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Salesforce Pardot versus Salesforce Communities – Which marketing strategy comes first, last, or at the same time?

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Are you wanting to convey a message with email marketing?  Do you need to help those that need you by creating a self-service strategy for your message?  We see this dilemma continuously.  Loyalty is tough to create and easy to destroy.  We can satisfy the appetite of a customer with great messaging and access but to move the customer to commitment takes a consistent and easy-to-use plan.

We all know the woes of a personalized email campaign.  Think about the problems that constantly derail your message.  There’s reluctance to provide an email, changing emails, employee turnover, mixing messages with others that are spam and more. 

There are lots of tools on the market, Pardot, Marketo, HubSpot, Constant Contact…you know them.  With all the delivery methods, the problem is the same.  Does the recipient actually get the email, open the email, and read the email, then act if the timing is proper?  Despite this, many organizations take on the risks of using email and venture forward to attempt to “drip” the prospect into submission.  I’m not calling anyone out for this, we do the same thing and do it with caution and fear!

We read about personalizing the email, building a campaign that will automate the distribution of our message and, then, it still comes down to a numbers game.  Did we send the right message/story at the right time to the right person?  If not, we typically get the “please remove me from your list”.

In addition to this, we read all the time about the status of cold-calling.  Cold-calling is dead, cold-calling is alive if you can stay with it, cold-calling is not cold if you do your homework.  Yes, the dilemma is real and we all face it daily.  So, if this is a dilemma, then why are so many of us still going with this strategy and increasing the efforts with this strategy?

I think it is because there is a lack of understanding of how to engage a very knowledgeable buyer.  Because the E-Commerce platforms have become so sophisticated, organizations with short sales cycles can leverage this platform and create a great user experience now and in turn get a buy.  But, what if you are offering a service or product that is expensive in investment, time, and other resources to an organization?  E-Commerce does not offer a solution for this type of transaction.  Even more, what if you want to truly share expertise so that you build trust in your prospective buyer community?

We provide solutions around these dilemmas using Salesforce.  We often break down the use of a CRM into 3 levels:  Operations, Growth, and Innovation.  I’m not going to detail these levels here but focus on the level we label as Growth.  After all, that is why we use email campaigns and portals, to take the value of what we do to the buyer so that they get an easy-to-get-find experience with us. 

I’d like to share a strategy at a very high level.  What if you were to allow the buyer to have access to information they could call 'theirs' via a login and let them go get your message?  What if you prompted them to login to get that message using a marketing automation platform like Pardot?  What are the benefits and value to the buyer?

  1. You can let them create their own login to access the information that they would need that you build specifically for them.
  2. You capture their emails and other important information when THEY decide to login thus their record updates are owned by them.
  3. You can use the email campaign to share what is in the portal instead of hoping that they read your message.
  4. The buyer can maintain the information for you, know more guessing at the email or using emails that are not related to their organization.
  5. You don’t irritate them with information that is not valuable at that moment.

Sales and marketing are tricky today.   When an organization has identified that they have a problem to solve, we all know that they will do most of the work before they embark upon someone for help. 

Maybe it is time to let them own when their messages are read by letting them login to get them?  Why not avoid irritating the prospect and just keep them up to date when they want to know not when we think they should know?  I’d like to think a buyer would come to me if we show our expertise when they login as opposed to sending email after email, cold call after cold call, asking where they are in the journey?  It’s so difficult to send an email with great content to only hope that it is read. 

Why not let them decide based on information they need by logging into your company and sharing information that is valuable, relevant, and timely?  As opposed to murdering them with information hoping they need it?

I’m not a proponent of eliminating a sales process.  I am a proponent of starting a sales process based on a better timing of need.  The best way I’ve learned to do this is to allow those who need you to come and get it with personalization by delivering to them with secure login, specific information that they would be interested in, and consistently keeping this updated and let them know your expertise when they need it.

I’d love to get your thoughts and feedback and talk about this with you.  Let’s focus on what our buyers and users need versus what we think they need.  In the end, the cost of all the effort needs to be better channeled so that the cost to acquire your revenue is optimized for the buyer not the seller.

I invite you to explore the differences and value of Salesforce Pardot and Salesforce communities with me.  They can work hand-in-hand very effectively for your organization.

