Two Simple Forecasting Questions You Should Ask About Every Deal
Are you a Sales Leader frustrated by last-minute forecast surprises because the Big Deals you were counting on didn’t close when expected?
Here are two simple questions you should be asking!
But first, ask your reps to take their happy ears off.
Now let’s remember customers buy for their own reasons, not yours.
They don’t buy because you have a special, limited-time pricing offer in front of them for a month, quarter or year-end. They’re too smart for that these days.
Time-limited pricing quotations for quarter or year ends are rarely compelling events for your customer.
For you and your boss, yes. Your customer, not so much.
Sorry, that’s just how it is
The same goes for maintenance and leasing renewals. The incumbent vendor can play all sorts of games around extending renewal dates, so counting on maintenance or leasing agreements expiring to drive your new deal rarely works.
Here are the two simple questions you should be asking to improve your forecast
- What’s the compelling event that will ensure this deal closes when forecasted?
Remember compelling from the customer’s perspective, not yours.
You’ll get all sorts of creative answers, so don’t stop there.
Drill down further and ask this 2nd question.
- What happens TO THE CUSTOMER if they miss the compelling date?
If the answer is not much, then it wasn’t a compelling event in the first place, and it was only our happy ears making us feel good.
Not Every Deal Has a Compelling Event
Most deals don’t have any adverse consequences for the customer if they miss your order date
That’s ok; just be aware of that when you forecast the deal.
Sales forecasts are a combination of Art, Science and Fiction. Asking these two questions should reduce the fiction in your forecast and help improve its accuracy!
- See you next week, when I’ll ask Question #4 – What do you know about the Business Outcomes your customer expects from your solution and why most tech sales reps don’t know the answer?