Sales organizations at larger companies have been predicting their sales forecasts for years. They have enough historical data and know enough about their close rates that they can look at their pipeline and can see with some degree of certainty where they're going to land by the end of the quarter. They’ve known if they are going to make or miss the number and roughly what they are going to make or miss it by.
The problem with that method is that it doesn’t give them any guidance on what to do about it. The goal of prediction usually isn’t just to be right. You don’t say, okay, we’re going to miss the quarter, I guess that’s that. The goal is to drive action. When you realize you’re going to miss the quarter by two or three percent, what do you do about it?
What’s amazing about predictive forecasting is that not only does it let you know if you’re going to miss the quarter, it lets you know which deals are at risk. Einstein Forecasting specifically can analyze millions of data points in a company’s opportunity history to create predictions around exactly how much is going to close.
Once those predictions are created, sales managers and sales leaders know where to focus their reps and teams, plus where they can make a difference by pulling at-risk deals across the line. That idea has been missing in sales today. If you know you’re going to miss a quarter, what can you do about it?
Einstein Forecasting isn’t just predictive. It’s also proactive. When Einstein notices something irregular or at-risk, it notifies the manager that their attention is needed. These insights are equally available both within the CRM and the mobile experience. Sales forecasts are something managers tend to use religiously and need to be accessible wherever they are.
Before you can benefit from predictive forecasting that guides the whole business, you need to start with a foundation of data to fuel the predictions. That’s why when we introduced Sales Cloud Einstein one year ago, we first focused on solutions that get sales reps engaged with their CRM and their sales process:
Einstein Lead Scoring helps reps prioritize which leads to call first.
Einstein Opportunity Insights enables them to focus their time on deals that need the most attention.
Einstein Account Insights shows them which accounts are ripe for contact.
Einstein Automated Contacts improves CRM data with new contact and contact role records.
And the secret sauce of it all, Einstein Activity Capture, which automatically maps email and calendar data to the right records, all without reps needing to click, search, or match.
We haven’t forgotten about reps in this latest round either. We all get inundated with emails. Einstein Email Insights lets the rep know when he or she comes in at the beginning of the day which emails need attention first. It also offers suggestions about what actions should be taken next.
Einstein uses natural language processing to determine that something significant is happening in those emails. Maybe someone noticed that the deal they are on is too high and we need to negotiate. Or someone's bringing in a new decision-maker into a deal and wants to schedule a follow-up meeting.
In the same way, Einstein Opportunity Scoring gives reps a sort of sanity check, that of the deals they’re working on, these are the ones that are a great fit and they are moving in the right direction with them, and these other deals are unlikely to close, so they shouldn’t spend as much time on them. This all goes back to giving hours back to the rep, so they can focus on their higher-value activities, such as building pipeline and closing deals.