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Keys to Delivering Exceptional Innovative Service and Technical Expertise for our Customers

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Customer Experience. Another buzzword? Maybe. We don’t think so. For us at White Rock Technologies, the challenge our customers share is how to secure a customer so that trust is not broken, that future sales will be inherent from that trust, and that a long-term trajectory of business and relationship is solidified with consistent service and product quality.
As the trusted expert to our customers using Salesforce.com, the objective of a great customer experience requires us to meet five critical objectives so that their use of Salesforce.com will, in fact, continuously provide their sales teams with a business and technical solution that drives the customer experience from the customer’s eyes.

Which leads to the first deliverable our customers have come to expect from us which is business empathy. When solving problems for our customers, not only do we need to be focused empathetically on how our customer perceives the problem to solve but we also must be acutely aware of how this resolution is perceived by their customers. We do this by taking the position of multiple job roles in our customer’s organization as if we are a new hire on day 1. We ask questions that start conversations to understand what experience is taking place now and where they want to go moving forward and how fast that change delta needs to be accomplished to keep the customer in the experience upper-right quadrant of engagement and quality.

The next requirement our customers have learned to expect from us is a sound methodology for gathering requirements. Our customers expect us to have concise, well-defined, and accurate scopes of work to properly solve for customer experience needs. Our objective is to create a solution in Salesforce that makes our customer’s various roles better focused on providing an evangelical-like experience for their customers and also to make delivering that experience practical by eliminating complexities in the workflow. We use a methodology that focuses on workflow by function/job role, determining the desired outcome/objective, and achieving this outcome/objective within a mutually agreed upon expected time frame with measurements along the way.

Having the ability to communicate effectively and consistently with our customers is where we demonstrate our business empathy and quality of requirement gathering. Not only is it critical that we have great written communication, but we separate ourselves from our competitors through our verbal communication. The confidence that we possess in our talent and experience is humbling knowing that all great solutions take research and hard work to deliver the right solution at the right time.

Probably the most important key to exceptional delivery of our solutions to customers is our ability to manage expectations and measure our performance against what we contract to provide. Our customers trust our expertise. They know that the timing of outcomes and results are critical to their customer’s experience. Their sales teams rely on our delivery of solutions to be on time, on budget, and to produce the outcome for their customer – a consistent service that is sustainable.

We speak Salesforce. We also speak business. We know how to integrate the two disciplines to add additional value to our customers which translates into a great customer experience for them and for their customers. We treat accounting and KPIs as the language of business. Using Salesforce to achieve the results expected by our customers is how we meet their expectations and keep their trust.

If your organization uses Salesforce and there is a need for consultative resources to help you improve your customer’s experience, please reach out to us. We would be honored to help.

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Now Live! Salesforce Summer ’17 Release

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It’s the 53rd software release, or improvement, by Salesforce that went live today.  Salesforce has and will continue to outpace its competitors with their release strategy.  Salesforce performs 3 improvements annually now, in the summer, winter, and spring and named accordingly with the year.

With the Summer ’17 release, there is a significant move forward with the new interface, Lightning, and the artificial intelligence, Einstein.  Both developments have been in the works for several years but this release has moved them much deeper into functionality for organizations. 

Lightning was first introduced at DreamForce ’15 with quite a bang only to launch like a North Korean rocket test.  There has been little movement by most organizations to the Lightning platform since then but this release has made significant gains most notably in the Lightning App Builder.  The depth and breadth of the capabilities of Lightning are now realized because it enables development to a fairly clever level without coding.  The WYSIWYG-like experience for page design is intuitive and fast.  Lightning fast.

Einstein is an interesting AI tool as it relates to the Lead object.  With Einstein, organizations now get incredible insight and scoring on their leads without having to work through the layers with data scientists.  Einstein does this work now for the organization.  One caveat is in your current data structure within the Force platform.  There are some significant requirements to have the capacity to utilize the tool that must already exist in the Salesforce organization.  This will limit a lot of small organizations simply because of the lack of data volume.

There are some other related new features in this release that are worth noting as well.  The new Lightning for Gmail provides all the contextual records that are part of each email to be seen.  Coupled with Einstein, this provides a deeper analysis of lead readiness.  Another feature that is pretty cool is the Social Studio Einstein Vision.  This is part of the marketing cloud and provides your marketing team intelligence related to images that are shared on social networks.

With the Summer ’17 release, there are about 300 new features mostly centered around the advancement of Lightning and Einstein.  The release is very organized and well done.  We believe that this release is a true competitive advantage too. 

If you would like to discuss or learn more about the new Summer ’17 release, I invite you to call or email me to schedule some time. 

