PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 16


We have a certain percentage of our marketing
budget that is more or less allocated based on
how things are trending."
In addition to the company-wide meetings, all
managers are kept up-to-date on monthly sales
reports and forecasts, Krische said. "We encourage them to use this to motivate their team." They
also receive a daily and weekly sales report. "We
try to be very transparent. If we're close to the
target, we want to be able to improve."

If you can't answer those questions, you
might need to step back and make sure that any
accounting program is up-to-date and accurate,
Strom said. It might mean tracking customer
interactions so that you can understand when
and why are they are calling, and the result of
that interaction.
But don't go overboard. Any number of technological solutions can provide insight.
Strom suggests starting simply. "Don't try
to build a complex model when you can use
something simpler," he said. "For example, you
should look at what all your various products or
services are costing you to deliver. What kind of
profit margin are you making on each one? If you
don't have a way to calculate this, find someone
to help you figure this out. Which of your partners or manufacturers are giving you the best
margins? It may not be what you think it is. Do
you accurately keep track of the hours to deliver
a product or service? By customer? Do you know
what the lifetime value of a typical customer is?"
Krische recommends looking at monthly revenue trends to see where ebbs and flows are.
16 |

PESTWORLD > NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2016

"There are certain parts of the year that will see
additional customers in that month. If you're taking a look at a forecast, sometimes you need to
set one goal that may be obtainable and set a
stretch goal. Talk to your team and have them
set the goal. You would be surprised at what they
would see as reasonable."
Employees are experts in certain aspects of
the business, and Krische recommends leveraging that expertise. Batzner's leadership team
sets a three-year strategic plan that is updated
frequently. "We're real focused on what we want
to be when we grow up," she said. Managers
then share those goals with their employees. At
a biannual business meeting, everyone hears
metrics and successes.
"It helps us to be able to give a dialogue behind
where successes are occurring. Instead of just saying, 'we grew X percent this month,' some of our
staff doesn't know how we got to that number."
One way they get to their growth number is
to align sales forecasts heavily with marketing.
"When we see an increase in sales, we might allocate more money to what is driving that increase.

THE BEST LAID PLANS
Even the best sales forecast will occasionally
miss the mark-and it won't be able to save a
month in which projections are way off.
"But it can help you figure out what caused
the change in your projections, re-examine
your assumptions, and make sure you don't
make these mistakes again, or at least make
different mistakes," Strom said. "Also, make
sure your data is consistent across whatever
time period you are using for your forecast:
Do you have accurate weekly information for
weekly forecasts?"
Data can provide insight into things that
cause projections to go askew. "Data can help
you understand when one of your customers
is about to exit to one of your competitors,"
Strom said. "Look at behaviors and interactions
with your support staff, or when someone is
dissatisfied with your services. This could be
an early warning indicator that you are about to
lose their business. Is there a way to personalize
your business for particular customers, based
on the kinds of products and services that they
are interested in?"
The opposite can happen as well-when
the sales team is breaking through goals and
driving sales much higher than forecast. That
can create another challenge.
"We noticed that we were having a huge
increase in sales in one region," Krische said.
"We were excited to be able to celebrate the
new sales. But we were not able to hire people
quickly enough. It's a good problem to have."
Even that "good problem" drove changes.
Now, Batzner looks at new clients, retention
rates and capacity for routes. "We'll determine
if we need to hire an additional person or shift
some stops to someone who has some utilization. We have done that in learning through
that one exciting summer. It's driven us to a
more proactive nature, so that we can react as
it's happening."
And that's the benefit of a solid sales forecast:
to anticipate what might happen and be ready
to respond when it does. 	●



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PestWorld - November/December 2016

President’s Message
View From the Summit
No Crystal Ball Needed
The Marketing Plan Revisited
Heard From the Hill: Reasonable Overtime Legislation Introduced to Phase-in Threshold Increase
Marketing Corner: Year in Review: Top Trends in Pest Management Marketing
Ask the Expert
Membership Programs: Networking: Put Yourself in the Right Room
Hiring Drivers
Calendar of Events
Index to Advertisers
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - cover1
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - cover2
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 3
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 4
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 5
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 6
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 7
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - President’s Message
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 9
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - View From the Summit
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 11
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 12
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 13
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - No Crystal Ball Needed
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 15
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 16
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 17
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - The Marketing Plan Revisited
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 19
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 20
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 21
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - Heard From the Hill: Reasonable Overtime Legislation Introduced to Phase-in Threshold Increase
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 23
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - Marketing Corner: Year in Review: Top Trends in Pest Management Marketing
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 25
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - Ask the Expert
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 27
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - Membership Programs: Networking: Put Yourself in the Right Room
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 29
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - Hiring Drivers
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 31
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - 32
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - Calendar of Events
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - Index to Advertisers
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - cover3
PestWorld - November/December 2016 - cover4
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