Point of View
Sales Forecasting: From gazing at the crystal ball to sensing your customer demands before they do
What Integrated Business Planning means for Sales
Sales forecasting is defined as the process of approximating future revenue by predicting the amount of product or services a sales unit will sell within a given future time horizon. It’s hard to overstate the importance of accurate sales forecasting as it adds value across an entire organization. While building the foundation for the revenue planning in financial functions, it also supports supply chains with the necessary information to plan production capacities and expected material requirements, so as to ensure that organizations meet their demands today and in the future – both in terms of time and quality. Given the present relevance of the topic and the great amount of time invested by sales departments, one might expect that companies are capable of producing highly accurate forecasts within an increasingly data-driven environment. However, a capability gap analysis states that 79 percent of all sales organizations regularly miss their forecast by more than 10 percent . Whilst the trend towards incorporating data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) in decision making is discernible, we would like to shed light on what is most relevant for forecasting.