Early warning indicator for sales

This is one dashboard we are all familiar with. The minute an indicator lights up in our car’s dashboard we know there’s something that needs attention. In fact most of us rely on these indicators so much that any maintenance action is initiated based only on its feedback.

As a sales leader do you have access to an early warning indicator? How can you be sure your quarter is on track? If you’ve achieved 30% of your goal mid way through the quarter does it mean you’re doing well or does it mean you’ll fall short of targets? Imagine accessing a sales dashboard that tells you how your quarter is going and what areas need attention.

Humans are subject to optimism bias which leads your reps to underestimate risks and believe that they’re going to meet their sales quota. No matter how often you have forecast meetings you’ll probably get a very optimistic estimate from each of your reps. Sales leaders find themselves in this situation almost every day. They usually rely on gut instinct to gauge the situation. And while intuition has a significant role especially coming from an experienced sales executive, relying on data will usually give an objective perspective that’s immediately actionable. For example if the data tells you that there’s not enough pipeline to meet the rest of your sales goals, you might engage with marketing to build campaigns. If your sales goals are at risk earlier communication to stakeholders will avoid any last minute surprises.

Our early warning indication system provides users with a what-if scenario tool. Sales leaders can now easily compare current quarter progress against any previous quarter. They can determine how an earlier quarter performed at the same time of the quarter and change values like closed-won amounts to see what variables have the biggest impact to meeting goals. They can run scenarios such as what if a couple of big deals in the pipeline fall out, what if new sales reps are hired, etc.

Historically such analysis is done in Excel. Excel is good at running such scenarios but there are several issues with this approach – lack of data availability, collaboration is not easy, real time analysis is not possible, etc. SpringML’s advanced analytics application is a Salesforce application so has access to data in real time and it’s intuitive tool allows sales leaders to do what-if analysis and quickly determine how their quarter is coming along.