Forecasting is an evidence-based process that weights all the available evidence. The role of the forecast is to show what is probable and realistic and it should confirm that set targets are achievable. It’s often the case that targets are set ahead of time and are not supported by hard evidence e.g. this year’s target is “last year + 10% because we feel good about the business and have some evidence of increased demand.”

The forecast should be built using analytics rather than being a simple extrapolation of what’s in the pipeline. Analytics is used to interpret the opportunities, apply weighting based on historical data, and with this approach a more accurate and considered forecast is produced.

With this week’s announcement of a professional league for Esports, it’s time to recognize what great salespeople have known all along. Sales is a sport. Think about it. We love to watch others optimize a process to achieve a goal, whether physical or mental. Just like a sports team, great sales teams are built with an obsessive focus on stats and success metrics. Sales needs the right players, and those players need the right tools. Closing the deal involves a playbook of emails, phone calls, social outreach, or, gasp, in-person meetings. Just as sports has been “Moneyball-ed”, sales is being scrutinized in new ways to arbitrage the best people and tools.

In today’s big data business world, sales reps often find themselves drowning in sales data and reports, rather than data improving their efficiency and effectiveness in selling.

This is especially true for sales people who manage a large book of business and large product portfolios: the larger their account or product list, the larger the data sets to review and report on, and the less time they have to focus on growing and retaining every customer account.

Oh, year-end analysis. How I love thee and hate thee. Let me count the ways…

This is the time of year when executives become hyper-sensitive to numbers and are asking a flurry of questions.

What revenue will we close the year with?
What was our ROI on that new tech investment?
What did we do this past year that was most effective at moving the needle?

When your customer is ready to sign, you want to close the deal ASAP—not be slowed by a paper-based signing process. And yet that’s exactly what happens in many organizations. According to an IDC report, Bridging the Document Disconnect in Sales, although most business today is digital, 56 percent of executives still rely on paper to sign contracts and close deals.

We’re not quite done with Q2. In fact, there are 30 days left. You’re no doubt doing all you can to hit your quarterly number and perhaps catch up on Q1. While you’re focusing on the deals in your immediate future, there’s one critical action you can take now to up the chances your 2nd half revenue will be a blow-out.

You heard it here first: Going digital is not a fad. In fact, industry experts predict that successful businesses will soon become 100% digital for all transactions. Sales organizations can benefit greatly from a paperless process. To wit: They close more deals faster, enhance the customer experience, and gain the competitive upper hand. Just like a sales plan, implementing digital requires carefully crafted steps. Here are 8 best practices to help make your digital transformation tranquil as opposed to traumatic.

From their early adoption of cell phones and laptops, to contact management software, to web conferencing to customer relationship management – sales organizations have a history of looking for and aggressively adopting any technology that can help to improve the efficiency and speed of the sales process. Today’s sales cycles benefit from advanced collaboration, analytics …

What if you had the secret sauce to win more than half of all your forecasted deals? A recent study by CSO Insights says you can increase win rates almost 40% by elevating your Value / ROI Selling capability to Great. This means significantly less deals lost to “No Decision” or going with the competition. …