SBI interviewed Evan Randall the Vice President of Sales Operations at Tableau Software.

 

Evan is doing ground-breaking work in the area of forecasting accuracy.  In this show we will go narrow and deep into this important topic.  Watch as Evan breaks down the approach to drive forecasting accuracy

 

The first segment of the show is focused on individual deal level forecasting. Evan describes how he uses predictive analytics to determine what is likely to happen.  He describes the importance of having a sales process with a level of simplicity to achieve adoption.  A well adopted and easy to use sales process enables you to collect good data. 

 

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Sales rep level forecast accuracy is the focus of the second segment.  Reps are responsible for providing a Commit, Most Likely and Best Case number in most organizations.  Too often this is a flat out guess.   

 

Another challenge to overcome is that reps may think they have the pipe, but they don’t realize they are too back-end loaded to hit their commit number.  They simply won’t be able to get the pre-sales or legal resources in the last two weeks of the quarter. 

 

Watch as Evan challenges the common approach of using a weighted pipeline to forecast.  The weighted pipeline is a valuable input but only gives you the shape of the funnel, not the forecast.  Instead provide the reps with individual dashboards that will tell them the 90% confidence interval range that they will hit their number.   Most importantly the tools drive the reps and their managers to a proactive action plan.

 

Evan describes in detail how to provide tools for sales reps to know if they are in a position to make their number.  Together these items tell the reps where they sit so they can take action proactively to improve the outcome.  Reps have this view and tool-set throughout the quarter.

 

The final segment of the show focuses on management level executive reporting. Evan explains how at the end of the day there isn’t one model that will give you the right forecast.  There’s science, but there is an art to it as well.

 

Watch as Even describes the four essential pieces of executive workflows he provides to management to achieve forecasting accuracy. The goal is to give them the tools they need to make a great decision on their best case and commit numbers.

 

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