Project managers are pros at managing long, drawn-out jobs because they set checkpoints to verify their progress. As sales professionals, we can learn something from their playbook. If we don’t check milestones along the way, we will probably miss clues that can keep us from hitting our numbers.
Milestone 1 – Teach your sales team to give you REAL pending.
As you get to know your sales team, you will learn who excels at calling pending vs. those who are spouting “pie in the sky” numbers. You are accountable for your forecast, so you must trust the people reporting back. At ShareBuilders, we can work with you to determine if the pending number you are given is an actual possibility. Providing that data during your weekly call is crucial to the forecasting conversation.
Milestone 2 – Use ShareBuilder’s forecasting tools to check against pending and react if necessary.
Our forecasting tools allow us to analyze how much business is typically written from this point forward in the month or quarter. Do you have 20 points to go before you realize your number? We can tell you if you have ever written that amount of business in the past. This encourages intelligent discussion about how accurate that pending amount might be in this current environment.
Milestone 3 – Keep Revenue Potential within 5% of your Quarterly Forecast.
When the entire market is tight, it can be tempting to dive and grab as much share as possible. This may be the correct strategy early on, but it can backfire quickly if you don’t pay attention. Revenue Potential is an excellent check to verify if you can reach your forecast with current sellouts and AURs. Once you get inside the quarter and paid is all entered, Revenue Potential can highlight your ability to “hold” your forecasted number without bumping orders out.
Revenue Potential is calculated as follows:
Current Booked Revenue + Unsold Inventory at ShareBuilder Recommended Rates
Is the Revenue Potential number significantly lower than your current forecast? If so, you need to adjust quickly by raising rates for your unsold inventory OR accepting that you will be bumping out cheap rates and potentially alienating some customers. If Revenue Potential is higher than your current forecast, you can certainly hold your forecast, assuming you continue moving inventory and don’t overprice.
We can use many other checkpoints to help you stay laser-focused on accurate forecasting. Talk to your ShareBuilders Consultant about these and other options.