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The Big Picture – Look at the Total Value of Salesforce to your Organization

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CRM.  It’s more than a buzz word.  It’s more than just the stock ticker symbol for Salesforce.  Simply put, you can manage your customers and report on them from one system.  Salesforce is the most powerful tool to a business that is dedicated to its customers.  Why, because you know what you need to know when you need to know it which delights your customers.  Your customers feel your since of dedication.

So, how do you know if your organization would benefit or even need Salesforce?  Let’s look at some compelling reasons:

  1. Your customer information is not consolidated to one location

Do you use multiple systems to record your customer’s contact information and order information?  Are your sales teams using sticky notes all over their monitors?  Are you using multiple spreadsheets to track prospective calls, customer to-do items, and emails?  If you are then you are at a disadvantage because you are not able to report performance quickly for rapid decision making and your competitor may have an advantage over you.

  1. Your visibility into your Sales Team is foggy

Without an organized workflow process into one system, your insight into your sales team is like an early morning fog over a river.  You can’t see what great things may be happening or not from the Post-It notes and great meetings that may be taking place.  Your middle-of-the-pack sales reps and new hires may be having some great meetings and progress with a prospect but it can’t be properly captured and reported in a timely manner.

  1. Creating your weekly, monthly, quarterly, and ad hoc reports take too much time and too many people to produce

If your back-office team is consumed with trying to get information to leadership related to deals and forecasts, then their time is not getting optimized and decision making is at risk and delayed.  Your customer is left hanging in the wings on your decisions for moving policy, product, and service at the fastest and highest quality.

  1. You are suffering from lost opportunities and can’t get a handle on where the losses are occurring

Your messaging and pitch are getting delivered out of a shot gun barrel to your prospects and customers without regard to their identified needs and timing of those needs.  Your marketing efforts are not dialed in to the specific opportunities and the sales activities are not matched up to identified demands.

  1. Your ability to grow your business optimally does not exist because of a lack of scalability of a refined effort

If your business rate of growth were to jump from 4% to 30%, what effect would it have on your operations?  Could you meet the demand?  Could you measure the performance and could you predict the outcome?

 

If you can envision these types of scenarios and match them into your organization to come up with some answers, then ask yourself if you had a CRM system like Salesforce how could you better optimize your performance.  Let’s look at some key attributes in your organization where improvements would be made using Salesforce:

  1. Managing the velocity of your deals

Focusing on the “tipping point” activity, those activities that drive a deal to the next step are always a challenge in any organization.  Without an organized approach that has insight for your leadership to determine if the activity is adhering to your policies and needs of the customer, you can run a stray in many areas like:

  1. Scoring a prospect’s readiness to do business
  2. Inadequate or inaccurate information about a specific attribute of a prospect
  3. Proper timing and message to a prospect
  4. Lack of timely reporting and decision making on deal progress

Having a system optimized to carry out these executables in your organization using a system like Salesforce will keep you from achieving your vision and adversely affect cash flow.

  1. Maximizing your sales team’s time with their prospects and customers

The key to sales growth is spending time, quality time, with their constituents.  Even if they are long time employees having the ability to track, report, and be guided is critical to your operational flow and cash projections.  Salesforce enables this for your organization in many ways but here are some of the critical means:

  1. Having a single repository for data input that can be accessed from anywhere is vital to the input and reduce redundant data capture
  2. Workflow automation of mundane tasks will reduce the overhead required on a deal thus increasing the deal velocity
  3. Providing mobile access in the field as well as in their office allows for timely input without delays

 

  1. Salesforce’s Artificial Intelligence in Account-Based Management enables highly-valued experiences for your customers

Knowing the critical timing of events about your customers is key in the markets today.  We are encumbered with so much information that is spewing across the digital landscape that needs to be extrapolated into meaningful, quantifiable information that you must react faster for your customer to push deals through and recognize when a new one is formulating.  Using the AI tool in Salesforce, Einstein, can provide these key benefits to your sales team:

  1. Automatic creation and capture of information about the most important events that lead to new deals from prospects or customers
  2. Accurate information gathered from the use of Einstein will produce more effective and accurate sales forecasts
  3. Dissimilate news and other events related to your prospects and customers to craft marketing opportunities to them automatically
  4. Decrease the time it takes to update basic information about your customers and spend more time on analyzing the information for opportunity

Building your case for Salesforce or improving Salesforce if you already use it takes dedication for continuous improvement in your organization by focusing on these key areas:

  1. Building repeatable, sustainable actions that can be measured in Salesforce that match your organization’s mission, objectives, and core values
  2. Creating a culture where adoption of Salesforce and its features are known to make a difference for your customers and your customer’s customer
  3. Build standard Dashboards for the key metrics that your leadership established policy around to demonstrate performance improvement
  4. Creation of a plan that can be followed that prioritizes the steps to take in Salesforce that all of the organization can get behind to support, take action toward, and improve for the benefit of the customer and to the delight of your people

Taking this approach in your organization will mean that you are truly dedicated to the betterment of your customers and your team.  It’s hard work but it will make a difference and provide significant competitive advantage in your market.  We would love to help you and answer any questions that you may have with your CRM strategy in Salesforce.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions or additional information that you may need.

 

 

 

Blog Posts

Reporting Your Revenue Forecast using Salesforce.com

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Reporting the revenue forecast in Salesforce.com is vital information for predicting Sales, budgeting operational support and planning cash flow.  The sales team is hard at work moving deals to close and staying on track while management is reviewing these deals to determine how viable and credible the forecast will be for the specific reporting period.  Let’s take a deep dive into a simple illustration of how this gets done and what the components are of the forecast.

The deals, or Opportunities, as the standard name goes in Salesforce, are the records stored in the database that show how well a deal is progressing towards the expected close date and amount of the sale.  Each deal has some standard fields that are used to reflect and calculate this important milestone.  Here is a summary of these standard fields that help with the forecast report:

Opportunity Name – the identifying name of the specific deal

Opportunity Owner – the rep that is working the deal and owns its success

Stage – the progress point of the deal (refer to last week’s article for more details)

Opportunity Amount – how much the deal is worth in dollars

Close Date – the date that the deal is expected to close and become a sale

Probability – the percentage used of deals in a particular stage that close historically (refer to last week’s article)

Forecast Category – the value assigned to a stage when reporting sales pipeline results

NOTE: If you didn’t read last week’s article, this would be a good time to refer back so that the calculations are clear as we present the reporting of opportunities below.

The critical computation for the forecast is related to the Opportunity Amount, the Stage, and the Probability.  Because management continuously reviews the percentage of deals that close based on information gathered that is related to a “good” deal and a “not-so-good” deal, the probability represents what the likelihood is that a deal will close with the details of each input about the deal. Here is an example of a typical forecast report:

As you can see from the example, the Amount column represents the total expected revenue to be generated from the deals in the list while the Expected Revenue is related to which stage the deal is in and the probability associated with that stage based on historical outcomes.  For example, the first deal in the report for XYZ Corp, shows a deal that is valued at $1,500 but because it is so early in its stage, the deal probability is only 10% based on experience.  The basis of the 10% can be further adjusted if the parameters of this specific deal are not in line with what historical deals may have had too if they are very different from past deal parameters.

Let’s dive into parameters now.  These parameters are custom defined attributes of a deal based on sales leadership’s knowledge of their product and services.  Each stage has a set of specific parameters that must be articulated to a prospective customer in order to learn whether they are a true buyer. 

Suppose we look at all the stages in a another deal example.  Looking at each stages below, we have a specific set of actions and information that must be captured by the rep from the prospect by stage to give credibility to the overall health a deal.  Here is a table of what this might look like:

Stage – Prospecting

Parameters to learn in this stage:

  • Reception to Elevator Pitch - pitch the deal
  • Size of organization - how big is the org - are they the right "fit" for our product/service
  • Has a compelling driver for product/service - what is the pain point that they are experiencing
  • There is a project sponsor and budget - can they fund this project or get funding - what is the cost of doing nothing?

Stage – Discovery

Parameters to learn in this stage:

  • Define current problem - size up the problem and the effect on the organization's operation - what is the metric
  • Where is the pain felt from the problem - which area of the organization is experiencing the problem
  • What other options are being considered for the solution - competitors

Stage – Solution/Presentation

Parameters to learn in this stage:

  • Share solution options and successes from them - present the solution and pricing
  • Implementation timeline presented and solution demonstrated - how will the solution get implemented and how long will it take
  • Feedback on demonstration - what is the reaction and next step from the prospect and the sponsors

Stage – Negotiate and Close

Parameters to complete in this stage:

  • Submit final adjustments and contract for signing - any discounts, other terms and conditions to consider to push the deal through
  • Plan implementation - bring the players in for the implementation game plan
  • Get documents signed and hand-off to production - ink the deal!

