Best Practices for Forecasting with 100% Accuracy

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Best Practices for Forecasting with 100% Accuracy

  1. 1. Tacy Parker, Symantec Corporation Suzanne McFadyen, Business Objects SA Best Practices for Forecasting with 100% Accuracy Track: Sales Operations
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Forecasting Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Forecasting Success @ Symantec </li></ul><ul><li>Forecasting Success @ Business Objects </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing Forecasting Success </li></ul>
  3. 3. Safe Harbor Statement <ul><li>“ Safe harbor” statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This presentation may contain forward-looking statements the achievement of which involves risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If any such risks or uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions proves incorrect, our results could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements we make.  All statements other than statements of historical fact could be deemed forward-looking, including any projections of subscriber growth, earnings, revenues, or other financial items and any statements regarding strategies or plans of management for future operations, statements of belief, any statements concerning new, planned, or upgraded services or technology developments and customer contracts or use of our services. </li></ul><ul><li>The risks and uncertainties referred to above include - but are not limited to - risks associated with the integration of Sendia Corporation’s technology, operations, infrastructure and personnel with ours; unexpected costs or delays incurred in integrating Sendia with salesforce.com, which could adversely affect our operating results and rate of growth; any unknown errors or limitations in the Sendia technology; any third party intellectual property claims arising from the Sendia technology; customer and partner acceptance and deployment of the AppExchange and AppExchange Mobile platforms; interruptions or delays in our service or our Web hosting; our new business model; breach of our security measures; possible fluctuations in our operating results and rate of growth; the emerging market in which we operate; our relatively limited operating history; our ability to hire, retain and motivate our employees and manage our growth; competition; our ability to continue to release and gain customer acceptance of new and improved versions of our CRM service; unanticipated changes in our effective tax rate; fluctuations in the number of shares outstanding; the price of such shares; foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates. </li></ul><ul><li>Further information on these and other factors that could affect our financial results is included in the reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K and in other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including our Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2006. These documents are available on the SEC Filings section of the Investor Information section of our website at www.salesforce.com/investor . </li></ul><ul><li>Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all.  Customers who purchase our services should make purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available.  Salesforce.com, inc. assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sales Forecasting <ul><li>Blending Art and Science </li></ul><ul><li>Past experience </li></ul><ul><li>Individual judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology & process </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics & measurement </li></ul>
  5. 5. Typical Business Challenges <ul><li>Getting All Data </li></ul><ul><li>Producing an Accurate View </li></ul><ul><li>Getting Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking the Right Metrics </li></ul>
  6. 6. Customizable Forecasting Overview <ul><li>Bottom up : Deals based aggregates & roll ups </li></ul><ul><li>Top down : Hierarchy drill down & number explanation </li></ul><ul><li>Management overrides of deals or aggregates </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic forecast updates </li></ul><ul><li>Time-stamped forecast freezing </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible configuration options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deal date vs item date vs schedule date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall vs product line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quarter vs month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar or custom FY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revenue or quantity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sale roles or territories </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Tacy Parker SFDC Global Program Manager [email_address]
  8. 8. Who is Symantec? <ul><li>The global leader in Information Security and Availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4 th largest Independent Software Company in the world </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4,000+ sales reps, 40+ countries </li></ul><ul><li>Deployed Salesforce in Oct. 06’ to over 3,800 users </li></ul><ul><li>22 week sales deployment </li></ul><ul><li>2 Phased Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Account & Opportunity Mgmt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forecasting & Quoting </li></ul></ul>INDUSTRY: Software EMPLOYEES: ~ 16,000 GEOGRAPHY: Global PRODUCT(S) USED: Sales, Marketing & 6 AppExchange applications # USERS: 4,200
  9. 9. Benefits to Integrated Forecasting <ul><li>Sales Rep, District & Regional Managers </li></ul><ul><li>Proper opportunity management in Salesforce instead of reporting in Excel </li></ul><ul><li>No more chasing down the “Commit” </li></ul><ul><li>One source for metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Salesforce-based territory reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Regional Directors & Executive levels-up </li></ul><ul><li>Improved data reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics they can count on </li></ul><ul><li>Valid on-the-fly reporting </li></ul>
  10. 10. Key Forecasting Challenges <ul><li>Key Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Global Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Heavily Matrixed Sales Org </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption and Behavioral Adjustments </li></ul><ul><li>Key Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Process Inefficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Visibility to Revenue Predictions Across Diverse Global Sales Teams </li></ul><ul><li>Organization’s Trust in Forecasted Numbers </li></ul>
