Are you finding it difficult to generate a sales forecast for your company, which encourages growth while giving an accurate depiction of reality? Sales forecasting is a vital part of any business, yet it is not always easy to do. However, if you get your sales forecasts wrong, it can have serious ramifications for your company, as they underpin profit and growth while also being integral in determining sales strategy, cost of sales, supply chain management, and resource allocation. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some sales forecasting tips that you can count on…
- Collaborate with all of your departments – A lot of businesses are making the mistake of failing to collaborate when putting together their sales forecasts. Your forecast is only going to be effective if it analyses data from all areas of your company. This is why it is pivotal to have input from representatives from all departments.
- Be aware of how your sales strategy and sales forecast impact ach other – Smart sales leaders, whether they have undergone sales management training or not realise that strategy and forecasting are very much related; yet they are also independent of each other. If you have a sales strategy that has been executed well, it can give you critical insights into your forecasting efforts. Equally, if you have forecasts that are accurate, it can help you to make informed decisions about improving your strategy. Despite this, a sound sales strategy does not mean an excellent forecast, and vice versa.
- Weed out bias by relying on numerous data sets – One of the hidden dangers of collaboration is that each business unit has a specific goal, and so their data is likely to support this. To weed out this data basis, you need to rely on numerous data sources and points of view.
- Analyse trends using technology – Today, the sky is the limit for businesses in terms of technology. There is software for everything, and this includes analysing trends. You must have an evolving and clear view of the trends that are having an impact on your business. Doing this manually can be incredibly difficult, which is why investing in sales forecasting technology comes highly recommended.
- Only include opportunities that are feasible in terms of where they are going to go next – The best sales forecasters or those that look at an opportunity and scrutinise whether it is a real opportunity or not. Is this something that really can be taken to the next step? And, what will this next step be?
- Set frequent forecasting sessions – Last but not least, you should make sure that regular times are allocated for the forecasting process. Stick to these times and do not forecast outside of them. Otherwise, you will end up getting sucked in by the entire sales process, and this can cause data that was once helpful to be jumbled into numbers with no evident or clear line of thought.
Keep these tips in mind, and your sales forecasting should improve.