Nearly a third of B2B sales leaders say they develop forecasts by referencing key deals and adding qualitative analysis, according to a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Outreach. *
the problem? This unscientific method makes it impossible to accurately manage your business.
Revenue leaders are never sure of the degree of risk in their forecasts, and they direct business based on what they believe to be true rather than hard facts. If they are wrong, it could be detrimental to the value of their company and ultimately their job.
With the Outreach Commit, we bring the science to the art of forecasting. Our revenue intelligence solution allows leaders to go from guessing the future to changing it with recommended actions.
Read below to learn more about how the Outreach Commit can help you:
- You can easily view, understand and analyze what goes into your expectations to commit with confidence
- Proactively address pipeline issues with a built-in monitor so you’ll never be surprised
- Ensure adequate coverage of the pipeline in real time with historical trend analysis
You can easily view, understand and analyze what goes into your expectations to commit with confidence
Forecasting is important to the livelihoods of businesses of all sizes and stages of maturity. For private companies, this can affect the company’s valuation and investor financing. For public companies, quarterly dividends drive market value and shareholder value. In either scenario, the loss of prospects has negative effects on the business.
The problem is that most organizations struggle with forecasting accurately. In the study commissioned by Outreach, Forrester found that 60% of sales leaders surveyed said they don’t have a well-defined, scientific approach to forecasting. Most notably, 10% of participants indicated that they regularly miss their expectations by 25% or more. *
Why does this happen?
One of the first challenges that plagues many companies is that the information required to confidently forecast does not all live in one place and take time to accumulate. The study commissioned by Outreach found that salespeople spend too much time making predictions. Seventy-three percent of sales leaders surveyed said that members of their sales teams spend more than 10 hours per week forecasting – 12% spend more than 20 hours forecasting. * When teams use a combination of dashboards and tools, forecasting becomes more time-consuming.
For example, revenue operations teams might pull forecast data from their CRM system into a spreadsheet and perform analysis, or they might load the CRM data into a BI tool like Tableau or Looker for their data science teams to aggregate. Commitment to Communication simplifies the process by providing a unified destination for viewing, analyzing, and understanding what goes into sales forecasts.
The Outreach Commit’s flexible map layer connects to your CRM and indicates its entire history. This provides unique statistical modeling for each team and individual within your organization, providing a weekly aggregation view that highlights changes and pipeline movement. An AI-powered scenario planning tool enables revenue leaders to see assumptions about current sales forecasts and adjust variables such as win rates or pipeline slippage to see how changes will affect forecasts. Finally, highly integrated analytics capabilities enable operations teams to review pipeline coverage across specific teams and time periods to compare forecasts to actual results. With Outreach Commit’s suite of forecasting tools, revenue teams can spend less time pulling data and compiling forecasts, and more time doing analysis on how to drive it higher with the help of powerful AI modeling and trend analysis.
Proactively address pipeline issues with a built-in monitor so you’ll never be surprised
Another driver of concern for revenue leaders when building their forecasts is a lack of confidence in the deals in their sales pipeline. Many companies lack objective ways to measure the integrity of a deal, forcing leaders to rely on the opinions of delegates and managers or spend time reviewing each deal in their CRM for potential issues. Even then, potential warning signs can be put on paper when transaction-level reports are extrapolated into spreadsheets or business intelligence tools. This results in a high probability of last minute slippage or losses that could lead to a scramble for revenue teams. For example, reps and managers can fall victim to “happy ears,” hearing what they want to hear from a customer and missing or ignoring signals that a deal won’t go away. With no objective system to measure health, these deals can wind up in expectations and jeopardize the success of the enterprise.
What if your sales pipeline had an early warning system built in, just like the wearable technology on the market today that allows consumers to objectively assess heart rate, sleep quality, and other health cues? Just like these devices, Outreach Commit constantly monitors every transaction in progress to identify risks early and provide guidance on what can be done to address them. Organizations gain an objective measure of deal integrity, and sales managers can see which deals need attention so they can proactively train their representatives on positive outcomes. And with this intelligence linked to the category-leading engagement platform Outreach, your teams can go straight from seeing insight to acting on it.
Ensure adequate coverage of the pipeline in real time with historical trend analysis
At the root of all Outlook is the pipeline that supports it. But how do you know if you have enough pipeline and your teams are successfully working towards their goals? As with other elements of the forecast cycle, having too many data sources with insufficient depth and insight puts leaders in a dangerous position.
Using historical trend analysis, Outreach Commit helps determine the pipeline coverage needed for each team within the organization to achieve their sales goals. This includes accounting and modeling for which fast-moving business is likely to open and close during the forecast period, and shows how deals are going in the pipeline at the team and individual level. In addition, the Outreach Commit makes it possible to help ensure that every delegate in the organization performs according to their goals with an interactive scorecard that can calculate multiple goals using custom weighting.
Start driving effective and predictable growth with the Outreach Commit
Gone are the days of relying on intuition to predict. The revenue leaders we see accelerating their business growth are those who embrace technology and use AI-recommended actions, rather than guesswork, to change the future.
If you are interested in Outreach Commit, request a demo or reach out to your outreach account. To find out how leaders can commit with confidence, check out our latest webinar.
* “B2B leaders usher in a new era of salesStudy commissioned by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Outreach Corporation, December 2021