Sales Data isn’t Clean
Have you ever tried to forecast sales based on the data in your CRM system? If so, you know that it’s difficult because the search feature is clunky, the UI is not intuitive, and ad hoc reporting capability is limited.
So what do you do?
Many people have turned to using a third-party sales analytics platform.
There are a few things, however, you should know before you decide on one of these platforms to ensure you are getting the predictive forecasts that you deserve. This post will tell you what you need to know so you can select a sales analytics platform that will help you successfully forecast orders.
- Make sure your sales analytics platform lets you track your sales funnel through time. If it doesn’t, you’ll have trouble picking up trends in your data and will not be able to accurately forecast.
- If the vendor promises you can be up and running with little or no time setup then you should be wary. Every business is different and a plug-and-play forecast will mislead you.
- Your sales analytics platform should seamlessly integrate with your CRM and Marketing Automation platform to give you end-to-end marketing attribution metrics.
- Ensure your sales analytics platform has a dynamic reporting tool so you can easily do ad hoc analysis.
- Any good sales analytics platform will give you a sales funnel forecast. This is important to do for the current quarter and for the total value of your pipeline.
- If the forecast is not recorded and routinely evaluated for accuracy how can you trust it? Make sure the vendor records the forecast on the first day of the quarter and measures its accuracy when the quarter ends.
While not necessary, some great bonus features of a great sales analytics platform are quota management tools, prescription for the number of new sales leads you need to meet future quarters, and a Headcount Optimization to tell you how many new sales people you should hire.
Now that you know what a good sales analytics platform should do, you’re ready to pick one to help you make an accurate sales funnel forecast.