2022 8.3 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad
3rd May 2022 | Dr Jeremy Noad
The research review aims to help readers keep up to date with recently published research on sales-related topics. The review highlights short abstracts of academically peer-reviewed research. This selection of published research is from a range of academic journals. In this edition, the abstracts include four themes that focus on sales performance, customer management, behavioural studies, and systems and tools.
The ongoing quest for reliable sales forecasts
Improving business forecasts is a major goal of many companies because of its strong positive impact on future performance and potential competitive advantages. Even though sales managers have been called to serve as a profound base for business forecasts from a theoretical perspective, this premise has not been subject to empirical testing to date.
Addressing this research void, the authors analyse under which conditions sales managers’ business forecasts are reliable and when not. The authors conducted a cross-industry field study including two measurement points with 180 high-ranking senior sales managers. Results show that managers’ forecast accuracy fundamentally depends on contextual moderators. Sales managers predict future business situations 2.5 times more accurately when they exhibit a long firm-specific experience and high confidence levels in their forecast. Furthermore, a comparably long sales cycle improves forecast accuracy. Conversely, sales managers may make considerable misjudgments if the before mentioned conditions are not met.
Schneider, J V, Alavi, S, Guba, J H, Wieseke, J, & Schmitz, C (2020), “When do forecasts fail and when not? Contingencies affecting the accuracy of sales managers’ forecast regarding the future business situation”, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 1-26.