Account planning is something many heads of sales and finance in the financial services industry dread. Forecasting a revenue outlook for your portfolio of clients, whether it’s a large multinational corporation or a person, can be a challenging process.
A robust account plan will help a sales team fully understand the upcoming quarter or year, with an emphasis on drilling down to individual clients or accounts. They need to revisit the pipeline of deals for each account and determine the probability of closing each deal. This exercise is sometimes challenging, as it is hard to predict the factors that might influence a client’s decision to give you future business.
In this blog post, consider the factors that influence forecasting in the financial services industry and learn how Next Quarter’s Pipeline Acceleration and Financial Clarity solutions can help.
Deal closing probabilities will sometimes depend on the interest rate environment, especially if you are in the lending or transaction banking sectors. Although it’s impossible to predict the future, sales and finance executives can make carefully considered forecasts based on a series of assumptions, models, and data.
The Impact of Interest Rates
Interest rates are important to factor into any decision because they will impact whether or not a client will borrow now or later or take out long-term or short-term debt. There should always be an implied interest rate forecast that acts as a basis for forecasting as interest rates affect other economic factors like inflation. These will impact deal cycles within a financial institution and influence many business decisions.
In addition to the interest rate environment, different economic scenarios must be considered when making forecasts for deals. It would be wise to have what-if scenarios for each deal based on the political climate or any change in economic policies that may impact the client’s ability to spend. Using alternative scenarios allows heads of sales and finance to adjust their forecasts and react accordingly if the economy diverges from the status quo.
Next Quarter’s Financial Clarity solution can help you make forecasts for deals and other sales processes. Financial Clarity solves many of the challenges associated with forecasting by providing businesses like yours with continuous revenue intelligence. You can predict future financial outcomes based on real-time data and improve profitability. The Financial Clarity generates forecast accuracy of more than 95%.
As a head of sales or finance in the financial services sector, it’s important to maintain a robust pipeline and keep your deals moving forward.
Being able to forecast your sales for the upcoming year is important for the account planning process. Financial services firms need CRM software that will help them with relationship handling and automation. Every office has different processes for new client onboarding or account management. A CRM can help pull emails, interactions, phone calls, and calendar invites into call notes. By automating this process, teams can focus less time on data entry and more on building relationships and touchpoints with clients and prospects.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to maintain a solid list of centers of influence (COIs). COIs are people who are knowledgeable and influential in a certain niche and can increase your market access and credibility through referrals and word of mouth. A good COI would ideally have valuable insight into a niche and a business that complements yours. An example of a COI would be a personal lawyer who has clients that they could refer to you. Another example would be an accountant or CPA with clients that need financial advising.
Having a robust CRM plug-in like Next Quarter’s Pipeline Acceleration can completely change the way heads of sales and finance in financial services approach forecasting. This solution uses predictive analytics to scan your conversation and sales data, helping you develop better forecasts, close deals faster, and identify key trends. You get a clearer path to better sales and growth.
Next Quarter is the first AI-based account planning tool that helps the financial services industry make accurate predictions about revenue processes. Trusted by Fortune 500 companies, Next Quarter integrates with Salesforce and can improve forecast models by over 97%. You can use this solution to identify problem accounts, improve success, and rank decision-makers.
Pipeline Acceleration and Financial Clarity are available as feature bundles in the Next Quarter platform. You can toggle these solutions on or off depending on your goals and generate real-time forecasting data on your terms. Powered by predictive analytics, these solutions help you arrive at the right revenue forecast and ensure you never leave money on the table. Next Quarter’s Pipeline Acceleration and Financial Clarity help you predict future revenue outcomes in your growing organization. Schedule a free demo now.