May 3, 2021

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  • Sales Forecasting
  • Sales Forecasting Examples

Sales forecasting example marketing plan

When marketing and sales work together, it’s a beautiful thing. It can sometimes be difficult to align the two, but different types of sales forecasting in marketing can offer distinct perspectives on future revenue and give focus to marketing initiatives.

For example, a top down approach to sales forecasting starts with the big picture and takes an industry-wide view: There’s a gap in the market for a product that does this specific thing.

A bottom up approach starts with the product or service and scales out from there: There’s X amount of the product to sell, and selling it all will bring in $X.

Intuitive forecasting might be based on the “gut feeling” of the top sales executive: The market is hungry for this product, and the right buyer will close on the spot.

The trick to making forecasting work as well for marketing as it does for sales is to find the right blend of these kinds of approaches to inform marketing-level decisions about things like target personas, ad spend, and content creation. Sales forecasting can seem like a murky field, but there are huge benefits to learning how to utilize and apply it to marketing plans.

What is the role of forecasting in marketing?

Forecasting in marketing is an important tool that can provide marketers with focus in helping sales teams reach their goals. Top down approaches give an idea of the overall industry and the rate of change (growth, stasis, or recession) that might happen in the near future. This helps businesses account for external factors that affect their industry. Bottom up approaches help to understand the individual business and focus the products or services provided in the past. The more expansive the approach that is chosen, and the more external and internal factors considered, the more helpful the outcome when applying to marketing plans.

Guiding marketing budgets

One way that sales forecasts can contribute to a marketing plan is by helping predict cash flow. Knowing how much revenue is coming in, helps when it comes to planning how to spend marketing dollars. Having an accurate idea of future sales helps to determine where money should be allocated and what marketing channels are worth the ROI. It’s almost like backwards engineering: figuring out where sales are coming from and then devoting the appropriate percentage of the budget to correlating marketing efforts.

Establishing feedback and ROI

Marketing planning and forecasting is an important feedback tool as well. With accurate forecasting methods, when a company falls short of anticipated sales, that is a tell that something isn’t working. This is important feedback for planning next quarter: revamping ad campaigns, trying different approaches, providing additional resources to marketing staff, allocating marketing dollars differently, or taking other steps to meet the sales forecasts. Using these metrics and examining them regularly helps marketing teams sharpen their skills and continuously improve.

On the other hand, going above and beyond forecasted sales is another signal that can be more difficult to decipher: what changed? Are more accurate forecasting methods needed? Were there factors that weren’t accounted for? What was wildly successful and should be repeated and continued? Although this is more difficult to pin down, overcoming forecasted sales is still a good measuring stick and helpful to examine what is working in order to make informed decisions moving forward.

How do you forecast sales in a marketing plan?

Simple: YOU don’t have to. Instead of using clunky and time-consuming methods (or traditional sales technology that is limited to one company’s historical data), consider how transformational a highly intelligent, internal and external, fully automated forecasting tool could be. Let’s face it, there are countless difficulties in sales forecasting, but the answer to those challenges is easier than you think.

Collective[i] offers the first adaptive and prescriptive forecasting tool that tackles human error and bias with accuracy rates up to 98.6%. We provide daily forecasts that leverage historic sales data and real-time market information to help sales and marketing teams alike make smart decisions to drive results.

Taking into account both external and internal data, Collective[i] provides updates, recommendations, connections, and even risk alerts to help sellers make informed decisions. Think of this network like Waze for sales forecasting. We leverage data, communities, and connections to make responsive recommendations based on what’s actually happening in the market right now.

Experience a better way to sell with the help of Collective[i] today.

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