14Forecasts

This chapter contains the following:

Your forecasts of future sales provides predictions of future revenue for specific time periods. Management uses sales forecast data to set production schedules and volumes, to determine resource requirements, and to report financial guidance to investors.

What You Can Do Details

Submit forecasts

You can view, manage, and submit your forecasts in the office and using the mobile application. You can:

  • Review your forecasted product items and submit the forecast.

  • View your pipeline that isn't forecasted.

  • Use embedded analytics to improve forecast accuracy.

View automatically generated forecasts

Your forecast for a period is automatically generated from eligible opportunity product items scheduled to close within the period. Forecasts are refreshed from the pipeline revenue in real time. Opportunities and forecast items continue to synchronize until you submit forecast items for final approval.

The sales administrator sets the criteria that determine whether a product item is eligible to be automatically included in a forecast. The administrator also provides the option for you to override the established criteria and manually include or exclude a product item from the forecast.

Forecasting reflects any edits you make to an opportunity, or any adjustments at the deal level in real time.

Forecast by territory

You forecast sales by territory. The forecasts roll up following the territory hierarchy. Changes to the active territory hierarchy are periodically synchronized with the forecast hierarchy up until a freeze date. After the territory freeze date, you can make changes to your forecasts.

Compare forecasts

You can view current, future, and past forecasts. The current forecast is open for editing at certain times and then frozen. Your manager can view the latest forecasting data and compare it to key metrics such as pipeline and won revenue.

Adjust forecasts

Sales managers can review and adjust forecasts anywhere.

Manage subordinates' forecasts

You can quickly see which salespeople have submitted their forecasts, what has changed since the previous forecast, and the opportunities that comprise the forecast. You can also drill into your subordinates' forecasts to view a forecast the same way that the salesperson sees it. This provides sales managers with the opportunity for more effective coaching and greater forecast accuracy.

You can add, remove, or adjust individual lines in a salesperson's forecast, segment the totals by time period, and override forecast totals for each salesperson. Any adjustments are clearly identified throughout the forecast hierarchy, allowing management to quickly view the changes made by sales managers who are on their team.

Record overlay forecasts

You can record overlay forecasts on opportunity revenue transactions in addition to the revenue sales credit split. Overlay forecasts allow nonprimary salespeople to forecast sales expectations for all overlay sales credits.

Forecast by product

If enabled, you can forecast by product, forecasting amount, and quantity.

To add forecast items to a forecast, navigate to Forecasts and click Review. Search for opportunity items on the Unforecasted Pipeline tab and add them to the forecast. For any forecast item with a warning icon, you must change any attributes that don't meet the forecast criteria. When all attributes fall within the forecast criteria, the product item becomes part of your forecast.

You can also use a forecast override if the administrator enabled it for your territory. You can set the Forecast Option to Always to override the lack of matching forecast criteria. An icon warns you when a product item doesn't match the forecast criteria and requires the forecast override.

If you're unable to edit the forecast item you're adding, then the item is added with the forecast amount set to zero. But, the item now has a positive adjustment amount to match the original product item revenue amount. For example, if the revenue amount is 3,000, then the forecast is 0, the forecast adjustment is 3,000, and the adjusted forecast is 3,000. You can further refine the adjusted forecast item amount, or remove the forecast item if you no longer want the item included in the forecast.

You can forecast sales by territory and amount, by product and amount, or by product and quantity of units. A forecast covers a specified time period, such as quarter or month. A territory owner submits the current forecast to the owner of the parent territory, who's likely the owner's manager.

The application generates the forecast by capturing information from opportunity lines as follows:

  • Opportunity items are placed in time periods according to the planned or actual close date.

  • Only opportunities that meet the forecast criteria are included in a forecast.

  • Opportunities assigned to a territory are added to the forecast for that territory.

Forecast Amounts by Territory

The territory owner forecasts the amount of sales for the territory by time period. The sum of the amounts for all included opportunity items is the forecast amount. Use the Edit Forecast page Territories tab and Forecast Items tab to forecast amounts by territory.

