Outlasting Uncertain Times Comes Down to Talent – Fractional or Full Time?

Election years are historically among the most uncertain times for the American economy, and 2024 does not disappoint.  With uncertainty comes a lot of questions.  For one, “Hunker down or fuel your growth?”  This is typically the first question most business leaders ask themselves when facing uncertain times. Hire up to scale marketing and sales or put on hold until times stabilize?

Data shows companies that scale up their lead generation and sales efforts during uncertain times are those that rise quickly and dominate industries once market conditions stabilize.

But there is risk.  Hire a full marketing and sales team now, and then stress to cover the overhead later as revenues adjust. If this fear is immobilizing your business, hiring fractional marketing and sales executives to set up sustainable processes and execute campaigns to kickstart new revenue just makes sense.

Why Hiring Fractional Executives is Brilliant for Uncertain Times

Whatever uncertainties keep you up at night, you have to keep moving forward at the speed of your industry, which for most is just getting faster by the day. Keeping pace requires the best talent you can hire and that talent adds to permanent overheads or future costly layoffs. Fractional talent is temporary, incurs no expenses like payroll tax and benefits, and allows you to tap expertise you might not be able to afford for the long-term.
Here’s just a few of the deliverables you can expect when you hire the right Fractional executive:

  1. Ability to jump in quickly and generate qualified leads without a lot of onboarding and learning curve.  A good CMO can transcend industries quickly if they know how to appeal to consumer behavior triggers and the psychology of choice both of which are industry indifferent.
  2. Bring proven insights about best practices for marketing and sales which you can execute upon to increase efficiencies and ROI for lead generation and nurturing.
  3. Set up sustainable marketing and sales processes for your staff to eventually own and execute effectively.
  4. No salaries, no benefits, no overhead for the duration of contracts.
  5. Ability to pivot at anytime without going through morale decreasing personnel changes or layoffs.

Fractional executives are not equal. Some have years of proven achievements and innovative approaches to revenue generation, and others not so much. Take the time to explore experience and what they’ve done vs. just what they say. Some examples of how the MProve Sales fractional team has impacted companies across industries:

  • Generated millions of dollars’ worth of marketing qualified leads in just a few weeks for a manufacturing/automation company.
  • Improved conversion rate by 18% for client in SW industry.

Regardless of election year uncertainty, or world conflicts pausing client processes, tapping years of expertise to guide your current marketing and sales staff makes sense. You maintain your current overhead for the long-term and gain higher returns with a staff that has a better understanding of what to do, and how to perform at higher levels, setting you up for sustainable lead generation, sales and revenue.
Email us at info@mprovesales.com or call 303-697-6416 if you’d like more information about fractional executive leadership and what the MProve Sales team can do for you in good and not so good times.
Jeanette McMurtry

Blog Mprove Sales Recruiting Service Sales Consulting

The Drawbacks of a Slow Recruiting Process

How fast is your hiring process? Many businesses have a legacy hiring process that moves glacially slow. It can take months to gather candidates, schedule four or five rounds of interviews, and then belabor the final decision. No one has that kind of time, especially not someone who is earnestly looking for a new job.

Slow hiring can have an overall negative impact on recruiting and business results. According to Dr. John Sullivan, slow hiring can cause companies to lose most of their candidates who are in high demand during the late stages of the recruitment process. Why? Because someone else hired them faster.

Slow Hiring By the Numbers: Candidates Disappear When You Do

Most professionals don’t have a crystal ball to see where your company is in the hiring process. If you don’t contact them, they assume you’ve hired someone else. Even if your company is slow to deliberate, professionals have lives and jobs to consider. They likely have applied to dozens of companies and will only focus on those that get back to them. It doesn’t matter if you’ve interviewed or if the match is perfect when the employer fails to maintain a connection.

Let’s look at some statistics that may shed light on the problem:

  • 57% of 1000 surveyed workers are most frustrated when waiting to hear back after interviews are complete.
  • 25% of candidates lose interest if they don’t hear from an employer after one week
  • 46% of candidates lose interest if two weeks pass without an update after an interview
  • 39% of candidates will begin pursuing other opportunities when they receive radio silence.

This isn’t the fault of the candidates. They need to move forward with their job search and cannot wait forever. Especially with no updates to help them know how long their wait might be.

Losses That Occur During a Long Interview Process

When candidates disengage from recruitment, it’s not just a lost opportunity. the company also loses in productivity, resources, and revenue. In fact, a poor hiring process can even damage your company’s reputation.

Reduced Revenue and Productivity

Not only are you short-staffed during a slow hiring process, but scheduling dozens of interveiws also pulls your valuable managers and team members away from their jobs again and again, often without result as candidates find other opportunities.

Higher Recruiting Costs – In Managers, Time, and Money

The slower your recruiting process, the more it costs. Companies that lose candidates must spend more on job advertisements and candidate prospecting. Companies that hold an excessive number of interviews waste their managers’ valuable time. This can raise your overall recruiting costs to unreasonable levels.

Damage to Company Reputation

Lastly, your image as a slow decision-maker can cause you to lose many top prospects. Employer reputation matters. Soon your GlassDoor reviews will fill with reports of unsatisfying and time-wasting recruitment attempts, and great candidates may not even bother to apply.

Slow Hiring =/= Quality Hires

The final consideration is that hiring slowly does not necessarily improve the quality of your hires. A slow process doesn’t mean you will pick the best person, and more likely will lose your access to high-quality candidates whose desirability inspire faster hiring by another business. With an extended hiring process, most if not all of your top candidates will likely drop out, while the decision process is not guaranteed to improve simply by going slower.

Hiring in Preparation for 2024 Staffing

These challenges in addition to this now being the 4th quarter, will have a very negative impact on your company’s ability to hire the best people and get them in place for 2024. The slower you hire, the less likely you will be ready for the next milestone where being fully staffed is essential.

The time to start hiring efficiently is now. When it comes to hiring, it’s better late than never. If your team is not in place for 2024, you may be on the other end of this hiring process, and Mprove Sales can help.

Contact us for tools, strategies, and services that can accelerate your hiring process so you can secure high-value team members before the new business year begins.

James M. (Jim) Hale



Excellent People…Superior Results

Blog Mprove Sales Recruiting Service Sales Consulting

Who is responsible for revenue within a B2B organization?

The right answer is everyone – From the CEO down, but the lion’s share of the responsibility falls on the sales organization.

In most B2B companies today, sales still carries significant quotas, but marketing is becoming responsible for an ever-increasing amount of revenue. In the latest survey, 52% of mid-market and enterprise marketers said they are under ‘a lot of pressure’ to deliver pipeline and revenue. This increases to 56% when we look just at enterprise marketers. Consideredcontent.com

 Is it time for marketers to take responsibility for more of the pipeline, and ownership of the revenue targets and be held to the same rigorous measurements as sales.  Measurements of “likes and shares” are not relevant, revenue is relevant.

Sales is easier to measure – in an over simplification – here’s your quota go make it.  Marketing on the other hand has had softer measurements, although I see them putting more rigor to their KPI’s:

  • What’s the revenue goal?
  • How many new customers will it take to meet it?
  • What kind of customers?
  • What’s the typical ratio of sales-qualified leads to get to that number of clients?
  • And how many marketing-qualified leads need to convert?
    • Plus the agreed to criteria between marketing and sales as to a MQL

Statistically though, sales continually is held more accountable for the revenue which may be evidenced by average tenures in B2B Tech companies:

  • VP Sales – 19 months
  • VP Marketing – 40 months
  • CEO’S – 64 months

If truly everyone is responsible for revenue – everyone should pull together and make it happen – but all too often these two departments work in silos and point fingers.

This could go a long way to getting sales and marketing closer to their revenue target. And ultimately, it will allow marketing to fully take its place at the table of business decision making.

For more information or clarification on this and other sales facets call Jim Hale, 303-697-6416 or email jim@mprovesales.com   www.mprovesales.com

Blog Mprove Sales Recruiting Service Sales Consulting

How do I Know Who to Trust in Business

The crucial factor in any business relationship, or any relationship for that matter, is trust.  It can be hard to understand how to evaluate who and when to trust someone you have just met. There is no simple formula for trust, but there are some general principles and practices that can help. Here are some tips based on the web search results I found:

