Category: Sales Management

Forecasting: Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

By Philippe Lavie

The forecasting sunshine pump: Have you heard of this before? That is when the sales reps initiate their sunshine pump when their manager comes in and ask for the forecast. Below quota, every opportunity that has come across this rep’s desk get forecasted at least at 50% probability to close, whether it is real or not. Above quota, the good opportunities that should be forecasted are sandbagged in the desk drawer to keep the sales manager off the rep’s back. So where is the accuracy in such forecast. Can sales management, corporate senior executives or the Board really depend on the words of a sales rep when looking at the revenue forecast? We have found, while working with our clients, that most companies can forecast their revenue around the 80% mark in dollars or local currency. But when they attempt to forecast the opportunities that will generate that forecast, the accuracy within any quarter drops below 15%. In other words, 85% of the actual opportunities that will close in that quarter are unknown or poorly forecasted at the beginning of the quarter. Don’t know about you but I would seriously dislike living that way if I were a senior sales executive. Download this white paper to learn more about forecasting best practices.

Empowering Your Channel Partners

By Philippe Lavie

Selling in the B2B space using indirect channel partners has always been a challenge for the manufacturers. There are some sustained misconceptions that have a hard time going away. It costs me less to sell indirectly then with a direct sales force. I gave my channel partners a 40% discount and some additional incentives to sell my products, so why aren’t they doing it? I expect my channel partners to create demand for my products. These are all fallacies and dangerous ones for the manufacturers. So how to I develop the most effective plan and executables to empower my channel partners? Three audiences to focus on: Manufacturer channel manager, the channel partner organization as a whole, and the channel partner sales force. Each audience requires a specific framework, training, incentives, and support to succeed (more in the article). Reality: Channel partner is only interested in how it can make money. Your responsibilities is to ensure that you know this fact, that you developed all the necessary support and training material to achieve their goals (not just yours), and that you stop thinking that the channel partner will create demand for you. Download this article for more information on empowering your channel partners.

Beware of Data Mania

By Benson Smith and Tony Rutigliano

Managers can spend their careers evaluating reports and data. But what information is key to improving your sales force’s performance?