How do you create a sales forecast? I was looking into my crystal ball this morning to determine whether my team was going to make their sales numbers this month. Everything looks very solid! Now all I have to do is keep my fingers crossed and hope my reps hit their quota!  CSO Insights reports fewer than 50% of deals close as predicted. This leaves sales managers with a challenging job. If you are constantly looking into your sales crystal ball for answers, here are a few things that can help you predict and forecast sales revenue more accurately.

Behaviors to Look for in Your Sales Crystal Ball That Help Predict An Accurate Sales Forecast.

The best indicator of long-term sales success is looking at the sales activities that were conducted by my reps three months prior to the current month. That’s right. What my sales reps are doing everyday matters to what happens in a few months.

44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up phone call.

My crystal ball is my sales activity dashboard because it gives me a window into the activities that are predictive of success. That way I know that day-in and day-out, my reps are generating a meaningful activity that is indicative of victory down the road.

95% of buyers choose a solution provider that “provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.”

All a pipeline report shows me is an opportunity that I may not be able to have any real control or influence over. Sure, I can make a call and apply some pressure to a client to move more quickly, but there is nothing that I can do, systematically, to move all these opportunities.

The average sales cycle has increased by 22% over the past five years. This is because more decision-makers are involved in the buying process. 

Creating A Sales Forecast. The Real Work is Done Outside the Spotlight

Conversely, my job as a manager is to hire, coach, train and retain the best and brightest performers. How does that happen? The real work is done outside of the spotlight, in the minutes and hours of every working day and, by and large, on the telephone.

Continuous training gives 50% higher net sales per employee. 

If you can understand the activity your reps are generating (both the quantity and the quality), you will know what sustained success looks and sounds like.

Over the last five years, spending on sales enablement technology has increased by 69%. 

It is easy to over-complicate things, but any manager worth his or her salt MUST know which daily activities and behaviors get results, and which do not. Promote and multiply those that do, and minimize or eliminate those that do not.

To start gaining insight from your own sales crystal ball, download our guide on how to effectively manage your sales team. 

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