Sales Forecasting – Why should I care?
While many organizations may have a system for forecasting sales, based on trends, feelings, or more complex combination of multiple factors, a recent research from Sirius Decisions showed that 79 percent of Sales organizations miss their sales forecast by more than 10 percent.
A per-opportunity in-depth analysis from insidesales.com shows that only 32% of opportunities close within 10% of their forecasted amount.
Why should a B2B company with a complex sales process even care about forecasting accurately its sales in a given period (month, quarter, etc…)?
Let’s put Sales aside for a minute, and look at what happens on the Delivery side of a typical B2B company (manufacturing a product, fulfilling an order or providing a service). The typical focus will be to ensure the company delivers its product or service in a timely manner and in the most efficient way. This means very well-oiled processes and well-trained people who know what they need to do next to ensure the work can be delivered, with quality, and consistently. The output of that company becomes a direct function of its capacity.
But what if all of a sudden, a big order fails to come in, sales drop, or, on the positive end, a big order comes in with strict delivery constraints?
The result: Stress starts spreading throughout the organization, making the well-oiled processes derail, well-trained people focus on the wrong things and the company’s overall client experience quickly degrades. Not the best outcome. At best, it’s a scramble to find new resources to help take care of the spike in the workload. At worst, it’s difficult decisions that have to be made, by laying off employees or terminating long-term partnerships with providers.
There is a better way! What if you could start measuring your sales and predicting what your Sales organization is going to bring in this month, next month, this quarter? You could then be ahead of the curve, start planning for the growth or the temporary decline, and keep high level of employee satisfaction and customer experience.
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