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 Chuck Schaeffer The Ultimate Sales Forecast Dashboards


Sales Dashboards to Validate Forecasted Results

Will forecasted deals really close? Here are some snapshots that can deliver confidence they will, or early indicators they won’t.

Forecast Comparison. CSO Insights publishes the Sales Optimization Research report every year, and every year we learn that forecast accuracy is less than 50% (sales forecast accuracy was 46.5% in the most recent research report). It's troubling when your odds at playing craps in Las Vegas are actually better than your odds at correctly predicting which forecasted opportunities will close. To remedy this perennial challenge, I've created a dashboard which compares three methods of flagging an opportunity as forecasted to close. The first method is using an Opportunity Score. Anyone who follows my writings knows I'm a big fan of implementing (system calculated) Opportunity Scoring.

Forecast Comparison Dashboard

In the above example, the Score Forecast column is configured to automatically forecast any opportunity with an opportunity score of 80 or higher. The second method is to automatically forecast any opportunity above a particular close probability value. In the above example, the Probability Forecast will forecast any opportunity at 80% or higher. The third method is the Salesperson Forecast indication which is simply the salesperson subjectively marking the opportunity as forecasted.

Comparing the Salesperson's forecast based on judgment as well as the two system generated forecasts with completed Won and Lost sales is generally quite revealing. This isn't a tool to make certain sales people look inferior to programming logic, but instead to help both the sales manager and the sales person learn the variables that are most influential in predicting success.

Categorical Analysis. Once forecast dashboards deliver the big picture, you want to be able to quickly identify both positive and negative patterns by category. For example, are there things in common among sales people whom are not meeting their slated forecasts? Do they spend most of their time selling a product that doesn't compete well or are there a preponderance of target customers outside a product's sweet spot or target market? These are category and correlation questions that can be quickly identified as long as the categories are linked to the forecast data.

Sales Win Rates. I'm a big fan of the Sales Win Rate dashboard as I think it's an outstanding sales management tool and extremely helpful in aiding career growth. However, I may or may not include it with the Sales Forecast dashboard series for two reasons. First, the sales win rate is largely inherent in the Forecast Accuracy dashboard. Second, for personal reasons I tend to include this dashboard in my Sales Performance dashboard series or with the Sales Leaderboard dashboard series. This is really just a dashboard grouping exercise, as in the end any dashboard in any series may become the source of information for any particular use case.

Next - Sales Modeling Dashboards >>

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It's troubling when your odds at playing craps in Las Vegas are actually better than your odds at correctly predicting which forecasted opportunities will close.


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