What You Don’t Know About Your Sales Pipeline Could Get You Fired!

Aside from the quality of your team, managing a vibrant sale opportunity pipeline is the number one thing on your mind.  If you’re like me, the stuff keeping you awake at night falls into three categories: sales pipeline growth, sales-cycle friction and hidden sales forecast risk.  How much pipeline do I have to cover this month’s sales forecast and is it enough?  Are we building sales pipeline fast enough to cover next month’s targets?  Are there any friction points emerging in our selling process?  Is there unchecked risk in deals we depend on closing this month?  Maintain a vigilant watch on these things will give you the reaction time needed to avert disaster, which could be looming just over the visible horizon.

I’ve only known two kinds of Sales Managers – those who have figured out how to harness the power of these leading sales pipeline health indicators and those who don’t last very long.

Read on to find out how easy it is to put yourself in control of the sales opportunity pipeline…

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How to Follow The Data Trail: Sales Forecast Accuracy Dip Leads to 50% Increase in Win Rates

Last summer we had an unexpected hiccup in sales forecast accuracy. No big deal, right? Same product. Same market. It’s summer and everyone is on vacation. Well, the comfort of that explanation didn’t last long. We missed our sales forecast again the very next month.

Only by identifying a benchmark, following the data trail and taking corrective action quickly were we able to regain our sales forecasting confidence.  Oh, and we increased our win rate by 50% at the same time!

Read on to see how we did it.

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3 High-Risk Deals That Will Kill Your Sales Forecast

Over the past few years we’ve figured out by focusing on deal-level risk, we can optimize win rates and deliver highly confident forecasts. The key is to create checks and balances – focusing our management/coaching conversations on the gap between an account exec’s forecast and specific deal risks called out by our forecasting system.

Bad news sooner rather than later – it’s what all managers needs.  Unfortunately, the attributes we screen account execs for are often the very ones obscuring the flow of raw information up the management chain.

Here’s a look at our top 3 forecast-killer risks:

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