Increasing sales and achieving business goals are two common challenges for sales teams. But beyond them, improving sales forecasting is a dream for companies. For this, it is important to evolve the commercial sector and implement new methodologies for prospecting new customers.
With innovative processes and strategies, it is possible to achieve all the objectives mentioned above, generating more results, hitting targets and having a more assertive sales forecast.
Thus, it is possible to guarantee the continuous entry of new customers, develop more efficient plans for the medium and long term, also have revenue predictability, define investments, outline future actions and prepare for seasonality.
So, in this article, to help managers improve their sales forecast, we’re going to talk about new customer prospecting methods and data-driven management.
Understanding what sales forecasting is
When talking about sales predictability, the main objective is to make a reliable forecast of the future based on past and present data. That is, using concrete information to make decisions rather than just guesses and assumptions.
In practice, this means having a perspective on the sales potential of the commercial area for that given period. In this way, management can estimate the number of deal closures in a month, quarter or even year.
For sellers, it is possible to establish clearer and more realistic goals than what is expected of them, based on the data collected and analyzed projections.
For leaders, executives and directors, this information helps bring insights about which investments will be more efficient, accurate and profitable, generating more results.
That is why it is so important to work with data-based management to monitor all processes, indicators and actions that take place in the commercial sector in order to find bottlenecks, identify opportunities and continuously optimize the area.
However, at the same time, it is essential to plan prospecting for new customers based on new methods to increase sales and promote greater predictability.
What are the main types of sales forecasting?
From the scenario above, the question remains: but how to apply the sales forecast in my business? To answer this question from managers, we will present the 3 main types of data analysis for commercial forecasting.
Market: with the mapping of the market, it is possible to verify the consumer buying scenario for your products, the success of your competitors and whether the segment is growing.
History: here you can evaluate your company’s results and actions, for example, in the last year. With this, you can predict the sales volume that your team can reach, the goals that can be achieved and how much this performance can be improved monthly with an investment.
Sales funnel: from capturing leads and their evolution in the sales funnel, in addition to taking into account the time needed to close deals in your company, it is possible to check the sales forecast for the coming months.
Actions: this analysis process is used when the company plans to carry out an event or a specific action to increase sales volume. This assessment then encompasses the stock’s investments, the amount of demand that must be generated for the stock to be worthwhile, and the sellers’ efforts to turn that demand into revenue.
Importance of prospecting for new customers for sales forecasting
It is clear that the sales forecast allows, based on data analysis, to monitor possible problems in the commercial sector and reorganize it in order to achieve the results. In addition, it facilitates investments and the incorporation of strategies with a view to future planning.
By adopting this predictability monitoring, the great advantage is to promote decision-making in advance. After all, it makes it possible to predict trends and adjust accordingly, especially when comparing current periods with history.
For example, if the forecast says your team is 15% short of the target for the quarter, it’s a sign that management needs to figure out what’s going on. In this way, it is possible to redirect the paths to put sales on the right path, or even, if necessary, the goal can be corrected and reduced.
On the other hand, a forecast may indicate a possible 30% growth in sales in the quarter, either due to the increase in the generation of business opportunities with leads reaching the final stages of purchase or due to the increase in closings.
So, the company can prepare to meet this demand, hiring salespeople to finalize these sales and other professionals to deliver the acquired services.
In any case, whether in one example or another, to positively impact the sales forecast, it is necessary to introduce new customer prospecting techniques and methodologies.
How to transform prospecting for new customers to drive results
It is worth remembering that 1 in 4 companies are not happy with the quality of their sales projection, according to the CSO Insights study.
So, let’s talk about how to draw up a prospecting plan for new customers effectively in your company, transforming the commercial sector, to achieve the expected results in forecasting sales, revenue and business growth.
Structured lead capture process
The first point to evolve new customer prospecting strategies and impact sales forecast is to plan the business process for capturing leads. For that, you need to check:
- Ideal customer profile;
- Mapping of pains and challenges;
- Sales history;
- Operating market and trends;
- Structuring the sales team;
- Commercial objectives;
- Current sales funnel;
- Introduction of new prospecting methodologies.
From there, you can start generating qualified leads on an ongoing basis.
Commercial team training
This point seems a bit basic, but sales representatives are not always able to use new prospecting strategies and technologies, or are able to understand how the business process and the sales funnel work, or understand the concept of sales forecasting.
Therefore, it is essential to do a complete immersion with all professionals in the sector to clarify all doubts and ensure that everyone is aligned to succeed in all stages of the purchase process, from the first interaction via cold email or col call to the shutdown.
Marketing and Sales Union
The alignment between the marketing and sales teams helps to improve the complete analysis of the sales forecast, as well as to strengthen the prospecting of new customers through the integration of attraction marketing strategies and active prospecting.
Regarding the first point, it is possible to study the number of sales expected for a given period and the company’s average conversion rate to establish the total volume of leads needed to become qualified leads, evolve into opportunities and, thus, into closures.
On the other hand, regarding the integration of strategies, from the union of the two lead capture actions, it is possible to increase the demand generation capacity and also promote greater qualification. Since the leads will go through a process of education, knowledge, relationship and convincing.
Use of sales engagement
Many leads end up being lost during business processes. Therefore, the sales engagement technique is so important to help salespeople create positive relationships with leads, with effective communication, empathy and interactions that really generate value and interest for them. This helps leads evolve through the sales funnel.
Definition of the sales pipeline
To improve sales forecasting, having an exact idea of how your pipeline is doing is essential. Thus, it is possible to have a complete view of the opportunities in progress, in which stage each one is, what is the average time of the sales cycle and each stage and which opportunities take longer to materialize.
Plus, it makes it easier to manage your workforce and focus efforts on leads that are most likely to close.
To assemble the pipeline, managers must define the customer’s journey, the sales stages, the tasks to be carried out at each moment (such as cold email, cold call, interaction via LinkedIn, etc.), the maximum time for each stage , triggers for lead evolution in stages and monitoring of results.
Data analysis and data-driven management
When prospecting for new customers, indicators are indispensable tools for checking everything from lead generation to conversion into sales, as well as the commercial cycle, the average ticket, the cost of acquiring customers and the return on investment.
With the mapping of these and other more detailed data of the operation, it is possible to carry out in-depth analyzes to support decision-making and make management more effective based on solid and reliable information on your business process.
Investment in innovation and technology
Finally, commercial 4.0 calls for more and more investments in innovation and technologies to optimize processes for prospecting new customers, managing leads, integrating strategies, analyzing data and training staff.
With that in mind, don’t forget to always look for the best trends and solutions on the market to support the sales team, such as automation, artificial intelligence, Big Data, management systems and other tools.
Count with ASB Marketing to increase your sales
If you want to implement demand generation strategies in your business, it is of paramount importance to start with planning.
In this scenario, understand your audience, online behavior, preferences and, especially, make an analysis of your competitors and current demands of the market.
Then understand how your sales process works and what characteristics need to be changed to meet your ideal customer profile.
In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that demand generation does not only occur by paid media, on the contrary, inbound marketing actions (attraction marketing) and demand generation generate very advantageous results for organizations when well employed.
Finally, you can count on an experienced marketing and sales company to support the implementation of these strategies, such as ASB Marketing.
With the best innovative methodologies and tools, ASB Marketing finds its ideal customer and qualifies them through fully automated and personalized email cadence.
When the lead arrives at the purchase decision phase, we only passed on to your commercial team to close the negotiation. With this, we guarantee increased sales, reduction of trade cycle, cost optimization and support in long -term business expansion.
Do you want to know more? Go now and see how ASB Marketing can help your business!