Executive Briefings

Is 'Big Data' to Blame for Sales Forecasts Not Being Realized?

At the end of any quarter, the last thing CFOs want to hear is that more than half of forecasted sales did not close. Unfortunately, this scenario is quite common. CFOs blame sales staffs for faulty forecasts, while sales teams try to shift the blame to IT for not giving them the right tools to turn fuzzy forecasts into actionable data.

According to Ventana Research, most organizations are missing one essential piece of the sales puzzle: visibility into the sales pipeline. More than 60 percent of the organizations Ventana polled say they plan to invest in sales analytics in 2012, meaning that finding sales insights hidden in "Big Data" will be a top priority this year.

There's a trap here, though.

Gaining visibility into the sales pipeline is meaningless if your organization doesn't have a formal sales process in place. "Companies spend far too much time trying to normalize their existing sales data not realizing that historical sales only tells you what you sold, not what opportunities exist," says Melissa Scheppele, CIO of Cooper Industries . "Today, forecasting is based on a sales person in field saying 'I'm going to close deal.' Those falsehoods trickle up."

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Keywords: Business Intelligence & Analytics, Forecasting & Demand Planning, Technology, Quality & Metrics, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, Sales Pipeline Visibility, Ventana Research

According to Ventana Research, most organizations are missing one essential piece of the sales puzzle: visibility into the sales pipeline. More than 60 percent of the organizations Ventana polled say they plan to invest in sales analytics in 2012, meaning that finding sales insights hidden in "Big Data" will be a top priority this year.

There's a trap here, though.

Gaining visibility into the sales pipeline is meaningless if your organization doesn't have a formal sales process in place. "Companies spend far too much time trying to normalize their existing sales data not realizing that historical sales only tells you what you sold, not what opportunities exist," says Melissa Scheppele, CIO of Cooper Industries . "Today, forecasting is based on a sales person in field saying 'I'm going to close deal.' Those falsehoods trickle up."

Read Full Article


Keywords: Business Intelligence & Analytics, Forecasting & Demand Planning, Technology, Quality & Metrics, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, Sales Pipeline Visibility, Ventana Research