Get Your Team Up and Running With The Latest Online Presentation Tools
From the production line to the sales floor, having a future sales forecast is imperative to maintaining high profits relative to your expenses. A sales forecast predicts future revenue for you and your sales team, using historical data paralleled with changing trends and evolving markets. Thankfully, online presentation tools make it easy to develop accurate forecasts.
Equipping your sales team with an accurate forecast better prepares them to speak with existing clients and cultivate new prospects. Team management tools like those offered by Ingage can easily communicate your projections to your sales reps. Remember, a sales forecast is different from a sales goal. However, it's perfectly reasonable for your sales goal to meet or exceed projections. So how can online presentation tools help you make accurate sales forecasts?
Assess Historical Sales Trends
For an existing company (especially one with a full year of sales data to lean on), the easiest way to make accurate sales forecasts is to rely on historical sales trends. Keep in mind that these forecasts are foundations to build on—they aren't written in stone. As your company grows and changes, so too will your projections. When those forecasts are wrong, you'll have to identify how to make more accurate predictions in the future. Ingage’s advanced analytics tools identify where and how to improve, especially when it comes to your sales pitch. Use these online tools to craft the most professional presentation possible.
Historical forecasting is best used in a steady market when you know your average sales volume will remain consistent or increase. For example, in a stable market, you can generally assume that if you did $3 million in sales for this quarter last year, this year’s results should be the same or greater. Ingage's online presentation tools efficiently filter your historical analytics to provide accurate figures and predictions.
Marketing and sales might perform a similar assumption on a smaller rolling scale for more accuracy, such as on a month-to-month basis. However, it depends on the type of business you're doing. Does demand for your product or service guarantee monthly purchases from current customers? If not, perhaps focus should turn towards acquiring new customers for month-to-month predictions.
Anticipating Sales and Market Trends
Assumption, prediction, forecast—these words all mean the same thing. The make-or-break moment in all of them comes down to how accurately and reasonably you make these forecasts. For example, you could go ahead and forecast comfortable beach weather for the next six months, but such a prediction would be inaccurate and unreasonable. Accurate forecasts backed by data will show bottom-line impact should your forecasts pan out. Figure-backed forecasts also make an advanced sales presentation shine.
Tracking a Changing Market
If you're a new company without the historical data to back your forecasts, understanding market trends and changes will be your key to success. Is your current market growing or shrinking? If it's growing, how can you capitalize on the uptrend to increase profits? If it's shrinking, how can you stay relevant with the current client base to maintain steady profits with the hope of increasing?
New/Updated Products and Services
If you've recently launched a new line of products or made updates to your existing line, how are you reaching new and past clients with these changes? For example, does Apple focus more on selling the latest iPhone brand to new customers, or existing customers looking to upgrade?
Laws and Regulations
While keeping your finger on the pulse of the market is the most important thing you can do for your business, also keep an eye on regulation changes that may positively or negatively impact your bottom line. For example, does recently passed legislation limit the number of containers you can ship in each quarter? If so, how might that handcuff your sales volume?
Developing a Sales Forecast
You've gathered and tracked all the historical and market data in your online presentation software. Now it's time to put it into action. How can you develop an accurate sales forecast using online presentation tools?
Categorize your Products/Services
One overarching forecast for the company won't do you much good. But on the other hand, a forecast for each individual product is a waste of time and resources. Instead, perhaps group products by category. For example, if you own a sporting goods company, it would behoove you to make sales forecasts for equipment, apparel, accessories, seasonal sports and memberships.
Lean On Your Sales Reps
Your sales reps have the closest personal relationships with your customers. Lean on them to make intuitive forecasts based on the client's likelihood to close. While these data points are purely subjective, they can prove valuable if they come from a strong sales team. New businesses can rely on intuitive sales forecasts when they don't have historical data to back up their predictions.
Plan Ahead, But Not Too Far
Because the market is constantly changing, the safest predictions are made 12 months out in month-to-month increments. After you've charted a full year of forecasts, you can make more general yearly predictions for the future. Don't expect to hit the nail on the head every time, but if you're looking to secure more funding, yearly forecasts can prove valuable.
Crunch the Numbers
Your profit margin is the reason why you're making these forecasts. Once you've compiled the data, it's time to enter your costs, predictions and goals into your online analytics report. Determine the cost of production for the volume of products moved based on your sales forecast. Then, subtract the total cost from your revenue prediction. With accurate forecasts, you'll move the perfect amount of inventory, ensuring you don't have too many units left or not enough units to meet your quota.
Ensure Successful Sales Forecasting With Ingage
Your forecasts are meaningless without accurate data to back them up. While established companies can rely on historical data to make sales forecasts, up-can-comers should rely on the word of their most trusted sales reps. In both situations, a finger on the market's pulse still proves to be the best method for making accurate predictions.
Once you’ve established your forecasts, integrate them into your sales presentation with interactive online tools to make presentations truly dynamic and rooted in hard data to sway potential prospects. Next-level presentation software like Ingage is here to help! Ingage's analytics tracker, backed by top-of-the-line advanced presentation software, will provide you with accurate data and predictions regarding presentation delivery. Ready to step up your forecasting and presentation game? Reach out today and try a free demo of the Ingage suite to help your team make reliable sales pitch decisions.