  11. 11. Our Forecasting Solution <ul><li>Divide and Conquer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hierarchy: From Roles to Territories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Units: Simple first, complex later </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gorilla/Phased Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small POC first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Larger Pilot next </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word of mouth promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Metrics: Both Standard and Specific </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard for revenue and pipeline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific for regional metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>400+ deployed today </li></ul><ul><li>4 Sales Areas (2 US, 2 Europe) </li></ul><ul><li>Web/Phone based training </li></ul><ul><li>Web Based External Reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Territory Hierarchy will bring ability for Global forecast </li></ul>DEPLOYMENT DETAILS
  12. 12. Establishing Completeness & Accuracy <ul><li>Implemented comparable sales stages </li></ul><ul><li>Implemented new forecast categories </li></ul><ul><li>Ensured tools capability to capture data points required for metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Moved forecast review process into the tool </li></ul>
  13. 13. Effective Measurement <ul><li>Analyzing forecast by product segments </li></ul><ul><li>Dashboards for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quota attainment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>% forecast committed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top opps/performers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comparing forecast submits with actuals </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking historical submissions </li></ul><ul><li>Deal velocity metrics </li></ul>
  14. 14. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Start small & build a following </li></ul><ul><li>Draw a line and work both sides </li></ul><ul><li>Standardize process and metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption, Adoption, Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>.xls = Security Blanket </li></ul>
  15. 15. Suzanne McFadyen CRM Operations Analyst [email_address]
  16. 16. Who is Business Objects? <ul><li>Business Objects is a global business intelligence (BI) software company, with more than 39,000 customers </li></ul><ul><li>The salesforce.com and Business Objects partnership enables companies to monitor critical business information seamlessly within their salesforce.com deployments </li></ul>INDUSTRY: Software EMPLOYEES: 5,000 GEOGRAPHY: Global PRODUCT(S) USED: Salesforce SFA # USERS: 1,400
  17. 17. Key Forecasting Challenges <ul><li>Key Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Poor accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Long turn around times </li></ul><ul><li>Poor forecast consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Low adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Key Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Low reliability of predicted probabilities and sales revenues </li></ul><ul><li>Labor intensive and inefficient forecasting process </li></ul><ul><li>Low visibility to how business is really doing and where it’s going </li></ul>
  18. 18. Our Forecasting Solution <ul><li>Create standardized, well-defined process for forecasting (timeliness) </li></ul><ul><li>Standardize definitions – remove some of the subjectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping system up to date </li></ul><ul><li>Provide clear forecasting procedures and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability - “What gets measured, gets done” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Methods to ensure reps keep forecasting information up to date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managers accountable for making reps comply </li></ul></ul><ul><li># Forecasting users = 716 </li></ul><ul><li>Business Units - Worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>Training – deployed in regional centers </li></ul><ul><li>Process change – change of terminology </li></ul><ul><li>Integration points – External reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing improvements – Improved tracking </li></ul>DEPLOYMENT DETAILS
  19. 19. Establishing Accuracy <ul><li>Enforcing timely data input </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly forecasting check-ups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check-ups change to daily at quarter-end </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Forecasting data in single system (salesforce.com) </li></ul><ul><li>Clear definitions </li></ul><ul><li>First line manager can override a rep’s forecast </li></ul>
  20. 20. Establishing Adoption <ul><li>Competitions and rewards for forecasting accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining forecast history for tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting best practices to sales management </li></ul><ul><li>Showing the value </li></ul><ul><li>Increased compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Better reports supporting forecast process </li></ul><ul><li>Some issues affecting adoption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formula fields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forecast Category nomenclature </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Effective Measurement <ul><li>External reporting use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current and historical forecast accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forecasting metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Salesforce reporting use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>View direct and cross team forecasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manager’s reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rep’s forecast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity contributors can track the opportunities they are involved with </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Currently looking at Salesforce customization for partners to forecast opportunities </li></ul>
  22. 22. Key Results & Lessons Learned <ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Simplifies the process </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces forecasting time </li></ul><ul><li>Enables better business decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Allows focus on the right opportunities and activities </li></ul><ul><li>Assists with account planning </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons </li></ul><ul><li>Separate sales methodology from forecasting methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Separate pipeline analysis from forecasting </li></ul><ul><li>Need clear process and easy to use tools </li></ul><ul><li>Promote the value of a clean and accurate forecast </li></ul><ul><li>Enforce consequences for not maintaining an accurate and timely forecast </li></ul>
  23. 23. Sharing Forecasting Success – Q & A
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