Here’s the short version...
Today, software is eating spreadsheets.
First, the CRM ate the spreadsheet when it came to contact and activity tracking.
Now, Revenue Operations platforms have their turn at eating spreadsheets when it comes to forecasting.
The longer version goes like this...
The ultimate goal of any good technology is to give humans that use it more freedom.
When it comes to forecasting, spreadsheets are your swiss army knife. They allow operations to create the forecasting template that matches their CRO’s mental model.
That infinite flexibility, the freedom to change, to add, or edit is why forecasting spreadsheets will never be dead.
However spreadsheets, while very flexible, do not scale across 100s of users, a multitude of business types, weekly forecasting submissions, and so on. They weren’t built to drive the group-based forecasting workflow that so many organizations rely on today.
CRMs replaced spreadsheets in the 2000s, as the latter hit the limits of scale. CRMs are a system of record built for scale and persistence; with a predefined data model around accounts, leads, and opportunities.
In that same way, the 2020s now see a steady replacement of spreadsheets by first-class revenue operations/intelligence platforms.
Why is it happening?
Revenue operations platforms do what no spreadsheet can...
- They create predictive intelligence and higher accuracy by snapshotting all data, and monitoring change automatically.
- They provide a workflow that allows group forecasting - sales, customer success, managers, leaders, and operations flow predictably on a cadence
- They take out all the manual work of week over week roll-up data assembly and ad hoc reporting.
What is driving this trend?
Simply put, forecasting is a lot more complex than a decade ago.
- Most companies, including midsize companies, are now becoming multi-product companies therefore forecast each business line separately.
- As companies grow through acquisition, forecasting data is spread across disparate CRM instances and data lakes.
- ARR economy has lead many companies to forecast their new business as well as their usage-based retention and run-rate expansion business.
Unlike CRMs that ship with a pre-baked data model, Adaptive Revenue Operations platforms come ready-made with the ability to mirror and adopt your current data models such as:
- Data models for multiple business types.
- Forecast categories split across custom objects.
- Can aggregate forecasting and data from across disparate CRM instances.
- Support both enterprise and run-rate forecasting natively.
- Support custom formula-based top-down and bottom-up forecasting metrics.
As these adaptive revenue operations platforms replace forecasting spreadsheets, there is an inevitable loss of flexibility. At BoostUp we believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice flexibility.
We are creating the first adaptive revenue and forecasting command center. The one that puts operations in the driving seat and gives them the controls, knobs, and the steering wheel to make changes and adjust to the flux in their business environments.
Forecasting is constantly changing. As CROs and people change, as the competitive and market landscape changes - so does the forecasting. What sales operations needs is the ability to confidently make those changes.
At BoostUp. flexibility and adaptive ability is core to our design. We believe that if operations can’t self-change, test, administer and create various elements of forecasting and reporting, it is no better than a spreadsheet.
BoostUp combines the flexibility of a spreadsheet with the predictive process controls to put revenue operations in the driving seat.