This is the third in a series of business tips from industry leaders that Enterprise Times has interviewed.
In a recent interview with Mark Woodhams, CRO BlackLine, Enterprise Times asked him to share a third tip on how to ensure accuracy in sales forecasts.
Woodhams answered: “It takes a while. It’s making sure everybody within the organisation that is part of that forecast has to be held accountable. I measure people on forecast accuracy with a tolerance of plus or minus 10%. We hold people and measure them to that all the way through the organisation. Part of it becomes a habit. Getting the habit right was the most important bit. Which is, when you give me a number, I don’t want it to be made up. It’s got to be real and it’s got to be actual. Because when you give me that number, I want to be able to bank it.
“In the two and a half years that I’ve been here, we’ve got to that. I now know when my guys give me their number at the beginning of the quarter, beginning of the month it’s looking to be plus or minus 10%. Which then makes it much easier for me to forecast accurately.
“The other side of that, which nobody really likes, is that we just demand that Salesforce is kept up to date. That’s hard for a rep because it doesn’t, with best will in the world, give a lot back. It gives me a lot it doesn’t give the rep a lot.
“Then the last thing is I look at is from week two. I look at the 40% conversion rate. That’s always been my target because it means I’ve got clean data at week two. If I get close to or above that 40% I feel then I’m in control.”