When you create a deal in Sell, you can add data to help you forecast the likelihood of winning the deal and when that might happen. These are of course best estimates, but you can use these data points to help you predict future sales, future cash flow, and what deals might need more attention.
This data is captured in deals and is then available to be monitored in the Forecast dashboard and two reports (the Forecasted Sales report and the Forecasted Sales by Source report).
Sales forecasting is available in the Professional, Enterprise, and Elite versions of Sell.
This article covers the following topics:
- Adding sales forecasting data to deals
- Setting win likelihood for each stage of your sales pipeline
- An example of using sales forecasting
- Using the sales forecasting dashboard and reports
Adding sales forecasting data to deals
Sales forecasting is captured in two data points: win likelihood and estimated close date. When you create a new deal, you can set both.
You can also add this data after a deal has been created. You can do this directly in the deal card (as shown below), or by editing the deal details.
These estimates can be updated at any time, based on new activity and information as the deal progresses through the sales pipeline.
Setting win likelihood for each stage of your sales pipeline
Win likelihood can also be predetermined for each stage in the sales pipeline and apply to all deals in your Sell account. In other words, individual team members wouldn’t need to enter the win likelihood manually.
Setting the win likelihood for each stage in the sales pipeline can be done by a user with admin rights.
To set win likelihood for your pipeline stages
- Click the Settings icon (), then select Customize > Sales Pipelines.
- Click a pipeline stage. Enter a value for the win likelihood percentage.
- Click Save.
Manually setting the win likelihood on the deal card overrides this global setting.
An example of using sales forecasting
The sales forecast in a given timeframe is calculated by taking the total deal value and multiplying it by the win likelihood percentage set for each deal. As an example, if a deal value is set at $400 with a 50% win likelihood, the result would be a forecast of $200 for that deal. The estimated close date determines if a deal is included in the sales forecast for a given timeframe.
As a further example, let’s look at 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. Based on previous experience, the business predicts that only 5% of the deals at that stage make it to the Won stage. Therefore, even though the total pipeline shows $200,000, the sales forecast report shows that net sales will be $10,000 (5% of the total), which is most likely a more accurate prediction. As a deal progresses, the sales forecast increases due to the increased likelihood of it being won.
Using sales forecasting you can develop and then fine tune a more accurate model for deal closure in your sales pipeline.
Using the sales forecasting dashboard and reports
As you collect sales forecasting data on your deals, you can then analyze it using the Forecast dashboard and the reports Forecasted Sales report and Forecasted Sales by Source report.
The Forecast dashboard provides you with a quick glimpse into how your forecasting compares to your sales goals for the current month. From the dashboard, you can access more forecast details and modify the time period and apply filters to select specific teams or team members.
The Forecasted Sales provides a comparison of your sales forecast to your actual sales within a given time period (see Forecasted Sales report). The Forecasted Sales by Source report shows you the expected and actual sales grouped by the deal source (see Forecasted Sales by Source report).