What CEOs Should Focus on in Revenue Forecasts
When CEOs and Senior Executives look at revenue forecasts, they tend to be myopically focused on the current quarter or month. Neglecting early pipeline stages and progressions in sales cycles can put the long-term health of the company’s revenue stream at risk. To drive strategic growth through your sales organization, pay attention to these three areas:
- Focus on new opportunities entering the pipeline. If there are many new opportunities in the pipeline, identify the causes and reinvest in what’s working. If the number of new opportunities is low, invite conversations with marketing and sales to discover causes and problem solve.
- Provide resources and support to accelerate advancing opportunities. Look closely at trends in the center of your revenue forecast and adjust your go-to-market strategy accordingly. Add SME support if opportunities are sluggish at the proposing solutions stage or increase executive support to help create access to higher-level decision-makers.
- Cut your losses with stalled opportunities. Don’t allow your sales team to spend time and resources where they aren’t engaged with a bona fide decision-maker or they don’t have a strategy to move the opportunity forward. Eliminating mid-to-late stage opportunities that show no milestones of progress ensures that your long-term revenue forecast is accurate.
Taking time each month to understand the complete pipeline picture and realign the sales team’s efforts drives execution of the company strategy and will support the continual growth that shareholders expect.
My full article for Forbes on this topic appeared last week and you can find it here.
Two other articles that you may find useful on a similar topic:
Harvard Business Review:
“How to Get Your Sales People to Execute Your Strategy”
“How to Use Your Sales Team Most Effectively to Drive Organic Growth”
A Slice of Life Balance
When I used to do triathlons, the transition from swim to bike and then from bike to run (T1 and T2 as they were called) were referred to as the 4th event. Because your effectiveness in moving from one event to the next had a definite impact on your preparedness and ultimately your overall time. The same could be said of the transitions we make throughout our working day. Instead of breathlessly rushing from meeting to call to meeting to webinar, I suggest taking a few minutes in between calendar items to properly transition. Dare I suggest 5 minutes? Some of you reading this might consider that wasted time, but hear me out. Use that 5 minutes to do these three things: 1) Note items for follow up from the last meeting. 2) Gather any materials you need to be prepared for the next meeting. 3) Take a few deep breaths and think about how you need to show up for the next meeting. Your chances of winning at work will increase when you slow down and transition more effectively.
Next month (or May at the latest), I’m going to be changing the format of this newsletter. I’m still brainstorming, so I’d like to hear from you if there are topics that you’d like me to address or if you have ideas to share about other newsletters you value. Please reply to me directly from this email with your comments.