  • Trust yourself first. As one article says, trust is like skydiving: you need to have confidence in yourself and your abilities before you can trust others.
  • The company is passionate about your industry and has demonstrated success with similar companies. They demonstrate more than a paper thin knowledge the industries you call on and the skills requirement to sell to them.
  • Your gut tells you that your values are similar “going with your gut” can sound flippant or glib, but trusting your instincts is a way of navigating the world that’s backed by research.
  • Be transparent and consistent. Share information openly and candidly with your prospects and clients.
  • Follow through on your commitments and promises, and do what you say you will do
  • Communicate effectively. Listen to your clients / prospects and understand their needs, goals, and expectations.
  • Explain the business rationale supporting their objectives, and how they align with the shared vision and values of your offering.
  • Provide regular feedback and address any concerns or conflicts promptly and respectfully.
  • Show respect and empathy, value their opinions and contributions.
  • Be supportive and helpful, show genuine interest and curiosity about their company.
  • Find common ground and shared interests with your prospects / clients, and create positive experiences together.
  • Express gratitude and appreciation
  • Demonstrate competence and credibility. Demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and expertise to deliver quality results and solutions.
  • Keep up with the latest trends and developments in their industry and seek continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Provide evidence and references to back up your claims and proposals, and avoid exaggerating or overpromising


Trust impacts us 24/7 and undergirds and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication and every interaction. Contrary to what some believe trust is something you can do something about.  Trust will shorten your sales cycle and all of your negotiations – as the popular ad states “It’s priceless.

Software And Technology Sales Recruiting Mprove Sales

How confident are you in closing your 4Q 2023 Forecast?

Sales leaders lack confidence in their forecasts, as well as the expertise to improve them. Unformalized forecasting processes are a likely culprit.

  • 93% of sales leaders are unable to forecast revenue within 5 percent, even with two weeks left in the quarter.
    • Studies show from 53% to 60% of forecasted deals do not close.
  • 67 %of organizations lack a formalized approach to forecasting altogether.
  • 80% of sales orgs DO NOT have a forecast accuracy of greater than 75%.
  • 55% of sales leaders do not have high confidence in their forecasting accuracy.
    • CSO Insights and Gartner

Objectivity vs. Subjectivity

Objective information is verifiable by evidence and is measurable. An unbiased viewpoint merely states observations and facts, without commenting on them or adding one’s own opinions. You can introduce your own theories, as long as they’re backed with proof.

Subjectivity is the opposite of objectivity. A subjective claim is based on reality as seen through the individual’s perspective, and so it is affected by his or her values, beliefs, past experiences, feelings, and so on.

Subjectivity and bias are widely present in sales forecasts, and are likely contributors to inaccuracy. Eight in 10 firms acknowledge that their sales forecasts rely on salesperson judgment, and 68% of firms acknowledge salesperson bias in submitted forecasts.

The benefits of consistent use of an Opportunity Assessment forecast aid are unmistakably clear and use mostly objective criteria, with a smaller percentage weighted to subject measures.   Cycle times improve, later stages flow more smoothly, up-sell revenue increases – and the sales team makes its targets. Objective and Predictable results are the output of an objective analysis – take time today to advance the effectiveness of your 2023 fourth quarter attainment.

If you’d like to take a closer look and actually use the Opportunity Assessment follow this link Opportunity Analysis

We hope your 4Q finishes as you have planned – best wishes for great success.

Jim Hale




Executive Coaching And Mentoring In Colorado By Mprove Sales

Forecasting – Objective or Subjective

As we enter the final quarter of 2023, sales leaders are once again facing the stressful task of closing out the year with accurate revenue forecasts. But for many, this yearly ritual brings more dread than confidence. Studies show that the vast majority of sales leaders lack faith in their team’s ability to forecast revenue precisely. With Q4 just weeks away for most organizations, there is still time to implement changes that can significantly improve forecast accuracy before the year wraps up.

Why Accurate Forecasting Matters

Let’s first establish why forecasting accuracy is so critical for sales organizations. Here are some enlightening statistics:

  • 93% of sales leaders are unable to forecast revenue within 5 percent, even with just two weeks left in the quarter.
  • Between 53% to 60% of forecasted deals do not end up closing.
  • 67% of organizations lack a formalized approach to forecasting altogether.
  • 80% of sales organizations do not have a forecast accuracy greater than 75%.
  • 55% of sales leaders do not have high confidence in their forecasting accuracy.

With the majority of sales teams missing forecasts by a significant margin, it’s no wonder that sales leadership enters Q4 with a sense of anxiety. Inaccurate forecasts lead to missed quotas, stressed sales reps, and executive team angst. But there are steps sales leaders can take right now to improve forecast accuracy before year-end.

The Problem with Subjectivity

A root cause of poor forecasting is over-reliance on subjective assessments of deal likelihood from sales reps. Studies show that 80% of firms acknowledge their sales forecasts depend heavily on individual rep judgment. And 68% admit that salesperson bias creeps into the numbers they submit. Rep optimism or pessimism can cloud objectivity.

