What is YOUR reason for forecasting? Is it because your management requires you to forecast? After you submit your forecast, what do you do with it? Out of sight, out of mind?
Paul Saffo, the renowned Silicon Valley futurist, and technology forecaster, said:
“The goal of forecasting is not to predict the future but to tell you what you need to know to take meaningful action in the present.”
Forecasting can be a powerful tool if you use it for yourself. It’s the GPS of the sales process and highlights what is needed to keep the prospect or customer moving through the sales process. Do you use your forecast to ask yourself questions like these?
- Do I understand the customer’s need?
- Is the budget allocated?
- Is our solution a priority?
- Is there agreement on the tentative concept?
- Have I identified the economic buyer?
- Do I have a consensus among multiple people in the organization?
- Are we viewed favorably against our competition?
Are you using your forecast in such a way that it tells you what you need to know to take meaningful action now? Accurate forecasters know there are 15 critical pieces of information one needs to know to help guide them when forecasting, so they are proactive rather than reactive.
Stop forecasting for management and forecast for yourself so you close more business sooner.