In many organizations, sales forecasting is almost a completely manual process run on spreadsheets.
That means the sales leader has to chase down individual reps for information, manually merge all the data, and painstakingly validate it.
No matter how hard you try to maintain accurate forecasts, your spreadsheets are likely to contain errors. Credible research has indicated that 88% of all spreadsheets contain faulty calculations.
Let’s take a look at three deadly sales forecasting mistakes – and how you can avoid them:
1. Inconsistent reporting
Reps often report data inconsistently in different places or change the names of opportunities. When this happens, you wind up with an unwieldy mess.
If you think you can solve this problem with training, you’ll soon discover that there aren’t enough hours in the day, most reps will continue to make the mistakes, and it will only make the whole team more frustrated in the end.
The reality is that spreadsheets are simply cumbersome by design.
2. Lack of real-time information
The beauty of an effective sales forecast is that it allows you to quickly see real-time insights and act on them immediately.
Manually entering data into Excel fields cuts you off from real-time information. This is far less efficient than using a system that automatically updates across the entire organization.
3. Wasted time in pipeline reviews
To keep things moving and make the most of your time in pipeline reviews, you need your reps to stand and deliver with precision.
If your reps are hunting for information on deals or relying on memory, it will bog down the process and kill your productivity.
Automating your process with XANT’s HD Forecast gives you confidence that you’re getting accurate, up-to-date results in an efficient, easy-to-use format – and allows you to eliminate spreadsheets.
If you think about the last 20 years of business, the workplace has truly transformed. You really can’t afford to make your team use obsolete processes and tools.
Introduce elements of science into your sales organization and you’ll build a solid foundation for sales success.
To learn more about the science of sales forecasting, get the free ebook below.
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Image credit: hans van den berg