37Forecasting

This chapter contains the following:

You can set up quarterly forecasts with one step. Skip the Quick Setup if you already enabled forecasting by opportunity owner in Setup Assistant. If you already set up dimensional territories or plan to do so, then use the Select Forecasting Options task instead of the quick setup.

These prerequisites are likely already done.

  1. Set up your accounting calendar. The periods must be either monthly or quarterly.

  2. Set up your hierarchy of sales resources.

To enable forecasts:

  1. Enable one territory dimension and activate.

    1. In the Setup and Maintenance work area, go to the following:

      • Offering: Sales

      • Functional Area: Territories

      • Task: Enable dimensions and Metrics

    2. Click Select and Add to enable one dimension, such as Account Type.

    3. Save and close.

    4. Click Load and Activate.

  2. Create at least one opportunity with a future close date.

  3. In the Setup and Maintenance work area, go to the following:

    • Offering: Sales

    • Functional Area: Sales Forecasting

  4. Click Quick Setup, the gear icon in the Functional Area.

  5. In the Configure Simplified Sales Forecasting page, the two options are selected for you. Click Submit.

Your submission sets up all these areas for you.

  • You have a territory hierarchy to match your sales resource hierarchy, with the resources as territory owners. The Refresh Territories from Resources process synchronizes your territories to match your latest resource hierarchy. The territories have Resource-Centric coverage and are called Resource-Centric territories. (The process requires at least one enabled territory dimension.)

  • Opportunities are automatically assigned to territories by owner.

  • Forecasts roll up the territory hierarchy.

  • You have quarterly forecasts.

  • Salespeople can adjust their forecasts each month if your accounting period is monthly.

  • You can forecast product totals.

  • The Forecasting Autopilot process runs every hour.

Remove Your Resource-Centric Territory Hierarchy

If you used the quick setup and then decided you won't use the resource-centric territory hierarchy, you can remove it.

  1. Navigate to Scheduled Processes.

  2. Click Schedule New Process.

  3. Find Refresh Territories from Resources.

  4. Click OK.

  5. In the Diagnostic Parameters field, enter from_resource=-1

  6. Click Submit.

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.

Setup Tasks

Salespeople forecast sales by territory as well as by individual salesperson or other resources. The application generates forecasts from opportunities according to configured options. Revenue for opportunities with close dates that fall within a forecast time period is added into the forecast for that time period for the related territory and salespeople for that opportunity.

Here's a high level look at what you need to do to implement forecasting:

  1. Configure territories.

  2. Configure opportunities.

  3. Enable forecasting from the Select Forecasting Options task.

    The application generates your forecast submission windows and sets default forecasting options. It also schedules the required forecasting background processes.

  4. Change forecasting options and submission window dates, if needed.

You must enable forecasting if you want salespeople to predict future sales. When you first implement forecasting, you have a schedule of quarterly forecasts with monthly submissions. The forecast periods extend one year into the future. You can modify these initial settings at any time.

Here are initial settings in the Forecast Period Parameters region of the Select Forecasting Options page used to generate your forecast submission windows.

Field Explanation Provided Values

Forecast Period

Each forecast includes only those opportunities set to close in the forecast period.

Quarter

Adjustment Period

This read-only field displays the type of period you selected when you set up your accounting calendar. Typically and for Vision Corp. this is a month.

This field isn't editable.

Forecast Frequency

The number of submission windows you want for each forecast period.

3

First Forecast Due Date

The date you want the first submission window to end relative to the forecast period. The application takes the forecast snapshot at the end of the day.

For the first forecast submission window to end on the last day of the first month in each quarter, you see 31days After the forecast period start date.

First Territory Freeze Date

The number of days before the end date when you want the submission window to start.

Any sales territory changes after this freeze date are ignored and applied only to subsequent forecasting windows.

For the forecast submission windows to start at the beginning of each month, the number provided is 31.

Number of Concurrent Forecasts

A concurrent forecast is where two or more forecast periods can both be updated at the same time.

This field is set to 1 and the scheduled forecasts are generated with no gaps in between forecasts freeze dates and due dates. The freeze date of the first forecast is set to the due date of the next scheduled forecast.