Each of these parameters for the stages in this example are key turning points (tipping points that take the deal to the next step/deal velocity) for the deal to progress and move forward.  As each of these parameters are learned, completed and evaluated for quality related to the history of similar opportunities, the probability is established based on the answers to each of the parameters.  For example, if in stage Prospecting, it is learned that there is no funding for the deal, then the chances will be very low to zero that this deal will progress, so it would fall “outside” of the “normal” historical deal flow for this stage. 

The parameters are what roll up to support a deal based on their values.  The stages have typical average times that it requires to learn this information, and the probability is based on when these values “fit” within the excepted and expected answers for a deal to meet the expected outcome.  The revenue forecast is most accurate when these components are evaluated on a regular basis with the sales team to reconcile the values and accuracy so that revenue forecasting is lined up with actual progress of deals thus solidifying the revenue expectation, projected cash, and operating expenses related to each deal.

We invite your feedback and ideas to share related to the revenue forecast.  Please contact us with your comments and questions. 

 

 

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Calculating the Revenue Forecast – Standard Approach using Salesforce.com

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The work related to a valid and accurate revenue forecast using the Opportunity Object is one of the most valuable components of the platform.  Let’s take a deep dive into the details.

If you are a Salesforce.com organization, you may have an approach to revenue forecasting that is unique to your organization.  We use organization because there are revenue forecasting techniques for non-profits who need to forecast donor collections which are treated like revenue.  So, from the standpoint of the mechanics of Salesforce, these transactions have similar characteristics.

In last week’s article, I shared the reconciliation of a revenue forecast.  I highlighted, at a high level, the standard components that are used in determining the accuracy of the forecast.  Now, let’s take this a step further.

Let’s start with the workflow of an opportunity.  In Salesforce, the Account, or customer, is where the recordkeeping begins.  The Account contains the many attributes of your customer like address, how you may have sourced the customer, the status of the customer, and so on.  In addition, there are the key contacts to the account; those individuals that you work with and their specific information like contact information, social media information, and recorded historical activities and meetings that have taken place with your contacts.  In addition, you may have your accounting information such as sales that report into your Account from another system to have sales, product, and service information related to this customer thus giving you a full picture of your account. 

Now, we need to understand where will the next revenue be coming from.  Typically, in Salesforce, the object called Opportunities is used.  Opportunities are related in the database to the Account and the Contact.  Opportunities are organized by stages of the progress towards a sale by using the standard field called Stage.  The Stage field is designed around your typical deal progress from the beginning where awareness of the deal is learned all the way to the day that the contract is inked.  The Stage field comes with pre-loaded values or you can customize these values with you own stages.  Here is a typical layout of an Opportunities Stages:

As you can see, these stage values are listed in the order of the deal progress.  There is the stage name, an API name to be used in the software language to reference, the Type, the Probability, and the Forecast Type.  Each of these columns show the values in the fields related to the stage.  In this example, if there is a single opportunity that is in the Prospecting stage, management has agreed that there is a 2% probability that the deal will close.  In other words, 2% of all deals that begin for this company in our example will result in a closed sale based on the sales history.  This varies based on each business, of course, but the logic is based on history and the information that is gathered on the opportunity in this stage and compared to previously won and closed deals. 

Let’s look at the individual components that may be part of the Prospecting stage in our example.  We use “two plays” in our Prospecting stage, Account Research and Initiate Contact.  Each play has a set of parameters that must be learned (prospected).  These parameters may look like this:

The answers to these questions are captured in the Opportunity record in these fields.  When captured they are benchmarked against the historical answers for this specific stage to determine if they match historically and if so, then the probability of 2% will most likely be accurate since the values would be matched to opportunities that closed historically with the same or similar values.  In this example, if Account size in number of meters typically has 100 or more meters for the opportunity to advance but the actual value captured is less than 100, then the probability that this deal has a 2% chance of advancing to a close is already off track and less than 2%.  The same logic is used for each field in each play.  The sales manager then can review the information in the Prospecting Stage to determine how well a specific deal is matching up to the historical values of past deals. 

When the opportunity is setup in Salesforce, there are two standard fields to help with the forecast of revenue, Amount and Expected Revenue.  For an early stage opportunity, there may not be any value yet because it is too early to know the amount.  If so, then Amount would show zero and the Expected Revenue the same.  If, however, the product that they want has a price of $1,500 and they needed 2 items, then the Amount would show $3,000 and the Expected Revenue would show $60.

