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Configuring Forecast, Quota, and Actual Analytics

Siebel Sales Analytics features the Siebel Forecasting module, which permits analysis by Forecast and by Actual versus Quota.

There are several administrative tasks to perform in order to allow Forecast and Actual versus Quota Analysis. These tasks are done in the Siebel Sales application and in the Siebel Forecasting module.

The business users must first decide what time period is the most meaningful for their business—typically it will be Quarter or Year—and then develop the business processes required to generate meaningful Forecasts and Quotas for that time period. Typically, Year-based processes will be built on monthly forecasts and annual quotas while Quarter-based processes will be built on weekly, or semi-weekly forecasts, and quarterly quotas. The base time period is important because the structure of the Quotas and Forecasts need a common base period in order to allow Forecasts and Quotas to be compared meaningfully.

Configuring Sales Quotas

The first task is to set up Sales Quotas that can be used to compare to both Forecast Revenue and Actual Revenue. Do this in the Siebel Sales application Sales Quota Administration screen.

To set up Sales Quotas

  1. In the Quotas view, create a Quota that can be used to assign appropriate revenue quotas to everyone in the sales organization.

    This same Quota is assigned to many Quota Plans in order for it to span quarters or years and for it to apply to everyone in the sales organization.

    For example, you have created a Quota named Quarterly Sales Organization Quotas and have assigned it a Quota Type of Amount and a Performance Measure of Revenue, since you plan to use revenue as your basis of comparison with forecast and actual revenues.

  2. In the Quota Plans view, create all the relevant Quota Plans for the entire Sales Organization.

    Each Plan has one specific time period associated with it, and carries one specific dollar amount for that period. So for each time period, multiple plans with multiple quota target revenues need to be created.

    NOTE:  The period associated with the Quota Plans must match the period used in the Forecast Series created in a later step.

    As an example, you have created four separate plans for the first quarter of 2002—one each for Sales Representatives, Sales Managers, Sales Directors, and the Vice President of Sales. In the following figure, you have assigned each such plan an appropriate Period and designated them as Active. Although you have based the Quota Plans in this example on the positions of the quota plan participants, you could have based the plans on the revenue target to be associated with that plan, such as Q1 2002 $1 million Quota Plan or Q1 2002 $2 million Quota Plan.

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  3. Assign Quotas and revenue targets to each Quota Plan in the Plan Quotas view.

    For each Quota Plan, the administrator needs to associate the Quota created in the first step to the plan, and needs to assign that quota an appropriate Target Revenue. For accurate analysis, it is important that only one Amount/Revenue Quota should be associated with any given Quota Plan.

    In the Sales Quota Administration—Plan Quotas screen, in the following figure, the quota Quarterly Sales Organization Quotas is associated with the quota plan Q1 Field Sales Representative Quota, and an associated revenue target of $2 million is also added to the quota plan.

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  4. Associate the relevant participants to the Quota Plans created in the Quota Plan Participants view. For example, the upper applet (Quota Plan Participants) shows the quota plan Q1 2002 Field Sales Representative Quota, while the lower applet (Participants) shows the three Sales Representatives are associated with this quota plan.

Configuring Forecast Series

In the Siebel Sales application Forecast Administration screen, you set up a Forecast Series that can be used to compare to both Quota Target Revenue and Actual Revenue.

NOTE:  For those customers that do not use Siebel Forecasting, these steps are unnecessary, because all forecasting charts for such customers are based on expected revenue, which is tracked and managed in the Opportunities screen and not in Siebel Forecasting.

To configure Forecast Series

  1. In the Forecast Administration > Forecast Series > More Info view, create one Forecast Series for all members of the Sales Organization that can be used period after period.

    In the following example, a forecast series called Quarterly Sales Forecast with Details has been created, and the relevant Auto Forecast Search Spec, Associated Search Spec, and Detail Level, as well as a weekly Interval, have been assigned to the series. Because the functional time period in this example is Quarter, use a weekly forecasting process. See Siebel Forecasting Guide for additional information on how to create and administer a forecast.

  2. In the Forecast Administration > Forecast Series > Forecast Series Dates view, establish the individual forecasts that comprise the Forecast Series.

    Note that in the following figure, forecasts created in the Forecast Series span multiple quarters because Quarter is the base time period. If you use Year as your base time period, you need to create forecast series that span multiple years. Spanning time periods in the Forecast Series makes performing historical forecasting accuracy analysis significantly easier.

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    Forecast Series span multiple quarters by modifying the Start Date and End Date of the forecasts to reflect the Quarter in which the forecast falls. For example, the Start Date and End Date of the 4/2/2002 forecast are 4/1/2002 and 6/30/2002, respectively, while those of the 3/25/2002 forecast are 1/1/2002 and 3/31/2002, respectively.

    Make sure that the Start and End Dates used in the various forecasts align perfectly with the Periods used in the Quota Plans created earlier.

  3. In the Forecast Series Participants view, add the appropriate people to the Forecast Series. In the following example, the same three Sales Representatives have been assigned to the quota plan Q1 2002 Field Sales Representative Quota and to the forecast series Quarterly Sales Forecast with Details.
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Actual Revenue

Once the Quotas, Quota Plans, and Forecast Series are created, establish the Actual metric to be used in comparison with Forecast and Quota Revenue.

In Siebel Analytics, both Order Revenue and Shipped Revenue metrics are already provided with Siebel Sales Analytics.

NOTE:  The system administrator must work with the business analysts to determine the appropriate metric to use in comparison to Quota and Forecast.

Overlay Sales Forces

You configure Overlay Sales Force analysis in a similar way to the way you configure Forecast and Actual versus Quota for the non-overlay sales force. However, in order to accurately generate overlay forecasts, you must assign different Primary Representatives to child-level revenues. You must also establish the overlay forecast series so that it finds all such child-level revenues using the Primary Representative on the child-level records. Create a separate overlay sales quota in the same manner as the non-overlay quota plans. Once the independent overlay forecasts and quota plans are established, you can compare forecasts and quotas for overlay sales professionals.

The next task is to establish an actual revenue metric with team-based visibility (instead of primary representative-based visibility) so that all sales professionals on a given order get credit for that order. See Siebel Forecasting Guide for additional information on how to create and administer a forecast for a matrixed sales organization.

NOTE:  The Revenues functionality is licensed with Siebel Forecasting and is not included in the base Siebel Sales.

Developing Charts Using Forecast, Quota, and Actual

Many of the standard Forecasting reports rely on the CURRENT_FCST_DATE Initialization Block variable. This variable finds the most recent forecast date for the user of the report, and not the most recent forecast date in the system.

The administrator who develops the Forecast, Quota, and Actual charts is usually not a member of the company Forecast Series group. Therefore, no valid forecast dates and, consequently, no CURRENT_FCST_DATE will be returned for the administrator. However, without a valid CURRENT_FCST_DATE, the Forecasting charts, which use this Initialization Block variable to find the current forecast, will return a No Results message for the administrator, thus making the development of forecast charts impossible.

To work around this, the administrator should, during development, remove the Primary_Postn_Id constraint from the CURRENT_FCST_DATE variable. Removing this constraint causes the variable to find the most recent forecast date in the entire system. This change makes development possible.

When development is completed, the administrator must return the Primary_Postn_Id constraint to the CURRENT_FCST_DATE Initialization Block variable so that the application user's most recent forecast is the one used. This Initialization Block is used in the following charts:

 Siebel Analytics Installation and Configuration Guide, Version 7.7, Rev. A 
 Published: 11 March 2004