Subjective information is affected by an individual’s unique perspective, values, past experiences, and emotions. When forecasting relies too much on rep intuition and not enough on objective facts, accuracy suffers.

Objective information, on the other hand, is concrete, measurable data that can be verified. An objective forecasting methodology removes individual rep bias and emotions from the equation. Objective deal criteria such as lead source, deal size, buying stage, and more have been proven to boost forecast accuracy when applied systematically.

Implementing an Objective Framework

To inject more objectivity into their forecasting process before year-end, sales leaders should consider implementing an opportunity scoring framework. This tool allows deals to be assessed consistently based on objective criteria that are strong predictors of close rate.

An effective opportunity scoring framework typically includes the following elements:

  • Opportunity criteria: A set of objective factors that influence deal closure, such as lead source, deal size, buying stage, competition, decision process, etc. Each criterion has a weighted impact on the overall deal score.
  • Scoring scale: A standard 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 scale is used across all opportunities to score each criterion. Low scores reflect higher risk and high scores reflect higher confidence of close.
  • Opportunity reviews: Structured forecast meetings where reps review each opportunity and justify scores for each criterion to sales leadership.
  • Score calculator: An automated calculator that compiles the criterion scores into an overall opportunity score. Higher scores indicate higher likelihood of close.
  • Forecast categorization: Opportunities are grouped into forecast categories (e.g. committed, optimistic, pessimistic) based on their overall objective score.

Implementing a framework like this injects consistency, structure, and objectivity into deal scoring. Recurring opportunity reviews also increase visibility for sales leadership into any outlier scores that require justification.

Research shows that organizations using an objective opportunity scoring system see substantial gains in forecast accuracy and other performance metrics. Cycle times improve, later stages flow more smoothly, and reps hit their targets.

Realizing the Benefits of Objective Opportunity Assessment

The benefits of consistent use of an Opportunity Assessment forecast aid are unmistakably clear. This objective analysis tool weighs criteria using mostly objective factors, with a smaller percentage allocated to subjective measures.

Organizations that implement an Opportunity Assessment realize measurable gains:

  • Sales cycle times improve as non-viable deals are identified early.
  • Later pipeline stages flow more smoothly with higher quality opportunities.
  • Up-sell revenue increases as reps learn to expand on original deal size.
  • Teams make their targets as forecast accuracy improves.

The outputs are objective, predictable results – a welcome contrast to hopes and gut feelings.

Now is the time to advance the effectiveness of your 2023 Q4 revenue attainment. Take a closer look at our Opportunity Assessment tool and use it to inject objectivity into your forecasting process before year-end.

Assess Your Deals Before Year-End

With Q4 just weeks away, sales leaders should act now to improve forecasting practices. Implementing an objective Opportunity Assessment framework can significantly boost accuracy over reliance on rep intuition alone. Consistently applying such a framework ensures your forecasts reflect measurable opportunity data rather than emotions, assumptions or opinions.

If achieving your Q4 revenue targets feels uncertain, take control today. Don’t allow hope to be your only strategy. Assess your opportunities based on factual deal criteria that are highly predictive of customer actions. Your forecast accuracy and ultimately business success will thank you.

For a closer look at our Opportunity Assessment tool, click here Opportunity Analysis. Apply it to your Q4 opportunities today.

We hope your Q4 finishes just as you’ve planned. Wishing you great success!

Jim Hale

2024: Rehash Old Mistakes or Make Bold Moves?

Business Planning Thoughts and Considerations

Those who do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. But those who insist on plodding the same course also create no opportunities.

Through the years, I have sat through hundreds of business planning processes. I’ve heard it all, from zero-effort plans like “slap a new date on the old plan” to plans with unrealistic and unattainable goals. You could say I’ve learned a few things about what it means to make a successful business plan. I know the signs of a business that is ready to succeed based on the way they plan.

The most important thing to ask yourself is: What is your organization doing to maximize success?

Why Rehash Old Mistakes?

Businesses have a tendency to get into a rut. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a terrible adage for the business world where everything changes and growth should be a constant. Plodding along doing things the same way you’ve always done them might avoid creating turmoil, but it also avoids fixing any existing mistakes or flaws in the system.

Your bottlenecks remain your bottlenecks. Poor management becomes a mainstay. Flaws in the system become tenured flaws. Without aiming for improvement with every new year’s business plan, your business will repeat old mistakes and begin to calcify as you fall behind the curve.

