frustrated-saleswoman

The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Sales Forecasting Tools

Authored by Chisom Uche on October 5, 2016

"Find a tool that presents your data in an easy to read dashboard" - That's it. That is the worse advice we've heard when it comes to picking out a sales forecasting tool. The reason is because a dashboard will never solve your true problem. If you're a sales manager with an underperforming sales team or a disorganized sales pipeline, you can look at dashboards all day and not have the information that you need to be successful.


Everyone has seen the dashboards with the charts and graphs, some even printed out for sales meetings to illustrate performance and forecast projections. The issue with these reports can be the lack of clean and accurate data that go into them. Sales managers can be relying on data that is faulty due to a lack of a structured sales process or the fact that their reps don't feel enabled to enter in the information that they have on their deals. That is exactly why sales forecasting tools are more than just pretty dashboards.

Business-Graph-Meeting.jpg

The importance of the underlying data behind sales reports is why the best sales forecasting tools have outlined and easy-to-follow systems that help you clean your data and keep it trustworthy. Forecasting tools that empower reps to manage their sales pipeline from anywhere, as well as give them a digital personal assistant to update the on potential risks with their deals, are some qualities of top-tier forecasting tools. Some other qualities that make a sales forecasting tool elite are the level of predictive and prescriptive capabilities that they possess.

Predictive and prescriptive analytics take your dashboard and give you the ability to not just see your performance but to be in control of your outcomes. Predictive analytics uses high-level business intelligence to make accurate projections of your sales outcomes based on a variety of sales behaviors. Prescriptive analytics looks at your future sales outcomes and suggests behaviors that can reposition you to be successful. Both predictive and prescriptive analytics are based on solid data entry and maintenance so the demand still stands for having a tool that handles your data flawlessly.


Ultimately, don't be fooled by product demos that focus heavily on aesthetically appealing graphs. Great graphs built on bad data or an unenforced sales process are useless. When you are being presented a sales forecasting tool be sure to evaluate their ability to make sure your data is clean and accurate. As a bonus, be sure to vet our their predictive and prescriptive capabilities so that you have something that you can compare your projections to and have better knowledge on how to save your sales process should things not be going your way. Not all sales forecasting tools are going to be the same and some may be better for your sales team than others. To see how we approach sales forecasting, contact us! We would love to be your benchmark and help you and your sales team.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Leverage these best practices with automation and AI driven by TopOPPS

Learn how our customers are winning with artificial intelligence in their CRM:

  • Predictive Sales Forecasting
  • Automated Pipeline Management
  • Significantly More Updates from Reps

Watch Videos

More Recent Posts:

January 21, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management

New year, new blog series!   The new blog series will focus on “Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management”.   This covers a big area so this series could take most of 2020 to complete and its frequency will be more often than once a month.    The reason for this blog series is companies continue to rely on human intuition and instinct to produce sales forecasts.  They continue to spend significant time managing, manually reviewing and updating the sales forecast despite advances in sales technology. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, Guided Selling, best practices

January 21, 2020

Brainshark and TopOPPS Form Partnership to Combine Sales Readiness with AI-Driven Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management

The Integrated Solutions Will Provide Deep Insights into Pipeline Activity and Forecasting - Enabling Targeted Learning that Elevates Sales Performance WALTHAM, Mass. and ST. LOUIS, Jan. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Brainshark, Inc., the industry's only data-driven sales readiness platform, and TopOPPS, a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-based sales pipeline management and forecast predictability solutions, today announced they have formed a strategic partnership. The partnership – which includes an integration of Brainshark and TopOPPS solutions – will empower sales organizations to deliver "in-the-moment" guidance that improves reps' skills at key points throughout the sales cycle. ...

AI for Sales, Sales Enablement, Guided Selling

December 13, 2019

Sales Superpowers Need 'In-Context' for Sales Engagement

  SiriusDecisions outlines “One Solution for Sales Superpowers”.  [Spoiler alert] - it is sales engagement.   If it is “the one solution” to supercharge your revenue engine, why isn’t it widely used?   Why isn’t it the most popular application in the “sales world”?  We will get back to that, but first lets make sure we are on the same page. Sales Engagement Defined  Sales engagement is defined as interactions that take place between the buyer and seller.  Sales engagement includes four core functions based on SiriusDecisions definition:  calling/dialing, email, calendarizing and reporting. ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, Strategic Partnerships

November 25, 2019

Strengthening the CFO-CRO Relationship Through the Sales Forecast

  The sales forecast is the linchpin of a company’s future.  If it is right and can be trusted the companies’ operations run smoother and its financial stability is more secure.  Typically this isn't easy.  The sales forecasting process is shared by the Chief Revenue Officer[CRO] and the Chief Financial Officer[CFO].  The challenge is both have different motivations on its accuracy and neither have a complete vision of its drivers or its accuracy.   When the forecasting process is trusted and transparent it relieves stress on both the CRO and the CFO.  This blog reviews how this can be accomplished.  ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, Strategic Partnerships

October 23, 2019

Where 1 + 1 = 3 in the Sales Application Stack - Sales Enablement

  In my previous blog I outlined 21 different sales technology categories for the Sales Application Stack .  These categories were consolidated from various industry analysts research. That blog highlighted the difference between data integration and application embedding and highlighted the benefits of application embedding and selecting software vendors who have strategic partnerships with other software providers in the CRM application space.   The concepts of application embedding needs to be expanded with the concept of “application in context”.  “Applications in context” is applications working “in context” with applications to solve a series of problems in a consistent and cohesive manner without derailing the users thought process. ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, Strategic Partnerships

September 20, 2019

The Emperor [CRM] is Naked

  One of the things I like to track are stories I heard in kindergarten that persist through life.  The Emperor’s New Clothes is one of them.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in meetings, listening to what is being discussed and ideas explored and wanted to yell out, “THE EMPEROR IS NAKED”. ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, Strategic Partnerships

August 16, 2019

AI For Sales - Business Examples

  The last seven blogs provide a business-case approach to infusing AI through the entire sales process.  One of the purposes of this blog series was to demystify AI by using AI for Sales as an  example.  Media tends to portray AI as a magic bullet.  Actual implementations show the less “black box” an AI solution is and the more “glass box” approach, the more utility it provides to the user.  The utility is created by uncovering the key drivers of an outcome and managing those drivers to increase results. ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales

August 6, 2019

TopOPPS + Outreach Galaxy: AI Enhanced Guided Selling to Increase Win Rates

  Ever had the situation where: an important sales opportunity is in danger because of inactivity and it goes unnoticed; the opportunity is sold but they don’t have the budget till next quarter so the sales rep needs to “stay close”; or the opportunity wants to buy but “isn’t there yet” and needs further ongoing education?   ...

Pipeline Optimization, Artificial Intelligence, Sales Pipeline Management, Guided Selling, guide winning behaviors