Last year CSO Insights found that only about half of forecasted deals are ever closed by reps. That’s a startling number. We can’t think of any other field in which a half-done job is acceptable. What causes this glaring disconnect between expectations and actuals?
It’s true that sales reps know their deals better than anyone else. They have cultivated the relationships and skills it takes to sell. But they might not have insights into what is keeping them from closing.
The key reason that forecasted deals are closed so infrequently should do with the process by which the forecasts are made.
Manual forecasting can be messy. It has proven time and time again to be inaccurate. For decades, companies have put the burden of forecasting on their sales reps, making them half-sales and half-data jockeys. Without the tools to forecast effectively, they often spend too much of their time entering data and not enough time selling. Your reps are most likely not mathematicians, and crunching numbers to forecast short-term revenue goals eventually sets them up to fail.
Predictive analytics are just that: predictive. Human prediction is often based on assumptions and bias, or, worst of all, pure conjecture. Forecast Era’s predictive forecasting is founded in real-time data and cutting edge analysis to give your sales reps a realistic framework by which they can set, adjust, and achieve their goals.
The proof is in the numbers. Reps that work with data-driven, automated forecasts are 30% more productive. Not only are reps freed from the process of creating these forecasts, they have an opportunity to work with objective data. This data gives reps the chance to prioritize deals, close gaps, and plan ahead with science rather than sentiment.
Your sales reps are the experts. And giving them the opportunity to work with predictive forecasting will give them the edge they need to give them the best in class.
There aren’t many people who can predict what’s coming in the new year, but we can help you and your sales team be among them. As you start your new year, commit to working from smarter forecasts. Start here.