Start Strategizing to Maximize Success

Instead, every manager, business leader, and executive should have their eye on the prize. Why rehash old mistakes when you can make bold moves for a better future. Forging into new markets, improving customer and employee satisfaction, improving efficiency, strengthening your supply chain, and making an even bigger name for your brand are all worthy goals. Why not aim for them?

With every business plan, you have the opportunity to propose and pursue bold moves to achieve greater goals. Of course, you will still conduct risk analysis, assess progress,With every business plan, you have the opportunity to propose and pursue bold moves to achieve greater goals. Of course, you will still conduct risk analysis, assess progress, and discover both optimal and non-optimal strategies. That is the nature of business. But with each bold plan, you create more opportunity for growth and success than you could simply holding position with each passing year.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Building Your Business Plan

  • Have you diligently researched the market opportunity?
  • Will you clearly bring a significant completive advantage to the market?
  • Can you clearly articulate and quantify how your solution improves business outcomes?
  • Have you set realistic goals? What are your proof points?
  • Do your compensation plans support your goals?
  • Have you considered how to attract and retain top talent?
  • Is your team ready, willing and able to execute diligently – and admit when mistakes are made and adjust accordingly?

Learn From Mistakes and Grow Stronger

The final step is to accept that mistakes happen, and that each mistake is an opportunity. There are probably mistakes in action in your business right now. Finding and changing them is an opportunity for growth. Trying a new strategy that doesn’t fulfill it’s stated goals is an opportunity to hone your future strategies with more information. Just trying new things can inspire your team to get involved, invested, and interested in the growth experiment that every business should embody.

Don’t be afraid to identify current mistakes or to make mistakes among your bold, successful moves. Instead, look for what you can learn and gain from each mistake as it comes and improve your strategy with every correction of your course.

The most important step is to document, execute, and adjust in a timely manner so that your business is never at a stand-still.

Embrace Bold Moves with Mprove Sales

If you are ready to take your business in a new direction and leave old mistakes behind, Mprove Sales is here to help. Contact us today to learn more. jim@mprovesales.com or 303-697-6416 www.mprovesales.com

The Cost of a Bad Sales Hire

Too often today in sales, when an opening is available, there is a scramble to get the position filled quickly.

The ability to hire new people who can succeed is a challenge. According to the latest CSO study of over 3000 hiring sales managers, over 50% believe they “need improvement” in this area. It is noticeably harder than it was just last year. The previous years Sales Performance Optimization study figures for Needs Improvement in hiring, were 43.1%. In the latest Sales Performance Optimization Sales Force Demographics Analysis it was reported that the sales force turnover rate is hovering at 17.1%. In addition to replacing those open sales positions, 65.4% of the firms are planning on adding net-new sales positions this year. These numbers added together can be a significant increase in salespeople and, with that increase, more pressure on sales management to get it right when hiring. Now is clearly not the time for hiring effectiveness to be slipping.

The cost of a bad sales hire can range from $50,000.00 to well over $100,000.00 and we have found that interviewing for proven skills vs. proven results minimizes that risk. Selecting from the best choices reduces your investment risk and increases the likelihood of a successful new hire. B2B companies need to carefully evaluate prospective sales reps in these often overlooked criteria:

  • Territory and Pipeline Development– What processes does the candidate use to develop a robust and high-quality pipeline?
  • Compelling Conversations– What does he or she do to create a business conversation that has substance and value?
  • Business Value– How does the rep create, quantify and articulate the business impact of a solution vs. the technology?
  • Negotiations and Closing– How does the candidate set up the initial offer to the prospect – and explain their framework for negotiations?

The results on revenue and quota accomplishment can at times be exaggerated, whereas interviewing for the skills required to accomplish the results cannot.

TRex Used to Wander the Earth…and Sales Reps Used to Prospect!

TRex did not wait for the kill to come to them – They went out and found it!

The most important lesson learned in my 15 years of owning my own business? Prospecting is the lifeblood of revenue! That is why we work to help sales teams learn that being proactive in their territories will yield short term and long term benefits, predominately with increased revenue and profits! The short story? Continue to hunt…or die!

During my over 30 years as a sales person, VP of Sales, sales consultant and a recruiter I have had hundreds of conversations regarding the importance of proactively segmenting and reaching out to companies which have the profile that best fits the solution they are selling. Most reps, and companies, are focused on today, with no thought to what the future will bring. Even worse, many reps are “reactive” and only respond to prospects who call in. When a prospect calls you, they have already made the decision to buy and are now shopping price and rationalizing their decision. That is why you see the statistics illustrating that most of the sale is accomplished before the prospect calls you.

