When I forecast deals, I have developed a spreadsheet that gets me to a high level of forecasting accuracy where I typically get 90% average accuracy on deals that I can manually view as committed within a forecasting category.
What has helped me in the past outside of discussing deals with the front-line sales managers or reps are these 7 factors:
- Expected Close Date – is it ahead or is it still in the past (i.e. rep may be dropping the ball)
- Next Step Date – is it ahead or was the ball dropped and it’s in the past
- $ Amount – is it 2x+ of our typical won $Avg Deal Size
- Age – if the # days in cycle is already over the typical won Sales Cycle
- Days to Close – if it’s within the next few weeks but you have 3+ risk factors
- Days w/ No Engagement Activity – lost momentum if >20% of the sales cycle (i.e. 1 month w/ no activity for a 3 month sales cycle)
- Push Counter – the deal has stalled twice or more
What else? What are some other risk factors you use as formulas in Excel to help you increase forecasting accuracy?