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Simplifying Sales Forecasting Methods: Todd Egan of Secureworks

Todd Egan jumped onto Sales Operations Demystified to share his knowledge and experience in simplifying sales forecasting methods. Check out all the other episodes of Sales Operations Demystified here.

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Key Takeaways

Getting to know the individual rep

Not all sales reps are the same.

Todd advises that you should get to know each rep individually to enable you to support them in the most effective way possible. You can also use this knowledge to determine which member of your ops team will be responsible for working with each rep to drive performance.

Learning whilst onboarding

The goal of your sales onboarding process is to fill up your new, hungry reps with knowledge about your sales process and product right?

Well, yes… but Todd believes that you as a sales operations team can also learn from your reps about best practices at their previous businesses. He, therefore, ensures that each new rep is given the chance to share their knowledge during the onboarding process.

Simplifying forecasting criteria

Secureworks simplified their opportunity classification from three categories:

  • Upside
  • Strong upside
  • Commit

Down to two:

  • Expect
  • Coverage

If a rep categorized an opportunity as “Expect” then they were required to determine and share a detailed close plan with their sales manager. All “Expect” deals were rolled up into the quarterly forecast. Also, if an opportunity is classified as “Coverage” but has a close date within the current quarter, that was also included in the forecast.

Understanding the close process

Too few reps are prepared to dig into the details of a clients closing process:

  • Who is required to sign?
  • What are the typical timeframes to close?

Todd encourages reps to ensure that all opportunities classified as “Expect” have a detailed close process that has been agreed with the client.

Todd believes that too few reps move through this process as they believe it could reduce the chances of the deal closing, though actually, it is respectful of the client and their process and will reduce wasted effort on both sides

Todd’s #1 sales metric

Pipeline Growth – the ratio of amount in the pipeline to a sales reps quota.

Todd believes this metric can give a sales operations resource a great snapshot of the health of a rep and the overall sales organization. He likes to see that a rep has 3.5x times their quota currently in their pipeline.

Todd’s two biggest sales ops inspirations:

  • Ian Bancroft – Vice President & General Manager EMEA at Secureworks
  • Louis Petrou – National Orders Manager at NTT Ltd

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