A sales forecast is a projection of what your sales team will close at the end of a given period. When done correctly, it can play a significant role in your company’s success. Managers can track individual sales performance against quotas to proactively provide coaching. Directors can use the forecast trends to anticipate departmental sales and reallocate resources and company leaders can use those forward-looking numbers to change the product strategy or convey updated projections to investors.
Bottoms-up sales forecasting has historically been complex to implement. In fact, although customer relationship management systems (CRMs) have been broadly adopted across industries, many organizations still use non-scalable technologies like spreadsheets to manage and coordinate their forecasts. These error-prone and tedious methods are still preferable to some because they provide a level of control and flexibility that isn’t found in any of the alternatives.
The new forecast capabilities for Dynamics 365 Sales aims to change this.
In this latest release, organizations will be able to model their sales process in an intuitive experience, allowing them to identify the performance metrics that matter most and visualize them across reporting and territory hierarchies. Sellers and managers will be able to effectively keep track of their progress, easily manage their pipeline to update their numbers, and make adjustments as needed.
You can read much much more in this blog post from Daniel Dallala from our product group.
I followed the guide lines Daniel put forward to setup a few sales territories, accounts, opportunities and subsequently a sales forcast based on these. In brief you can try the steps I went through to test out the new capability:
Set up a Sales Territory hierarchy, e.g. Europe – Benelux/Scandinavia – (Belgium|Holland)/(Denmark|Norway|Sweden)
Assign accounts to the sales territories, and create opportunities for these accounts. Already at this stage you can leverage the Inline Editing control to create a nice grouped view of opportunities per territory
Setup a Territory Forecast (out-of-the box leveraging the Opportunity > Account > Territory hierarchy route) and e.g. apply the Forecast Category option set for layout
Having setup the forecast, I took a moment to explore the great new Kanban view, in which you can drag and drop opportunities between foreacast categories
I really like the approach the new forecasting capability takes to working with quotas in the forecast. You simply download the forecast to Excel, add/edit quota numbers and formulas…
…and upload the Excel workbook back to the forecast
Enjoy the new forecasting capabilities in Dynamics 365 Sales
- Driving accountability with advanced forecasting in Dynamics 365 Sales – link