The Hockey Stick Sales Forecast Problem

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- June 24, 2019

Hockey Stick — a.k.a, a lot of deals actually closing in the last 3 days of the quarter – is what keeps sales leaders up at night. What is worse is that when sales teams are under a lot of pressure to close, they give away the farm, making deal sizes smaller.

Smart buyers know this seller pressure quite well and play it to their advantage. That leaves your team without much leverage.

Well managed sales processes and forecasts are about consistent attainment throughout the quarter – so that you have the best leverage.

The question is how to wean your sellers and buyers off of that dependence.

Obviously you can incentivize seller behavior and set goals that reward consistency of closing uniformly throughout the quarter. But EoQ discounts are still too easy for sellers to give up.

The real answer is in identifying strike-zone deals (with high potential to close) early and then working with the seller and the buyer to close the deal on time.

But it is hard to find those deals, especially as sellers want to sandbag. Your CRM data will make those deals look like duds when in fact they are the real gems.

Fortunately, the predictive signals of strike-zone deals are available. They are buried inside sellers’ inboxes, email content, call transcripts, calendars and LinkedIn. But, you neither have access nor the time to read through that data for all the deals.

At BoostUp.ai we believe there are 4 dimensions to judge deal potential —

  1. Positive Sentiment and Buying Signals
  2. Strong Relationships: Deal is not single threaded. Has strong 2-way relationships across many stakeholders.
  3. Strong Engagement: From senior titles or relevant buyer personas engaging substantively over email and meetings.
  4. Stays on the Sales Process: Key topics are discussed, key actions are completed on time.

BoostUp.ai indexes & summarizes these digital markers of deal quality & momentum, and helps you discover high potential deals early, so that you can help the sellers close deals on time, achieve uniformity of close, and get to higher deal sizes.