Research Brief: Sales Forecasting Effectiveness

8 April 2015


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:

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