We are happy to officially introduce Sales Forecasting, a premium feature on the Professional plan that allows you to make better business decisions based on the likelihood of winning your sales.
Introduction to Sales Forecasting
For those new to the concept, sales forecasting is the process of estimating the amount of sales you will close in the future, commonly broken down by months. Having an idea of what your estimated sales will be in six months will help you make better decisions for your company. Businesses use sales forecasting to:
- paint a clear picture of what cash flow will look like in a couple of months
- predict which deals will succeed and which ones will need help
- take immediate action to course correct and ensure sales goals are met
To make things more concrete, I provide a simple example. Take a business that has a total pipeline worth of $200,000 at the beginning of the month. Every deal is currently at the qualified stage and is expected to close at the end of the month. From previous experience, we predict that only 5% of the deals at that stage make it to Win/Success. While your total pipeline will show $200,000, your sales forecast report will show that net sales will be $10,000, a more accurate prediction. As a deal progresses, the sales forecast will increase due to the increased likelihood of winning. Your company should use this data to help make informed decisions on which deals to spend more energy on or whether it’s time to prospect for new clients.
The Art and Science of Sales Forecasting
In Base, the Sales Forecasting feature is built to take advantage of the deal stages. As a deal progresses from incoming to qualified, qualified to quote, or quote to closing, the likelihood of winning the sale increases, and you determine that likelihood of a deal closing at each stage. The most accurate sales forecast takes advantage of historical data. That said, sales forecasting is not an easy process and is as much an art as it is a science. Businesses that are more recent should find analogs in the industry or start tracking now for a period of time. I particularly enjoyed Inc’s article about how to improve the accuracy of your sales forecasts.
Why Automated Sales Forecasting is Better Than Manual Sales Forecasting
Taken from a post on Growth University, there are two major reasons why you should enable automated Sales Forecasting. First, standardizing the likelihood of winning sales based on the deal stage helps you predict trends in your cash flow. Knowing that your sales forecast is $10,000 at the end of the month can spur you to act now and push more deals through to the next stage. The second reason why automated sales forecasting works better for your company is the immediate transparency it provides. Using the Sales Forecasting feature in Base, procurement, finance, and other areas of your business have instant visibility to the ‘true value’ of your deals. This speed in communication helps with coordinating other departments that contribute to assisting the salesperson deliver on the order.
How to Enable Sales Forecasting in Base
If you have an account on the Professional plan, you can get started now by going to each deal and setting an estimated close date and a win likelihood.
To set a win likelihood for all of your deals at once, go to Settings and then Sales Stages. There, you can set a likelihood to win for each deal stage. All future deals will automatically be assigned a percentage after you put in an estimated close date. For additional help, follow the step by step guide to setting up Sales Forecasting.
For those who are not on the Professional plan and want to try Sales Forecasting, upgrade today and receive a free 7-day trial.
We’re always looking for feedback on how to make our product better for you.
Reach out and let us what you think of this new feature.