How much will we sell of each of our offerings? Who will sell it? When will they sell it? At what margin? These questions are all vital to businesses, and better accuracy in forecasts leads to many great benefits including reduced costs through better operations management, the ability to manage investor expectations and stabilize stock prices, and of course accurate sales quotas.

In this recorded webinar sponsored by Anaplan, hosted by the Sales Management Association, and co-presented with Kevin Gray, we discuss the challenges of sales forecasting and plan design. Kevin starts out with a discussion of what makes sales forecasting both difficult and important, and some great ideas about how to improve it.

Next, starting on slide 14, I discuss three vital ways the sales forecast touches incentive compensation:

  1. How should forecast accuracy affect plan design?
  2. What can you do to make your quotas more (or less) accurate, even when your sales forecast accuracy is just what it’s always been?
  3. What about forecast accuracy as a sales incentive measure – if it’s so important to the business, should we incentivize it?

[Preview of answers: (1) It’s in the payout curve shape. (2) Have fewer of them. (3) No.]

The sales compensation plan can rarely improve your sales forecast, but a good understanding of your sales forecast accuracy can definitely improve your sales compensation plans. For practical and specific insights and guidelines that will inform the next sales compensation plan you design view, see a condensed version featuring the content focused on forecasting and plan design below. .


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