As a former CFO, I know that revenue forecasting is a heavy lift, even for high-tech companies that think they already have their finger on the pulse of the marketplace.
For most companies, there are two cumbersome and time-consuming steps:
- Assemble data from across your organization, from disparate sources, data silos, CRM dated pipeline information, historical trends, historical win rates, etc.
- Manually roll up the data and analyze the same to create a revenue forecast for your organization.
Unfortunately, this painstaking approach produces immediately obsolete forecasts, which puts you, your boss, and your company in a serious bind.
Your revenue forecast must be accurate and timely
Because of the lightning speed of enterprise, even after all that work, any revenue forecast you create will already be outdated the day you hit “send.”
Without an accurate revenue forecast, your organization’s decision-makers will not be able to decide whether to:
- Expand the business with new products and services
- Increase hiring, marketing, and new infrastructure
- Grow into new geographic locations
- Plan investments and make important decisions like hiring new staff
Your company will zig when it should have zagged. The organization will not generate the revenue it anticipated and may face a decline in its ability to do business and a loss in market share. You may lose credibility, stature, and possibly your job.
AI delivers fast and accurate revenue forecasts
Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) can rescue you and your company. It can help you quickly recognize emerging patterns across data obtained both from your organization and from the marketplace. It can save your bacon.
AI has gone from nice to necessary.
Here’s what you need to know about how AI forecasts, its limitations, and the best way to use it in your organization.
Access to multiple data sources makes accurate revenue forecasts possible
AI uses machine learning and algorithms to teach itself. Its increasing capacity for almost human thinking leaves previous methods for revenue forecasting in the dust.
Until recently, most organizations used spreadsheets to capture data from their sales, marketing, and operations departments. This wasted time, disrupted business, and resulted in revenue forecasts that were inconsistent across different regions.
AI makes the collection of data and its transfer to databases unnecessary because it does it automatically. Its use in revenue forecasting has continued to grow more robust since AI was adopted for this task more than three years ago.
As in all things, there are limitations
AI requires human input and a learning curve to work effectively. Depending on the complexity of your industry, it may take several months to learn your business sufficiently before it can provide the analysis needed to make accurate revenue forecasts.
Moreover, you must have realistic expectations about what AI can and cannot do. It won’t make coffee and it may never acquire human intuition and common sense. These uniquely human abilities are essential in revenue forecasting.
It won’t do your job for you, but if you incorporate AI into your forecasting toolbox, you will be able to do your job better.
AI may be your best bet for creating your revenue forecast
AI can access and analyze new data sources such as call snippets and meeting notes, to produce better insights into stakeholder perceptions and preferences than would quantitative data alone.
AI can improve the quality of your work exponentially. The revenue forecasts you create will be more accurate and more attuned to current and changing market conditions. They will be delivered quickly so that decision-makers have the information they need to allocate resources appropriately in a highly fluid business environment.
AI-supported revenue forecasting may mean the difference in your organization’s ability to survive and thrive.
It may be your best bet for keeping your job and growing your career.
Take the Latest AI-Based Revenue Forecasting Suite for a Test Drive
ForecastEra’s new Revenue Forecast Suite makes your job faster, easier, and better.
It offers real-time revenue analytics and out-of-the-box features and functions. These include a robust AI-, cloud-based platform that can collect and analyze the data needed to drive value during the pandemic and beyond.
The features enable rapid configuration to accommodate changing market conditions and on-demand analytics. The Revenue Forecasting Suite provides multiple sources through a single platform. It analyzes different data sets to give you insights into specific markets, market conditions, and customers.
It makes you look good, your boss look good, and can help save and grow your company in these hard times.
NEW BUNDLE 40% OFF OFFER:
Because we want everyone to see the impact of having both newly updated Revenue Forecast Navigator and Sales Forecast Navigator, we are offering a whopping 40% discount when you buy both in a bundle.
Normally both apps would be a total of $75 per license, the bundle price is $45.
If you’d like to learn how Revenue & Sales Forecasting Suite works in your specific industry, click here to schedule your demo.