and access to data.

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What are some of the foundational points that can help plan and build a good sales forecasting strategy?

Leverage your CRM to have a Unified View of your Sales and Prospect Status

Your CRM can do more than just automate emails and manage customer relationships, it can help you collate your B2B sales data and act as a single source of truth. Using sales technologies like CRMs can help you unified information, improve coordination and collaboration between other teams, like marketing, while giving a centralized breakdown of the real-time status of campaigns and prospects. 

A clear representation can help sales leaders align with marketing leaders and other business heads to work on implementing processes that can help boost immediate future sales. 

Know what to Inspect in your Sales Pipeline

Sales hygiene doesn’t stop at evaluating you’re the status of your leads. Sales leaders need to dive deeper to know what to inspect in their sales pipeline, including changes in lead velocity rates and impact on the sales cycle. 

Automate Core Processes

Most CRMs and sales tools today offer real-time analytics that provide an updated overview of account status and insights into sales campaign success, open rates, conversion ratio, etc. Sales teams should know how to set-up and integrate their sales data and sales systems to track the right processes and metrics and to gather the most relevant insights to quickly undertake changes and adjustments to near-term sales plans. 

AI powered sales technologies and CRM platforms can enable efforts by prompting sales teams with the next-best action or step that is worth taking based on prospect behaviors, customer response prompts can also be automated to build faster and more effective sales follow ups, all of which are essential to strengthening the steps needed to build a stronger sales process. 

Make Room for Industry Dynamics 

Seeing how business and world dynamics have changed during the 2020-2021 Covid-19 pandemic,  your sales forecasting plan needs to have room to take into account effect of other impacts like industry dynamics, a pandemic, and much more. This margin of comfort can help protect revenue plans and goals and it can also act as a buffer in certain cases. 

Make use of Sophisticated Sales Forecasting Tools

Tools like Oracle CX sales, Salesforce, Pipedrive and many more can enable sales forecasting practices by giving a better view of historical data, by providing rich visuals and dashboards on current and predicted sales performance, by boosting sales collaboration among distributed sales teams and a lot more. Tools like Clari, Collective {i}, provide intelligent analytics and insights that can improve forecasting accuracy while making instant adjustments to sales plans based on key factors. 

Sales forecasting can help predict immediate or near-term sales outcomes and can help teams prepare better. But to ensure you have the right understanding of the state of your future sales, it is important to but the right tools, processes and sales forecasting practices in place. 

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