SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

September 10, 2008 13:17 ET

Sales Forecasting Improved by Forward-Leaning Analytics

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 10, 2008) - In a unique, comprehensive research study of the Sales Analytics and Forecasting market, Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), examines the forecasting accuracy pressures faced by sales and operations practitioners, the actions they consider to drive peak performance in their CRM/SFA investments, and how Best-in-Class performers utilize predictive analytics and advanced forecasting methodologies to drive maximum profit margin and sales performance against quota. The new report, "Sales Analytics: Hitting the Forecast Bulls-Eye," explains why Best-in-Class companies work smarter rather than harder, creating more focused and effective selling activity, as top-performing organizations deploy advanced sales analytics and forecasting solutions layered on CRM/SFA to produce a reliable and three-dimensional sales forecast that benefits all aspects of their business, beyond Sales. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410182&cid=5134.

Data acquired from over 275 enterprises reveals a number of impactful data points, according to Peter Ostrow, VP/Group Director, Customer Management at Aberdeen, the study's author. "Sales teams have long deployed CRM and SFA solutions to support a variety of chronologically-ordered questions within the organization: the past (what did the customer purchase?), present (what is in our pipeline?), and future (when is the deal likely to close, for how many dollars, and at what probability to 'seal the deal'?)," he explains. "Yet the elusive 'truth' about a company's revenue health, measured by a more accurate sales forecast, may more predictive analytics than CRM tools can provide, along with informing the sales team's data with intelligence from other silos within the enterprise."

The required actions for companies seeking to gain the most benefit from their sales forecasting and analytics solutions, according to Ostrow, include a commitment to establishing, measuring, publishing and managing to relevant forecasting KPIs; linking non-sales data to CRM/SFA intelligence to effectively weight and refine the revenue forecast in real-time; and deploying user-friendly tools for reps, managers, top executives and other lines of business with customized views of the forecast "truth."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part to the following underwriters: Business Objects and SugarCRM. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410182&cid=5134.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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