You can:

  • Manually add opportunity items to your forecasts or remove them.

  • Change the amounts for individual forecast items.

  • Make adjustments by changing the total forecast amount for individual time periods for a subordinate's territory forecast.

  • Make adjustments to the amounts for a subordinate's forecast items.

Forecast Amounts by Product

Within the territory, the territory owner forecasts the amount of sales for each product by time period. The forecast amount for each product is the sum of the amounts from opportunity items for that product. Use the Edit Forecast page Products tab and Forecast Items tab to forecast amounts by product.

You can:

  • Manually add opportunity items to your forecasts or remove them.

  • Change the amounts for individual forecast items.

  • Make adjustments to the individual product amounts by time period.

  • Make adjustments to the amounts for a subordinate's forecast items.

  • Make adjustments to the product amounts for a subordinate's territory forecast.

Forecast Unit Quantities by Product

Within the territory, the territory owner forecasts the quantities of each product by time period. The forecast quantity for each product is the sum of the quantities from opportunity items for that product. Use the Edit Forecast page Products tab and Forecast Items tab to forecast unit quantities by product. In the Products tab, select to show Quantity or All Totals.

You can then, for your territory:

  • Manually add opportunity items to your forecasts or remove them.

  • Change the quantities for individual forecast items.

  • Make adjustments to the individual product quantities by time period.

  • Make adjustments to the quantities for a subordinate's forecast items.

Sales managers review and adjust the forecasts of their sales teams. You can add or remove items from your or a subordinate's forecast. When you make adjustments, you can adjust quantities and amounts directly for an opportunity item. You can also make adjustments for a territory and add amounts that don't come from existing opportunities.

Review Your Forecast

To review your forecast:

  1. During an open forecast time period, navigate to Sales > Forecasts.

  2. Review the graph to compare your group's forecast with won revenue and the pipeline.

  3. The second chart shows your group's percentage of quota attained. Roll over the target quota amount to review quota and won revenue amounts.

  4. Click the breadcrumbs to switch to your next forecast for review and back to your current forecast.

  5. Click Review to see the details of your forecast.

  6. Click Edit to make your changes.

    Any subordinate forecasts that weren't submitted by their owners will now be submitted for them

Edit the Forecast

The Territories tab shows your team's forecasts, won revenues, open pipelines, and quotas. To edit your forecast:

  1. Roll over the icons in the first column to see which territory owners submitted their forecasts.

  2. Hover over the Forecast Change arrow to see what's changed since you last submitted your forecast.

  3. Click the Products tab.

  4. Click Show and choose All Totals.

  5. You can view and change the totals for current, best case, and worst case forecasts as well as the quantity for each product.

Adjust Opportunity Items in the Forecast

You can adjust the forecast for accuracy in two ways. Edit the totals by product or adjust the opportunities that sum to the totals. To adjust your forecast:

  1. Click the Forecast Items tab.

    The tab lists the opportunity items currently in your forecast. The items meet the forecast criteria.

  2. In the Show list, select one subordinate's territory.

  3. Select the opportunity item you want to change, and enter new values for quantity or forecast, or both.

  4. Click the icon to remove an opportunity item.

  5. Click Add Forecast Items to find and add a missing opportunity item.

  6. Click Save.

    The opportunity items you edited show the new values, and the forecast totals are recalculated.

  7. Hover over a blue dot next to one of your changed opportunity items.

    You see the adjustment you made, as well as the un-adjusted forecast submitted to you by the salesperson. The salesperson can't see any of the changes you made.

Adjust and Submit the Forecast

You can adjust the forecast by product and submit the forecast to your manager. To complete your forecast:

  1. Click the Products tab.

    You can see the changes you made to the opportunities reflected in the respective product totals.

  2. Deselect Exclude All Rows with All Zero Values.

    You can now see and adjust all products.

