Your company's sales forecasts are something more than just rows of numbers. Actually, it’s a big deal: by showing how much revenue your business can expect in a given period of time, it demonstrates to you how well things are going, how much control you have over the sales performance, as well as signals you about the things you have to fix.

By deeply analyzing the data before making predictions, you get the opportunity to make proactive, well-informed, intelligent decisions about the sales process!

Check out these top 6 tips on improving your sales forecasts right away.

1. Get the absolute visibility into pipeline and customer behaviour

This is the spot where Guided Selling solutions come into play: they allow you to get clear visibility at your fingertips, offering some deeper insights into the data you’ve collected.

Guided Selling helps both sales leaders and representatives to understand the situation for what it is, which allows you to make your sales forecasting results more accurate and eliminate guesswork.

Seems a bit complicated? Let’s learn the benefits in detail.

For example, one of the most advanced AI Guided selling platforms, Revenue Grid offers numerous benefits at once, such as:

  • helps salespeople to immediately see the whole picture of the pipeline, allowing them to make changes in time and helping them to spot the deals at risk and get them back on track;
  • allows to view the activity of the whole team and each rep to see what works best to increase revenue;
  • contributes to clear-cut coaching, since sales managers are aware of who requires help and where;
  • helps to trim down the burden of communication;
  • as for the reps, they get excellent visibility of the deals with opportunity insight dashboards that allow teams to keep progress on each of them;
  • the platform generates data-driven insights, giving reps step-by-step guidance;
  • also, the platform is able to notify reps about all important events in their feed.

2. Use various forecasting systems and approaches

Using only one of them can be accurate only at a certain point in time. It is called a “visibility gap”.

To fix the issue, try combining three different models:

  • category forecasting is a widely used method among the sales teams. It’s where they can identify ‘best and commit’ in customer relationship management. The method has its flaws since salespeople need complete visibility into the pipeline and it takes some time for them to make judgments on that pipeline;
  • weighted forecasting involves using historic stage conversion rates as a key factor to live pipeline. It’s quite an effective method since this data is statistically reliable, so you can be confident when creating forecasts. Another bonus is that you don’t have to wait until your team makes judges on the pipeline. But you still need to wait a while before the pipeline is added;
  • machine-learning forecasting implies using a huge number of B2B data points and historic trends for making predictions on your company’s revenue. Actually, this approach helps to fill the visibility gaps we talked about before.
  • Based on the scientific approach, machine learning is widely implemented in specialized software, which allows businesses to perform many tasks better, including the possibility to take your sales forecasting to a next level!
For example, Revenue Grid helps you to gain complete visibility into the pipeline, control the sales process and enhance it across the whole organization (37% improved velocity), and guide salespeople to closed-won (25% higher closed-won ratio).

3. Have a deep look at past data

You can use the acquired sales data from the previous period of time wisely — it’s a good place to start when creating a draft of your sales forecast:

  • you can use this data when listing the factors that you think could boost sales this year. Ask yourself, if there are some new opportunities out there, is there a boost in demand for your offering? If the answers are positive, try to increase your predictions accordingly;
  • then, try to spot factors that could cause sales reduction: what about the new competition in your industry, are there some new regulation changes that may affect your company’s offerings? If that is true, decrease your predictions accordingly.
  • Don’t forget to take individual factors that are able to affect your sales into consideration and plan the sales process to address them.

4. Make sure everyone is on board

Think of CRM as a universal data storage where all the data on customers and sales necessary for analysis is collected; therefore, every member of every team (sales, products, marketing, and finance) must fully utilize the power of CRM.

It's worth mentioning that modern CRMs help teams to collaborate by offering unique functionality and seamless integration.

5. Outline each step in your sales process

The correct approach to sales forecasting involves creating revenue projections for each step of the sales funnel.

For example, your plan might have the following points:

  • identifying the total addressable market in your area;
  • estimating what market percentage you can reach through your marketing efforts;
  • estimating what customer percentage contact you;
  • estimating what customer percentage makes a purchase;
  • estimating the average sum the customers who do make a purchase are ready to spend.

6. Always use the power of relationship-making

Today, customers have become much more critical; and it is no longer enough to have a quality product, offered at the right price to gain their favour. Customers strive to forge positive relationships with the companies they choose to do business with on a long-term basis.

And it is this relationship with customers that will help you predict your future sales much more accurately.

So, today, knowing your audience well is a must-have. And the more accurate customer data you collect in your CRM, the better results your company will achieve in this Customer Relationship Era.