Five Important Metrics in Sales Forecasting: How Aviso Gets These Right, Every Single Quarter

By Michael Lock

Jeff Williams from Bain recently published a blog called: “5 Important Metrics in Sales Forecasting.” While I couldn’t agree more on the importance of these metrics for sales operations professionals, sales leaders and sales reps, I have to point out that most solutions fall short of actually meeting the complex nature of producing these metrics. The Aviso Sales Vision™ platform has a rich set of AI-driven capabilities that provide these detailed, customizable metrics and unprecedented value to sales teams.

  1. Accuracy – the essential foundation of forecasting. Many solutions work off of a limited data set, or don’t use AI and machine learning to ensure accuracy. Aviso leverages  large customer-specific data sets, historical data, and sophisticated data science to deliver unprecedented forecasting accuracy. The benefits make forecasting more reliable, and more real-time, so sales and operations leaders can make informed decisions with real data.
    • Aviso provides accurate forecasts, from several important user-defined levels such as aggregate geographical, product, business, region, rep or even deal levels.
    •  Aviso machine learning algorithms retrain the models continuously with the latest data. This enables not just a day 1 forecast but continual up-to-date corrections to the forecast daily. Aviso, also delivers full change analytics with visibility down to the deal level.
    • Aviso accurately models and predicts the rapid run-rate part of the business. An essential forecasting component that competing forecasting solutions miss this completely.
  2. Variance – selling is an ever-changing activity. Every change affects the overall forecast, and therefore affects business performance.  CROs must manage change and adapt along the way to make the number.  Sales Operations leaders must be able to pinpoint change to identify trends and to track problem areas. Aviso is a leader in variance management.
    • Aviso preserves full history of the sales teams’ committed and upside forecasts enabling us to uniquely provide insightful analytics on under-forecasting and over-forecasting. 
    • Aviso gives full visibility in variance of forecasts against actual achievement and also differences in forecasting judgement.
    • Aviso’s unique deal-level forecasting and deal-level insights reveal commit accuracy as well as mismatches between managers and reps’ judgement on  forecasted deals.
  3. Pipeline coverage and mix – Understanding the value of each deal in your pipeline is critical to architecting pipeline coverage that can make the number, even as things change.  
    • Our unique Aviso Pipeline Value Predictor leverages AI-generated models and machine learning to evaluate every single deal in the pipeline and determine its likelihood of closing this quarter. 
    • Aviso not only evaluates the value of the pipeline that will drive future quarter bookings, but provides visibility into the details of newly created pipeline versus pipeline value at each stage advancement.
    • Aviso is the only solution that gives a comprehensive deal-by-deal forecast of the entire pipeline for the current quarter as well as the next quarter. Unlike other solutions that rely on rough metric averages such as the classic “3x pipeline coverage is needed to make the number,” Aviso uses AI to predict which deals in the pipeline will contribute to making the number this quarter.
  4. Compliance and commitments – business rules and best practices guide every stage of the selling cycle. As enterprises focus sales activities on certain products, markets or solutions, it is critical that sales commitments are understood, monitored and managed. For highly-regulated industries, it is also critical that a full audit trail of changes is available.
    • Aviso makes it easy to see the entire sales teams’ forecast at every level, with full visibility on when these numbers were submitted, whether they are up to date and compliant with business rules.  Any mismatches in forecasted deals can be easily identified and resolved.
    • Aviso’s deal level insights provide AI-generated insights on CRM field status changes. making it easy for Sales teams to spot anomalies and take corrective action such as marking the appropriate Stage or forecast categories, updating amounts or close date changes.
  5. Linearity – understanding pipeline and sales performance trends helps CROs understand whether or not they’re building pipeline at an appropriate pace to meet the number this quarter, and next. 
    • Only Aviso has the capability of generating a AI-modeled linearity or pacing curve for every part of the business, right down to the individual level. 
    • Aviso always shows the human judgement forecast alongside the AI-generated forecast. A clear indication of linearity, or pace, based on the historical patterns in the business, gives insight into how actual sales performance compares to the ideal.
    • Accurate linearity is only possible with AI-models that treat each part of the business differently and appropriately. Aviso provides early warning signals when booking are falling behind pace.

Mr. Williams is right about the metrics, but we believe that  these five metrics are only useful if they can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of your business.  We believe they’re only possible with rich AI-based algorithms and real-time data combined with historical data. Aviso provides a customizable dashboard and mobile app that puts essential, AI-driven information at the fingertips of CROs and sales leaders, sales operations managers, and sales reps. With a few clicks, Aviso reveals the most important metrics, change trends, early warnings, and actionable insights.  The result is tighter control of the quarter, and more successful sales.

See how Aviso can help