Do your 2013 Revenue Planning Now!

Almost every sales leader and sales person I know complains about the traditional late summer slowdown in sales. Prospects are on vacation, school and sports schedules are changing, in most of the country it’s too hot to do things outdoors, and life is a little bit out of cadence.  It may be September, but we are still feeling the effects of company decision makers slowly getting back into their regular cadence.

Believe it or not this is the perfect time to get your 2013 revenue planning underway.   Also keep in mind that it always gets hectic in the fourth quarter as you are trying to close everything you can before the end of the year.  At some point in the near future your Board of Directors will meet and mandate some growth increase for next year.  When they do you must be able to show the impact this growth requirement has in terms of sales headcount, opportunity management costs and the quantity of marketing qualified leads your team will need to make your sales target.

Here Are Three Sales Revenue Planning Steps You Can Take Right Now

  1. A starting point is to determine how your true close rate on new business. Depending on your sales model you may have different close rates on new logos versus current clients, if so calculate them separately. Once you know your true close rate you can now confidently predict how much qualified pipeline you will need each quarter next year to achieve any assigned number.
  2. This is also a good time to do a reality check on what’s still real in the pipeline, deals have probably aged or worse “gone dark” on you so now is the time to remove them.
  3. Now you have a feel for how his year will end and what your pipeline is likely to look like going into Q1 of 2013.  To help you run some simulations on next year’s plan we have a free tool entitled “3FORWARD Sales Revenue Forecasting Success Kit” available for download on our website.  This sales forecasting model accomplishes multiple tasks; including projecting quarter-by-quarter sales revenue based on either current OR targeted qualified pipeline totals.  The model builds a three-year revenue projection, one quarter at a time and recalculates as primary variables are adjusted.  It’s helpful for both revenue projection and setting pipeline goals.

After experimenting with this tool you will probably realize that your qualified pipeline needs to increase significantly next year.  The good news is that beginning this process before you are forced to accept a new revenue target gives you time to make adjusts and investments to help you start out next year on a fast track. If you have question on the tool feel free to reach out to us, we are glad to help.

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