The War Room

Fuck forecasting, and fuck people who change their minds.

in another thread about hottest sales takes I said forecasting is overrated I just lived the moment I was thinking of. 

Q2 deal with an incentive in place. Had met with procurement even though prospect was still getting their ducks in a row internally with a couple of stakeholders. They said they wanted to start implementation beginning of July.
Just get an email this morning thst now they're suddenly looking at August because the project is still being socialized internally. I never thought it was 100% but usually when this steps have been taken it works out.
What I don't get is - why don't I just never commit anything? what's the point. things completely outside my power will fuck it so why bother saying that until the e-signature is sent out. 
Now my boss is pissed cuz he had forecasted it and I might miss my quota for June unless another deal comes in. I have another in contracting phase but it's going to be toght despite the fact they too have an incentive.
so ending my rant but I just wanted to say I still think forecasting is mostly useless. 
📈 Closing
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
I had an entire executive team commit to our org and one of our partner orgs last year just to back out. Shit happens.

Forecasting is important organizationally but I've worked multiple places with the following cognitive dissonance:

"We want you to be more aggressive with your commits and probables."
"When you put something in commit, it needs to close."

When I pointed out the utter bullshit those two things together are, I always got looked at like I had two heads.
Account Executive
Lol ive said the same thing and had same reaction
WR Officer
up in Fiji, under paddy
That sucks, and I completely agree with you. 

We can do everything in our power and execute a flawless sales process and still get fucked over by stuff that's totally beyond our control and we absolutely shouldn't get shit on by management for it. 
Praised Answer
Inside Sales
I heard somewhere that only 43% of AEs hit their quota. No idea if that statistic is accurate or not, but sometimes you can do all the *right* things and it doesn't work out. Don't beat yourself up.

This is also why I like roles with a higher base. 
WR Officer
up in Fiji, under paddy
For sure, I don't beat myself up but it is annoying.
Good Citizen
VP of Sales
there will always be scenarios where you have run the "perfect" process and still not get a deal or get it but on a diff timeline.  the better the process and execution, the more you de-risk this but it will never be perfect

that being said, forecasting is a necessary evil.  we all have a fiduciary responsibility to our employer.  very large and important decisions are made based on forecasting.

ex- we want to make an acquisition, Q3 and Q4 forecast says we will be lite on cash so we pass up on the critical acquisition.  then come end of q4, we over deliver because people were sand bagging, so now we missed out on that strategic acquisition due to bad data

the list goes on an on- hiring/head count, strategic programs/initiatives, spiffs/incentives, etc, etc, etc

beyond the above- committing a deal is 100% used as a tactic to drive accountability.  if I as a rep haven't put skin in the game via committed business what are you really doing in sales?

sales person's job is really quite simple to break down.  you have 2 responsibilities: to drive your process vs your customers and to drive your timeline

if committing at a deal level is painful for you, what about committing to a revenue number and instead showing the multiple paths that will get you there, whether by month or quarter?
Senior AE
Forecasting does really suck and the problem is you’re usually forecasting off a weighted number, that means that if something shifts you’re screwed. Agree with the rant and it’s a part of that roller coaster we ride. 
Senior AE
Also sidenote it's why weatherman are right like 40% of the time. 
Well on an individual level forecasting sucks. On company level, using some statistics I helps the management to know what’s coming. 
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How can you be an authentic manager while disagreeing with the directions coming from leadership?
I don't mean to compare my prospects to dogs, but my sales techniques follow many of the same rules as dog training