June 4, 2021

Written by

Collective[i] Team

  • Posted in
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Forecast Friday
  • Artificial Intelligence

It's time to eliminate Forecast Friday

As suggested by its alliterative name, Forecast Fridays have become a fixture for many sales teams. Mention Forecast Fridays to a randomly selected salesperson, and there’s a good chance of conjuring tense images of roundtable meetings that eat up way more time than necessary — often without producing meaningful results. The kind of meeting in which a manager goes around and discusses each seller’s open deals one by one while the rest watch their inbox get bigger and wish desperately to get back to their job.

All that time is spent in pursuit of achieving a supposedly accurate look at what’s coming down the pipeline for the business. According to the TAS Group, time spent on sales forecasting is at least 2.5 hours per seller per week. Data from HubSpot estimates sellers spend as much as 12% of a seller’s time. Whether a sales team eats up that time in a weekly Forecast Friday meeting or through individual meetings and tedious data entry, the result is often the same: sales forecasts that are typically less than 75% accurate — in other words, not very accurate at all.

“Our research with organizations generally suggests that roughly 50 percent of meeting time is well spent and engaging, so folks feel as if it is a good use of their time,” organizational psychologist, author, and professor Steven Rogelberg tells Forbes. “However, that means that is not the case 50 percent of the time. That is not a positive ratio, especially when you look at the tremendous investment organizations make in meetings.”

There’s a better way

Think about how much more efficient selling teams could be without these kinds of distractions. Sellers could spend more of their time on what they do best — interacting with buyers and moving deals forward — and less time in meetings struggling to negotiate sales goals based on forecasts that don’t match with reality.

Collective[i] tools are built with a focus on prescriptive forecasting and empowering sellers to do more through collaborative selling tools built to support the way they actually work.

What is collaborative selling? It’s a model (also known as “frictionless selling”) where stakeholders on a given deal work together to bypass blockers and close complex deals. Collaboration is mandatory in the digital world, where sellers and buyers are increasingly working on deals together across offices, borders, and timezones.

That’s one of the reasons Collective[i] created Virtual DealRoomsTM — to provide a streamlined, real-time virtual environment that cuts back not only on meetings but also on emails, paperwork, and all of the other back-and-forth that comes along with moving a deal towards closing.

When sales communications are shared automatically, managers and sellers can spend their time more strategically. “Coaching time matters. But when it is not informed by real data it can become a waste of time,” says Collective[i] cofounder Stephen Messer. “DealRooms give coaches all the information they need to benefit the seller — and ultimately the customer.”

Our DealRooms let cross-functional teams — marketing and sales to legal and communications — all work and track progress on a deal in one place. Each room is powered by the same machine learning tech behind our forecasting tools, providing contextual recommendations for the best next steps. That, combined with our CRM automation and real-time sales forecasting, frees sellers from meetings and data-entry chores to help them focus on strategy and actions that will contribute to revenue.

The result is a perspective shift for the entire sales organization — away from Forecast Fridays and other time-intensive tasks that salespeople do simply because they’ve always done them. Now tasks come into focus that will have a measurable impact, which helps shift sales teams from wrestling with arbitrary sales goals and start bringing in more wins.

Click here to explore Collective[i] and see how features like Virtual DealRoomsTM are already changing the sales game for modern sales teams around the world.

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