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Sales Forecasting & Pipeline Management

"Sales people are rated by how much they sell - and if they sell what they say they will sell"

impossible things "Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Do your salespeople expect you to believe 'impossible things' ?

It’s strange how todays marketing campaigns place heavy reliance on understanding the Customer Journey, but sales operations continue to focus on processes and activities that are misaligned with that journey - even with modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

sales forecastsThis disconnect spills over into sales forecasting methods, creating panic and chaos where serenity and order should prevail. If you don’t believe it, you probably haven’t worked in sales for a listed company when the last two weeks of the financial quarter or financial year arrive! In this video we’re going to marry the business-to-business customer journey to benchmarks in the sales process.

THE SCENARIO (an imaginary but realistic example)
You are National Sales Director of 'Delta Systems' a company that develops E-Commerce solutions for medium and large enterprises. You've divided your country into three regions, each with a sales manager responsible for six territory sales reps. Representatives work on eight to fifteen potential customers at any one time, with order values per customer ranging from £5,000 to £80,000. A typical sale takes from 2 to 9 months to complete.

Every month, individual salespeople produce a territory sales forecast for up to twelve months ahead. These are aggregated by the regional managers into a regional sales forecast, then by your office into a national forecast which is used to plan investment and expenditure.

As National Sales Director you don’t have time to delve into the detail of two hundred plus individual customer forecasts. What you want is a fast, easily-understood and above all, accurate means of tracking revenue against targets and alerting you when remedial action is required before it becomes critical.

The sales forecasting and pipeline management system described in this 30 minute video relies on the example shown in the Business-to-Business Customer Journey. Please view that video first or you may find some parts tricky to follow. After the video, consider how a  could help your sales management challenges.

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