Sales Forecasting Quotes

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Value versus Cost Economists tend to focus on cost, and, as economists, we are as guilty of that as anyone. The entire premise of our first book, Prediction Machines, was that AI advances were going to dramatically reduce the cost of prediction, leading to a scale-up of its use. However, while that book suggested that the initial uses of AI would be where prediction was already occurring, either explicitly in, say, forecasting sales or the weather, or implicitly in classifying photos and language, we were mindful that the real opportunity would be the new applications and uses that were enabled when prediction costs fell low enough.
Ajay Agrawal (Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence)
Unfortunately, the metaphor that dominates most of American Christianity doesn’t help us much; we usually envision the church as a corporation. The pastor is the CEO, there are committees and boards. Evangelism is the manufacturing process by which we make our product, and sales can be charted, compared, and forecast. Of course, this manufacturing process goes on in a growth economy so that any corporation-church whose annual sales figures aren’t up from last year’s is in trouble. Americans are quite single-minded in their captivity to the corporation metaphor. And it isn’t even biblical. —Hal Miller
Frank Viola (Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity)
So what? This produces a onetime cash windfall from inventory reduction and speeds return on investment, but is it really a revolutionary achievement? In fact, it is because the ability to design, schedule, and make exactly what the customer wants just when the customer wants it means you can throw away the sales forecast and simply make what customers actually tell you they need.
James P. Womack (Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation)
EARNINGS McDonald's Plans Marketing Push as Profit Slides By Julie Jargon | 436 words Associated Press The burger giant has been struggling to maintain relevance among younger consumers and fill orders quickly in kitchens that have grown overwhelmed with menu items. McDonald's Corp. plans a marketing push to emphasize its fresh-cooked breakfasts as it battles growing competition for the morning meal. Competition at breakfast has heated up recently as Yum Brands Inc.'s Taco Bell entered the business with its new Waffle Taco last month and other rivals have added or discounted breakfast items. McDonald's Chief Executive Don Thompson said it hasn't yet noticed an impact from Taco Bell's breakfast debut, but that the overall increased competition "forces us to focus even more on being aggressive in breakfast." Mr. Thompson's comments came after McDonald's on Tuesday reported that its profit for the first three months of 2014 dropped 5.2% from a year earlier, weaker than analysts' expectations. Comparable sales at U.S. restaurants open more than a year declined 1.7% for the quarter and 0.6% for March, the fifth straight month of declines in the company's biggest market. Global same-store sales rose 0.5% for both the quarter and month. Mr. Thompson acknowledged again that the company has lost relevance with some customers and needs to strengthen its menu offerings. He emphasized Tuesday that McDonald's is focused on stabilizing key markets, including the U.S., Germany, Australia and Japan. The CEO said McDonald's has dominated the fast-food breakfast business for 35 years, and "we don't plan on giving that up." The company plans in upcoming ads to inform customers that it cooks its breakfast, unlike some rivals. "We crack fresh eggs, grill sausage and bacon," Mr. Thompson said. "This is not a microwave deal." Beyond breakfast, McDonald's also plans to boost marketing of core menu items such as Big Macs and french fries, since those core products make up 40% of total sales. To serve customers more quickly, the chain is working to optimize staffing, and is adding new prep tables that let workers more efficiently add new toppings when guests want to customize orders. McDonald's also said it aims to sell more company-owned restaurants outside the U.S. to franchisees. Currently, 81% of its restaurants around the world are franchised. Collecting royalties from franchisees provides a stable source of income for a restaurant company and removes the cost of operating them. McDonald's reported a first-quarter profit of $1.2 billion, or $1.21 a share, down from $1.27 billion, or $1.26 a share, a year earlier. The company partly attributed the decline to the effect of income-tax benefits in the prior year. Total revenue for the quarter edged up 1.4% to $6.7 billion, though costs rose faster, at 2.3%. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings of $1.24 a share on revenue of $6.72 billion.
According to research from the Sales Benchmark Index, 60 percent of all forecasted opportunities are lost to “no decision.
Jill Konrath (Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today's Ever-Changing Sales World)
Dear KDP Author, Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year. With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion. Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive. Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers. The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books. Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive. Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.
