Sales forecasting is a critical activity for any team, but many companies have a hard time getting it right. Business pressures or subjective measures – emotions and opinion – often have too much weight, and distort the process. For business leaders who want to give their teams a dependable way of analyzing deals so they can focus on activities that will result in more closes, sales negotiator training should include some aspect of sales forecasting.
Most sales or negotiation training focuses on the process, rather than the “why” and “how.” Yet this process delivers more repeatable success if we know how to analyze and predict the outcomes of our sales opportunities. Some of the most critical negotiation work happens during analysis and preparation – long before we discuss pricing and terms at the negotiation table. Negotiators who learn a structured approach to sales forecasting learn more about:
- Which factors drive customer action
- How to use those factors to separate low-odds from high-odds opportunities
- How to identify actions that improve the odds of success
- How to build achievable timelines by systematically breaking down deal complexity
Blunting the Stress of Missed Forecasts, Lagging Revenue
As we all know, missed forecasts can have serious implications for revenue and even the viability of a company. Forecast misses also have a spiraling effect by attacking the sales team’s confidence. That is why thorough sales negotiator training is so critical. It illuminates the factors driving a potential close and gives leadership a tool that provides more certainty in their forecast. Sales teams get more confidence to focus on what’s achievable, rather than just wishful thinking.
A methodical approach to sales forecasting illuminates all factors of the deal and trains sales professionals how to remove subjective factors and analyze each deal in their pipeline to better gauge their odds of success. Negotiator training in sales forecasting will help professionals recognize common milestones and turn “hunch work” into a precise list of tasks that can move them to the close. Knowing when this will happen, and being accurate more often, delivers huge results across an organization.
Effective negotiator training directly addresses all the challenges that sales teams meet every workday. Selecting a resource that delivers not only the theory, but vivid application of techniques, to shorten close cycles and build more profitable long-term relationships is critical. Coursework that includes sales forecasting and pipeline analysis is a vital facet of sales negotiator enablement that your team can apply to immediate advantage and improve their win rate.
Summary: Negotiator training that includes opportunity forensics and sales forecasting results in fewer missed forecasts and more closes for a sales team.