Sales Forecasting in Deals and Reports

 

Sales Forecasting feature is available on our Professional and Enterprise Plans.

To compare our plans, click here.

 

WHAT IS SALES FORECASTING IN ZENDESK SELL:

Sales Forecasting is a great way to predict expected revenues and can help you pinpoint which Deals you should be focusing on.

Having an idea of what your estimated sales will be in a given timeframe will help you make better decisions for your company. Businesses use sales forecasting to:

  • paint a clear picture of what cash flow will look like in a couple of months
  • predict which deals will succeed and which ones will need help
  • take immediate action to course correct and ensure sales goals are met

 

In order to work properly and give you the best possible insights on your sales in the Reports section, it requires setting values of two associated properties for every Deal in your Pipeline, the Estimated Close Date and Win Likelihood.

Basing off these two values and the Deal Value, it automatically calculates and populates sales forecasts in the Reports section.

On your Dashboard, you can also view your total forecasted pipeline worth. This figure is a summation of the forecasted worth of all active deals.

 

HOW TO SET UP SALES FORECASTING:

The simplest way to get started using Forecasting is to go to a Deal page. In the left column, you'll notice the basic values used in Forecasting, related to the Deal.

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ESTIMATED CLOSE DATE - this is a date in the future when you expect this Deal to close. This date is to be specified by yourself, based on your experience.

You can specify the estimated close date by clicking the "edit" icon, which shows up when you mouse over the field and picking a date from the calendar.

WIN LIKELIHOOD - it determines the probability of winning a Deal. Again the value of win likelihood is to be specified by yourself, based on your experience.

You can change the win likelihood by clicking the "edit" icon for that line and entering the new value.

As you can see in the example above, there is a 45% chance of winning this Deal, which is based on the Pipeline Stage Win Likelihood.

TIP: There is no need to enter the Win Likelihood value for each Deal manually, as Zendesk Sell will auto-populate this field, based on the Pipeline Stages Win Likelihood, which can be specified in the Settings tab, if you're an Admin. What's more, while the Deal is moved through Pipeline Stages, it's win likelihood is also updated accordingly.

  

NOTE: If you may not be able to set the Estimated Close Date for every Deal in your Pipeline, and the empty forecasting information on the Deal Card bothers you, we let you decide on whether the information about forecasting should be visible or hidden on the Deal card. Just navigate to your Settings > Deals > Forecasting page and tick the checkbox to display or untick to hide the forecast information.

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SETTING WIN LIKELIHOOD VALUE FOR PIPELINE STAGES GLOBALLY: 

If you're an Admin, you can specify your own Win Likelihood for each Stage of the Pipeline in the Settings screen under Pipelines > Stages. Each stage is represented by its name and the win likelihood percentage, which you are able to specify by hovering over a stage and clicking on the 'pencil' icon.

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NOTE: Once you change the Win Likelihood for a Deal manually, from the Deal card, it will not be automatically changed based on stage settings, so you'll need to update it yourself.

 

EXAMPLE CALCULATION OF A FORECAST:

Essentially the Sales Forecast in a given timeframe is calculated by taking the total Deal value and multiplying it by Win Likelihood % set for each Deal. So if a deal is set at $400 with a 50% win likelihood, the result would be a forecast of $200 for that deal. The Estimated Close Date decides whether a Deal will be included in the Forecast for a given timeframe or not.

To make things more concrete, I provide a simple example. Take 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. From previous experience, we predict that only 5% of the deals at that stage make it to Win/Success. While your total pipeline will show $200,000, your sales forecast report will show that net sales will be $10,000, a more accurate prediction. As a deal progresses, the sales forecast will increase due to the increased likelihood of winning. Your company should use this data to help make informed decisions on which deals to spend more energy on or whether it’s time to prospect for new clients.

 

SALES FORECASTING REPORTS

Enabling Sales Forecasting gives you access to two insightful Reports:

Forecasted Sales and Forecasted Sales By Source.

  • Forecasted Sales Report gives insight into what your expected sales are and how they compare to actual sales. The date filter on the Report gives you the ability to view predicted sales in a specific timeframe between the moment you joined Sell and your latest forecasted Deal.
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  • Forecasted Sales by Source Report allow you to see the expected and actual sales grouped by the Source. This is a useful tool to use when you want to see what your best Deal Sources are. 
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