Amazon Kdp
forecast last week and put its recession odds at 1 in 4, citing a bigger-than-expected hit from a national sales-tax
Modification of firms' innovation processes to systematically search for and further develop innovations created by lead users can provide manufacturers with a better interface to the innovation process as it actually works, and so provide better performance. A natural experiment conducted at 3M illustrates this possibility. Annual sales of lead user product ideas generated by the average lead user project at 3M were conservatively forecast by management to be more than 8 times the sales forecast for new products developed in the traditional manner-$146 million
Eric von Hippel (Democratizing Innovation)
When you are scaling a sales team, the to-do list is endless. Hiring, training, coaching, pipeline reviews, forecasting, enterprise deal support, leadership development, and cross-functional communication are all part of the day-to-day.
Mark Roberge (The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million)
Are we expanding our sales force appropriately to match needed sales growth and market penetration?   2. Are our reps properly trained, and what is the lag time between training and an effective rep?   3. Is our compensation package and awards program sufficient to attract and retain high performers?   4. Is our field sales forecasting system functioning properly to anticipate negative trends?   5. Can we continue to leverage the sales expense line without damaging sales?   6. Is our expense budget tracking system effective?   7. Are we accurately monitoring sales force morale?   8. Is our pay schedule competitive?
John R. Treace (Nuts and Bolts of Sales Management: How to Build a High-Velocity Sales Organization)
Because the art and science of forecasting is so complex, you might be tempted to give all forecasting responsibility to a single manager who can be made accountable for it. But this usually does not work very well. What works better is to ask both the manufacturing and the sales departments to prepare a forecast, so that people are responsible for performing against their own predictions.
Andrew S. Grove (High Output Management)
Threadless is a T-shirt company founded by people with expertise in information technology services, web design, and consulting. Their business model involves holding weekly design contests open to outside participants, printing only T-shirts with the most popular designs, and selling them to their large and growing customer base. Threadless doesn’t need to hire artistic talent, since skilled designers compete for prizes and prestige. It doesn’t need to do marketing, since eager designers contact their friends to solicit votes and sales. It doesn’t need to forecast sales, since voting customers have already announced what numbers they will buy. By outsourcing production, Threadless can also minimize its handling and inventory costs. Thanks to this almost frictionless model, Threadless can scale rapidly and easily, with minimal structural restrictions.
Geoffrey G. Parker (Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work for You: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy―and How to Make Them Work for You)
The familiar if sad tale of Apple Computer illustrates this crucial concept. Apple has suffered of late because positive feedback has fueled the competing system offered by Microsoft and Intel. As Wintel’s share of the personal computer market grew, users found the Wintel system more and more attractive. Success begat more success, which is the essence of positive feedback. With Apple’s share continuing to decline, many computer users now worry that the Apple Macintosh will shortly become the Sony Beta of computers, orphaned and doomed to a slow death as support from software producers gradually fades away. This worry is cutting into Apple’s sales, making it a potentially self-fulfilling forecast. Failure breeds failure: this, too, is the essence of positive feedback.
Carl Shapiro (Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy)
KEY POINT: If you don’t stabilize a sales forecast, you can’t control your company. If you control a forecast, you control the world.
Jack Stack (The Great Game of Business: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company)
Musk had never run a car factory before and was considered arrogant and amateurish by Detroit. Yet, one year after the Model S went on sale, Tesla had posted a profit, hit $562 million in quarterly revenue, raised its sales forecast, and become as valuable as Mazda Motor. Elon Musk had built the automotive equivalent of the iPhone.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future)
One interview technique that I’d used to sort the good from the bad was to ask a series of questions about hiring, training, and managing sales reps. Typically, it would go like this: Ben: “What do you look for in a sales rep?” Candidate: “They need to be smart, aggressive, and competitive. They need to know how to do complex deals and navigate organizations.” Ben: “How do you test for those things in an interview?” Candidate: “Umm, well, I hire everybody out of my network.” Ben: “Okay, once you get them on board, what do you expect from them?” Candidate: “I expect them to understand and follow the sales process, I expect them to master the product, I expect them to be accurate in their forecasting. . . .” Ben: “Tell me about the training program that you designed to achieve this.” Candidate: “Umm.” They would then proceed to make something up as they went along.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
As I described in the “Uncorked!” chapter, the economic background in 1970 was turning grim, and sales were weakening. I was concerned. And then, once again, Scientific American came to the rescue. Each September that wonderful magazine devotes its entire issue to a single subject. In September 1970, it was the biosphere, a term I’d never seen before. It was the first time that a major scientific journal had addressed the problem of the environment. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, of course, had been serialized in the New Yorker in the late sixties, so the danger to the biosphere wasn’t exactly news, but it could be considered alarmist news. The prestige of Scientific American, however, carried weight. In fact, it knocked me out. I Suffered a Conversion on the Road to Damascus Within weeks, I subscribed to The Whole Earth Catalog, all the Rodale publications like Organic Gardening and Farming, Mother Earth, and a bunch I no longer remember. I was especially impressed by Francis Moore Lappé’s book Diet for a Small Planet. I joined the board of Pasadena Planned Parenthood, where I served for six years. Paul Ehrlich surfaced with his dismal, and proved utterly wrong, predictions. But hey! This guy was from Stanford! You had to believe him! And in 1972 all this was given statistical veracity by Jay Forrester of MIT, in the Club of Rome forecasts, which proved to be even further off the mark. But I bought them at the time. Bob Hanson, the manager of the new Trader Joe’s in Santa Ana, which was off to a slow start, was a health food nut. He kept bugging me to try “health foods.” After I’d read Scientific American, I was on board! Just how eating health foods would save the biosphere was never clear in my mind, or, in my opinion, in the mind of anyone else, except the 100 percent Luddites who wanted to return to some lifestyle approximating the Stone Age. After all, the motto of the Whole Earth Catalog was “access to tools,” hardly Luddite.
