The Principle of Getting More From What You Have

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

Jim Dickie and Barry Trailer in their Report “Sales Performance Optimization – 2006 Survey Results and Analysis” are telling us, that respondents to their survey, have indicated that an average of about 20% of deals forecasted end up with no decision by the customer.

Is the Pipeline a good metaphor for our list of opportunities?

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

Can you see the connection of this picture to our discussion about pumping up the pipeline (August 27, 2006). My short answer is no.

Rudimentary Forecast from Leaking Sales Funnel

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

If your Sales people work with lists of opportunities, they usually have captured the date when they expect the opportunity to close (Close Date), the expected order amount and a high level description of the solution the customer considers buying.

Tell me where the opportunity is

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

In yesterday’s entry, I mentioned that assigning win probabilities coupled with a sales process is counterintuitive at the individual salesperson’s level of responsibility. You can look at it as a very abstract, somewhat awkward way for the sales person to declare where the deal is.

Whither Forensic Forecasting?

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

You might agree with me, that sales people cannot be left alone when it comes to forecasting. There needs to be management adjustment. However as a sales executive be warned. Not all adjustments you make are reducing or eliminating bias and thus reduce forecasting errors.

A Pessimistic Sales Forecast is not an Oxymoron

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

So far we have only discussed potential root causes for inflated forecasts. Despite their ingrained optimism, sales people under certain circumstances produce deflated forecasts, meaning they turn out to be lower than actual sales.

Maybe an Example Would Help

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

You want to forecast orders received for September 2006. Yesterday’s entry was probably a bit to dry and theoretical for some of you. Maybe you were also among those who found a flaw in the formula or were missing the definitions of the different variables. To take care of the latter two observations, I have republished a revised version of the illustration for yesterday’s entry. For those that understand methods easier from looking at an example, here it is.

These Questions Had to Come Up

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

We are living in era of benchmarking and best practices. It is thus no surprise to me that after having given you an example how to derive a rudimentary forecast from the leaking sales funnel, questions like the following have arisen. You might ask yourself how many stages a sales funnel should have? In the picture of the entry prior to giving the example, I used six stages. For the example later, I used only four stages. The short answer is: It depends?

Do Not Stumble Over Your Weighted Forecast

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

A frequently used method to factoring into the forecast the fact that not all deals a sales organization works on are going to be won, is to assign a win probability to each opportunity in your list. If you then sum up all the expected order values multiplied by the respective win probability of all the opportunities in your list, you arrive at a weighted forecast.

Readers’ Feedback and Comments

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

In the first week of the existence of this Blog, you might believe it or not, there are already actual readers out there giving me encouraging feedback by e-mail. Many thanks to those readers! If giving comments and feedback by e-mail is the preferred way for you too, this is the e-mail address where you can send your comments to: c_a_maurer @ ceoexpress.com. (By By the way, if you click the link to my detailed profile on the left hand side bar, you can find the address there too.)

Imposed Optimism in Forecasting

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

How does this story fit into the context of the last entry about the usefulness of the metaphor of a Sales Pipeline for our list of known opportunities? Further development of the Leaking Sales Funnel Concept will eventually lead us to an alternative way of forecasting. So that later you can appreciate the benefits of a Funnel Based Forecasting Process, I want to first make you aware of flaws in forecasting process that can be observed today in the field.

No new contents today but more functionality

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

For those who hate having to check regularly if there is new contents by visiting The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource, I have added some “push” functionality". You can now subscribe to the RSS feed of The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource by activating the respective link on the side bar. Once activated, this will allow you to read this Blog with a news reader. Portals like myYAHOO myAOL or CEOExpress, to just name a few, have integrated news readers.

Pumping up your Sales Pipeline

The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource

I still have to meet the sales executive who is happy with her/his pipeline. When you ask them for the reason of their concern, the answer usually is: “it is not fat enough”. How do they know this? Obviously from experience. They know that only a fraction of the deals they and their people are currently working on will be won. The rule of thumb often heard in the High Tech Industry is that one out of three deals is usually won. The obvious thing to do, is thus to make the pipeline fatter.

Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy: Hard and Soft ROI - The differences and.

The ROI Guy

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 Hard and Soft ROI - The differences and quantification Hard and soft ROI usually refers more specifically to various benefits which can be included and used in an ROI analysis.

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Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy: TCA Champ - Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server?

The ROI Guy

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 TCA Champ - Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server?

Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy: Is Return on Customer (ROC) a good.

The ROI Guy

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 Is Return on Customer (ROC) a good business value metric?