Number of Scheduled Periods

The number of forecast periods you want to view.

Managers can only adjust the forecast for the current period during the submission windows you generated, but you can view the forecasts for subsequent periods.

The number of forecast periods is set to 4 for the whole year.

These additional options were also set for you.

  • Opportunity items that match the forecasting criteria are added to the forecast according to their scheduled close dates. the provided forecast criteria is win probability greater than or equal to 70 percent.

  • Selecting the Enable Forecast Criteria Override option makes it possible for salespeople or their managers to include or exclude an opportunity from a forecast regardless of its win probability. It wasn't selected for you when you enabled forecasting. Select the option if you're following the Getting Started use case. Then salespeople can make a selection from the Include in Forecast list while editing an opportunity.

  • The Enable overlay forecasting option is deselected.

  • The Enable Product Totals option was selected for you. Users can adjust forecasts by product rather than by territories. Selecting this option displays the Products tab in the Edit Forecasts window where users can make the adjustments.

  • The number of sales catalog levels you can edit in the Products tab is set to 2 in the Product Hierarchy Depth field.

  • Pipeline and Closed Revenue metrics were enabled. The Forecasts landing page displays a Forecast Overview chart that compares your forecast with won revenue and open pipeline. It also displays a second bar chart that shows your forecast by time periods.

Enable Forecasting

To enable forecasting:

  1. In the Setup and Maintenance work area, go to the following:

    • Offering: Sales

    • Functional Area: Forecasting

    • Task: Select Forecasting Options

  2. Select Enable Forecasting.

  3. Click Submit.

  4. Background processes run to generate your forecasts and are scheduled to run periodically to keep your forecast up to date.

You can work in your generated forecasts. You can also navigate to Select Forecasting Options and make changes to options and to forecast period dates.

After you enable forecasting, you can make changes to match your business practices using the Select Forecasting Options page. Set how far in advance and how frequently you forecast and generate the forecasting submission windows. You can also change the criteria that determine which opportunities to include in a forecast and you can permit adjustments by product or by territory.

Select Forecasting Options Page Overview

This table highlights the regions shown in the image and provides an overview of the entries described in detail in the sections that follow the image.

Callout Number Region Name Overview

1

Forecast Period Parameters

Enter the parameters that the application uses to generate the dates for each forecast and the forecast submission windows.

During each window, your sales organization can update the forecast for the current period. Usually this window starts right after the last forecasting call with sales management and ends just before the next one.

At the end of each window, the application takes a snapshot of your organization's forecasts so the forecasts are ready for your call.

The generated submission windows appear in the Scheduled Forecasts region where you can adjust them to conform with your actual forecasting schedule.

The automatically generated submission windows are approximations only, so you must adjust the dates manually.

2

Forecast Criteria

Enter the criteria the application uses to determine which opportunities to include in the forecast.

3

Product Tab

Enable Product Totals was selected for you to enable the Products tab. Sales managers use the tab to adjust forecasts by product group rather than by territories. Deselect Enable Product Totals to enable adjustments by territories.

4

Metrics

The selected metrics are pipeline and closed revenue for the pipeline/won graph. The Quota selection enables the Forecast/Quota graph.

5

Additional Settings

Use this region to enable the forecast trend graph and adjustment notes. You can also disable resource forecasting.

6

Scheduled Forecasts

The application displays the generated forecast submission windows in this region. You can manually adjust the dates of each submission window as needed. For example, the forecast due date can't be later than the end date for the forecast period.

These UIs are described in the table.

Forecast period parametersForecast criteriaScheduled forecasts

Create the Forecast Submission Windows

You generate the forecast submission windows on your calendar by entering parameters in the Forecast Period Parameters region. Each submission window is defined by these dates:

  • It starts on a Territory Freeze Date (indicated by callout 1 in the figure)

  • It ends on the forecast Due Date (callout 2)

Here's what happens before each freeze date:

  • The forecast is read only.

  • Changes to the territory and product hierarchy are synchronized to the forecast.

  • Changes to opportunity items are synchronized to forecast items.

Here's what happens after each freeze date:

  • Sales users can edit, adjust, and submit forecasts.

  • Changes to opportunity items are synchronized to forecast items.

