Meeting with your reps on a regular basis can not only help them understand what obstacles they are up against but engaging in these discussions can also help them hit their quotas month after month.
It’s time to get with the program.
How to Conduct a Sales Forecast Review with Your Rep
Here are a few points to consider to help you see the importance of the forecast review, as well as a few tips for conducting one effectively.
Start with Realistic Quotas
Hitting quota is one of the first things a sales rep will think about upon waking up in the morning.
Set the bar too high and it’s going to be difficult for that rep to climb out of bed. Set it too low and you might have a sales rep who loafs, thinking the month is going to be a breeze.
Use Sales Forecasting Tools
How do you come up with those quotas? You can arbitrarily pick a number, or you can rely on past data, which is the far more accurate method. If you want to operate like the big boys, realize that 70% of Best-in-Class companies recognize the need to balance human insights with solid predictive data.
We’re talking automated sales analytics.
A CPQ solution can crunch previous numbers and forecast future events more accurately than you or your reps can with pencil, paper, and a calculator (or a spreadsheet). Furthermore, analytics can provide better coaching opportunities for the ‘next best actions’ for overcoming hurdles and achieving hard-to-win deals.
Regular Sales Forecast Reviews
With proper sales analytics in place and realistic quotas established, it is time to engage in those forecast discussions we mentioned earlier.
Get together with your reps, go over the quotas and discuss the numbers. This gives them an accurate view of where they’ve been and where they’re headed, kind of like a roadmap to success. These talks can help them walk away from cold leads and bad deals, which only serve to waste their time. This is opposed to throwing them to the wolves to figure things out on their own.
If a rep isn’t going to hit their quota, the time to discuss it with them isn’t after they already failed. If you have this review early enough you may be able to provide additional support that could help push them over the line or at least get them closer than they would on their own.
You’ll also help the rep answer those difficult questions like, “When is this deal likely to close?” and “How much will this particular deal close for?” While sales forecasting tools can give you a good indication of when the deal should close, confirming or comparing that information to your reps insights can make for much more accurate forecasts.
With real-life data to fall back on, the rep gets a clearer picture of the entire sales process, helping the rep feel better about what he or she is doing and leading to more quotas reached team-wide. Engage in forecast reviews with all your reps and you are more likely to have a finely-tuned sales team whose quotas always get reached.
What do you regularly conduct sales forecast reviews with your sales reps? What data do you have to guide these conversations? Share it in the comments.
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