Having an effective sales forecast is a team sport based on reliable data.

Predicting sales outcomes of opportunities is part art but mostly science. You just have to know what data to look at and account for varying points of view from both account executives and presales (also referred to as technical sales, solution architects and sales engineering professionals). The sales forecast can be a highly sensitive topic, especially if account executives and technical sales professionals have opposing views on the outcome of a given opportunity. To preserve a good working relationship, it is important to respect different points of view, provide context for your observations on an opportunity and continuously compare data on how opportunities change over time. To learn more about how sales engineering and unique presales KPI data can effectively contribute their point of view to the sales forecast, check out this short framework.

Technical Sales: Contribute Your Point of View on the Sales Forecast

Predicting opportunity outcomes requires collaboration and referencing data to gauge buyer sentiment across various people within an account.

Step 1: Respect Points of View

Encourage different points of view to drive a balanced view on sales opportunities. It’s okay to disagree on opportunities, but do it in a respectful way and bring data to support your view to every conversation.

Technical Sales View: Assesses opportunity based on sentiment from technical buyers.

The Prospect Reality: Involves various personas in purchasing decisions.

Sales Rep View: Gauges opportunity based on sentiment from economic buyers.

Step 2: Provide Context

Help your peers understand your point of view on opportunities in the sales funnel. Provide an objective and data-driven point of view on opportunities and remain open to different perspectives.

Red: Opportunities that are at high risk and low probability of obtaining the technical win.

Yellow: Opportunities that are at medium risk and medium probability of obtaining the technical win.

Green: Opportunities that are at low risk and high probability of obtaining the technical win.

Step 3: Continuously Compare Data

Collaborate with your peers and make decisions on corrective actions. Continuously compare data from corresponding technical sales and customer relationship management systems.

Collaborate: Gather your internal teammates to formulate a plan.

Conclude: Formulate a plan and assign tasks for action.

Compare: Continuously compare data on your opportunities.


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