Be An Accurate Forecaster Of Your Business

Be An Accurate Forecaster Of Your Business

Most of the stress in forecasting comes from a lack of realism on the status of the business by either the individual salesperson, the manager, or both. This is unfortunate and unnecessary.

Having managers push for business to close that isn’t ready to close creates forecasts that are bad (this is a case of a lack of realism by the manager).

Having an individual salesperson that has “happy ears” and thinks that an opportunity is better than it really is. Or the individual salesperson is a sandbagger and pretends that the opportunity is worse than it really is. Both scenarios create stress at some time during the forecasting period (this is a case of a lack of realism by the rep).

The worst scenario is when the individual salesperson doesn’t understand the business and is in over his/her head, and the manager hasn’t taken corrective or coaching action or is unable to recognize the missing skills of the individual salesperson (this is a case of both the manager and the salesperson not being realistic).

Forecasting is easy when you have a competent salesperson that understands the status of the business and a competent manager that is aware of the status of the business. A great manager is helpful to the rep in accelerating any deal that needs more attention, but also accepts that a forecast is a report on the status of the business. A great manager doesn’t use the forecast process to belittle the rep.

In the case when a salesperson would rather see a dentist than do the forecast, it is typically first and foremost a manager problem. If the salesperson is being accurate, but the manager cannot accept accuracy, then the manager isn’t helping the situation. If the salesperson isn’t being accurate, then the manager needs to support the salesperson with tools and guidelines. The manager should also assess if the salesperson is not capable and then encourage the salesperson to take a different position where his/her skills are more appropriate.

Header Photo by Tumisu (Pixabay)

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