  3. Make your changes to quantities and forecast amounts to any products, including those with zero values.

  4. Save your forecast.

  5. Submit your forecast to your manager.

    You can make no further changes after submitting your forecast.

Sales Forecast Adjustments

Changes you make to the original forecast up or down are adjustments. If your forecast is by product, then you can adjust quantities as well as the amounts for individual forecast items.

Depending on your configuration, you can adjust the following:

  • The amounts for individual forecast items

  • The total amounts for each territory owned by your subordinates and by time

  • The total amounts by product and also by time period for your territory

  • The quantities for individual forecast items

  • The total quantities by product and also by time period for your territory

Remove Adjustments

To remove all of your adjustments, go to the Actions menu and select Remove My Adjustments.

Copy Forecasts

If you copy the prior forecast, then your copy takes the total forecast numbers from the previous forecast, including adjustments, and pastes them into your current forecast. These numbers overwrite any calculated totals from rolled up opportunity or adjustment data.

Adjusted Best Case and Worst Case Forecasts

The adjusted best case forecast is the sum of:

  • The best case for all forecasted items

  • Item-level adjustments for the best case

  • Any summary level adjustment to best case

The adjusted worst case forecast is the sum of:

  • The worst case values for all forecasted items

  • Item-level adjustments for worst case

  • Any summary level adjustment to worst case

Forecast Adjustment Notes

If enabled, you can add a note to each forecast item you adjust and add one consolidated note for all summary adjustments. Each note includes who created the note and when you created it. You can edit the notes that you created. Managers and senior management can view notes within their territory hierarchy. You can create notes for the following:

  • Forecast Items

    A sales manager can add a note to each item included in subordinates' forecasts provided the item is not in won status. Use the Note column in the Items tab to add, edit, or delete an adjustment note for an item. A VP sees item adjustment notes added by subordinates. When the VP drills down into the manager territory forecast, he can add notes to items.

  • Territory Summary

    This is a single consolidated note for all the territory summary adjustments that the user can make in the territories tab. A VP sees summary adjustment notes added by subordinates in the territory row of the Territories tab. When the VP drills into the manager territory forecast, he sees the summary adjustment note added by the subordinate in the Territories tab.

  • Product Summary

    This is a single consolidated note for the product summary adjustment you create in the products tab. A VP sees summary adjustment notes added by subordinates in the territory row of the Territories tab. When the VP drills into the manager territory forecast, she sees the summary adjustment note added by the subordinate in the Products tab.

Copy the Prior Forecast

Use the Copy Prior Forecast action to ignore the rolled up opportunity data and copy the numbers from the previously submitted forecast to the current forecast. Your copy takes the total forecast numbers, including adjustments, and pastes them to your current forecast. These numbers overwrite any calculated totals from rolled up opportunity or adjustment data.

The actions you take with your forecast produce different results depending on the timing and the actions of others. Most forecast actions take place during the submission window. After the end of the submission window, everyone's current forecast is frozen regardless of submission status. The next forecast is then available to view. At the start of the next submission window, a completely new forecast snapshot is available, and everyone's forecast is ready to be submitted and adjusted again. Here are the most common actions you can do.

Action Result

Make changes to opportunities

Add or remove forecast items

The forecast is updated to reflect changes.

Submit your forecast

The forecast is frozen. You can't make changes.

Withdraw your forecast after submission, but before your manager submits or adjusts his forecast

You can again make changes to the forecast and resubmit. Forecast numbers update from the pipeline.

If you have subordinates, then you can also do these actions.

Action Result

Adjust numbers for forecast items

Adjust totals, including copy previous forecast totals to the current forecast

If previously unsubmitted, all subordinates' forecasts are submitted and frozen when you edit your forecast. The subordinate's forecast is frozen and can't be changed by the subordinate. All direct and indirect subordinates can't make changes unless you remove your adjustments and reject each subordinate's forecast.

Forecast numbers no longer update from the pipeline. The adjustment becomes the current forecast and ignores the rollup values from current forecast items.

