The next episode of our Move the Deal sales podcast is live! Episode two features Kathy Venincasa, a sales operations expert and forecasting whiz—and an inaugural Miller Heiman Group Icon. She and host Greg Moore discuss the growth of sales operations, the role it plays within sales organizations and how to get sales forecasting right.
Venincasa started in the accounting world and has since found her home in sales. Her role combines her love of numbers with her desire to train and motivate people. She’s mastered the art of forecasting, by taking three different companies from 60 to 70 percent accuracy to 90 percent in less than a year—and she’ll tell you how to do it in this episode.
Mastering Sales Forecasting
Having an accurate sales forecast is an art, Venincasa argues. Sales organizations need to keep the process simple—the more complicated it is, the harder it is to master. While at Particle Measuring Systems, Kathy created a playbook to ensure the sales managers and sellers are the best they can be. Tied to Miller Heiman Group’s methodology, the playbook tells sellers what they should be doing and why before moving to the next stage. This allows sellers, sales managers and sales leaders to better judge a deal and what stage it’s truly in, which improves the forecasting model.
Mastering sales forecasting is about consistency; however it’s used, every seller, no matter their region needs to be using it the same way. Oftentimes when companies aren’t making their forecast, it’s because there’s a lack of a sales process and adoption. Training salespeople and teaching them the theory behind the sale will help organizations move forward.
Sales Operations and Managers Need to Work Together
Organizations tend to promote salespeople into sales management roles before they’ve had the proper training to be a manager. This results in sales managers not teaching and coaching sellers how to win on their own, but parachuting in to help their team close the deal.
As Venincasa states, sales operations and managers need to work together so that, “managers are trained and equipped with the right tools so that their teams are successful.” Sales managers need to understand how to coach their sellers.
The Evolution of the CRM
With the growing adoption of technology, some predict that CRM will soon be completely automated.
Sales Enablement and Hiring
Kathy shared two pieces of advice for how sales operations can work with different areas in the organization:
- For sales enablement: Enablement is what an organization does so that sales can do their job. A sales operations model needs to ensure that sales is as most effective as it can be and that they have the tools they need to make their numbers.
- For involvement with talent selection: When hiring, what matters most is finding the right person who is eager, wants to learn and has the right attitude and drive.
Outline of Episode
[1:31] Kathy’s background and thoughts on how sales operations has grown
[7:40] Mastering sales forecasting
[12:17] The importance of sales operations and sales managers working together on forecasting
[13:39] Technology and the evolution of the CRM
[19:19] Sale technology tools that help with forecasting
[21:14] The role sales operations plays with sales enablement and talent selection
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