A Sales VP’s Worst Nightmare

As a Sales VP, there is probably no situation more anxiety-ridden than when your CEO comes over and asks:

“Will you hit your number this quarter?”

This is made doubly difficult when you honestly don’t know the answer. Finding themselves in this unenviable situation, most Sales VPs hem and haw and provide equivocal, rambling answers about how they will hit their number if a couple of unexpected big deals come through or if a few breaks go their way.

But guess what: CEOs see through this ruse. The Sales VP doesn’t know if he’s going to hit his number, he’s just too afraid to admit it.

Don’t find yourself in this situation. Put your fate in your own hands by using our simple 4-step guide to determine (on any day of the quarter) if you’ll hit your number, and to help you make up the difference if you won’t.

So what’s the process?

1. Identify Your Business’ Segments

It’s impossible for you to tell if you’re going to hit your number if you don’t know how your sales process and results vary for the different segments of your business. Does your Win Rate drop when you’re trying to sell to larger customers? Is your sales cycle shorter for one of your products than the others? If you want to predict how the rest of the sales period will unfold, you need to know what your business segments are and how they operate.

2. Analyze Your Current Pipeline

If you stopped creating new opportunities for the rest of the selling period and only relied on the open opportunities in your pipeline, how close to your number would you get? Forecasting which of your open opportunities will close by the end of the selling period — by looking at your segment-, stage- and rep-specific Win Rates for every open opportunity — will show you exactly how much additional pipeline you need to generate in order to hit your number.

3. Project New Pipeline

Unless you’re in incredibly good shape, the number from step #2 will be significantly lower than your bookings goal. That’s ok — you still have time to make up the shortfall by generating more pipeline that will close before the selling period ends. To determine how many of these opportunities you can realistically create, you need to determine your average sales cycle (for each of your business segments), subtract that number from the number of days you have left in the selling period, and figure out how many new opportunities you can create in that amount of time.

4. Select additional levers

If you’re still going to come up short, you’re not out of luck. Creative sales managers can find additional ways to generate revenue, even at the 11th hour. Making sales calls themselves, leaning on their network or offering discounts are just a few examples.

Although it may seem entirely out of your control, hitting your number is within your reach. To learn more about our exclusive 4-step guide to determining if you will hit your number, download our new FREE eBook.