What I really wanted to use for the title of this post was “Quit your whining and do your forecast or your fired.” I refrained from including that last phrase because I just published a rant last week. So I’ll remain calm and begin with a few basic truths:
- Forecasting is not the easiest task for a sales professional or leader
- Forecasting is not the hardest task for a sales professional or leader
- Forecasting – pretty darned accurate forecasting – is a vital task for a sales professional or leader
Have I mentioned that forecasting is a vitally important task?
“Why,” you might ask? Here’s why. Without a realistic forecast, one that is 1) updated at least once a month; and 2) is 80%+ accurate out 3 months, a sales pro or leader simply cannot create a valid TODO list.
Anybody want to debate the fundamental necessity of continuously maintaining a prioritized TODO list? (If you do, I suggest you quit your sales job and find something where your boss tells you on a daily basis exactly what you’ll be doing today.)
Back to why forecasting is the vital link… Say it’s the end of month X. Time to lay out what I’m going to work on and identify my most important action items. I believe the best way to do so is to answer two questions:
- What are my largest open opportunities with the best odds of closing soonest?
- What do I need to do to address #1 opportunity identified above? (Repeat for opportunities 2-n)
The result is a prioritized TODO list. One based on working on and winning the largest open opportunities with the best odds of closing soonest. Why would anyone want to work on anything else?
Isn’t this obvious?