Predicting sales can feel a lot like predicting the weather; you think you’ve got a good handle on the forecast for the next few months, then bam! Freak snow storm in July. While predicting sales trends isn’t always accurate, it can become more reliable with the right practices in place.
Accurate forecasting is not the sole responsibility of sales directors or team managers. Everyone needs to share the responsibility of obtaining predictable and sustainable sales figures. However, it is you as a sales director who can have the biggest influence over this process if you give your organisation the right tools to empower them to perform predictably.
Leading by example
Empowering and motivating your workforce starts with you. If you are empowered with knowledge, then you can pass that on to your team leaders and salespeople below you. As a Sales Director, it is vital that you are instrumental in implementing sales processes and practices which work. Once these processes are in place, you can better predict the performance of your team.
Taking a workshop or sales training courses centred around sales operational excellence and how that affects productivity will help you to examine and identify key elements of your current sales leadership techniques and processes. You will then learn how to refine these key aspects in order to improve your own management skills.
Making the most of your CRM
One of the biggest aids in increasing predictability and accurate sales forecasting is the use of a CRM. While many salespeople are put off spending time inputting client data into a CRM when they could be on the phone or in meetings closing down leads, ensuring your CRM is a large part of all sales processes benefits everyone.
Empower your sales teams with an effective CRM and the training and knowledge to use it to their benefit. Show them how a properly updated CRM can help them to identify the most likely leads to sell and keep track of calls, appointments and follow-ups. Once your team are confidently and regularly making use of this system, you will be able to use it to better predict their results. Win, win for everyone.
Finding a process that works
While everyone has their own tricks and techniques when it comes to closing a deal, the sales process followed to get to a closing should be the same throughout your organisation. Simply allowing your team to get on and sell in their own ways won’t be great for your customers who will end up experiencing different levels of service from all areas. Find a sales process that works via sales process mapping and then give that recipe to the rest of your team to follow.
Giving your team a set process to follow allows them to concentrate on their closing rather than spend their time chasing their tales. Not only will you be able to increase the likelihood of predictable results by everyone following the same process, but you will also increase sale productivity too.