It’s every sales leader’s nightmare. You watch your sales team put in the work to build solid deals. Your team meets with the right accounts, gets technical buy-in, gets the commitment to move forward—but then those deals get pushed into the next quarter. There goes this quarter’s sales forecast.
For a company with a large sales team and aggressive quotas, this forecasting scenario is alarming. One People.ai client, Gainsight, had this exact problem until they took a deeper dive into their sales data. Here’s how the insights we provided helped them improve their sales forecasting process.
Why Aren’t Those Hot Deals Closing?
Gainsight noticed that many committed deals were being pushed past their forecast date—often into the next quarter. But they didn’t know why this was occurring. With 70 salespeople on staff at the time, their hunch was that a lack of visibility into the activities taking place in the pipeline could play a big part in this forecast disconnect.
We believe that the key to more accurate forecasts is the ability to provide full insight into all activities in every deal. Bringing transparency to the sales process through People.ai’s activity tracking automation was the key to addressing this problem at Gainsight.
Understanding Your Unique Sales Process
Gainsight dove into the data from their most mis-forecast quarter to analyze the pushed deals and identify common factors. They found that 95% of deals pushed past their close date did not have a meeting within two weeks of that date. Salespeople were forecasting closed won deals, but making no real plan to close them through future meetings.
With People.ai, Gainsight has been able to easily identify this behavior, remediate with the sales team, and create automated reports to identify similar behavior moving forward. sing the People.ai future meeting functionality, Gainsight can see which opportunities have upcoming meetings scheduled, and which done, to provide an activity-based validation of what’s in the pipeline. Further, they can also see who is scheduled to attend those meetings from the customer side, to ensure that reps are engaging with the right level stakeholders and champions.
Running this analysis provided the transparency needed when solving a team-wide challenge. Once they knew a meeting with a C-level executive in attendance had to be held within two weeks of the close date, they were able to systematically ensure that became encoded into the sales process. With accurate forecasting based on what actually closes deals, the sales team can be held accountable for pushed committed deals and managers have the data they need to keep deals moving, and ensure pipeline accuracy.
Bringing the Right Data Into Weekly Deal Reviews
Gainsight now leverages all of his data in their weekly deal reviews. They review People.ai reports to see who is booking meetings for deals that should close at the end of the month, and management teams are now presented with a biweekly report on this for review. Having this data creates a system for sales management to give objective feedback on deals while eliminating possible pushback. These formerly touchy performance conversations between sales managers and salespeople are now much more productive with the right data in hand.
People.ai was able to provide insight into Gainsight’s sales activities in a way that provided greater transparency for the whole team, and helped them to hit their forecast from that point forward. Their organization is now implementing sales process changes and getting better results.
If your organization is interested in optimizing your sales process and forecast accuracy, request a demo.