Only 15% of revenue leaders are very satisfied with their forecasting process, according to a recent Benchmark Study by revenue intelligence provider InsightSquared. And even worse, a full 91% of respondents said their predicted forecast was off by 6% or more.
Certainly, the pandemic affected forecasts in a dramatic way, which is all the more reason to look hard at the kinds of tools companies can implement, as well as other steps they can take to improve forecasting.
CRMs. 80% of respondents were using two or more forecasting platforms, and over half were using three or more. CRMs are the top tool for forecasting automation. However, less than a third said they used CRMs for opportunity scoring, an important forecasting metric.
Automation. Over half the companies surveyed didn’t have forecasting automation. This makes organizations more susceptible to human error and bad data when everything is manually inputted into an Excel spreadsheet.
Involving sales reps. Since they’re closest to the deals, sales reps need to be brought into the forecasting process. But only a quarter of businesses surveyed said this was the case in their org.
Why we care. When organizations use a number of different tools for a single operation, as in the case of forecasting platforms, this requires an even greater amount of human attention and buy-in. It’s easy to see how morale could be affected and how revenue opportunities could be lost. The consequences for siloed data and a bumpy digital transformation are many, not least of all dropped sales. It appears from this survey that those responsible for driving revenue (which increasingly includes marketers) need to have a thumb on the pulse of their company’s stack. The business’s forecasting could offer a sign that greater changes need to be made in marketing or sales.
About The Author
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.