While a forecast review and a pipeline review have a lot in common, they are not the same thing. If you aren’t doing both, there is a good chance that you are setting yourself and your reps up for failure.

The goal of the forecast review meeting is to go through and understand the deals that make up the current period’s forecast. In a pipeline review, the goal is to monitor the health of the overall pipeline, not just the deals in the current forecast. Everything in the pipeline is fair game. A pipeline review meeting will give you a much more realistic sense of how much pipeline you really have, so that when your SFA tells you that there is $5 million in the pipeline for Q2 you’ll know what that actually means. It is also your chance to perform some necessary clean-up and make sure that your reps are working on the right opportunities that will help them build a healthy pipeline.

Of course, the pipeline and forecast reviews don’t necessarily have to be two separate meetings, and you may find it beneficial to include elements of the pipeline review into your forecast review meetings. However, in many expansion stage SaaS companies, there are simply too many deals in the pipeline to discuss every single one. So in order to incorporate a pipeline review into your next forecast review meeting pick 5 to 10 deals randomly for each rep and ask the same questions that you would ask in a forecast review meeting. But instead of asking “How do we get it to close?” you should ask, “How do we get it to the next stage in the sales process?”

If you aren’t incorporating some aspect of pipeline review into your meetings with your sales team, you should start today.

image provided by: TheBusyBrain