The Importance of the Shipping (oops, Sales!) Forecast

I lived for nearly ten years in the UK, where BBC radio was a part of my daily life. Including the shipping forecast – read sonorously over the airwaves several times per day – but strangely soothing to listen to.

But that’s not the forecast I’m talking about today.

The Importance of the Sales Forecast

Over the past weeks I’ve been writing about the things you can do to impact sales growth. There’s something else that we should all be doing regularly too; sales forecasting.

In some established sales organizations forecasting is down to a science – with complex variables being tracked and attributed throughout the sales cycle, and data being analyzed and adapted along the way to ensure the greatest possible sales returns. For most of us, however, just seeing the revenue numbers we’ve had in our head translated into the number of sales conversations we need to have is rather eye opening.

Important Sales Data Points

Sure we can all track our actual sales once they happen, but how are you doing on the other factors that impact sustained sales growth?

Do you really have an accurate picture of your conversion rate?

How confident are you that you understand your sales cycle length?

Which of your revenue streams is the most profitable? Looking at the effort involved to overall revenue ratio that is.

I’ve found that most small business owners are unable to answer these questions with any real data, and many have not set, or recorded, any sales goals. Which is a two-fold problem.

Tracking Sales Opportunities

It’s rather important to have some way to track your sales opportunities – even if that’s just in a spreadsheet. How else can you be sure that you are following up properly? Plus, this will help you discover your conversion rate and your sales cycle lengths.

What are YOUR Sales Targets?

Setting sales goals is another super important task. You’ve got it in your head that you want to be making $80,000 this year. But what does that look like and how are you going to do it?

I’ve created something that will help you with this incredibly important task. A sales projection worksheet that helps you calculate total revenue from all your different revenue streams, identifies how many sales conversations you need to have to achieve those sales goals, and helps you keep all these manageable sales factors in one place. I’m hoping I’m not the only one who is fascinated by the ability to make one data point change, here, to see the huge impact there?

Over to you now. Please contact me to get your own sales projection worksheet.  And let me know what you learn after you complete it. The clients who I’ve done this with have all been surprised once they’ve seen the numbers in black and white. And then they’ve taken decisive action to grow their sales revenues.

On with your sales success!