Sales Forecasting: A Practical Guide

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9781505536843: Sales Forecasting: A Practical Guide

Millions of sales forecasts are made by hundreds of thousands of people every year. Forecasts are made for every product and sales territory in the world at least annually. Then there are are various aggregations, from product to product line to division or from territory to district to region. Employees and managers from multiple departments (e.g., sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing) are often involved.
 
Sales Forecasting is a practical guide for beginning and intermediate sales forecasters. The book breaks new ground and is designed around the learning curve. The author's experience in day trading, along with decades of sales and marketing consulting, taught him the essential ingredients of sales forecasting. These are provided in Part 1 of the book.
 
The first and most important skill is error measurement. The author makes a clear declaration about the best method and demonstrates its use throughout the book. The book does not use complex formulas. Instead, it is designed around the sales forecasting learning curve. 
 The sad truth is that few forecasters have any formal education or training on the subject. Part of this is because most forecasting books use numerous complex formulas, which are arcane, intimidating and off-putting. Another reason is that sales forecasters are encouraged to place too much trust in forecasting software by vendors who tend to make exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims about forecasting accuracy. The second skill is testing, and the author demonstrates how to divide historical sales data into in- and out-samples, calibrate models on the in-sample, and assess model accuracy by forecasting the out-sample. The third and fourth skills are avoiding linear extensions and mastering exponential smoothing. Part 1 is concluded with a description of the whole forecasting process and what is called "five-step forecasting." Part 2 moves into intermediate forecasting. Leading software packages are assessed through the author's research. Very little is published on forecasting software assessment, so this chapter plays an important role. Then ARIMA and ARIMAX are taught and demonstrated through multiple examples. These two methods, combined with exponential smoothing, form the foundation of intermediate forecasting. Perhaps the most exciting chapters in Part 2 involve aggregation. This is a rapidly growing field. The author identifies some important gaps in the area, then fills them with his own research. Anyone involved in sales forecasting can benefit from these important findings. A chapter is dedicated to demonstrating the application of sound forecasting techniques to product planning and quota setting. It becomes quite clear that traditional methods generate far more error than the sales forecasting techniques taught in this book. The author also examines the topic of handicapping, or determining how much confidence to place on a forecast. He introduces the concept of "true confidence ranges" and also demonstrates the application of Bayesian probabilities to sales forecasting.  To conclude the book, the author explores economic forecasting and closes with a discussion of common forecasting pitfalls to be avoided at all costs.

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From the Author:

Despite the ubiquity of sales forecasting throughout the business world, there is a shocking lack of sophistication on the subject. The problem is compounded by the fact that human beings are inherently poor forecasters. They are often tempted to let their emotions distort their predictions of the future. The best salve is to learn the fundamentals of sales forecasting. Rather than focus on forecasting methods, as do most authors, Sales Forecasting starts with error measurement. Rather than list numerous alternatives for measuring error or generating forecasts, this author takes definitive stands and makes clear recommendations based on extensive research.  The author is passionate about upgrading the analytical foundation of sales and marketing management. Too often these disciplines use overly simplistic sales forecasting techniques. In the author's view, every sales and marketing manager should be familiar with the basics taught in Part 1 of Sales Forecasting

About the Author:

Mark Blessington is a management consultant with over 30 years of experience the the field of sales and marketing. He has published several books and numerous articles. His previous book was: "Sales Quotas: An Analytical Approach to Quota Setting."

