Forecast is an exercise in expectation management

November 3, 2022

Josh Payne

Forecasting as a business process is about understanding and  communicating changes.

Since time immemorial, sales leaders have been focused on their forecast. Ten years I wrote a blog post for InsightSquared  on forecasting which was the single best performing blog post for the company for years after I wrote it.

Leaders care about forecasting because it impacts the financial health of your company. For small companies especially, the methodology for forecasting is still simple. With a small-scale pipeline, advanced statistical methods (i.e. "artificial intelligence") are overkill - you don't have enough data and it is not worth the effort to implement.

So for small teams, forecasting defaults to a manual process and a manual processes default to using spreadsheets. Messy spreadsheets that never sync back to the CRM. Messy spreadsheets that overwrite changes. Messy spreadsheets that leave you hunting through the CRM for the deals that changed forecast compared to last week.

As a forecaster, your forecasting spreadsheet obscures key details that you need to understand in order to effectively communicate your forecast through the organization.

The moment you make an initial forecast for your leaders and peers, you hop on the treadmill of adjusting expectations for your forecast. You can't manage very deal, but you can get a better view into how the forecast is changing or likely to change.

Why is your forecast so different compared to last week? Which deals moved out? Which deals did you lose? Which deals negotiated away their value? Which deals slipped from "commit" to "upside"? Which deal downgraded their product?

That's why we we've built Ressemble specifically to help you manage your forecast by understanding how your pipeline is changing. You can't simply communicate the fact that it has changed. You need to communicate why it has changed.