New Forecasting Research Uncovers Need for Collaboration

Xactly’s 2024 Sales Forecasting Benchmark Report finds that 4 in 5 sales and finance leaders have missed a quarterly sales forecast in the past year.
Jul 10, 2024
3 min read

San Jose, CA, July 10, 2024 – Xactly, a global leader in intelligent revenue solutions, today released its 2024 Sales Forecasting Benchmark Report, which examines the current state of sales forecasting and the emerging trends, benchmarks, predictions, and solutions organizations can take to get their Revenue teams (and sales forecasts) to the next level.

Though seemingly content with in-house sales forecasting processes, an analysis of sales and finance leaders over the past year uncovers the struggles Sales and Finance teams face behind closed doors. In fact, 4 in 5 sales and finance leaders say they have missed a quarterly sales forecast in the past year, with over half missing it two or more times in that same period of time. The overarching theme across leaders is that, in the realm of sales forecasting, collaboration stands as a cornerstone of success as nearly all (97%) of leaders surveyed say Sales and Finance teams need to work better together. And by adopting a unified approach, businesses can hit their forecasting targets.

“Forecasting accuracy is the sales industry’s biggest hurdle, which is why sales forecasting technologies are an ideal solution to stay ahead of the curve and drive innovation,” said Arnab Mishra, CEO of Xactly. “From our research, it’s clear that change is necessary. Leaders must break down the silos that stand in front of Sales and Finance teams, implement more collaborative processes, and promote a culture of agility across departments. Xactly’s mission is to provide innovative solutions for sales and finance leaders to future-proof their sales forecasting.”

Key findings from the 2024 Sales Forecasting Benchmark Report include:

  • Sales Forecasting Data Analysis: While most sales and finance leaders (98%) believe that their teams come prepared, almost all (97%) acknowledge that with better tools their sales forecasts would be more detailed and accurate. The most common roadblocks leaders find causing inaccurate sales forecasting? Their reporting systems cannot access historical CRM or performance data (66%) and they’re unsure where pipeline data is coming from (60%).
  • Reporting Best Practices: When it comes to reporting, sales and finance leaders overwhelmingly (92%) recognized that regular data delivery is essential for maintaining confidence in their pipeline. As for the consistency of updating forecasts, most agree that weekly is best (41%), yet others argue for less frequent, monthly (26%) reporting, or lean the opposite and think more often, daily (22%), is needed.
  • Collaboration is Key: Nearly all (97%) leaders believe Sales and Finance teams need to work better together, and an overwhelming majority (92%) believe that forecast calls would be more collaborative with more automation to accumulate pipeline data and surface details. However, the top barrier to effective collaboration is that processes take too long and are not collaborative (35%). And three in 10 leaders believe that forecasts are missed due to the lack of collaboration between their teams.
  • Mitigating Misses: When it comes to misses, they’re as common as the consequences are large – more than half of sales and finance leaders have missed a forecast at least twice in the past year. Approximately two-thirds (66%) of finance leaders are usually off the mark by less than 9%, whereas half (52%) of sales leaders find that their forecasts are off by 10% or more.
  • Forecasting’s Future: Though a vast majority (95%) of Finance and Revenue Operations teams express confidence in their ability to plan from existing forecasts, closer examination reveals a stark contrast. Despite this confidence, the reality is far from reassuring: an overwhelming 98% say they struggle when trying to formulate a forecast. This uncovers a disconnect between perceived competence and actual proficiency when it comes to forecasting, which underscores the need to bridge the gap by further developing the skills required to effectively navigate and interpret forecasting data.
  • Solutions: Nine in 10 (90%) sales and finance leaders indicate that better tools would lead to more detailed, accurate forecasts, but zero leaders believe they have what they need when it comes to their sales forecasting technology. What features make the best solution are mixed, but whether it’s predictive metrics, greater customization, or trend analysis — the desire to improve upon existing tools is high.

Read all the key findings from the 2024 Sales Forecasting Benchmark Report in our blog. To download a version of the full report, please visit our website. To learn more about how Xactly’s solutions can optimize your sales performance and revenue intelligence, please visit

Report Methodology:

For this report, Xactly teamed up with Regina Corso Consulting to conduct a comprehensive online survey of sales and finance/revenue operations professionals in order to understand how they deal with and are impacted by sales forecasting. All 405 participants were adults based in North America. Moreover, of those surveyed, participants were split nearly 50/50 between Sales and Finance functions, with slightly less than half of finance professionals in revenue operations.  The survey was conducted between March 19, 2024 and March 28, 2024.

About Xactly:

Xactly provides the only AI-powered platform that combines revenue intelligence and sales performance management so organizations can unlock their full revenue potential. Backed by two decades of pay and performance data, Xactly’s Intelligent Revenue Platform is designed for finance, revenue, compensation, and sales leaders who want to drive quality, sustainable revenue. To learn more about Xactly and the latest issues and trends in revenue intelligence, visit us at, follow our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn.