A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Dig Best Sales Forecasting Methods

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There are hundreds of professions. There are trillions of professionals and there are many customers. But, there is a one particular profession which demands excessive and rigorous qualities. It is the world of ‘Sales’. 

If you are sales rep, you need to be a smooth-talker; you need to be a people’s person. You need to have high-end persuasion skills, you need to dress up smartly, and you need to be enthusiastic. In short, you need to be a whole package to make it big – in this ‘big, fat’ sales industry. The opportunities are limitless, or so they say, all you need to do is push harder.

But wait, who decides these opportunities? Who tells you how many leads are there untouched? Who sets a bracket on your sales targets and tells you, “Tom, you could have done better.”

Who is this person?

If I was a sales rep (thankfully, I am not. I can’t take the pressure), I would have really wanted to meet this guy and tell him how difficult it is to put a cap on my targets and achieve what you expect me to achieve. I would ask him that how do you do sales forecasting, and tell us which quarter would yield what results?

And one day, while I was dying out of anticipation to get the answer, I did solid research. I found out that it is not a person who does sales forecasting for sales reps; it is done in accordance with one among the many sales forecasting methods.

‘Sales Forecasting Methods’, as you can gather what it means, helps you forecast or pre-tell or give you an idea of how would the sales graph appear to be for this financial year or the governing time duration.

Among the many different verticals of categorization, here’s a brief explanation of the major ones.

1. Distribution Method

Some sales industries have a particular set of defined audiences. It is very important to have a clear picture of the target personas, your client base and which demographic will suit the needs best. If you are selling a high end technical product, which demands seamless internet connectivity and you plan to sell in it rural regions, tell me how will that work? It won’t. Pick your regions wisely, it will govern the targets for your reps and help your business grow.

2. Executive Analysis or Territory Explanations

Sometimes it is difficult to judge how would sales go about for a particular year if you have no or limited field experience. If you have certain doubts, it is best to have a discussion with your reps. They are actually the ones who can give you the best insights and tell you more about the mindset of your target audience. If that is something you don’t want to rely upon completely with, you can also be aggressively involved with surveys and historical data. This or all of them combined can work in your favour to formulate the best sales forecasting method.

3. Financial Analysis

It has more or less became a cliché which is associated with sales and marketing, and we have all heard of that. The cliché goes – ‘numbers speak’. And as far as sales forecasting methods are concerned, statistics speak louder than words. When it comes to running a business, the key objective is to earn money. Make profit. And make more profit. Your financial findings and analysis can give you a clear picture and inform you about the bottlenecks, which regions, departments or teams are underperforming or aren’t earning enough sustainable profit. These are the best insights you can get, which is right there in front of your eyes. A little evaluation (actually a lot), persistence and brain-storming, and you are set to pre-tell your sales.

4. Time Slabs

Predicting your sales revenue can also be governed by understanding the spikes or drops during certain durations in a financial year. It has been known for quite some time that the months of December and January isn’t usually the best time to launch a new product, as mostly everyone is in holiday mood. Whereas, spring time can boom your business and give you an edge over your competitors. But again, this will vary heavily depending upon your business setup, client base, and demographic distribution.

All organisations make use of sales forecasting methods to gain or optimize their profit window and tap on limitless potential of their customer base.If your business isn’t doing too well, chances are that you haven’t had the correct insights, which is directly related to the sales forecasting methods.

For different businesses, there needs to be a different approach and evaluation tactics to pick the best sales forecasting method.

These are some of the most efficient ways in which you can aggressively and effectively incorporate sales forecasting methods. If you have more to add, let us know in the comments section.

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