An important component of making critical decisions is the ability to accurately predict future performance. This is essential for the sales function of a business, as so many factors hinge on the sales forecast. Accordingly, quantitative data should build projections based on sound data analysis. This study identifies how sales professionals (both sales managers and salespeople) are achieving this, given modern-day tools that are available, as well as the resulting impacts. In addition to some demographics, the study examines the perceptions concerning several forecasting sales force automation components, specifically enterprise resource planning (ERP), and customer relationship management (CRM) software. These perceptions have tremendous impacts on the ability to integrate new state-of-the-art predictive analytic tools to help in the allocation of such resources as time, money, and talent. Perceptions indicate a need to better understand how to integrate the power of CRM, ERP, and other technologies to take advantage of the opportunities provided by such tools. Sales professionals, both salespeople and sales managers, need to harness the capabilities of these new analytical tools to improve corporate metrics and outcomes.
- Sales analytics
- Sales forecasting