Edit a subordinate's unsubmitted or rejected forecast

You can act as your subordinate, so all edits and adjustments can be seen by your subordinate. You can adjust the forecast only if your subordinate can adjust his own forecast.

Submit a subordinate's unsubmitted forecast

Your subordinate's forecast is frozen and can't be changed by her. All direct and indirect subordinates can't make changes to the forecast unless you remove your adjustments and reject each subordinate's forecast.

Forecast numbers no longer update from the pipeline.

Remove your adjustments

Adjustments are removed. Opportunity changes are ignored for as long as your subordinate's forecast remains submitted.

Reject a subordinate's forecast

The application will clear all your adjustments of your subordinate's forecast.

Your subordinate can again make changes to the forecast and resubmit. If the subordinate is a sales representative, then the forecast numbers update again from the pipeline.

Metrics provide calculated measures based on historical or current transactional data. You can refer to metrics when making forecasting decisions.

This table shows the available metrics and how they're calculated:

Metric Description

Best Case Forecast

The sum of all best case revenue values for all forecast items in the forecast period. .

Closed Revenue

Actual revenue that was closed during the forecast period.

Estimated Adjustment

The sum of the difference between estimated revenue and revenue for all transactions in the forecast period. Statistical analysis provides the estimated revenue amounts based on historical sales for the product.

Expected Forecast

The sum of all weighted revenue values for all forecast items in the forecast period. Weighted revenue is the revenue amount multiplied by the probability of the deal closing.

Likelihood to Buy Product

The percentage of confidence that a deal will close with the specified revenue on the specified close date. Statistical analysis provides the likelihood to buy product based on historical sales for the product.

Pipeline

The total revenue amount of all product lines where the Status category is Open, the primary territory is the target territory, and the close date lies in the forecast period.

Quota

The quota metric is the revenue target associated with the expected performance of a salesperson's territory for a given forecast period.

Worst Case Forecast

The sum of all worst case revenue values for all forecast items in the forecast period.

FAQs for Forecasts

How can I remove forecast items from a forecast?

You can click the item in the Forecast Items tab to open the opportunity and make changes. For any product item with a warning icon, you must change any attributes so that the product item doesn't meet the forecast criteria or so that the forecast item no longer closes within the forecasting period.

A sales manager can drop the item by selecting Remove from the Action menu for the item in the Forecast Items tab. To see your deleted items, choose Dropped Forecast Items from the Show list. You can then add any dropped items back to your forecast by clicking the Add icon for the item.

You can also use a forecast override if the administrator enabled it for your territory. You can set the Forecast Option to Never to override the matching forecast criteria. An icon warns you when a product item matches the forecast criteria and requires the forecast override.

If you're unable to either change the forecast criteria for the item or use the override, the item disappears from your forecast items list, but the forecast amounts remain the same. But, the item now has negative adjustment amounts to match the forecast amounts. For example, if the forecast amount is 3,000, then the forecast adjustment is negative 3,000 and the adjusted forecast is 0. With the removed forecast item selected, you can add it back in if you want to include the item back in the forecast.

When does my forecast appear in my currency?

Your forecast appears in your preferred currency. You can select a different currency from the Currency list. Your selected currency also applies to your view of subordinate forecasts. However, the currency selection doesn't apply to any graphs or reports that were added to the forecasting screens.

When do I submit my forecast?

You can make changes to your forecast and submit it during the submission window. You can submit your child territory forecasts on behalf of your subordinates and then make adjustments to your forecast before submitting.

What happens if I submit my forecast?

You can't make adjustments or update your forecast after you submit it. Your manager can make adjustments to your forecast only after your submission. If your manager rejects your forecast, then you can make further changes to the rejected forecast and then resubmit it.

The owner of a parent territory sets the Forecast Invisible to Owner option to perform all forecasting actions and hide forecasts from the child territory owners. The owner of the parent territory can submit the forecast for the child territory. If the child territory owner also owns the parent territory, then the territory owner can edit forecast items, add and remove forecast items as adjustments, and adjust the territory forecast.