  • Salespeople must adjust and submit their forecast between the territory freeze date and the due date.

Submission windows occur between arrows one and two for January, February, and March.

Submission window example

After salespeople submit their forecasts, they can't edit them, but the forecasts can be adjusted by managers. After the due date is reached, each forecast becomes read-only.

  1. In the Setup and Maintenance work area, go to the Select Forecasting Options task:

    • Offering: Sales

    • Functional Area: Sales Forecasting

  2. In the Forecast Period Parameters region, enter the options to generate forecasts and the approximate forecast submission windows.

    This table describes the options and provided values for submitting monthly forecasts for the current quarter.

    Field Explanation Provided and Suggested Values

    Forecast Period

    Typically a quarter. Each forecast includes only those opportunities set to close in the forecast period.

    Quarter

    Adjustment Period

    This read-only field displays the type of period you selected when you set up your accounting calendar. Typically and for Vision Corp. this is a month.

    This field isn't editable.

    Forecast Frequency

    Enter the number of submission windows you want to generate for each forecast period.

    Because you hold a forecasting call each month and there are three months in each quarter, the value is 3.

    First Forecast Due Date

    The date you want the first submission window to end relative to the forecast period. The application takes the forecast snapshot at the end of the day.

    For the first forecast submission window to end on the last day of the first month in each quarter, you see 31 in the First Forecast Due Date field and the After the forecast period start date option selected.

    The application generates the subsequent submission windows based on the number of days you enter here and in the Territory Freeze Date field, but because each calendar month has a different length, entering 31 generates submission windows with some overlap.

    During overlapping submission windows salespeople and their managers see two forecast submission windows, but you can choose to ignore these overlaps or adjust the dates after you generate the scheduled forecasts.

    Forecasting periods can overlap and can have gaps, but any gaps result in periods where users can't submit or edit their forecasts.

    First Territory Freeze Date

    The number of days before the end date when you want the submission window to start.

    Any sales territory changes after this freeze date are ignored and applied only to subsequent forecasting windows.

    For the forecast submission windows to start at the beginning of each month, the number provided is 31.

    Number of Concurrent Forecasts

    A concurrent forecast is where two or more forecast periods can both be updated at the same time. You can limit the number of concurrent forecasts and the generated periods

    After you enable Forecasting the value is 1 and the scheduled forecasts are generated with no gaps in between forecasts due dates and following freeze dates. The due date of the first forecast will be set to the freeze date of the next scheduled forecast.

    If you enter 2, then the scheduled forecasts are generated so that both the current period and the next period are frozen at the same time, and there will be no gaps in between forecasts due dates and freeze dates. The due date of the first forecast will be set to the freeze date of the next scheduled forecast.

    If the value is left blank, then the generated forecast dates can have gaps or overlaps.

    Number of Scheduled Periods

    The number of forecast periods you want to view.

    Managers can only adjust the forecast for the current period during the submission windows you generated, but you can view the forecasts for subsequent periods.

    The number of forecast periods is set to 4 (four quarters) for the whole year. You can change the number of forecast periods.

  3. If you modified forecast period options, then click Submit.

  4. The Forecast Autopilot process runs at the next scheduled time. It reschedules the other processes. The processes regenerate your forecasts. The Select Forecasting Options page is unavailable until the processes completes. When the process completes, the generated submission windows appear in the Scheduled Forecasts region. The windows will look similar to what's included in the next table.

    • The Forecast Name

      The system-generated name for each submission window.

    • Start Date

      The start date of the forecasting period, the beginning of the quarter.

    • End Date

      The end date for the forecasting period, the end of the quarter.

    • Territory Freeze Date

      The start date for the forecast submission window.

    • Due Date

      The end date for the forecast submission window, the period when the sales organization can adjust forecasts. At the end of this date the application takes a snapshot of the forecast and opens a new window.

      The forecast is frozen on the due date regardless if users click the submit button. After the due date passes, the active forecast is marked as past, and the next forecast is marked as active.

  5. Click the Select Forecasting Options task link again.

    The Select Forecasting Options page shows the status of the period generation process. The status doesn't refresh automatically, so you may have to click Cancel to return to the Setup and Maintenance work area and try again later.

