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Managing the sales forecast


The forecast provides a summary of the sales pipeline. This demo explains how to analyze and adjust the forecast as well as how to leverage close plans to add a qualitative element to the opportunity status.



This demo shows you how to evaluate and adjust the sales forecast and leverage close plans to improve the quality of the opportunity status.

The forecast provides a summary of the sales pipeline.

To access the forecast, click Forecast.

Here you see the forecast for Terry Mason, a sales representative who owns the North East Territory.

You can narrow down the forecast details to determine which opportunities comprise each forecast total.

The Override level allows you to specify if you are looking at data potentially overridden for the territory level or the actual opportunity data.

Using the Advanced filter options, you can filter the forecast using several criteria, such as Year, Opportunity products, Owner, and Opportunity partner.

Territory filtering rolls up according to the territory hierarchy.

Terry can filter opportunities in the North East territory that he owns.

The forecast displays the sales pipeline for the year, broken down by fiscal quarter and forecast category.

The Forecast category separates the opportunities according to the likelihood of the opportunity closing for the given quarter.

Closed means the sales representative already won the opportunity.

Commit means the sales representative has high confidence that the opportunities will close in the given quarter.

Opportunities in the Upside category could close in the given quarter, but there is some uncertainty.

Stretch opportunities may close in the given quarter, but uncertainty is greater than in the Upside category. Larger qualified deals are separated into the strech category to avoid providing an overly optimistic forecast.

Not Forecasted means that the opportunities are not included in the forecast. Quarterly subtotals exclude these opportunities.

These forecast category definitions can be redefined according to your organization’s sales practices.

You can view each of the forecast categories in one of three modes.

The Unweighted mode displays the opportunity amounts submitted by sales representatives.

The Predictive mode displays forecast numbers based on the AI-based opportunity insight win probability.

The Weighted mode displays forecast numbers based on the sales stage of the opportunity. The sale is more likely to occur if it is further down the opportunity life cycle.

An alert is displayed on each category if weighted and predictive values differ more than a set threshold. By default, the threshold is set to 20%.

In the forecast, click on the amount to display the opportunities for the given forecast category and time period.

To adjust the forecast, you can open the preview and select Forecast from the action menu.

The Forecast override display overrides and sub territories that are visible to the sales representative.

Terry, the owner of the North East territory, wants to adjust the amount and move back the close date.

You need to refresh the screen to see the update.

The opportunity amount retains its original value.

Susan Kendall, Terry’s manager who owns the entirety of North America, can filter opportunities by any territory in North America or by all North America.

When Susan reviews the forecast for the North East territory, she can see Terry’s overrides in the forecast; this is because the forecast amounts roll up according to the territory hierarchy.

If Susan recognizes that the opportunity amount is too optimistic or realizes that close dates need an extension, she can adjust the forecast for all North America.

You need to refresh the screen to see the update.

Terry cannot see Susan’s adjustment because this adjustment occurred at the North America override level.

Close plans allow sales representatives to document the steps needed to close an opportunity in narrative form.

To access the close plans of the opportunity, click the Close plans tab.

Because Terry owns the North East territory, he can see all opportunities in the North East territory.

Terry wants to add a close plan to an opportunity.

Close plans allow free-form text to describe people and events that may affect the progress and outcome of the sale.

Close plans are added weekly by providing Updates since last week and Next steps for the coming week.

When Terry’s manager Sarah reviews the close plan, she can add her management insight to the close plan.

The close plan adds a qualitative element to the opportunity status and can provide a complete rendering of opportunity progress.

You have reached the end of this demo.

You now know how to evaluate and adjust a forecast and how to use close plans.

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