Sales Consultancy · Sales Recruitment · Sales Strategy · Sales Training · Solution Selling

How Accurate Are Your Sales Forecasts?

Working with a sales team is a juggling act – there will be different sales styles, ways of working, levels of success, levels of effort and motivation. That’s a bundle of variables for any Sales Manager or Team Leader to deal with…. And these variable are often reflected in inaccurate sales forecasts.

Over time, the one thing that will be common amongst all sales people is their need to see an INDIVIDUAL direct and fruitful relationship between effort and reward. I’m not simply talking about financial reward, although that does play a part…

More specifically they need to see THEIR progress, that if they do X activity then they will get Y result. And this will be wildly different for each member of the sales team

They also need to understand the relationship between X and Y, as it applies to them, not the team as a whole, but specifically to them. Is the relationship exponential, linear, inverse proportional, the relationship is not always immediately evident.

For example – is it fair to say that seeing more sales prospects will lead to more orders?

Sure, it’s a wise assumption, but at what point does that linear relationship between visits and business start to fall down?

Maybe when the sales person decides to see poorer quality prospects?

Or where he starts to fall behind on admin to fulfil orders because his diary is too busy……

Understanding X and Y and their associated criteria is vital.

Sales people can benefit from knowing their variables and the relationship they have with each other, not least because it allows them to monitor their performance before they are asked to report on it, additionally it allows them to manage effort, and direct their effort into the areas that produce results.

But most importantly: it allows them to see the very direct and real relationship between effort and reward….. that’s motivational.

Good for the Sales Manager too – reporting and forecasts become reliable and expectations can be realised across the business.

Just in case you were wondering, this is not advocating sales management by numbers – not at all – but let me ask you this….you wouldn’t run a piece of machinery without knowing what the optimum conditions for operation are, to get the most out of the machine for the least effort, under all conditions?

No – I wouldn’t either.

Carol 0779 002 1885, carol@mortonkyle.com

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