    Forecast Name Start Date End Date Territory Freeze Date Due Date

    Q3-2017 -2017/08/01

    7/1/2017

    9/30/2017

    7/1/2017

    8/1/2017

    Q3-2017 -2017/08/31

    7/1/2017

    9/30/2017

    8/1/2017

    9/1/2017

    Q3-2017 -2017/08/31

    7/1/2017

    9/30/2017

    9/1/2017

    9/30/2017

    Q4-2017 - 2017/11/01

    10/1/2017

    12/31/2017

    10/1/2017

    10/31/2017

    Q4-2017 - 2017/12/01

    11/1/2017

    12/31/2017

    11/1/2017

    12/1/2017

    Q4-2017 - 2017/12/31

    12/1/2017

    12/31/2017

    12/1/2017

    12/31/2017

    Note: If you're in the middle of a quarter, for example Q3, the application may only generate one or two scheduled forecasts for that quarter.
  6. Because the periods are generated based on a fixed number of days you entered as parameters and the number of days in a month varies, you must modify the start and end dates of each submission window by entering new dates in the Territory Freeze Date and Due Date fields. You can enter today as the freeze date, but not a date in the past. Make sure your due dates aren't later than the forecast period end date, or dates in the past.

    Note: The application automatically generates new submission windows at the end of each quarter. You must continue to manually adjust these windows as they're generated.
  7. Click Submit when you're done.

Set Forecasting Criteria

Opportunity items that match the forecasting criteria are added to the forecast according to their scheduled close dates.

  1. The provided criteria is win probability greater than or equal to 70 percent. You may want to specify the probability that matches the default probability of the appropriate sales stage in your sales method. You can add or use other criteria.

    Note: By default, the win probability and close date are set at the opportunity level. To forecast at the level of individual opportunity lines, expose the win probabilities for the lines in the Edit Opportunity page using Application Composer.
  2. Selecting the Enable Forecast Criteria Override option makes it possible for salespeople or their managers to include or exclude an opportunity from a forecast regardless of its win probability. It wasn't selected for you when you enabled forecasting. If you select the option, then salespeople can make a selection from the Include in Forecast list while editing an opportunity.

    If you don't want users to use this list, then you must hide this field on the opportunity UI by using Application Composer. Leaving the Enable Forecast Criteria Override option deselected doesn't by itself prevent users from making a selection from the list.

    Note: Even when you disable the Include in Forecast list, users can always edit an opportunity to exclude it from the forecast, for example, by entering a different win probability.
  3. Select the Enable nonrevenue forecasting option if you want to generate separate forecasts for overlay territories.

Enable Forecast Adjustments by Product

You can choose to adjust forecasts by product:

  1. The Enable Product Totals option was selected for you. Users can adjust forecasts by product rather than by territories. Selecting this option displays the Products tab in the Edit Forecasts window where users can make the adjustments. See callout 1 in the figure at the beginning of this topic.

  2. The number of sales catalog levels you can edit in the Products tab is set to 2 in the Product Hierarchy Depth field. To improve usability, Oracle recommends setting the depth to 1 unless there's a compelling business need to break the forecast out beyond the first level of the product group hierarchy.

Adjustment Notes, Forecast Trend Graph, and Resource Forecasting Settings

The Forecasts landing page displays a Forecast Overview chart that compares your forecast with won revenue and open pipeline. It also displays a second bar chart that shows your forecast by time periods. If you enable the Quota metric, then the landing page displays a quota to forecast chart instead of the forecast by period. Your third option is the forecast trend graph to be the second chart. If enabled, sales managers can add notes about their adjustments when they adjust forecasts. These aren't enabled for you. To enable adjustment notes and the forecast trend graph:

  • Select Enable Forecast Trend Graph to replace the period bar graph, or the quota chart if you use quotas, with the forecast trend graph.

    For the displayed territory, forecast period, and type of forecast, you can see these graphs:

    • Current and past forecast snapshots

    • Won revenue trend

    • Quota

  • Select Enable Adjustment Notes to enable notes for adjustments. Sales managers can then add adjustment notes for each forecast item. They can also create and edit a single adjustment note for summary territory adjustments or a note for summary product adjustments.

