Are your forecasts believable?

Are your forecasts believable?
September 25, 2023

Do deals on your forecast keep sliding from one month to the next? Are you the salesperson who cried wolf? Remember Aesop's Fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf? It's a story about a bored shepherd boy who decided to amuse himself by yelling to people in the village, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!"

The people in the village all came running to help protect the sheep. But there was no wolf. The villagers were not happy. They warned the shepherd boy, "Don't cry wolf unless there is a wolf." But the boy did not listen and cried wolf again! Of course, they all came running. But no wolf. The angry villagers again said, "Don't cry wolf unless there is one!" So, the boy laughed and continued to watch the sheep.

Much to his surprise, he later saw a wolf stalking the sheep. He yelled to the villagers, "WOLF! WOLF!" Not one villager came running. When the boy did not appear at sunset with the sheep, the villagers went looking for him. They found him crying and alone. The sheep had all scattered. He said to the villagers, "Why did you not come? I yelled wolf."

Well, we all know why they did not come. They did not trust the shepherd boy.

Is this how your company views your forecast? What happens to your forecast when it leaves your hands? What kind of events does your forecast trigger? Somewhere, someone is looking at your forecast and deciding what needs to be purchased and prepared so you can provide what your prospects and customers need on time. But does that group see that time and time again, you miss your mark? Are you like the boy who cried wolf so people in your company do not believe your numbers? Have you lost their trust?

How can one forecast more accurately? It's hard; you depend on your prospect or customer to tell you the truth. Successful forecasters know that 15 critical elements must be present to forecast accurately. Things like having a need identified, a budget allocated, understanding who the economic buyer is, getting a consensus from all the influences, eliminating competition, and the prospect being responsive are just a few.

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