Enhancing a Future Focus in Randstad’s Sales

In a company that’s particularly focused on sales, it is often challenging for the market intelligence professionals to convince the organization about the necessity to also look beyond the most immediate future. Yet even for the most sales driven organization such as Randstad, understanding the long term business drivers will naturally dictate the company’s future success.

Randstad is a Dutch multinational human resource consulting firm headquartered in Diemen, Netherlands and is today the world’s second-largest HR service provider.

In an effort to further professionalize the market intelligence program of his company, particularly in the areas of forecasting and future focus, Jan Brooijmans concluded that producing and circulating far-reaching future forecasts alone would not fly well in his sales-driven organization. Rather, he decided to take the future focus down to earth:

  • Concrete time-horizon. Split the future forecasts into parts and bring them close to the current moment in order to speak the language of all stakeholders: What will this forecast mean next year? Next quarter? Next month? Next week?
  • Concrete meaning. Break down the forecasts by customer industries and further by Randstad’s own business lines . Where do the forecasts suggest the next sales efforts should be put and when?
  • Concrete language. Partner with the finance department in order to produce forecasts in number terms, an approach that typically goes down well in a sales oriented company.

As a result, Brooijmans says that the scope of Randstad’s business forecasts has widened both in terms of market coverage and future orientation, yet without compromising the pragmatic need of sales to have something concrete to work with during the next weeks, months and quarters.

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