  • The Enable Resource Forecasting option is selected if you used the Quick Setup. It's deselected if you used the Enable Forecasting task. Here's what happens if you make changes to the Enable Resource Forecasting setting:

    • If you deselect Enable Resource Forecasting, then it will automatically delete all the resource territories and switch off owner-based assignment of opportunities. The Refresh Forecast process deletes resource territories from any future forecasts. Current active forecasts retain the resource territory hierarchy. You can set up dimensional territories and assignment will again work for the dimensional territories.

    • If you select Enable Resource Forecasting under Additional Settings after defining some dimensional territories, then the resource territory hierarchy is created under your existing Global territory. Your assignment settings change to assign opportunities by owner. The Refresh Forecast process deletes dimension territories from any future forecasts. Current active forecasts retain the existing territory hierarchy.

You can forecast by territory and amount, by product and amount, and by product and quantity of units. This topic explains the steps to implement unit forecasting.

Opportunity items often include quantity, price, and either a calculated amount from quantity and price or an entered amount. The opportunity items are aggregated into forecasts by close date using these methods:

  • Total the amounts for the time period and territory.

  • Total the amounts for the time period and by product.

  • Total the quantities for the time period and by product.

When you first enable forecasting, forecasting by product is the default setting. Only the amount (quantity times price) is forecasted. You can make changes to forecast quantity.

  1. In the Setup and Maintenance work area, go to the Manage Forecast Metrics task:

    • Offering: Sales

    • Functional Area: Sales Forecasting

  2. In the Lookup Codes region, find the lookup code ORA_QUANTITY and check the Enabled box.

  3. Save and close.

    Quantity is enabled for the Products tab and can be edited in the Forecast Items tab.

  4. In Select Forecasting Options, the Summary Tab region, select Enable Product Totals.

    The Edit Forecast page will include the Products tab.

  5. Select the number of sales catalog levels you want to edit in the Product tab in the Product Hierarchy Depth field. Oracle recommends setting the depth to 1.

Implementation Concepts for Forecasting

Sales Forecast Components

Several things come together to make up your forecast, and you have several ways to control forecasts. This chart works from the bottom up, much like your forecast.

Components of Your Forecast

The components in the chart are explained here.

  • You have one or more territories, and the territories form a hierarchy. It's likely your manager owns a parent territory to yours.

  • You have sales opportunities. An opportunity contains one or more product items, and each product item is assigned to a territory. In this case, your territory.

  • The close date of each product item determines which forecast includes it. A product item with a February close date appears in the First Quarter forecast.

  • If your product item matches the criteria set for the forecast, then it's included in your forecast. An example of criteria is the win probability must be greater than 70 percent.

  • If your product item doesn't match the criteria, you can use the criteria override to manually include the item in your forecast. Or you can manually exclude one that does match.

  • As the primary salesperson for the product item, you count the revenue credit in your forecast and it rolls up to the parent territory revenue forecast.

  • You can forecast an overlay credit for a product item owned by someone else. You have separate overlay forecasts to track overlay credits.

  • Open product items and won items added together form your original forecast for a specific territory and forecast period, such as the first quarter. You can then make adjustments to product items and to your overall forecast. You now have your adjusted forecast and you can submit it to your manager.

You set the forecasting criteria that determines what product items are automatically included in the sales forecast. The product items become the total forecast amount before adjustments.

Your forecast includes open forecasted items and items closed as won. The items also meet these criteria:

  • The item close date falls within the forecast period.

  • The item is assigned to your forecasted territory.

  • The item matches the forecast criteria. For example, include in the forecast all product items with a win probability greater than 70 percent. Or, You set the override for the forecast item to always include it in the forecast.

You can keep items out of your forecast by setting the override to never include an item in the forecast. Items closed as lost don't appear in your forecast.

Forecast Criteria Logic

The logic joins each set criterion with AND. If two criteria are for the same attribute and use equals, then they're joined by OR.

