RevOps is the ability to have all revenue generating activity under one leadership team.  Coming out of the pandemic, we need to be winning every deal, revenue is precious and getting focus is critical.  That is why RevOps brings marketing, demand generation, business development, SDRs, BDRs, AE, Account managers, sales, renewals, customer success, all aligned to a single strategy, executing in unison. 

How can we increase forecast accuracy in a RevOps world?

I was sitting in a deal review the other day at one of our clients.  We have transformed the sales team(s) to use social, we are still retained to support the business in a number of areas, one of them is de-risking the forecast.

How to De-Risk The Forecast

Let me explain.

During the deal review, the salesperson for Domino's Pizza explained to the meeting, that this was a done deal and it would happen this quarter.

This was a big deal, everybody in the management had been involved and had met people in the customer. The deal was nodded through.  As the meeting started on the review of the next customer, I had to intervene.  It's what we are paid to do after all. 

What I said made the meeting go quiet and the salesperson squirm.  I said "the Domino's Pizza deal won't happen".

"Yes, the management had good coverage in the account, but based on the data I had, the salesperson didn't have enough relationships. They hadn't has enough conversations.  In fact the sales person didn't have any relationships in the account."

The deal didn't happen.

Sales are made on conversations, relationships (and data)

A friend of mine was telling me the other day about how they lost a $14 million transformation deal. So for the win / loss review he called up the CIO and said "why in the middle of a pandemic did you rip out your data centre and go with the competition?".  The CIO said "we haven't seen your salesperson for 18 months"

We know this happens and we know this is sloppy, but we should also know that the data exists for you to know about these things.  If you are building a RevOps environment, getting modern, digital data to run your team is key.  After all, this is not about taking what you did before and sticking a new name on it. 

Management is about no surprises

At my last company we ran a sales forecast that was 95% accurate, the KPI set by the US management was 98%.  But how did we get the sales forecast to be 95% accurate?

We ran the forecast on social media.

Every deal over a certain size, for us that was $500,000 had to have a social channel where everybody in the deal (sales, management, prep-sales, SDRs, consultants in fact any stakeholder involved) would share information, meeting notes, meeting agendas, feedback from calls, etc etc.

We didn't do it in email, we did it in social.

The problem with email, is that with the average executive getting 200 a day, emails get lost, we also don't know what version of powerpoint, excel spreadsheets we are working to.  Are we working to close plan version 1.0, close plan version 1.1 or close plan version 2.0?

Forecasting in real-time

This meant we were able to react in real-time.  It also meant we at instant inspection on the deal at any time of the day or night.  What we found that deals that were going to happen, had lots of positive chatter.

How forecasting on social catches the dreamers

One salesperson (and his manager) told us that a deal at Barclays Bank was a dead cert, but there was no discussion on the social channel.  We didn't forecast it. Not long after this deal was forecasted the salesperson left the business, and we called up Barclays Bank and found that the whole thing was a figment of his imagination.  With no chatter in the social channels we know, there was nothing going on in that sale.

Social tracks exactly what is going on in a deal

Where as one deal to a construction company, and we were competing with our arch rivals and we won it.  Critical to this win was the fact that as a business we were communicating, in real time.  As a leadership team we always had instant inspection and visibility of the sales plans etc.  None of this asking for the salesperson for the plan and then finding it was the wrong version we were working to.

I had spotted (using social of course) that the competitive salesperson and their VP of sales had met the CFO of the client.  This was during a time that the client said it wasn't meeting any executives.  We were able to put in place a competitive strategy in real time.

The Benefits of Revops and using social together

There are many benefits of transforming your salesforce to social, the 30% increase in revenue and 40% reduction in sales cycles are pretty cool.

But getting the forecasting, pipeline and inspection processes under control is critical too.

This is just one of the many ways that you can protect your pipeline from sudden change using, RevOps, social and digital.

So who's social selling?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind” 

Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.

I don't believe you Tim!

If you check out this video of Chris Mason CEO at Oracle reseller Namos, fast forward to 19 minutes 55 seconds. Chris talks about a $2.6 million win from being on social, after completing the DLA Ignite social selling and influence course. 

Here at DLA Ignite we don't do "hints and tips sessions" we don't want you to waste your money. Our social selling and influence methodology will provide your sales team with the stable platform for growth. It is also the only social selling program based on 70:20:10 change management principles which gives your business the mindset change and habit change they need in this digital world. 

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