In an Era of Uncertainty, Manufacturers Need to Lean into Sales Forecasting Technology for Profitability and Competitive Edge, Uniting ERP and CRM Data to Leverage Key Insights 

SAN FRANCISCO – June 24, 2024 In 2024, 77 percent of manufacturers are still relying on rudimentary tools such as spreadsheets for sales forecasting, which may be why 1 in 4 manufacturers say they have “no confidence at all” in their forecasts.   

These are two key data points from a new research study sponsored by SugarCRM 

“Unlocking Manufacturing Growth: Harnessing Accurate Sales Forecasts for Profitability and Competitive Edge.”  

 The study, produced by The Manufacturer, is based on a survey of manufacturing professionals and follow-up interviews conducted earlier this year. Respondents were managing directors and key executives of companies involved in the manufacturing sector.   

Shockingly, only 10 percent of manufacturing organizations are “very confident” in their sales forecasts, while a significant 25 percent are not confident at all. Meanwhile, a significant 77 percent of manufacturers are still relying on basic tools such as spreadsheets for sales forecasting despite the availability of more advanced solutions. This reliance on these legacy / outdated methods persists due in part to the perceived high costs and complexities associated with implementing new technologies, according to the report.   

The study reveals that less than half are using the technology designed to unlock critical insights and actions that keep sales reps selling. Respondents cite that only 40 percent use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and 34 percent use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to harness accurate sales forecasting insights. For those that do, 28 percent say their CRM/sales technology is inadequate or outdated.   

Notably, respondents cited a lack of accurate data (59%) and difficulty in integrating data from multiple sources (37%) as the top-most challenges to support proper sales forecasting.  

“Organizations using outdated systems and data silos face challenges in making informed decisions due to inaccurate or unreliable sales forecasts,” said James Frampton, Chief Revenue Officer at SugarCRM. “Forecasting as a form of educated guesswork simply doesn’t cut it in manufacturing. Inaccurate forecasts can have a significant impact on the supply chain, potentially harming the organization’s brand reputation and return on investment.”  

One of the primary benefits of accurate sales forecasting is its ability to enhance production planning and inventory management. By precisely predicting future sales volumes, manufacturers can tailor production schedules to meet demand, avoiding excess inventory and stockouts. This minimizes storage costs and boosts customer satisfaction by ensuring product availability when needed.  

Furthermore, accurate sales forecasting aids in efficient resource allocation and capacity planning. By aligning manpower, machinery, and production facilities with projected demand, manufacturers can maximize utilization and minimize wastage, enhancing operational efficiency and reducing unnecessary expenses.  

Sugar Sell, Sugar’s flagship sales automation solution, utilizes AI-powered sales forecasting infused with predictive analytics to enhance sales performance by providing manufacturing companies with a more transparent view of its pipeline and reduce the reliance on guesswork in its processes.  

By leveraging AI, manufacturing companies can predict business and market trends, anticipate the best ways to connect with prospects, and set clear goals while establishing which products are the best-performing and seeing which products do not perform as well to cut back on production and optimize available resources. 

For more insights and detailed analysis, download the full report by The Manufacturer and SugarCRM and register to attend the July 9 webinar: Unlocking Manufacturing Growth: Harnessing Accurate Sales Forecasts for Profitability and Competitive Edge.    

About SugarCRM 

SugarCRM offers software solutions that help marketing, sales, and service teams reach peak efficiency through better automation, data, and intelligence so they can achieve a real-time, reliable view of each customer. Sugar’s platform provides leading technology in the sales automation, marketing automation, and customer service fields with one goal in mind: to make the hard things easier.    

Thousands of companies in over 120 countries rely on Sugar by letting the platform do the work. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sugar is backed by Accel-KKR.   

For more information about SugarCRM, visit:   

Media Contacts: 

Erin Lutz
Lutz Public Relations and Marketing (for SugarCRM)
﷟HYPERLINK “”949.293.1055 

Sarita Kincaid
Vice President, Corporate Communications, SugarCRM