Forecasting Ad Sales revenue is a breeze for your sales team. That’s not what we’re hearing across the media industry. Does your weekly forecast call always go over time? Does it feel like there’s not enough value? And how much time is wasted discussing issues with the pipeline or revenue numbers? Odds are your team is spending 3-5+ hours getting organized for the call. When you add it up across the organization, that’s a lot of non-selling time lost every week. What if you could cut that time in half and improve the conversation? Below are 5 simple tips that work. Try these and see how much time you can save your sales team, they’ll thank you for it.
- Establish a cadence – optimize the steps for the entire forecast process specifying who does what down to the half hour. Have an owner who manages the process, alerts any delays and ensures dependencies, such as delayed revenue data from ad servers, don’t send the organization into a tailspin. Goal – everyone completes their part of the process on time
- Publish the Agenda – have a clear agenda, provided well in advance and stick to it. Ideally one that doesn’t change every week. Front line managers are vital to coaching and sales execution so involve your best ones in creating the agenda. Goal – everyone shows up prepared
- Look at the Same Numbers – standardize on your CRM as the source of truth for the pipeline and revenue metrics with line of sight to each person’s quota attainment. Allowing side spreadsheets only increases the likelihood of discussing the wrong numbers on the call. The best sales leaders drive a culture of visibility and accountability – “if it isn’t in the CRM, we don’t talk about it.” Goal – 100% accuracy in the forecast numbers
- Prepare for the Call – regardless of your level in the organization, if you haven’t taken time to prepare, be ready for your team to “read the numbers.” Modern CRM’s should enable insights about what should be discussed such as deals needing help, signals of weak/strong sales progress, running campaigns needing optimization or upsell attention, etc. Having 2-3 thoughtful questions for each person shows you’re prepared. Goal – proactively focus the conversation where it counts
- Running the Call – while on the call, everyone should have the CRM open, looking at the same information. Delegate a time keeper to stay on track and capture action items. Communicating follow thru from prior meetings creates confidence in management accountability. Take commonly raised topics like product issues and delivery challenges offline and assign a leader to resolve before the next call. End on time with clear next steps. Goal – strategies to make the #
Forecasting doesn’t have to be a drag on your sales team. Having the best practices and tools to make it efficient will pay dividends. If you want help getting your Ad Sales team the most efficient, CRM based Forecast solution, please contact us. One of our experts will help assess how much time we can help you save.