Sales Leadership

To sales leadership, nothing is more important than sales forecast accuracy and predictability.

The sales forecast and its accuracy is the most important number in the organization. There is a ripple effect from the sales forecast that propagates throughout the organization, driving cash flow expectations, resource allocation, spending levels, ordering parts, scheduling resources and much more. To the rest of the company, an accurate sales forecast shows that sales leadership is running an efficient and effective sales organization. It shows they know their customers and buyers and can help them make the right decisions.

Managing the Gap

Managing the sales forecast is about managing the gap. The gap is the difference between the dollar value of “closed-won” sales period to date versus the sales amount forecasted for the period.   To manage the gap the CRO has some key questions:  How much sales pipeline do I have? How good is it? How Real is it? Is it enough?  They also have more specific questions like:  How much backup do I have to deals we are planning to close?  What opportunities can I bring forward if I have to?

 

Flexible Sales Forecasting

TopOPPS answers these questions with Flexible Sales Forecasting. TopOPPS flexible sales forecasting supports the categorization of opportunities into different sales buckets based on their ability to close with the ability to drill into the individual opportunities that make up each category for a clear picture of what has to be done to achieve the forecast.
TopOPPS Email Interface for AI for Sales

TopOPPS Email Interface

Captures all email content into the TopOPPS application and uses sentiment anaysis to rate the email.

Email Addin

Allows the sales rep to perform all functions available from TopOPPS web interface through the side panel email interface

Add Additional Email Addresses to the Buying Group

Both through the email and calendar interface, the sales rep can add additional emails to the opportunity buying group and assign a role.

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TopOPPS answers these questions with Flexible Sales Forecasting. TopOPPS flexible sales forecasting supports the categorization of opportunities into different sales buckets based on their ability to close with the ability to drill into the individual opportunities that make up each category for a clear picture of what has to be done to achieve the forecast.

Forecast Management

Forecasting is the process to predict or estimate a future event or trend.  The process process generally uses multiple methods for estimating outcomes of future events to feel comfortable with a value.  For sales leadership, sales forecasting is about feeling comfortable with the number.  Typical methods found in sales forecasting include:
  • Weighted Pipeline by Sales Stage – Apply a closing probability to opportunities scheduled to close this sales period by pipeline stage.
  • Forecast Categories – In this approach the sales rep identifies the sales opportunities they will “commit” to closing in this sales period and which other sales opportunities could close if this quarter hits best case.
  • Time Series Forecasting – this method forecasts future events based on known past events. 
TopOPPS enhances these methods using a “glass box” approach to artificial intelligence and factoring in specific characteristics of open opportunities compared to past sales patterns, factoring in time expiration in the quarter, clustering opportunities by size, and factoring in sales rep and sales manager close patterns.
 

Rolling Up The Forecast

Not loosing the detail when summarizing the forecast.

Pipeline Report

Sales Reps can view, sort and filter their pipeline report. The can also drill through to the detail opportunity.

Detail Opportunity Information

Sales Reps can view and change detailed opportunity information. They can drill through to alerts and resolve them, they can also “check in” and update the status of the opportunity.

Opportunity Check-In

Independent of Emails and Calendar entries, the sales rep has the ability to “check-in” on the system and assign a thumbs up/down rating to the opportunity and describe current status.

Ability to Dictate Updates

The Sales Rep can use the microphone icon and dictate descriptions or values into any field on the opportunity.

Sales Rep or Team Dashboard View

The dashboard can be by viewed by sales rep or team and identifies all alerts, tasks & events and forecast status. It also provides the ability to drill into alerts, tasks & events and take action.

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Feeling comfortable with the number is about:
  • Using different forecast methods to triangulate in on a number 
  • Being able to move up and down the forecast roll up to understand what it does and doesn’t include
  • Parenthetically adjusting some numbers that seem over optimistic or overly conservative.
  • Understanding your plan A, B, and C opportunities.
  • Having visibility to the opportunities that make up a forecast probability grouping
 

Visualization and Understanding the Sales Pipeline

Visualizing the sales pipeline takes two forms. 
 
The first form is a real-time highly visual, highly interactive view of the sales pipeline that allows navigate up and down the sales hierarchy, across different sales processes and includes drill down to email/meeting/calendar content.
 

Interactive View of the Sales Pipeline

The second form is an aggregated view  by sales period of the sales pipeline over 5 or 9 quarters to understand how the pipeline has been building and how the sales category forecast and the weighted pipeline forecast have compared to actual results.  These graphs should be able to show the information, by stage, by category or by growth.  Allow periodicity by week, month, quarter or year, and be able to present the view for all open opps for the period or linearly comparing this day in the period to the same day in prior periods
TopOPPS AI for Sales Rep Coaching

Current Status of Rep or Team Forecast

The top portion identifies current status for this sales period including self-reporting and manager forecast compared to system forecast and period to date statistics like Won and Expected to be won.

Current Pipeline Breakdown by Stage

This summarizes the current pipeline by stage including dollar value, number of opportunities, historic win rate for each stage and rep average days in each stage. # Opps is drillable into detail opportunities.

AI Generates Sales Insights

TopOPPS uses predictive and prescriptive analytics to provide insight into key areas of changes to pipeline or sales rep/team results.

Insights Highlight the Data They Describe

Selecting a Sales Insight highlights the appropriate trend data. Trend data includes close/won analysis, bookings, win rates and the ability to compare results by team or individual sales reps.

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The second form is an aggregated view by sales period of the sales pipeline over 5 or 9 quarters to understand how the pipeline has been building over time and how the sales category forecast and the weighted pipeline forecast have compared to actual results. These graphs  show the information, by stage, by category or by growth. They allow periodicity by week, month, quarter or year, and are able to present the view for all open opportunities for the period or linearly comparing this day in the period to the same day in prior periods.
 

Sales Pipeline Performance

TopOPPS AI for Sales Rep Coaching

Current Status of Rep or Team Forecast

The top portion identifies current status for this sales period including self-reporting and manager forecast compared to system forecast and period to date statistics like Won and Expected to be won.

Current Pipeline Breakdown by Stage

This summarizes the current pipeline by stage including dollar value, number of opportunities, historic win rate for each stage and rep average days in each stage. # Opps is drillable into detail opportunities.

AI Generates Sales Insights

TopOPPS uses predictive and prescriptive analytics to provide insight into key areas of changes to pipeline or sales rep/team results.

Insights Highlight the Data They Describe

Selecting a Sales Insight highlights the appropriate trend data. Trend data includes close/won analysis, bookings, win rates and the ability to compare results by team or individual sales reps.

Mouse over the “+” to see more detail

How To Optimize 1:1s for Success

Managers need to meet with reps to help them develop into A-players. This methodology will improve sales growth and blow out your number.  This guidebook includes a template that will improve your sales 1:1 meetings and maximize the development of your sales team.

Sales Managers Guide to Maximize Sales Performance

Learn how to use data-driven best practices to keep score of the pipeline, react quickly to fill gaps and have confidence as you guide your sales team.  Download this guidebook for 5 practical strategies that will help get the entire team exceeding quota.

How to Increase Conversions Throughout the Sales Process

Only 48% of sales reps hit quota, due to an informal sales process.  Download this guidebook for a simple recipe to achieve a formalized sales process that will drastically improve sales funnel performance.