Revenue Planning

The Weakness & Strength of Inherent Optimism

Sales is the lifeblood of any business and realistic planning is the key to an accurate forecast. Given its importance, why do we struggle to predict revenue?

Optimism, Belief, & Motivation

Sales is the lifeblood of any business and realistic planning is the key to an accurate forecast. Given the importance of forecasting, why is it that so many companies struggle to predict how much revenue they will make in a given period?

Most CEOs come from a sales background where inherent optimism driven by belief has been a key driver in their success. Where it all comes crashing down is when that belief runs into the hard wall of the sales process, the journey from initial awareness to customer acquisition.


In the Netflix dramatization Painkiller there is a scene when the Sackler nephew imagines he’s speaking to his deceased uncle who was the company founder. This is a regular occurrence in the series as the nephew is portrayed as an efficacious protégée who takes their evil business to gargantuan levels. The ghost of the uncle tells the nephew something to the effect of  “There’s two kinds of people we need, creators and salespeople. The creators are important but the salespeople are the 'Gods'. There is nothing short of miraculous in the ability of one person to get another to reach into their wallet and handover their money.” This disturbing series goes on to chronicle, in classic Netflix docudrama format, the dangers of a well-honed sales organization peddling a destructive and addictive product which went on to destroy the lives and families of hundreds of thousands of Americans.


Let’s explore the dangers of this belief that salespeople are Gods. Sales requires optimism. It’s a prerequisite for the role. Fortunately, there have been and continue to be a lot of optimistic people in the world. Those who imagine, plan, execute, create, and then profit from their work have to first believe. Without belief there is no motivation. Why would someone make the effort if they didn’t think it would be worthwhile? Taken to its extreme however, belief can take on a life of its own, distorting reality. Whether in business, politics, or sport, unbridled conviction insufficiently backed by truth leads to disaster.


Volumes have been written about how to rein in optimism bias in sales but not much attention has been given to how mathematics can be applied to the problem. Can the complex mechanics of buyer behavior in this exponentially confusing and noisy world be mapped out, interrogated, and refined in such a way as to give better predictability? The path a prospect takes from that first entry point into an organization to becoming a customer is the area that deserves the most scrutiny.  Mapping out and assigning best guesses to the factors for conversion and progression through the stages of the sales cycle from the bottom up is the key to coming up with a realistic projection of how many leads are needed to close as customers a given period.

This is where a MultiplyGTM methodology comes in.  MultiplyGTM determines not only how many leads are needed to support your goal but also the required timing of both the generation and processing of those leads as well as where lead generation focus should be given. Basically, all human bias is removed by optimizing not only required volume, but velocity and value of leads as well. The mathematics cannot be denied. MultiplyGTM uses a water-tight goal-seek approach across these three dimensions. All done in context of your offering mix; desired sales growth, inbound marketing vs. outbound sales capability, and of course, budget. See for yourself how you can quickly develop a model that demonstrates what is needed to drive certainty in your revenue goals.

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