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Although it’s not time to Party Like its 1999, There is Plenty to Celebrate

The ROI Guy

Annual growths in 2006 is expected to top 6%, and although projections for 2007 show a more conservative sentiment, spending increases are likely to continue with consensus estimates of 5% to 6% expected according to IDC and Forrester Research. in 2006. IT spending has experienced a healthy three years of budget increases since the beginning of 2004, giving many IT execs plenty of reasons to celebrate.

CIOs are from Mars, CFOs are from Venus:

The ROI Guy

For 2006 the number one business priority for CIOs was surveyed to be business process improvement – implementing technology to help the business become more streamlined and easier to do business with. [1]. 1] Growing IT Contribution: The 2006 CIO Agenda; Gartner EXP Survey of 1,400 CIOs worldwide

Business Value Selling and Sales Turnover - Continuous Working for Change

The ROI Guy

For IT sales forces, the average sales turnover rate as measured for 2004, 2005 and projected into 2006 is expected to be a lofty 30% according to well respected human resources research firm Culpepper. Many IT solution providers have recognized that selling the old way based on features, function and price just won’t cut it in today’s marketplace. The age of budget scrutiny, governance and accountability are upon us.

Does the Vista view include ROI?

The ROI Guy

Source: Optimizing Infrastructure: The Relationship Between IT Labor Cost s and Best Practices for Managing the Windows Desktop, IDC October 2006, #203482 Up to $430 in IT labor savings per PC per year can be achieved from implementing IDC recommended PC infrastructure optimization best practices – from Basic to Rationalized. With the official release of Microsoft Vista many corporations will be getting requests to upgrade, and puzzling over whether it makes fiscal sense.

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The ROI of RFID in the Supply Chain

The ROI Guy

There are several considerations for RFID solutions today, including: Tags: The cost per RFID tag has come down significantly over the past several years, reaching 10 cents per tag in 2006 versus 25 to 30 cents per tag in 2004. Although RFID implementations are not without costs and risks, a number of companies in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution and retailing have achieved a 200-percent return on investment.

Technology Sales & Marketing - Party Like its 1999?

The ROI Guy

A Q&A with me on latest IT sales and marketing metrics, trends and best practices Is 2006 shaping up to be a good year for IT spending growth? in 2006, with annual growth in software sales leading the way at 7.0%. Our partner IDC's CMO Advisory Practice projects that the global marketing budgets of IT vendors will increase by 7% on average in 2006. [1] What can sales teams expect for the rest of 2006? billion in 2006, up 8% from 2005.

Can Sarbanes-Oxley compliance generate any business ROI?

The ROI Guy

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) section 404 compliance requires companies to implement extensive internal controls and documentation. Many companies did not have sufficient control in place to comply when SOX was passed, so investments have been made in systems, personnel and auditing to assure compliance. In order to achieve a positive ROI, the SOX compliance must have net benefits that exceed the investment to achieve compliance. These benefits cannot be the compliance itself – ie.

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Seven Steps to a Highly Successful Budget Presentation: Proving Past Success

The ROI Guy

IT spending is expected to grow again for the third straight year, with average 5-8% increases expected again for 2007. As a result, the IT budgeting process should be easier than in years past. Corporations have cash to spend, and for some businesses such as finance, technology, professional services, retail and others where IT is an essential component of competitive advantage getting executives to invest more in IT will be easier than ever.

ROI Calculators - do they work and are they credible?

The ROI Guy

ROI Calculators are typically used on vendor websites to provide a tool where visiting prospects can quickly determine whether the vendor’s solutions can provide quantifiable value. Typically the calculators have a few questions in order to get an idea about the prospects business and opportunities from improvement. Using direct research results or estimates, the tools can simulate the impact of the solutions and quantify the potential benefits, costs and ROI (ROI = net benefits / costs).

What is the best time-frame to use for CRM ROI?

The ROI Guy

The longer you have to wait for benefits, the more risky the project is. As a rule of thumb, projects which take more than 12 months to achieve payback – where the cumulative benefits exceed the costs – is typical, even on CRM projects. Any project where the payback is more than 24 months out, I would suggest the team break into smaller, less ambitious projects – where the investment is smaller, and the initial benefits acheivements can help to pay for next round of investments.

How important is improving data management/data architecture processes before implementing CRM in order to achieve better ROI in a faster timeframe?

The ROI Guy

In a nutshell, the CRM system will use a large amount of information regarding prospects, leads customers, and orders, and create a large amount of data as various activities are entered and logged. Data integrity is essential. Without a good data architecture and integrity plan – what data is to be collected and integrated and how it is going to be used – the CRM solution may not prove as useful as possible, may prove unreliable, or may undergo overhauls midstream.

Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy: Time Frame for Measuring CRM ROI?

The ROI Guy

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The ROI Guy - Untitled Article

The ROI Guy

I received a question recently regarding VoIP: How do I do an analysis for VoIP on my network? The client had 24 sites, of which 5 were bigger sites (200-300 users) and the rest had 10-20 users. Management wanted a cost saving analysis and the team prepared a brief 2 month benefit calculation on thier own, but they needed more in order to get approval, and management was pushing back.

Is there a benefit to route analytics / mapping tools?

The ROI Guy

Surprisingly routing issues are the most frequent culprit regarding network failures and issues. These problems result in support calls to the service desk, and generate performance and service level issues. As a result, the network team jumps through hoops to try and locate the source of the issues and resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

What is a good benchmark for network management staffing?

The ROI Guy

Is there real business value behind the hype of SOA?

The ROI Guy

Each year Gartner surveys CIOs on their top priorities and invariably for the past 5 years Business / IT alignment has been in the top 5. The good news is that IT executives realize that collaborating with business leaders is vital to company success; the bad news is that alignment has been a top priority for the past eight years, as progress remains elusive, and the issue has not been resolved.

Is there any Value in that Upgrade?

The ROI Guy

We've all been there. An aggressive sales person is pitching the latest version upgrade, espousing the latest features and benefits. But the customer is more than happy to maintain their current system as there is nothing wrong with it, and they don’t see the value of the upgrade. How can the sales representative overcome the laissez-faire attitude of the customer?

Predictions for 2006: What should an SMB IT Executive Expect for the New Year

The ROI Guy

Vendors realize its not just enterprise IT that counts – never before have more vendors focused on solutions for small and medium businesses - and 2006 is the year for SMB oriented solutions. Its all about top-line growth – SMBs will be tasked to focus much more on front office, customer facing applications to help drive business growth. For many, this will be a 180 degree turn from the prior year’s focus on improving business efficiency via back office investments.

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Heavy Hitter Sales Blog: The Worst VP of Sales

HeavyHitter Sales

This excerpt is from Heavy Hitter Sales Wisdom (Wiley & Sons copyright 2006 and may not be reproduced without express consent): A vice president of sales sent an e-mail to his entire sales team titled “The 19.5 Heavy Hitter Sales Blog. Recent Posts. A Salespersons Most Important Competitive Weapon. Closing Techniques Using Sales Linguistics. Top 7 Critical Sales Trends for 2012. Why Year End Deals Dont Close: THE CESSPOOL! IT Sales Strategy: Software, SaaS & Hardware Sales.

It's Coming Sooner Than You Think - 5 Keys to Prepare Your Sales Force for the Recession

Understanding the Sales Force

I predicted the last recession as early as September of 2006 with this article and in the summer of 2008 with this article. You remember the last recession - the great recession - right? I remember that in November of 2008 the business stopped coming in as if someone had turned off the faucet.

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Am I Cut Out for Sales Is the Million Dollar Question

Increase Sales

In reviewing some data from Manpower , open positions for sales representatives have been in the top five talent shortage jobs since 2006. 2006 – #1. Good sales people are hard to find.

Engagement and Effectiveness Go Beyond Digital Marketing

Increase Sales

In 2006, Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) began the hard work of defining engagement with this definition: “Engagement is turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context.”

Sales Leadership – The Talent of Developing Others

Increase Sales

The position of sales continues to be in the top 10 since 2006: 2006 – #1. As sales managers to small business owners look forward to 2013, this sales leadership talent of developing others will probably become even more critical.

7 Tips to Real Estate Agents’ Success

Increase Sales

With over 2 million real estate agents (2006) according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), becoming a successful real estate agent takes more than just a license and knowledge of current laws and regulations.

Are Your Sales Lagging?

SalesGravy

A survey conducted by TIP in August of 2006 of financial advisors earning over $200,000 annual indicated that every advisor believed referrals were the best source for secuResearch suggests that 80% of all new business comes from business referrals.

Sales Blogging - Do As I Say, Not as I Do

Understanding the Sales Force

If you were to read through each of the 1,150 articles I have posted on this blog since 2006, and organize, sort, create a flow and edit it all into a Sales Management Bible, we would have one enormous how-to guide. Although that was the original plan in 2006, it is no longer on my radar.

Life's Career Curveball

SalesGravy

In 2006, I was a Sales Director for a software companLinkedIn recently asked me to submit an article for their new “Career Curveball” campaign. I am publishing it in my blog, too, to model the best practice of maximizing content creation efforts.