Ask yourself this question:
“Other than ‘reporting the news,’ what decisions get made on my forecast calls that positively impact business results?”
Answer: Not many.
Forecast calls can be painful events that erode selling time and add no value. The top sales organizations who make their number month after month, consistently every year, operate completely different. As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales support section described in pages 314 – 326 of the PDF.
Emerging Best Practice: Agile Operating Reviews
The most effective sales organizations have a more fluid approach. The forecast has been replaced by an agile operating review. The forecast is one of many items that could be discussed. And there are other items that get included.
These operating reviews are decision making meetings with clear actions to impact business results. Here is how they work:
Sales Operations is the driver of this, via the Sales Operations Strategy.
- Producing Your Dashboard
Each week, Sales Operations furnishes sales leadership with an updated dashboard. This dashboard is automated and comes directly from your data sources. Your sales operations team ensures that you have all the data you need. You defined your data sources while writing your strategy in Q4.
- Studying Your Dashboard
The dashboard is the weekly deliverable produced as part of executing your analytics strategy. Simply put, analytics is providing sales leadership with the right data to glean insight on the business.
- Drawing Insight from Your Dashboard
You should have three types of data that are reviewed.
- Behavioral Indicators (time with customers, sales process adherence)
- Leading Indicators (New opportunities created, forecast, pipeline)
- Lagging Indicators (Deal size, win rate, quota attainment)
- Taking Action from Your Dashboard
The key with the dashboard is the alert system. Sales Operations should focus on both positive and negative metrics. Sales Operations should be sharing the positive behaviors in the moment with the organization. Broadcast why these sales leaders are performing so well in real time (Salesforce chatter, Yammer, Jive, etc). Those who are trending poorly discuss corrective actions. Sales Ops is again sharing with the organization in real time the actions for improvement. The goal is to drive change that impacts the business.
Sales Ops Owns the Data
Sales Operations is the Big Data portal for revenue growth. The slow moving, antiquated forecast call has been replaced. It is now about the execution of true sales operations strategy. The sales ops leaders who have done this accomplish the objective of a forecast with more accuracy. Simultaneously, they allow executive leadership a platform to make decisions that drive outcomes. If you are looking for a strategic seat at the table, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales support section described in pages 314 – 326 of the PDF.