Joe Coulombe (Becoming Trader Joe: How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys)
It’s worth pausing for a moment to meditate on what Tesla had accomplished. Musk had set out to make an electric car that did not suffer from any compromises. He did that. Then, using a form of entrepreneurial judo, he upended the decades of criticisms against electric cars. The Model S was not just the best electric car; it was best car, period, and the car people desired. America had not seen a successful car company since Chrysler emerged in 1925. Silicon Valley had done little of note in the automotive industry. Musk had never run a car factory before and was considered arrogant and amateurish by Detroit. Yet, one year after the Model S went on sale, Tesla had posted a profit, hit $562 million in quarterly revenue, raised its sales forecast, and become as valuable as Mazda Motor. Elon Musk had built the automotive equivalent of the iPhone. And car executives in Detroit, Japan, and Germany had only their crappy ads to watch as they pondered how such a thing had occurred.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future)
If the company doesn’t hit its forecasts, cash is tied up in inventory. Cash is like blood or oxygen; without it, you die. And growth eats cash. This is why roughly half of all bankruptcies occur after a year of record sales.
James C. Collins (BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0): Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company)
Mark Allin and Richard Burton started Capstone, their book-publishing venture, with high hopes. False modesty aside, they knew they were excellent editors, with a great track record at two publishing giants. I could vouch for Mark Allin’s profit-making abilities, since he gave me the idea for writing The 80/20 Principle, my bestselling book. Richard and Mark envisaged Capstone as a star venture, the leader in a new category of ‘funky business books’. They convinced me that this idea was plausible and I became their financial backer. I reckoned that I had an ‘each-way bet’ - either their star business would materialise, or, at worst, they would pick a few great winners, making Capstone highly profitable. The business appeared to start well. They commissioned a stream of trendy books from interesting authors. The product looked great, with distinctive trendy designs. Mark and Richard were full of ideas and enthusiasm, confidently projecting sales that would give us good profits. The only thing was, the forecasts never materialised. Whenever we looked at the numbers we were constantly disappointed. I kept injecting cash, and it kept vanishing. To this day I don’t know why their books didn’t sell in quantities we could reasonably expect.The favoured explanation was the weakness of the sales force - inevitably, it was difficult to acquire distribution muscle from scratch. Maybe they just had bad luck in not commissioning any smash hits. Whatever the reason, Capstone was a financial black hole. I remember a rather difficult meeting at my home in Richmond some three years after the start. Richard and Mark asked for a further loan to commission new books. I had to say no. We had to face facts. Capstone was not a star; the category of ‘funky business books’ had not established itself. Capstone was a rather weak follower in the business-books arena. Capstone had none of the financial attributes of a star. If it looked like a dog, behaved like a dog and barked like a dog, it probably was a dog.
Richard Koch (The Star Principle: How it can make you rich)
Consider Jerry. His prospecting is inconsistent at best. Several of the deals he was counting on and put into his forecast pushed off decisions to next quarter or were lost to a competitor. Because of this, he has only a handful of viable opportunities left in his pipeline. Now, with the end of the quarter looming, Jerry is under tremendous pressure. He desperately needs one of these deals to close. As Jerry becomes more desperate to close anything, he comes face to face with a cruel reality: Desperation magnifies and
Jeb Blount (Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling (Jeb Blount))
You will make sure your team is working on the right opportunities at the right time through your efforts to hone the team’s focus. You’ll lead the field each day with the right people in the right roles in the right places with the right tools and the right resources through your efforts to build it. Your team will consistently execute through your efforts to drive the fundamentals. You will predict the future through measuring the right KPIs and metrics engrossing your responsibility to forecast. And you will drive fun through the creation, management, and optimization of an environment where your team is intrinsically inspired, so they’ll show up, do their best, stay, and tell their friends.
