Software for Sales Managers

Sales Forecasting & Canopy's Scenario Planner

A Match Made in Sales Forecasting Heaven: Marrying the Art & Science of Forecasting

A Match Made in Sales Forecasting Heaven: Marrying the Art & Science of Forecasting

Who likes spreadsheets? Complicated data? Siloed information? I can’t say for sure but I’ve never personally heard anyone say “I’m psyched to go dig into some crappy data in Excel!” Yet due to the restrictions of CRM and traditional forecasting tools, we constantly find ourselves in spreadsheets. I’ve been there. I would spend hours planning, creating scenarios, and attempting to make sense of disconnected data. Then as soon as the next sales period began everything I had created was out of date. I found myself doing the same thing over and over and over. It was this constant pain that drove me to ask the question: how is this still a thing?

A true Revenue Intelligence platform should be able to answer my questions around conversion rates, win/loss models, top-of-funnel conversions, and forecasting accuracy at every level of my organization. Yet when I looked at what was available these tools didn’t exist. Sure you could hire a team of data scientists and buy a massive BI tool, but even this requires massaging of the data. Not to mention, data scientists and analysts don’t think like revenue leaders. 

This is why we built Canopy. 

To provide revenue leaders at every level with the insights and answers they need to be more effective. The power of Canopy begins with our Augmented Revenue Analysis Engine. This allows us to map and transform all historical data and analyze trends in real-time. By modeling what leads to success Canopy can notify leaders when things begin to go off track. Canopy’s AI-based engine analyzes more data than any one person, or team, could do in a spreadsheet. These insights are used to paint a picture and provide leaders with the facts they need to make their own fully informed decisions. There’s no black box magic here. Our goal is to give you the real-time insights you need to be proactive and spend your time driving revenue not crunching data. 

Why Scenario Planning?

Accurate forecasts are the byproduct of an accurate top-down forecast (statistical analysis) compared to the bottoms-up forecast (seller and manager deal reviews). This works well when you have a line-of-sight to an active pipeline in the current quarter or sales period. The challenge with looking ahead is that the bulk of the opportunities for future periods do not exist when we have to plan for the next quarter let alone the next year. 

To create the most accurate top-down analysis, you need accurate win rates for each stage of your funnel. These should be calculated at the team and individual level. Every seller and team has its own unique conversion rates and win rates. The individual and team differences create a variance in accuracy. Canopy’s model takes into account the actual win rate from each stage, over a trailing window of time, as well as factoring in variance-over-time and slippage, ensuring you have the most up-to-date win rates for each seller, team, and organization. 

The next thing to account for in the top-down analysis is in-period revenue (that which is created and closed in the same period) and pulled-in revenue (that which is currently scheduled to close in the future) by analyzing historic trends, team sizes, and growth rates, which are often projections or best-guesses based on past performance. Canopy leverages data snapshots and highly-tuned machine learning models to help you get more accurate projections for these hard-to-come-by forecasts.

Even with all of this horsepower, there are still factors out of our control. Insights we will never glean from the data alone. Why do models fail or come up short? The real world. There are factors in and out of your control that will always impact the future. Let’s take 2020 for example, who the heck could have predicted all of this volatility? So many variables are at play. This is why we built the Scenario Planner–to provide leaders with everything we could possibly know about their future revenue leveraging all data available. Then give them the ability to adjust these assumptions with what you as a leader know to be true. Giving you the ability to model different outcomes and run thousands of scenarios in seconds. 

Our job as revenue teams is to plan, implement, monitor, and adjust. We do this over and over again. As we get our economy back on track this ability to adjust on the fly will be more important than ever. Canopy connects each of these steps to ensure you have the visibility needed to drive performance and growth at every level. We would love to learn more about your business and define how we can help you drive more predictability and accuracy across your team. Reach out to us to see the scenario planner in action or discuss how Canopy could help.

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