Here are example criteria:

  • Status = Open

  • Status = WIP

  • Product <> CRM

  • Product <> ERP

  • Win Probability > 20

  • Win Probability < 80

Here's how the criteria are translated logically:

  • (Status = Open OR Status = WIP) AND

  • Product <> CRM AND

  • Product <> ERP AND

  • Win Probability > 20 AND

  • Win Probability < 80

Overlay resources who aren't the owners of the primary territory can submit a forecast on the same revenue as the primary sales resource. The primary sales resource submits a prime forecast, and the amount should be counted only once for the prime forecast. The overlay resource submits an overlay forecast, counting the same revenue a second time.

If multiple overlay resources forecast the same deal, then the same revenue amount can be added to the overlay forecast many times. A primary resource for one territory can submit an overlay forecast for another territory, so the context of the territory determines if a user is submitting a prime or an overlay forecast.

Users can submit both prime and overlay forecasts. In this case, management often expects a certain ratio of prime to overlay amounts. Management can further analyze any major discrepancy from the ratio. The overlay forecast is taken from the nonrevenue credit split within opportunities, and is closely associated with the nonrevenue quota goals set on the territory.

The administrator must enable overlay forecasting using the Enable nonrevenue forecasting check box in the Select Forecasting Options page before salespeople can add to overlay forecasts.

Territories

In the Enable Forecasting field, you can designate territories as disabled for forecasts, or as forecastable for prime, for overlay, or for both.

An owner of an overlay territory can't access a prime forecast, and an owner of a prime territory can't access an overlay forecast. However, when managing revenue, it's possible to assign a revenue split to an overlay territory or a nonrevenue split to a prime territory.

Territory Freeze Date

You can begin forecasting activities on the territory freeze date. The territory hierarchy used for forecasts freezes on this date. Forecast rollups from territories to parent territories follow the frozen hierarchy until the forecast due date. Salespeople can submit their forecasts only after the territory freeze date and before the forecast due date.

The territory hierarchy freezes at 12:00 AM server time on the day of the territory freeze date. Therefore, if you set the territory freeze date to today it's immediately effective.

The primary territory for an opportunity can change due to territory realignment. The forecast item reflects this and other changes made to the opportunity both before and after the territory freeze date, up until the forecast item is locked. When you adjust Forecast items they become individually locked. When you perform a summary level forecast adjustment or submit your forecast your entire forecast is locked.

If the forecast is frozen and the administrator extends the freeze date, then all submitted forecasts are unsubmitted and all the forecasts are no longer frozen.

Territory Changes

Territory hierarchy changes aren't reflected in the frozen forecast hierarchy. Opportunity changes aren't reflected in locked forecast items.

For forecast items that aren't locked, these changes occur after the freeze date:

  • Forecast items are removed from deleted territories, provided both the source and destination territory forecasts aren't submitted.

  • When revenues move between territories, the forecast items don't move if either the source or destination territories are submitted.

  • If revenues move between existing active territories due to territory definition changes, then forecast items also move.

  • If revenues move between existing active territories due to revenue attribute changes, then forecast items also move.

  • When revenues move to newly added territories after the forecast hierarchy is frozen, the forecast items don't move to the new territories because the new territories aren't added to the frozen forecast hierarchy.

A sales administrator can take care of everyone's forecast. Also, a territory owner can delegate someone else on the territory team to take care of forecasting actions for her.

If, for example, a senior sales manager wants one person to update forecasts for everyone in her territory hierarchy, then for her territory she adds that person as a member of the territory team and selects the Forecast Delegate check box.

Finding and Viewing Forecasts

The administrator or delegate can search to find the territory forecast to be updated. You can search for past, current, and future forecasts. You can also save your favorite searches.

You can switch from card view to list view in the Forecasts page to work with multiple forecasts.

Copying 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. The prior forecast included forecast items and adjustments, unless it in turn was copied. 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.

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.

You create forecasts by setting and submitting period parameters and forecast criteria. These examples show how the period parameter settings affect the forecasting dates.

Quarterly Forecast

Your company holds monthly board meetings on the 11th of every month to review sales forecasts for the next quarter. To prepare, you generate monthly forecasts for the next quarter.

On January 1, you configure a recurring monthly forecast with a due date of the 10th of every month by setting the due date to 80 days (21 days of January +28 Days of February +31 days of March) before the first forecast period start date, which is April 1. The end date of the forecast period will be June 30.

  • Forecast Period: Quarter

  • Frequency: Three

  • Adjustment Period: The Fiscal Period as set in the calendar. In this example it's monthly.

