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Sales predictability: learn how to improve

You’ve certainly arrived at the end of the month and seen that all the money you expected to have in the account has simply “disappeared”, but you don’t know where it went. And if you are an entrepreneur, then you must have already gone through the same in your business budget. You don’t have to be afraid to admit it. It’s just a consequence of low sales predictability.

As the name says, this “predictability” is what allows you to know how much your business will yield in a given period of time. As an analogy, think that predictable sales are like a fixed salary, while unpredictable sales are freelance work with a large margin of error.

In everyday life, it is not a problem to have this variation, but for a company, these predictions are fundamental to its survival. There is no way to plan an investment and/or expansion without measuring available resources first. In two months you may not have the capital to support your new work model!

To avoid this situation, you must invest well in the best sales predictability of your business. And to help a little with that, here are some tips so you can apply right away and enjoy the results efficiently. Check out:

Use key performance indicators in your assessment

Good old KPIs should never be overlooked at any time, no matter the context. In case you didn’t know, the “key indicators” are those that best represent the real return on some investment or service you have made. They can be your end goal, like revenue, or related, like conversion rate.

With the right KPIs, you can better understand the company’s sales patterns and discover which attitudes contribute to a more stable index. Which channels are most effective, which products sell more regularly, etc.

Create goals from your projections

Much of the sales predictability comes from the market, which can be more or less chaotic depending on the moment. But a part also comes from his own effort to keep the numbers in check. That’s what your company’s sales targets are for. Since your team is looking for a specific outcome, it is already much more likely.

Of course, these goals must be minimally realistic. In general, companies can create 2 goals: the minimum, which is necessary to keep the sector alive; an ideal, which is a projection of growth or taking advantage of opportunities. If you have these numbers clearly visible, it will be a little easier to keep track of sales.

Integrate different industries and their information

Some people still think that the sectors of a business are completely alien to each other, that no one talks to each other or exchanges experiences . But this is misguided thinking. A good company, regardless of size, is one where its gears work together.

Think about how many jobs are involved in sales results. Marketing, service and production are just the most common, but they all have some influence. If you want to better predict your sales, you need to take note of how these industries affect each other and track their metrics together.

Coordinate the team’s task schedule

Something that greatly hinders the predictability of sales in a company is when one of your employees starts working on task A, but your colleagues start doing B, C, D, etc. Even if all are ready at some point, none of them will be completed in a timely manner.

That said, your job as a manager is precisely to keep everyone on track, letting them know which tasks are a priority and why. You cannot demand that a multidisciplinary team simply exchange glances and already know what has to be done. The better your guidance, the more value you can deliver to your end customer.

Improve the sales cycle

This step can be considered an extension of your team coordination, but since the principle and practice are quite different, it’s best to highlight it. A sales cycle is, as the name says, all the way through until after your customer makes the purchase. It starts with the first contact and goes all the way to after-sales.

With a well-developed sales cycle, it’s easier to direct your team’s efforts. In addition to being a way to create a routine, you can use this knowledge to reveal some production bottlenecks. And the more of these you can cut, the better for your business .

Use inbound marketing

In recent years, with the arrival of the internet and other technologies to the general public, digital marketing has become the norm in every business. And this new modality contributes a lot to the predictability of sales in the medium and long term.

First, inbound marketing is about self-improvement based on data and past performance. In other words, based on what you’ve already done right or wrong, you can establish the most likely outcome for your next actions. Of course, this may require some testing, trial and error . But any information you get here can still be leveraged if you log and evaluate everything.

Invest in management software

Speaking of “recording and evaluating”, the amount of information you generate every day will always be more than a human brain can process on its own. You will need some tools to make this job a little easier. A management software is used for this .

The job of this tool is basically to do extremely long and invisible math in a matter of seconds. If the machine has access to all the data it needs, it can identify certain patterns and correlations in your sales process, present these possibilities and facilitate your decision making in the future. It is the best investment for a growing business.

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