I was listening to a team talk about their manager’s forecast expectations the other day and was a little dumbfounded.
* He expects to see me forecast goal, so I do.
* I never tell them the actual amount, just in case it changes… up is always ok, down not so much.
* If I give it a high confidence % everyone asks me about it daily – so I leave it low.
I’m curious if your expectations and the way you express them to the team are skewing your view of the month – the quarter – the year?
Is your forecast focus what you WANT it to say for your team to make goal – or finding out what business your salespeople actually have lined up?
As I dug into the feelings salespeople had about their boss and forecasting, it seemed that having a realistic view of their business wasn’t what they BELIEVED the boss wanted to hear.
(this doesn’t mean they are right… BUT it is what they believe, so it is their truth)
This doesn’t mean you should lower your expectations for what they sell… but change the way you talk about what they are forecasting. See the difference?
Which brings us to the fact that it may be how you’re talking about the forecast vs. your expectations.
This week, try using the forecast to understand more about the deals that are in the works.
* What do the salespeople know… and not know about the deal?
* Why would the customer buy from them? Why NOT?
* What happens if the prospect does nothing, instead of anything?
Do you get the idea? Use your forecast conversations to help the salesperson… help you understand the truth of what the month – quarter – year looks like.
You may just change how the salespeople on your team think about forecasting.
photo by © Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime