The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Friday Fundamentals EP 7: Forecasting Your Pipeline To Hit Your Number

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Focus on hitting your numbers. 

Grow your pipeline. 

What's your formula? How many booking do you need to make? On this episode of Friday Fundamentals, we chat about forecasting your pipeline to hit your numbers.

Everybody, it's another episode of Fridayfundamentals and the sales hacker podcast. I'm your host, Sam Jacobs, andI am the founder of the revenue collective. Today we're going to be talking tothis week's guest, Amy Apple Yard. If you remember, Friday fundamentals isa very short maybe ten minutes, one snippet, one tactical piece ofadvice or information that you can use to do better in your job, whetherit's about forecasting, negotiation, career pathing, etc. And we're going to talktoday with to amy about kind of pipeline forecasting and accuracy and the activitiesthat you need to drive your outcomes. Now, before we get to that, we want to thank our sponsor, that is outreach. Outreach triples theproductivity of sales teams and empowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth byprioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement with intelligent automation. Outreach makes customerfacing teams more effective and improves visibility into...

...what really drives results. Hop overto outreach AO forwards sales haccer to see how thousands of customers, including cloudera glass door Pandora and Zillo all rely on outreach to deliver higher revenue forSales Rep. Now let's chat with amy. Amy, walk us through how doyou think about running amid market sales team and you've got a whole bunchof activities you could be measuring? How do you approach it? What arethe key activities and how does that drive forecasting accuracy? Great, I lovethis question. So I think we spend a lot of time here at carbonblack trying to figure out exactly what that success formula is right. So asthe leadership team, our responsibility is to help the reps understand if you dothese five or six things you know with with great regularity, you will hityour bookings target. So once you've set that formula and people have committed toit, you can then start to see the deals slow in and can helpfigure out a forecast it. But for us here, what we're focusing onour calls, so number of phone calls in addition to the number of conversationsthat you're having. So any kind of...

...phone call that is longer than fiveminutes, but that might be different depending on what you're selling. Then meetingset and meetings delivered. So we try to look at both, because youcan set appointments but they don't necessarily always get delivered, as well as openand then ultimately bookings. So we find that if we actually focus on justdoing that work, making the number of calls, having the conversation, settingthe meetings, getting making sure that you're delivering the meetings and then building thepipeline, if you're doing each of those things, you can sort of lookat your conversion rate between each and try to figure out what your formula isand how many calls you need to make in order to be able to deliverthe bookings as you are building that pipeline. One of the things that I tryto focus on that helps us figure out how to forecast really accurately ishow we kind of bucket the deal. So you might have in the midmarketspace, you might have under K deals or under k deals that are justgoing to come like a run rate business that will come very frequently for youif you are keeping up with the dials and having the conversations and setting themeetings and all of that, and that...

...you might, if you can getto where it is really predictable, you might not need to spend a tonof time forecasting those or talking about those with your manager because you just knowit's going to come because you're doing the work and you just get that businessclosed. But then there's probably a couple other buckets. Maybe it's like twoto five or six K, or could be three to ten K, aswell as the bigger deals, depending on, I mean your average deal size,maybe above K, maybe Bo k, where you want to have different motionsto go along with them and make sure that you've got the time carvedout in your day to do the research for the bigger deals, to havethe longer conversations. Maybe it's a longer, you know, POC process or evlprocess, and having those big deals and pacing yourself knowing those are goingto you need a couple of those each quarter, or maybe a handful ofthe medium size deals each quarter. Helps you not just get lost in thatrun rate business. So you do the activities and then you figure out howto segment your pipeline in some way and see where you need to apply timeand also ask for help, and that,...

...for us, is starting to workhere at carbon black. Thinking about it in that way, it's somethingthat I learned while at log man. There there's an incredible forecast accuracy systemthere. Then it's something that we're implementing here at carbon black as well.When you think about the are you open to sharing some of the number,the specific numbers may be, on a daily basis? How many calls doyou expect em in market rep to make and how many meetings were they tryingto set, maybe either per day or per week? Yeah, so we'regood, I actually feel like right now. So I just joined this company acouple months ago and we're trying to figure out exactly what that that formulais. So we have a couple different teams. We have an SMB,which is a higher velocity team, as well as a corporate team, andwe're looking for the SMB at roughly twenty thirty calls a day and for theCorp about, you know, fifteen twenty. There are some folks who insist thatthey're making all their phone calls on their cell phone and that that's whynot showing up and sail for maybe you can still log and activity in salesforce, but that's a behavior that we're...

...trying to encourage here, because I'mtrying to look back historically at what has happened to see. Okay, forthe folks who are delivering, so you know who are successfully hitting plan,like every every month and every quarter and every year. How many phone callsdid they make? And surprisingly, there is a High Court and, notsurprisingly, the high correlation between the people who are making all the dials andwho are delivering the bookings with a with a high level of consistency. Sothose are conversations that were having here and just trying to encourage everybody to recordthe information so that they can then for themselves know are they going to makeplan and that, I think once somebody tries, once you kind of flipand think, well, wow, this is really going to help me understandhow to hit my targets. Then it becomes less of a laborious task andsomething where you actually want to know, like what is my formula? Youmight not need to make thirty dollars a day. Maybe you can do itwith five, and I would love that. Like, I am not going tobeat anybody up for the number of phone calls they're making or conversations they'rehaving if they're hitting their bookings target. Yeah, and and in no caseare you asking people to do a hundred...

...dials a day. So I thinkthirty s a pretty reasonable request. Yeah, yeah, for definitely for the quoteof carries. We also have a see our teams and they are targeted, we know, quite a bit higher, but that's their motion, right,and and that's they are moving very quickly through through the leads that aremarket new team is is generating. So they're probably six thousand and seventy eightydials just getting through all the leads that they have. Yeah, and butyou're giving him a ton of leads and you're on an auto dialer, soit's really kind of set up your head, set press and wait for people answerthe phone. Yeah, yeah, awesome. So, so recapping it'sit's dial it's sort of dials, it's connects, essentially our conversations held,meeting set, meetings held, opportunities generated and then total pipeline and ostensibly orprobably looking for maybe five x pipeline coverage relative to quotas. That sound aboutit right? Yeah, I'd love for it to be a little lower,but that's about where we are right now. Perfect, amy, thank you somuch for contributing to Friday fundamentals. You've been an outstanding guest all weekon the salesacer podcast and we've loved to...

...have you, so thanks again foryour time. Thank you.

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