  • Due Date: 80 days before the first forecast period start date

  • Territory Freeze Date: 5 days before the forecast due date

  • Number of Concurrent Forecasts: Not set

Edit the individual due date and freeze date for the one quarter when the calculated date doesn't fall on the correct date.

The forecast period parameters produce these dates:

Parameter Q2 January 10 Q2 February 10 Q2 March 10 Q3 April 10

Due Date

January 10

February 10

March 10

April 10

Territory Freeze Date

January 5

February 5

March 5

April 5

Start Date - End Date

4/1 to 6/30

4/1 to 6/30

4/1 to 6/30

7/1 to 9/30

Note: The number of scheduled periods determines how far in advance the forecast schedule extends. If a period is quarterly, and the number of scheduled periods is four, the application generates forecasts up to one year in advance.

One Concurrent Forecast

You want one active forecast period at a time, with no overlapping dates or gaps.

  • Forecast Period: Quarter

  • Frequency: Three

  • Adjustment Period: The Fiscal Period as set in the calendar. In this example it's monthly.

  • Due Date: 31 days after the first forecast period start date

  • Territory Freeze Date: 31 days before the forecast due date

  • Number of Concurrent Forecasts: One

The forecast period parameters produce these dates:

Forecast Name Start Date End Date Territory Freeze Date Due Date

Q3-2018-2018/08/01

7/1/2018

9/30/2018

7/1/2018

7/31/2018

Q3-2018-2018/08/31

7/1/2018

9/30/2018

8/1/2018

8/31/2018

Q3-2018-2018/08/31

7/1/2018

9/30/2018

9/1/2018

9/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/11/01

10/1/2018

12/31/2018

10/1/2018

10/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/12/01

11/1/2018

12/31/2018

11/1/2018

11/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/12/31

12/1/2018

12/31/2018

12/1/2018

12/31/2018

Two Concurrent Forecasts

You want two active forecast periods at a time, with no overlapping dates or gaps.

  • Forecast Period: Quarter

  • Frequency: Three

  • Adjustment Period: The Fiscal Period as set in the calendar. In this example it's monthly.

  • Due Date: 60 days before the first forecast period start date

  • Territory Freeze Date: 31 days before the forecast due date

  • Number of Concurrent Forecasts: Two

The forecast period parameters produce these dates:

Forecast Name Start Date End Date Territory Freeze Date Due Date

Q3-2018-2018/08/01

7/1/2018

9/30/2018

7/1/2018

7/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/08/01

10/1/2018

12/31/2018

7/1/2018

7/31/2018

Q3-2018-2018/08/31

7/1/2018

9/30/2018

8/1/2018

8/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/08/01

10/1/2018

12/31/2018

8/1/2018

8/31/2018

Q3-2018-2018/08/31

7/1/2018

9/30/2018

9/1/2018

9/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/08/01

10/1/2018

12/31/2018

9/1/2018

9/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/11/01

10/1/2018

12/31/2018

10/1/2018

10/31/2018

Q1-2019-2018/11/01

1/1/2019

3/31/2019

10/1/2018

10/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/12/01

11/1/2018

12/31/2018

11/1/2018

11/31/2018

Q1-2019-2018/11/01

1/1/2019

3/31/2019

11/1/2018

11/31/2018

Q4-2018-2018/12/31

12/1/2018

12/31/2018

12/1/2018

12/31/2018

Q1-2019-2018/11/01

1/1/2019

3/31/2019

12/1/2018

12/31/2018

Forecasting Processes

Forecast Processes

When you enable forecasting, the Forecast Autopilot process is scheduled to run every hour. Forecast Autopilot schedules the required processes for forecasting and records when each process is run, along with the status. Forecast Autopilot generates these processes and scheduled times:

  • Check Due Date

    This short process archives forecasts that are now past their due dates and activates the next scheduled forecast. It runs once a day.

  • Refresh Forecast

    This process updates current and future forecasts using the latest opportunity data. It also updates the forecast territory hierarchy from the latest active territories. Between the territory freeze date and the forecast due date, the forecast territory hierarchy remains frozen. This process runs one day before the territory freeze date for each forecast period.

