Best Practice Report

Sales Forecasting: Time Horizons

January 1st, 2018


Sales operations should use four primary measures to prepare a full fiscal year forecast. Achieving sales forecast accuracy becomes increasingly difficult over longer time horizons. Predictive analytics solutions can improve the art and science of forecasting, but for now at least, they cannot replace human intuition and judgment.

Horizons in B2B sales forecasting refer to time points in the future rather than a physical line, but the vantage point is still critical, and the challenge of clearly seeing objects that are farther away remains. Although sales operations can view forecasts from the highest vantage point by using the chief sales officer’s full fiscal year funnel view in the sales force automation (SFA) tool, developing forecast accuracy for the later quarters of the upcoming fiscal year is more challenging. In this report, we discuss the forecast time horizons of Q1 through Q4 and present a combination of measures to assist in improving forecast accuracy for all quarters.

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