What’s the answer? Don’t wait for the phone to ring! Put together and pursue a proactive and well-orchestrated Territory Action Plan!

There continues to be pushback to prospecting for a myriad of reasons including “that’s marketing’s job”. In my experience, the marketing department creates the awareness and branding to in the marketplace. It is my responsibility to extend this awareness within my territory and I am ultimately responsible for making quota.

There is no doubt that fear of rejection deters most salespeople from looking for new clients. Yet, studies by market research companies reveal that 80% of non-routine sales occur only after at least five follow-ups.

Think about that. It takes at least five continuous sales efforts after the initial contact, before a customer says yes. Here are some fascinating statistics:

  • 44% of sales people give up after one “no”
  • 22% give up after two “nos”
  • 14% give up after three “nos”
  • 12% give up after four “nos”

This tells you that 92% of sales people give up after four “no’s”, and only 8% cent of sales people ask for the order a fifth time. When you consider that 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes”, the inference is that 8% of sales people are getting 80% of the sales.

Not one of the companies in your territory wake up in the morning thinking of you, your company or the solutions you sell! It is imperative that if you are to be successful, you put into place a “Territory Action Plan” to create opportunities that have substance. If you are unsure how to do this, contact us for a Territory Action Plan template and start your journey to higher revenues!

Sales Forecasting: More Accurate and Impactful

To say that forecasting is the bane of existence of most sales people, managers and leaders is a bit of an understatement. In working with sales organizations worldwide, it seems as though more time is spent in forecast meetings than actually meeting with clients and prospects! For most sales reps, the choice between working on the forecast and getting a root canal would lead to a trip to the dentist. And yet, most organizations rely heavily on the “data” that is produced in forecasts to make decisions on everything from budgets to bonuses. I used quotes around the term data, because while the term is appropriate, many forecasts are in reality “wish-casts.” That is, the data is based on too much hope and blue sky about what will happen, and not enough empirical evidence to be accurate.

In the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Performance Optimization Study, respondents reported only 45.8% of forecasted opportunities closed, 30.7% were lost, and 23.5% were “no decision.” Losses to competition is one thing – but the alarming news is that your reps are wasting huge amounts of time on opportunities that will never close! This suggests a failure of the funnel management review process. An effective funnel management review process identifies and culls opportunities where customers are not making a decision before the opportunity reaches a forecast. Also, if the funnel management process is functioning properly, CSOs can expect that the percentage of wins within a forecast would be better than the odds of a coin toss!

Simply providing routine inspections of the numbers reported up the chain of command and making adjustments based on gut feel is not enough. As a sales leader, if you want to produce better sales forecasts, it is incumbent upon you to take a different approach, working to move from a subjective to an objective approach. To produce consistently good forecasts, sales leaders need to pay attention to the following principles:

Good forecasting is based on the clients’ requirements, not yours.

Accurate forecasting requires an understanding of your buyer’s behavior. If you want to learn how sellers ought to sell, learn how buyers buy, and if you want to have an accurate forecast, the same holds true. Too many forecasts are tied to the vendors’ requirements and do not taking into consideration what is compelling the buyer to execute the agreement. To assess where the client is in the buying process, you should develop a series of questions based on the following criteria:

  • What is the prospects’ business issue we are addressing? What is negatively affecting their business and proving detrimental to their success? How long have they had this problem?
  • What is their desired outcome or future state?
  • How will the prospect define success – what is their measure for a successful implementation?
    • These upper three are “why the prospect buys”. It shows that your team truly understands their business and business obstacles to success.
  • What is our solution and how does our solution solve their problem?
  • How is our company / team / t’s and c’s / solution uniquely positioned to satisfy their business inhibitors?
  • What is the reward for the deployment of our solution and how will their business outcomes be positively impacted?
  • What is the risk of NO DECISION? If the prospect does nothing, what are the potential risks to their business. If there is no risk, they will likely make no decision.

Good forecasting requires continual improvement. A forecast is a snapshot not a movie. At any given time you need to remember that, done well, forecasting represents a moment in time, and since the landscape is constantly changing, forecasts need to be continually refined. You may experience changes in your business or in the marketplace that indicate that an additional milestone should be added to your process. Or perhaps you find that over time, the values you placed on each of the stages in the pipeline need revision because you have more predictive data about closing rates.

Use these principles to help your sales organization to forecast more effectively and you will have created great value for your company and made your job much easier in the process.

To help you better identify closeable opportunities and produce more accurate forecasts, contact us for a complimentary copy of the Opportunity Assessment Checklist