Living in Florida certainly has its advantages. Of course, I’m talking about the weather. What’s not to like having warm, sunny days for much of the year?

Being a weather person here would probably be the easiest job in the world, outside of a couple of times a year when tropical storms, or in rare instances, hurricanes, reach land. It’s not too hard to predict sunny, warm temperatures and an occasional afternoon shower pretty much every day of the year.

If only forecasting sales deals was this easy!

According to research from CSO Insights, 65 percent of organizations surveyed said they expect their sales enablement function to help increase win rates in forecasted deals. And yet very few companies make forecasting a mandatory part of the sales process.

So, here’s the 11th “Must Know” for sales leaders: Force forecasting. Master the pipeline.

Your role is to place rigor around pipeline management to objectively measure overall pipeline health, from frontline reps to overall organizational performance. Your daily dashboard should include the status of every level of the pipeline so you can deliver the standing of your sales outlook at a moment’s notice. And then you must establish accountability at every level to update and inspect the quality of opportunities with a regular cadence.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Develop a cadence, methodology and discipline around sales forecasting. This makes your sales team aware of how serious you are about forecasting.
  • Improve accuracy of forecasting through the consistent use of key predictive indicators. Like we discussed in the 10th Must Know, make sure you’re measuring the right things, then act on them.
  • Inspect the quality and quantity of the pipeline. Through structured, random inspection of opportunities in the pipeline, you will create consistency and quality across the board.

Following these three steps will help you become more effective in reading your pipeline so you can be more accurate in your forecasting. It’s not as easy as predicting the weather in Florida, but it’s close!

To learn more, download our latest white paper on the “13 Must Knows” for sales leaders. Also, stay tuned for my next blog post where we will discuss the 12th “must know.”

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