5 Tips ro manage sales forecasts and keep your team on track
Reading time: 4 min.
1. Set clear goals and expectations

1.1 The first step in forecasting is assessing the current state and setting goals and expectations. It is impossible to make a forecast if there is no understanding of key questions: Who are we? Where are we? Where and how are we going?

1.2 After reflecting and answering the previous questions honestly, it is important to clearly formulate your key goals and expectations. First of all, they must be understandable, realistic, adequate and achievable to you. If they are not clear to you, then they will not be clear to your team. Please do not set goals for the sake of setting goals, treat this with great responsibility and care.

2. Use reliable data and tools

2.1 Any forecast must be based on reliable data; sales forecasts are no exception.

2.2 Please remember that interpretation of information matters a lot; the same information can be interpreted differently by different people; the pitfalls of perception must always be taken into account.

2.3 Create a culture of care and respect for data. Store and use only what you really need. Don't create chaos.

2.4 Keep your data tools up to date.

2.5 Visualization plays a big role in working with data.

3. Apply appropriate methods and techniques

3.1 Forecasting always involves making assumptions. "Optimistic", “realistic”, "pessimistic" - no matter how we make assumptions, in any case we are dealing with probability and uncertainty.

3.2 Try different forecasting methods, create different forecast options. Compare your results to forecasts and continually improve your forecasting process.

3.3 Please remember that the forecasting process is about a long journey of experimentation, which requires calm, patience and care.

4. Review and revise your forecasts

4.1 Forecasts are not static, but dynamic. Just as the factors influencing the system change, so do the forecasts.

4.2 An important task for a manager is to build a process that regularly prepares, monitors, evaluates, revises and adjusts forecasts.

4.3 Keep stakeholders informed of changes in forecasts. Draw their attention to key points, focus on important changes. Make sure that they have actually read your reports, and there will be no unpleasant surprises in the future.

5. Learn from your feedback and results

5.1 The constant collection of feedback is part of the forecasting process. Feedback allows you to take into account those factors that you may not notice on your own, more objectively determine the state of reality and make adjustments to forecasts.

5.2 Compare the results with your forecasts. Find and eliminate bottlenecks, use experience to reduce the percentage of uncertainty in your future forecasts.

5.3 Please remember that calm and wise forecasting helps on the path to success: explore, experiment, learn from your feedback and results, enjoy the process.

Key points

1. Forecasting is an activity that often requires balance; it should not be neglected, but neither should it be treated too fanatically. A calm and wise approach to forecasting allows you to constantly improve its processes and move towards key goals. Sales forecasting is no exception.

2. Sales forecasting takes into account a large number of complex groups of factors, such as market factors, behavioral factors, etc. Don't set your sales forecasting goals too high from the start. Move gradually, gain experience, analyze and you will find those mechanics that will help you bring the percentage of fulfilled predictions to the optimal level.

Good luck!
Methodologist of Guidbase
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