This research examines our recent study of emerging trends and best practices for sales leadership as it relates to sales forecasting in business-to-business organizations. We identify core practices, processes, and resources considered essential to forecasting; reveal factors that contribute to effective sales forecasting; and determine how salespeople and managers interact in sales forecasting initiatives.
Specifically, this research addresses issues such as:
- What formal forecasting processes are used?
- What kinds of performance are forecasted, using what planning horizons, and with what frequency, using what inputs?
- How accurate are sales forecasts, and what factors influence forecast accuracy?
- Who within the firm directs sales forecasting efforts, and who is most vested in their accuracy?
- How do management and sellers interact when preparing, reviewing, and assessing forecasts, and how does their respective involvement influence forecasted results?
- How do firms differentiate between pipeline management and sales forecasting?
- How do forecasting efforts relate to the core sales process categories of call management, opportunity management, customer management, and territory management?
- How are firms developing forecasting skills within the sales organization?
An initial review of findings was also featured in a webcast, which may be viewed here: