You might think you have enough deals to make your number. But in truth, your pipeline may be clogged with dead ends. New buyers, or new product buyers, who need more convincing. Or deals that have no hope of closing this quarter.
Overestimating pipeline size is a common trap. For many sales organizations, the problems run deep. Their systems and processes are inadequate. They just can’t keep the pipeline full and flowing. And they don’t know bloat when they see it.
Do you have reasons to doubt your own sales forecast?
Here are five signs you do.
1. You’re Neglecting Your Leads.
Your lead management process is inconsistent or incoherent. You’re not making optimal use of marketing automation, content, and data. Sales receives too many unqualified leads, and neglected leads fall through the cracks.
- Your LDRs aren’t receiving proper onboarding and training.
- Your nurture pathways are ineffective.
- You’re relying on the wrong campaign KPIs.
We can help you refine your lead management process. Check out SBI’s lead generation services and content library.
Better yet, schedule an in-person meeting in your office. Just register for our “How to Make Your Number in 2016” workshop. We can help you eradicate bad forecasts for good.
2. You’re Not in Tune With Your Customers’ Buying Process.
You’re relying on an outdated sales process. It doesn’t reflect how today’s decision makers make purchase decisions. Leads aren’t being verified, and your sales team is spinning its wheels. Or turning off prospects completely.
- You’re unclear about what buyers want from you at later stages of the decision process.
- You have no way of knowing when buyers exit one stage of the funnel and enter the next.
- Nothing is more important than understanding your buyers and anticipating their questions. A buying process map will clarify how buyers make complex purchase decisions.
3. You Struggle to Turn Buyer Interest Into Sales.
Your sales team can’t access the resources they need to execute the sales process. Adoption rates remain low, and reps go their own way. Technology isn’t making the sales process any easier.
- Reps aren’t prioritizing and qualifying opportunities.
- Your CRM technology isn’t optimized for reps’ use.
- Your sales enablement efforts aren’t having the desired impact.
You need a comprehensive buyer engagement plan that outlines your approach in detail.
4. You Don’t Have a Process for Pipeline/Forecast Management.
You haven’t established a process and cadence, or the sales team isn’t trained on it. No one is regularly monitoring your pipeline’s health. End-of-quarter surprises are the norm.
- You’re relying on periodic CRM snapshots.
- You’re making one-off changes to win percentages.
- You rush through deal-by-deal reviews when data is changed.
5. You’re Not Diving Deep Into the Data.
You look at high-level indicators without considering the details that feed into them. Without the proper context, you draw faulty conclusions about your pipeline.
- You haven’t considered the sub-metrics.
- You only focus on late-stage deals.
- You don’t know why deals are assigned to their respective stages.
We can help you interpret the data, make sense of irregularities, and predict more accurately.
You Hold the Keys to a Healthy Pipeline
Lead management, customer insights, sales process, pipeline management. These are the first four keys to pipeline health. The fifth is a healthy dose of skepticism. Never assume the pipeline is as it appears. It’s up to you to prove it.
Together, we can dive deep and discover what’s ailing your pipeline. Our “How to Make Your Number in 2016” workshop takes just 90 minutes. We’ll come to you. And you’ll come away with everything you need to forecast with confidence.