Marketing Sales Solutions - Northeastern Ohio - Sales Representative - Sales Coaching

Marketing Sales Solutions - Tip of the Month

“To increase forecast accuracy, talk to more clients to determine their real needs.”





Adapted from Meaningful Marketing by Doug Hall & Jeffrey Stamp

Better Results Start With Better Forecasts

Success in sales is a relative concept. It’s relative to how much you’ve sold versus a predetermined objective. A study of 53 new products found that an average sales forecasting error was 65%, and that the median error of sales forecasts was a 26% shortfall. In effect, if you miss your objective by less than 26%, you are doing better than half of the researched companies. How can you increase sales by making more accurate forecasts?

  • Go Talk to Fifty + Potential Buyers. When it comes to forecasting customer interest, nothing beats the value of face-to-face conversation, and the more, the better. As you talk, listen and learn innocently. Do not try to persuade; but rather listen and understand what they perceive. Remember, clients are far more likely to act on their perceptions than on your view of the truth.
  • “Talk to Clients in Different Ways” You can maximize the reliability of your client feedback by providing them with multiple perspectives of your offering. Provide a real demonstration, or an honestly written description of how your offering will impact their lives or business. Diversify your approach, and be prepared to listen and learn!
  • “Don’t Hide Your Negatives” Detail the strengths and weaknesses of your offering. Be honest with your clients. Detail every trade-off you’ve made in your product or service design and why you feel those were the correct decisions. Explaining trade-offs in a calm and confident manner removes the chances of emotional overreaction.
  • “Document Your Past to Prevent Repetition” Review what you did to generate your past sales forecasts. Document the methods used and the accuracy of the results. Then estimate the real cost of forecasting errors. This figure provides the necessary data to support additional forecasting research prior to your next new offering.
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