Analyst Report

Dresner Advisory - Sales Planning Market Study

Wisdom of Crowds Market Study Report - December 2018

This Dresner Advisory Market Study provides a comprehensive assessment and analysis of Sales Planning, offering value to both consumers and producers of performance management and business intelligence technology and services. As with all of their Wisdom of Crowds® Market Studies, Dresner constructed a survey instrument to collect data and invited many respondents to analyze their sales planning use, adoption, budgets, and overall success.

The community of respondents scored the importance of key areas of sales planning, including:

  • Features, including aspects of forecasting and adapting to variables; customer segmentation, territory and quota planning; costs of sale, customer acquisition, and commission.
  • Integrations, for example with popular productivity tools, and importantly with other critical corporate systems such as Enterprise or Corporate Performance Management (EPM or CPM). Respondents also indicate material interest in integrations with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
  • Technologies, especially with regard to dashboards and workflows, and the importance of strategic technologies such as big data, cloud options, and visualization.


Study participants provide a cross-section of data across geographies, functions, organization sizes, and vertical industries. North America, which includes the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, represents the largest group (65.8 percent) of respondents, followed by EMEA (21.4 percent). Asia Pacific and Latin America account for the balance of respondents

Somewhat surprisingly for sales planning, respondents working in the Sales function number 1% of the total. However, the importance to organizations of planning revenue growth is underlined by the 77% of respondents from the Executive Management function. This suggests how critical and meaningful Sales Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting are, not just for the Sales and Marketing area but for the entire organization. Indeed, sales decision-making processes are the core of revenue generation for a company. 


Key findings
  • 84% of respondents score sales planning as “critical” (35%), “very important” (33%), or “important” (15%). The importance is even greater in large organizations, and in the Asia Pacific region. The largest proportion of respondents work with Executive Management. Across industries, there is consensus on importance.
  • The largest organizations, with over 10,000 employees, are 50% more likely to use sales planning than other sizes of organization.
  • Active current use of sales planning is strikingly correlated with “success in BI” initiatives.
  • Sales forecasting dominates the importance of features.
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