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Descripción Createspace, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Sales Forecasting is a practical guide for beginning and intermediate sales forecasters. The book does not use complex formulas. Instead, it is designed around the author s application of the learning curve to sales forecasting. Millions of sales forecasts are made by hundreds of thousands of people every year. Sales forecasts for every product and every sales territory in the world are made at least once a year, if not monthly. Then there are various aggregations of these forecasts, such as product to product line to division, and territory to district to region. Further, multiple functional areas across the company make sales forecasts. Sales, marketing, finance and manufacturing are all involved, at least on an annual basis, and often much more frequently. The sad truth is that few forecasters have any formal education or training on the subject. Part of this is because most forecasting books use numerous complex formulas, which are arcane, intimidating and off-putting. Another reason is that sales forecasters are encouraged to place too much trust in forecasting software by vendors who tend to make exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims about forecasting accuracy. Sales Forecasting breaks new ground. It re-invents the process of teaching the subject of sales forecasting. It is designed around the learning curve. The author s experience in day trading, along with decades of sales and marketing consulting, taught him the essential ingredients of sales forecasting. These are provided in Part 1 of the book. The first and most important skill is error measurement. The author makes a clear declaration about the best method and demonstrates its use throughout the book. The second skill is testing, and the author demonstrates how to divide historical sales data into in- and out-samples, calibrate models on the in-sample, and assess model accuracy by forecasting the out-sample. The third and fourth skills are avoiding linear extensions and mastering exponential smoothing. Part 1 is concluded with a description of the whole forecasting process and what is called five-step forecasting. Part 2 moves into intermediate forecasting. Leading software packages are assessed through the author s research. Very little is published on forecasting software assessment, so this chapter plays an important role. Then ARIMA and ARIMAX are taught and demonstrated through multiple examples. These two methods, combined with exponential smoothing, form the foundation of intermediate forecasting. Perhaps the most exciting chapters in Part 2 involve aggregation. This is a fairly new field and it is growing rapidly. The author identifies some important gaps in the field, then fills them with his own research. Anyone involved in sales forecasting can benefit from these important findings. A chapter is dedicated to demonstrating the application of sound techniques to common forecasting challenges in marketing and sales departments: product planning and quota setting. It becomes quite clear that traditional methods generate far more error than the basic sales forecasting techniques taught in this book. The author also examines the topic of handicapping, or determining how much confidence to place on a forecast. He introduces the concept of true confidence ranges and also demonstrates the application of Bayesian probabilities to sales forecasting. To conclude the book, the author explores economic forecasting and closes with a discussion of common forecasting pitfalls to be avoided at all costs. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9781505536843

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Mark Blessington
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ISBN 10: 1505536847 ISBN 13: 9781505536843
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Descripción Createspace, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Sales Forecasting is a practical guide for beginning and intermediate sales forecasters. The book does not use complex formulas. Instead, it is designed around the author s application of the learning curve to sales forecasting. Millions of sales forecasts are made by hundreds of thousands of people every year. Sales forecasts for every product and every sales territory in the world are made at least once a year, if not monthly. Then there are various aggregations of these forecasts, such as product to product line to division, and territory to district to region. Further, multiple functional areas across the company make sales forecasts. Sales, marketing, finance and manufacturing are all involved, at least on an annual basis, and often much more frequently. The sad truth is that few forecasters have any formal education or training on the subject. Part of this is because most forecasting books use numerous complex formulas, which are arcane, intimidating and off-putting. Another reason is that sales forecasters are encouraged to place too much trust in forecasting software by vendors who tend to make exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims about forecasting accuracy. Sales Forecasting breaks new ground. It re-invents the process of teaching the subject of sales forecasting. It is designed around the learning curve. The author s experience in day trading, along with decades of sales and marketing consulting, taught him the essential ingredients of sales forecasting. These are provided in Part 1 of the book. The first and most important skill is error measurement. The author makes a clear declaration about the best method and demonstrates its use throughout the book. The second skill is testing, and the author demonstrates how to divide historical sales data into in- and out-samples, calibrate models on the in-sample, and assess model accuracy by forecasting the out-sample. The third and fourth skills are avoiding linear extensions and mastering exponential smoothing. Part 1 is concluded with a description of the whole forecasting process and what is called five-step forecasting. Part 2 moves into intermediate forecasting. Leading software packages are assessed through the author s research. Very little is published on forecasting software assessment, so this chapter plays an important role. Then ARIMA and ARIMAX are taught and demonstrated through multiple examples. These two methods, combined with exponential smoothing, form the foundation of intermediate forecasting. Perhaps the most exciting chapters in Part 2 involve aggregation. This is a fairly new field and it is growing rapidly. The author identifies some important gaps in the field, then fills them with his own research. Anyone involved in sales forecasting can benefit from these important findings. A chapter is dedicated to demonstrating the application of sound techniques to common forecasting challenges in marketing and sales departments: product planning and quota setting. It becomes quite clear that traditional methods generate far more error than the basic sales forecasting techniques taught in this book. The author also examines the topic of handicapping, or determining how much confidence to place on a forecast. He introduces the concept of true confidence ranges and also demonstrates the application of Bayesian probabilities to sales forecasting. To conclude the book, the author explores economic forecasting and closes with a discussion of common forecasting pitfalls to be avoided at all costs. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9781505536843

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