A Dirty Little Secret about Forecasting

A recent survey by The Complex Sale found that 50% of forecasted deals results in a loss or no decision! I am not talking about winning percentages per se – but deals on the forecast ready to close. Why would this happen?

The answer is that most sellers create a close date around their own source of urgency – the month, quarter, or year end and not around the buyer’s source of urgency. I got my sea legs in campaign fund-raising and one axiom we had was never trust a number that ended in 0. For example – I would ask the question, “how much did we raise today?” If the answer ended in 0 – then my suspicion was raised. I can safely say the same thing for forecasting – never trust a number that has the end of the month as a close date.

We need to ask ourselves – what bad thing happens if this date passes without an agreement? If you don’t know then I would say you should find out. That is the leverage you will need in negotiation. If you do know and the answer is nothing – then you are likely to be one of the 50% of forecasted deals that doesn’t close.

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