  • Refresh Revenue Metrics

    This process calculates the pipeline metric and closed revenue metric. It refreshes the pipeline metrics visible to the manager and runs every hour.

  • Compress Forecast Metrics

    This process reduces space usage and improves performance by compressing calculated metrics. It runs every hour.

If you change the schedules for the processes, then the Forecast Autopilot runs as frequently as the process with the most frequent schedule. Don't run the Generate Forecast process. To run Forecast Autopilot right away:

  1. Navigate to Scheduled Processes.

  2. Click Schedule New Process.

  3. Find Forecast Autopilot.

  4. Click OK.

  5. In the Diagnostic Parameters field, enter setup_auto_pilot=ON.

    If you want to disable the Forecast Autopilot process, then enter setup_auto_pilot=OFF. With Forecast Autopilot disabled, you must schedule each process.

  6. Click Submit.

What happens when I submit forecast options changes?

When you change forecast period parameters, a process starts that regenerates all future scheduled forecasts. It deletes them and then recreates them. Forecast period parameters include forecast period, forecast frequency, first forecast due date, territory freeze date, number of concurrent forecasts, and number of scheduled periods.

When you change forecast criteria, a process starts that updates future scheduled forecasts. A change to metrics, the product totals selection, or scheduled forecasts doesn't regenerate the future scheduled forecasts.

If the Forecasting Autopilot process is enabled, then it reevaluates the settings and reschedules the other processes. Forecasting Autopilot runs at the next scheduled time after you submit your changes. If you want to run it before that, you can run a standalone Forecasting Autopilot process using the parameter setup_auto_pilot=ON.

Forecast Synchronization

When a salesperson updates a product item in an opportunity, the forecast is automatically updated to reflect the change.

  • New forecast items are created for opportunities that meet forecast criteria.

  • Existing forecast items are updated.

  • Forecast items that no longer meet forecast criteria are removed.

Periodic Synchronization

The periodic process Refresh Forecast updates the forecast hierarchy from the territory hierarchy for unfrozen forecasts nightly or as scheduled. When a salesperson's forecast is past due, the periodic synchronization fully updates the next forecast that's now due.

Update from Opportunity

A salesperson submits a forecast and afterward changes an opportunity. By default, the forecast items aren't synchronized with the opportunity that was changed after forecast submission. The salesperson's manager rejects the forecast to make it available for changes. If the salesperson enables Refresh from Opportunity at the forecast level, then any changes from the opportunity appear immediately in the forecast.

FAQs for Forecasting

What's an adjustment period?

The time period for which a salesperson can enter a summary adjustment to the forecast or enter an adjusted forecast is the adjustment period. The field Period Frequency in Manage Accounting Calendars sets the time periods for viewing forecast amounts and making adjustments. The period frequency is named Fiscal period for the Adjustment Period field in the Select Forecasting Options page.

When do I realign territories?

As a best practice, perform major territory realignments when no forecasting activities are open. Forecasting takes place after the territory freeze date set for the forecast and up to the forecast due date. If all leaf territory forecasts are submitted but the due date hasn't been reached, it's safe to make changes to territories.

How can I display my own graphs in Forecasting?

Business Intelligence reports provide graphs that you can embed in Forecasting. Add your graph names as lookup meanings in the lookup type Forecast Graph Selector. For the third lookup value use the lookup code ZSF_GRAPH3 and so on. Add a new profile option for each graph that provides the path to the graph as the value, and give the profile option the same name as the lookup code for the respective lookup value. See the profile option ZSF_GRAPH1 Sales Forecasting Graph 1 for an example.

How can a salesperson adjust forecast items?

The administrator sets the profile option Enable Sales Representative Adjustments to yes. This option can't be changed back to no in the future. A salesperson who owns a leaf-level revenue territory can then adjust forecast items. Also, a manager who drills down to a salesperson's forecast can act as the salesperson and adjust the salesperson's forecast items.

What's a forecast criteria override?

If the override is enabled, then salespeople can manually include or exclude a revenue item or forecast item from the sales forecast. Items that fall within criteria set by the administrator (such as win probability greater than 70 percent) are automatically included in the forecast, unless the salesperson employs the override.