The affect is that for early stage forecasting, $60 dollars can be added to a period’s revenue forecast if the anticipated Contract start date is within the reporting period.  In other words, if this deal begins on January 1 and has a projected contract start date of March 31, the revenue forecast will include $60 for this early stage deal based on the parameters captured in the plays of the Prospecting Stage.

This logic is used for each stage for each deal and the calculations roll down the same way through each set of “plays” per opportunity stage. 

This is how we help customers design and organize their revenue forecast within Salesforce.  Next week, we will go into detail about how the “plays” work and score an opportunity and determine if it is on track to close and how this will affect the overall forecast. 

If you have any comments or questions regarding these forecasting practices, we would love to hear your feedback.

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Reconciliation of the Revenue Forecast

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When we think of the accounting process of reconciliation, we typically are thinking of the reconciliation of the balance sheet accounts.  After all, the working capital side of a business is closed out annually and the earnings or losses are swept into retained earnings.  The FASB requirements and standard practices of reporting for organizations.

But back on the working capital side of business where operations take place (Sales and Expenses), there is a far more important reconciliation process that is imperative to the life blood (cash) of a business. This reconciliation centers around the most important account in the chart of accounts, revenue.

Yes, sales reconciliation is full of bends and twists. We read about it every day, organizations missing the mark on sales forecast.  Do you ever wonder why this occurs?

At White Rock, we work in Salesforce.com every day and we serve our customers who use it for tracking customer activity, recording opportunities for leadership, and addressing the anticipated sales transactions in the organization.  The revenue may be derived from services, products, or donations.

What we know about the system processes that we build is that there is a defined and predictable relationship between the data recorded in an opportunity’s stage of the sale and the forecast category.  For example, an organization may have a five-stage opportunity process like this:

  1. Initiate
  2. Discovery
  3. Prove
  4. Propose
  5. Negotiate

These stages would be related to a forecast category setup maybe like this:

  1. Pipeline
  2. Best Case
  3. Commit
  4. Likely to Close

There is a percentage that is assigned to the stage to represent how likely that opportunity will be to get booked as a sale.  These percentages are determined based on history and sales management’s sales process activity criteria.  Here is an example of how this all comes together in Salesforce.com:

Stage                     Probability of Close                         Forecast Category

Initiate                  10%                                                        Pipeline

Discover               20%                                                        Pipeline

Prove                    50%                                                       Best Case

Propose               70%                                                        Best Case

Negotiate            90%                                                        Commit

In this example, if we have a deal that is in the Prove stage, then management has determined that 50% of the time, half the deals, will close when they reach this stage and they are categorized for Forecasting purposes as a best case.  If the total value of those deals is $2,000,000 then experience says that $1,000,000 will result in booked sales.

Now the tricky part.  What “moves” a deal along in these stages that provides the forecast outcomes?  Well, sales activity on behalf of the sales team, of course.  It is assumed that the activities are accurate and well-defined to result in a predictable probability of booked sales.

But, what happens if a sales person is “pushing” the input of data to better reflect a deal’s progress to help the in-process performance look better?  Of course, then, we have a padded prediction.  If management is not testing the sales activity inputs and puts an inherent trust in the values provided in the sales activity, then a risk is now set in a deal’s outcome.  There is a mismatch now recorded in the deal tracking system between the buyer’s view and the seller’s view.  Here is where the reconciliation of forecasted revenue breaks down.

This is where organizations should focus their reliance on the type of sales activity that is required in a specific stage of a deal/opportunity.  We see so many times where there is poorly defined or subjectively defined activity requirements that are not really supporting a buyer’s behavior.  As a result, quarterly forecasts become overstated and unreliable or, even worse, dangerously reflecting the value of future cash flows.

We believe that proper processes and tools that can be associated with long cycle sales are the most important, tactical weapons against this risk.  We work with several organizations that focus on this and, in fact, we have developed applications native in Salesforce.com to help leaders have reliable sales forecasting.

We recommend that these types of tools be leveraged to provide a more objective set of activities that are directly related to the buyer’s journey and behavior.  Using them will thwart the subjective input of data that can skew the success of a deal.  We invite you to learn more about how White Rock can help you ramp up and conquer the risk and dangers of over-stated progress of deals in your organization.

The proper reconciliation of revenue in an organization is so vital to a healthy predictable cash flow.  The setup of the Opportunity object in Salesforce.com utilizing the standard fields Stage and Forecast Category are vital.  If this is an area where you think your organization can improve, please give us a call.