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Improve Forecast Accuracy by Validating Decision Making Processes

  • by Elay Cohen
  • November 7, 2013

Improve Forecast Accuracy by Validating Decision Making Processes

Here is a great way for sales managers to engage sales teams to improve forecast accuracy.   Take your late stage deals that are set to close this month and/or this quarter. Schedule a Sales Huddle witih your sales team. Focus the Sales Huddle and the sales team on the specific topic of decision making process.

Ask each sales person to huddlle around the forecasted deals and to be prepared to present on thier confidence that the decision making process is known, validated and revalidated. Make sure that every stakeholder of the decision making process including influencers, approvers, budget owners etc are all on board. Make sure there are no late stage executives that can veto a decision. Go a step further and make sure that there are no unknown issues with the logistics of the customer’s PO process.  FInd out who is the person that will be hitting approve on the financial system and make sure they aren’t on vacation.

The power of doing this as a team is that peer reviews and feedback provides that extra set of eyes and ears.  The likelihood that “happy ears” will be avoided with a team based review of the decision making process has proven to improve forecast accuracy for sales teams.

There is no question that understanding a customer’s decision making process is best done as early as possible in the sales process. But, sales managers that integrate a decision making process team huddle exercise injects this important check into the culture of the team and ultimately the cadence of the business.

Here are some questions to remember to ask champions and executive sponsors: Decision Making Process

  • What was your last project like?
  • How was the approval process?
  • Does anyone have veto power?
  • Who else needs to be part of the process?

In the words of the greatest sales trainers and industry luminaries in the world, Barry Rhein, “Be curious about your customer’s complete decision-making process right from the start so you know exactly what you need to do each step of the way to win their business.”

You can run your own Decision Making Process Sales Huddle with your sales team in SalesHood today and improve your team’s forecast accuracy. Request a trial of SalesHood. 

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About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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