The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

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


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

...what really drives results. Hop over to outreach AO forwards sales haccer to see how thousands of customers, including cloud era glass door Pandora and Zillo all rely on outreach to deliver higher revenue for Sales Rep. Now let's chat with amy. Amy, walk us through how do you think about running amid market sales team and you've got a whole bunch of activities you could be measuring? How do you approach it? What are the key activities and how does that drive forecasting accuracy? Great, I love this question. So I think we spend a lot of time here at carbon black trying to figure out exactly what that success formula is right. So as the leadership team, our responsibility is to help the reps understand if you do these five or six things you know with with great regularity, you will hit your bookings target. So once you've set that formula and people have committed to it, you can then start to see the deals slow in and can help figure out a forecast it. But for us here, what we're focusing on our calls, so number of phone calls in addition to the number of conversations that you're having. So any kind of... call that is longer than five minutes, but that might be different depending on what you're selling. Then meeting set and meetings delivered. So we try to look at both, because you can set appointments but they don't necessarily always get delivered, as well as open and then ultimately bookings. So we find that if we actually focus on just doing that work, making the number of calls, having the conversation, setting the meetings, getting making sure that you're delivering the meetings and then building the pipeline, if you're doing each of those things, you can sort of look at your conversion rate between each and try to figure out what your formula is and how many calls you need to make in order to be able to deliver the bookings as you are building that pipeline. One of the things that I try to focus on that helps us figure out how to forecast really accurately is how we kind of bucket the deal. So you might have in the midmarket space, you might have under K deals or under k deals that are just going to come like a run rate business that will come very frequently for you if you are keeping up with the dials and having the conversations and setting the meetings and all of that, and that... might, if you can get to where it is really predictable, you might not need to spend a ton of time forecasting those or talking about those with your manager because you just know it's going to come because you're doing the work and you just get that business closed. But then there's probably a couple other buckets. Maybe it's like two to five or six K, or could be three to ten K, as well as the bigger deals, depending on, I mean your average deal size, maybe above K, maybe Bo k, where you want to have different motions to go along with them and make sure that you've got the time carved out in your day to do the research for the bigger deals, to have the longer conversations. Maybe it's a longer, you know, POC process or evl process, and having those big deals and pacing yourself knowing those are going to you need a couple of those each quarter, or maybe a handful of the medium size deals each quarter. Helps you not just get lost in that run rate business. So you do the activities and then you figure out how to segment your pipeline in some way and see where you need to apply time and also ask for help, and that,...

...for us, is starting to work here at carbon black. Thinking about it in that way, it's something that I learned while at log man. There there's an incredible forecast accuracy system there. 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 do you expect em in market rep to make and how many meetings were they trying to set, maybe either per day or per week? Yeah, so we're good, I actually feel like right now. So I just joined this company a couple months ago and we're trying to figure out exactly what that that formula is. So we have a couple different teams. We have an SMB, which is a higher velocity team, as well as a corporate team, and we're looking for the SMB at roughly twenty thirty calls a day and for the Corp about, you know, fifteen twenty. There are some folks who insist that they're making all their phone calls on their cell phone and that that's why not showing up and sail for maybe you can still log and activity in sales force, but that's a behavior that we're...

...trying to encourage here, because I'm trying to look back historically at what has happened to see. Okay, for the 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 calls did they make? And surprisingly, there is a High Court and, not surprisingly, the high correlation between the people who are making all the dials and who are delivering the bookings with a with a high level of consistency. So those are conversations that were having here and just trying to encourage everybody to record the information so that they can then for themselves know are they going to make plan and that, I think once somebody tries, once you kind of flip and think, well, wow, this is really going to help me understand how to hit my targets. Then it becomes less of a laborious task and something where you actually want to know, like what is my formula? You might not need to make thirty dollars a day. Maybe you can do it with five, and I would love that. Like, I am not going to beat anybody up for the number of phone calls they're making or conversations they're having if they're hitting their bookings target. Yeah, and and in no case are you asking people to do a hundred...

...dials a day. So I think thirty s a pretty reasonable request. Yeah, yeah, for definitely for the quote of 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 are market new team is is generating. So they're probably six thousand and seventy eighty dials just getting through all the leads that they have. Yeah, and but you're giving him a ton of leads and you're on an auto dialer, so it's really kind of set up your head, set press and wait for people answer the phone. Yeah, yeah, awesome. So, so recapping it's it'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 or probably looking for maybe five x pipeline coverage relative to quotas. That sound about it 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 so much for contributing to Friday fundamentals. You've been an outstanding guest all week on the salesacer podcast and we've loved to...

...have you, so thanks again for your time. Thank you.

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