The future health and success of a business can be directly tied to their ability to accurately forecast their business growth. Yet for many, it is something that either is totally ignored or simply not done correctly.
Regardless of the position I held, I utilized a method that I discovered to accurately create a forecast.
Throughout my career, my ability to accurately forecast is a critical component of my success. As a Sales Rep, I needed to be able to forecast my projected income. As a Sales Manager, I needed to forecast projected sales for my GM. As a GM for multi-million dollar revenue branches and forecasting was a critical component and was directly connected to my future career and financial success. Now, as a consultant, forecasting is even more important, as it permits me to ensure my time and revenue forecasts are realistic.
From the start of my career and still, do it today, I monitor and track my daily and future activity in my calendar. I place everything I planned to do, needed to do, and what I had completed in my calendar. On any given moment, I can review and accurately determine what I needed to work on. After every client interaction, I place them at future date in my calendar. I place activities at the 6:00 AM slot and write what I wanted to do. Ex: Follow up on a proposal, call to schedule app’t, check in call. Circle back email, follow up, etc…) I place prospecting time as an appointment along with all scheduled client appointments.
It is a great motivational and time management tool.
I love opening my calendar and finding that I have a list of activities already in my schedule. It to me it is such a motivational way to start my day. Also, if I cannot complete an item that day, I ensure that I place it either the next day or close to it. I found by doing this I am never in lack for things to do.
One of the biggest challenges for most sales reps is deciding what they need and want to do for the day. I found that most sales reps have nothing scheduled and wait for the morning to make their decision. Yes, some will have a few ideas, others may even a list and still, others may even have appointments. However, most will not have a complete full scheduled day, let’s not even discuss a week’s worth of a schedule. This even applies to senior or tenured reps. They often let their clients dictate their “busy” schedule. They believe because they consistently have clients to see and may be writing business, they do not need to have a go-forward plan, nothing is further from the truth.
So how can they possibly provide a clear and accurate sales forecast?
There is nothing more stressful for a sales rep to have to try to decide what they plan to do “that day” There is also something I know most never have scheduled in their calendar like an appointment, Prospecting and a list and plan where to go to do it.
Friday is my Debrief Day. I found that by making my team aware that I was going to review their calendar and sales pipeline on Friday afternoons, I could create an accurate forecast. It was a simple process, Reviewing if their schedule was complete with true sales closing activities. I could drill down to determine what needed to be done to move them to a close. Thus, helping me directly create a more accurate forecast. I also could determine what reps needed my help and further direction due to a lack of planned activities.
This practice is something I instilled in all the reps I managed and had my Managers do the same with their teams. I do it today with my clients and their sales reps that I now work with.
Not knocking CRM Systems I know what I have described is the core of most CRM systems, however, I also know that most sales reps struggle with utilizing them correctly, especially new sales reps, along with many wasting too much time valuable selling hours updating them. (A story for another day) I am not suggesting that you stop using them. I am just suggesting a low tech proven solution that helps a sales rep reduce daily stress and at the same time learn how they can proactively schedule their activities. It also eliminates Sales Closing fairy tales as it provides you a simple process to develop a clear accurate forecast and at the same time keeps your sales team focused.
Not stories, just results.
Anthony Bartolo Sr is a respected, highly regarded master salesperson. He instills his passion for the sales profession in all his training, coaching and consulting services. He teaches people to be successful in sales by showing how they must first believe in themselves and truly believe in their product and services. His proven sales methods and closing
If you would like to learn how I could help your sales team, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-347-766-1356