Blog Series: Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline
and Forecast Management

This blog series focused on tactical best practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management.

The best practices to be covered are not lofty, “boil the ocean water” best practices.  The blog series focuses on tactical areas, and fixing specific bottlenecks and problems many companies face in B2B Sales Forecasting.  The best practices are written up in a “baseline”, “good”, “better”, “best” progressive format.  The purpose is to provide a migration path from baseline to best and help companies evolve their sales organization.  The best practices are organized along the following categories:  Data Access; Sales Process; Opportunity Management; Sales Pipeline Analytics; and Sales Forecast.

Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management

This blog series focuses on “Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management”.   This covers a big area so this series could take most of 2020 to complete and its frequency will be more often than once a month.    The reason for this blog series is companies continue to rely on human intuition and instinct to produce sales forecasts with limited results.

Introduction to Best Practices for B2B Sales – Data Access

With all the advances in sales technology and analytics, you would expect sales teams to have all the data they need about each sales opportunity to accurately forecast sales. However, that isn’t the case. Research by Bohanec, Kljajic Borstnar and Robnik-Sikonja in the study “Integration of machine learning insights into organizational learning, A case of B2B sales forecasting” found information was lacking in the CRM application.

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales – Data Access – Sales Interactions

The typical situation we found many of our sales prospects in when they were considering our solution is: Sales reps don’t timely update their sales force automation platform Sales reps don’t have sufficient, timely and accurate information about their sales opportunities Sales Managers don’t have the data they needed to accurately forecast sales for the quarter or coach their direct reports on specific opportunities The end-of-quarter is a mad scramble and there is no visibility into the deals to focus on Forecast accuracy suffered.

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Opportunity Attributes & Buyer Team Tracking

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about a sales opportunity [opportunity attributes] and information about buying team members and roles.  Much of the information about the sales opportunity is not available electronically. The objective is to make it as easy as possible for the sales rep to enter it and provide benefit to the sales rep by presenting it in an intuitive manner to keep both sales reps and sales management up to date on the opportunity. 

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales – Company Attributes

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about accounts [companies] where you have sales opportunities or are targeting for a sales opportunity. Company attributes describe characteristics about a company or major division of a company.   Like the other data categories, the more data you can collect about an account the better.  Unlike the other data categories, company attributes are used more strategically than tactically.

New Times, New Ways to Run the Sales Team

This blog is a little out of sequence with our blog plans for this year, but with COVID-19, everything is changed and this content is more timely now vs 3 months from now.

This blog post focuses specifically on how to keep sales teams motivated and successful in a remote environment like we have now.  It reviews how to put order and rigor around the virtual meeting routine, the on-line forecast and 1:1s.

ROI Analysis:

Understand the ROI of AI for Sales Forecasting

Research conducted by Washington University found companies using AI for Sales Forecasting and Sales Pipeline Management were able to:

  • Handle 19% more opportunities per year
  • Make 58% more money per sale
  • Reduce sales cycle by up to 59%

SiriusDecisions Research:

Foundation of an Accurate Sales Forecast

SiriusDecisions Service Director, Dana Therrien, illustrates the foundation of an accurate sales forecast. Learn how artificial intelligence increases sales effectiveness and changes how sales teams operate on a daily basis.

Expert Webinar:

A Structured Approach to Driving Holistic Predictable Revenue

In this webinar we cover:

  • Top 3 challenges to deliver an accurate forecast
  • Examples of a well structured sales proocess
  • The building blocks and advanced capabilities that support an accurate forecast

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Opportunity Attributes & Buyer Team Tracking

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about a sales opportunity [opportunity attributes] and information about buying team members and roles.  Much of the information about the sales opportunity is not available electronically. The objective is to make it as easy as possible for the sales rep to enter it and provide benefit to the sales rep by presenting it in an intuitive manner to keep both sales reps and sales management up to date on the opportunity.