[one_half] Many sales managers opt to use intuition-based sales forecasting techniques instead of more accurate data-driven sales forecasting techniques that take advantage of advanced sales analytics. Inaccurate sales forecasts produced using intuition-based methods can lead to a host of issues for companies, such as underperforming reps and bloated sales pipelines. Here are some key sales metrics to study when implementing data-driven sales forecasting techniques.

  • Opportunity pipeline engagement
    One of the most basic sales forecasting techniques is to monitor opportunities in the pipeline to make sure they are receiving an appropriate amount of engagement from reps. Opportunities that have not received enough recent engagement are  at risk of stalling or turning into negative velocity. Managers who use the best sales forecasting techniques can help reps focus on these opportunities, allowing them to prioritize their efforts while getting rid of stalled pipeline opportunities that have become stale.  [image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”20249″ align=”center” title=”Sales Forecasting Techniques – Pipeline Engagement” alt=”Sales Forecasting Techniques – Pipeline Engagement” lightbox=”true” width=”430″ height=”335″ quality=”100″]
  • Age of opportunities in sales pipeline 
    Regardless of what sales forecasting techniques are employed, sales managers have to remove all stale opportunities and prevent them from clogging up your pipeline. A bloated pipeline that is full of old opportunities can lead to severe inaccuracies in sales forecasting. Fix this issue by pointing out stalled opportunities to your sales reps and having them either actively engage with them with the hopes of reviving them or purging these opportunities from the sales pipeline altogether. [image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”20254″ align=”center” lightbox=”true” title=”Sales Forecasting Techniques – Sales Pipeline” alt=”Sales Forecasting Techniques – Sales Pipeline”  width=”575″ height=”300″ quality=”100″]
  • Conversion ratios at each stage
    A critical aspect of any effective sales forecasting techniques is knowing your historical conversion rates for Closed-Won opportunities at each stage of the sales funnel, giving sales managers a clear idea of the probability of converting  opportunities to a closed deal at each particular stage. The best sales forecasting techniques use historical data to drive their decisions moving forward – for example, using historical conversion ratios at each specific stage and applying them to future opportunities.  [image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”20248″ align=”center” title=”Sales Forecasting Techniques – Sales Cycle” alt=”Sales Forecasting Techniques – Sales Cycle” lightbox=”true” width=”485″ height=”300″ quality=”100″]

InsightSquared provides the sales analytics, reporting and sales pipeline review tools necessary for more effective sales forecasting techniques. Inaccurate sales forecasts often lead to management errors and inefficient business decisions, sinking the growth trajectory of a company.

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[/one_half] [one_half_last] Sales Forecasting Techniques
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