Todd Caponi (The Transparent Sales Leader: How The Power of Sincerity, Science & Structure Can Transform Your Sales Team’s Results)
Amazon Comprehend is a natural language processing (NLP) solution that uses machine learning to find and extract insights and relationships from documents. •​Amazon Forecast combines your historical data with other variables, such as weather, to forecast outcomes. •​Amazon Kendra is an intelligent search service powered by machine learning. •​Amazon Lex is a solution for building conversational interfaces that can understand user intent and enable humanlike interactions. •​Amazon Lookout for Metrics detects and diagnoses anomalies in business and marketing data, such as unexpected drops in sales or unusual spikes in customer churn rates. •​Amazon Personalize powers personalized recommendations using the same machine-learning technology as •​Amazon Polly converts text into natural-sounding speech, enabling you to create applications that talk. •​Amazon Rekognition makes it possible to identify objects, people, text, scenes, and activities in images and videos. •​Amazon Textract automatically reads and processes scanned documents to extract text, handwriting, tables, and data. •​Amazon Transcribe converts speech to text. •​Amazon Translate uses deep-learning models to deliver accurate, natural-sounding translation.
Paul Roetzer (Marketing Artificial Intelligence: Ai, Marketing, and the Future of Business)
The official chronicler of business cycles in the United States, the National Bureau of Economic Research, a not-for-profit group founded in 1920, would declare, though many months later, that a recession had set in that August. But in September, no one was aware of it. There were the odd signs of economic slowdown, especially in some of the more interest-rate-sensitive sectors - automobile sales had peaked and construction had been down all year, but most short-term indicators, for example, steel production or railroad freight car loadings, remained exceptionally strong. By the middle of the month, the market was back at its highs and Babson's forecast of a crash had been thoroughly discredited.
Liaquat Ahamed (Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World)
Stop confusing activities with accomplishment. Stop pushing reps to rush through the sales process. Master the customer conversation with specific personas and use cases. Understand how to sell business value, using a repeatable process. Learn to qualify deal advancement issues in account situations. Coach reps on how to control an opportunity. Understand how to forecast accurately.
John McMahon (The Qualified Sales Leader: Proven Lessons from a Five Time CRO)
ask both the manufacturing and the sales departments to prepare a forecast, so that people are responsible for performing against their own predictions.
Andrew S. Grove (High Output Management)
You’ll want to meet with the Champion for each of the forecasted deals to ensure your rep has a Champion and is in control.” Maniacally qualifying deals early in the quarter by visiting the Champions of your reps’ forecasted deals in the first month of a quarter is one of the surest methods of gaining a deep understanding of your forecast.
John McMahon (The Qualified Sales Leader: Proven Lessons from a Five Time CRO)
Modification of firms' innovation processes to systematically search for and further develop innovations created by lead users can provide manufacturers with a better interface to the innovation process as it actually works, and so provide better performance. A natural experiment conducted at 3M illustrates this possibility. Annual sales of lead user product ideas generated by the average lead user project at 3M were conservatively forecast by management to be more than 8 times the sales forecast for new products developed in the traditional manner-$146 million versus $18 million per year. In addition, lead user projects were found to generate ideas for new product lines, while traditional market-research methods were found to produce ideas for incremental improvements to existing
Eric von Hippel (Democratizing Innovation)
On one such call, a salesperson described an account that he’d forecast in detail: “I have buy-in from my champion, the vice president that he reports to, and the head of purchasing. My champion assures me that they’ll be able to complete the deal by the end of the fiscal quarter.” Mark quickly replied, “Have you spoken to the vice president’s peer in the networking group?” Sales rep: “Um, no I haven’t.” Mark: “Have you spoken to the vice president yourself?” Sales rep: “No.” Mark: “Okay, listen carefully. Here’s what I’d like you to do. First, reach up to your face and take off your rose-colored glasses. Then get a Q-tip and clean the wax out of your ears. Finally, take off your pink panties and call the fucking vice president right now, because you do not have a deal.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)