• Revenue Operations Forecasting Chief Revenue Officer

Not Hitting Your Sales Forecasts? You're Not Alone, Forrester Says

Kevin Knieriem headshot

Kevin Knieriem
CRO, Clari

85% of business-to-business firms regularly miss their monthly sales forecast by more than 5%, a new Forrester study commissioned by Clari finds. 

And that’s a huge problem. 

With today’s mix of companies engaged in digital transformations, shifting market trends, and empowered customers, it’s become more important, and more difficult, to drive predictable revenue, especially in real time. 

To meet growth goals, executives and revenue leaders need a combination of accurate revenue forecasting metrics and optimized revenue operations processes. 

Forrester Consulting’s new study, “Revenue Operations And Intelligence Deliver Predictable Growth,”* found that accurate sales forecasting is key to meeting a company's larger strategic goals. Yet most large B2B firms consistently miss their mark. 

In fact, 51% of respondents regularly miss their monthly B2B sales forecast by more than 10%, while 85% missed it by more than 5%. 

“The fact is that most B2B companies’ forecasts are not very accurate—and worse, they may not realize it,” the study states.

There is a way out. The Forrester study found revenue operations technology relieves many of the challenges these high-growth B2B firms face in meeting their key growth initiatives. 

Business leaders who prioritize using Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I) solutions in their tech ecosystem are almost 3x more likely to forecast with more than 95% accuracy on a monthly time frame and more than 2x on a quarterly time frame.

Accurate forecasting is just one of the benefits of revenue operations and intelligence solutions. Nearly 70% reported overall revenue benefits, including:

  • 59% improved win/loss rates 
  • 53% increased net dollar retention 
  • 65% more accurate forecasts
  • 69% higher revenue growth

The study includes strategic recommendations for future revenue operations technology investments, as well as overall revenue optimization functionality—including how to achieve a more accurate sales forecast.

Without such processes, the impact of poor forecasting cascades throughout your organization. As many tenured management and sales leaders know, missing the forecast has a range of negative implications, from capacity planning issues to damaged perception of the organization. It’s no wonder that 93% of those surveyed reported that they are actively using or plan to use a revenue operations technology in the next 36 months.  

The study also digs deeper into the four fundamentals needed to develop a more efficient revenue and sales process: 

  • A robust data and tech foundation
  • Clear processes for the people involved
  • Consistent application of new insights to improve the process
  • Involvement of key stakeholders who rely on the forecast to make strategic business decisions.

Download the full study for more recommendations and insights on revenue optimization. Request a demo of Clari to learn how you can partner with us, and leverage revenue operations technology to improve your forecast and drive predictable revenue at scale. 

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*For the “Revenue Operations and Intelligence Delivers Predictable Growth” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Clari, Forrester surveyed over 300 software industry revenue operations decision-makers about the key challenges they face in revenue optimization. Over 75% of those surveyed represented organizations with over 1,000 employees, and saw a 6% or higher annual growth rate.