Market Forecasting is one of the most prominent parts of the market analysis and it is completely based on the future prediction on the basis of past data, various opinions, on-going trends, characteristics and many other factors in any particular market. There are various factors included in forecasts like planning in marketing, analysis of market trends, keeping an eye on performance of market, resource allocation and many others. Marketing opportunity analysis forms a crucial aspect of marketing. Measuring, examining and analyzing of profitable marketing opportunity requires exact sales forecasts. The forecasts enable one to understand the patterns of the sales graph, and chart out notable opportunities to carry out the marketing techniques. In simple words, forecasting ascertains the possibilities of happening of the same thing in the near future that happened in the past too. But these are not all the factors involved in the prediction made.
In a study, it has been observed that long term prediction is vague as compared to short term prediction. Therefore, it is necessary to check all the market forecasting till reality. There are three major factors, methodology, measurements and incentives, and tools in order to execute an effective market forecast.
First thing in Methodology of Outsourcing Marketing Forecasting Analytics is to model the revenue stages of any company. This helps in determining when a prospective customer shifts from one stage to another stage. Generally there are only three categories of revenue stages. First is Inventory Stage; this is a specific phase in which leads and accounts can be put for long durations before they are moved on to next level. The second is Gate Stage; it is normal qualification check point but with no limited time period. According to this, when a lead comes at this stage, and the company has drawn enough revenue, the lead moves onto next stage otherwise it is shifted to disqualified stage. Third and final stage is SLA Stage, Service Level Agreement. We use this stage when there is enough time within which the lead can be processed before it is shifted to next stage or disqualified. By application of these three unique stages, we can model an entire revenue cycle or lead process.
After casting a model of different revenue stages of company, there arises need of credible factors which will encourage trust, accuracy and accountability. This requirement makes the simple outlined marketing forecasts into successful endeavors. Most important factor among all this is trust, a certain kind of knowing the pros of the marketing forecast. If the sales executives do not trust the marketing forecast, consciously or obliviously, then it causes the absence of credibility factor for the CMO.
It is difficult for IT to manage the marketing forecasts without employing the relevant tools. Nowadays, nearly 100% of all the marketing forecasts are created via excel spreadsheets. However this practice of creating spreadsheet reports is subject to errors. It is not scaled to handle the complexities of multiple lead types like varied models for variant leads, and other divisions.
I would like to congratulate you and your team on a fantastic effort with the 2012 forecast numbers.
Director, Investment Advisory Company, AUS