The sales industry is a multi-billion dollar industry where companies strive to gain every competitive advantage possible to maximize sales and revenue. Companies are always looking to find creative ways to increase their bottom line and make the sales process more efficient.
Sales forecasting is a tool used to estimate the future amount of sales for a given product in a specific time period. It is imperative for sales companies to run efficiently by managing labor forces, managing manufacturing amounts, and developing operating budgets. Although it is a fact that sales forecasting is at best a reasonable approximation, being able to accurately forecast sales for the month, quarter or year is necessary in order for companies to be properly managed.
Inaccurately high sales forecasting can lead to:
- New salespeople or manufacturing staff being hired and trained unnecessarily
- Manufactured goods expiring or needing to be stored
- A deficit of expected sales revenue
Inaccurately low sales forecasting can lead to the following issues:
- Added stress on salespeople or manufacturing staff
- An extended wait-period for delivery of goods or services
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Sales Forecasting Sets the Tone
Salespeople love to sell a product that basically sells itself and the sky is the limit in terms of potential sales, but this is rarely the case in the sales industry. A subset of sales forecasting is demand forecasting (also known as market demand), which is estimating how much of a market there is for similar products or services overall. From there company demand involves estimating how much of that specific market a company can expect to attract with their own products or services. Sales forecasting directly affects salespeople as it is an influential resource used to set sales targets, adjust commissions and track performance.
Accurately estimating sales forecasts takes into account many different variables and attributes different weights to each to reach a conclusive number.
Some of these variables are:
- Sales of the same product from previous time period
- Anticipated increases or decreases in market demand
- Changes in marketing for the product or service
- Competitor’s actual and estimated sales
Sales forecasting can have strong influences on marketing budgets. If the sales projection is low, extra money can be put into marketing in the hopes that the return on investment will boost sales. Alternatively marketing budgets may be maintained or lowered if the product is projected to sell very well on its own.
Tools for Sales Forecasting
Some managers still prefer to figure out sales projections on their own, but software tools are available that automate the process. They combine the numbers for all the factors affecting sales and project the sales forecast for the specified amount of time.
High quality sales productivity management systems have actually been shown to directly increase sales forecasts for the companies that have implemented them. The reasoning for the increased projections are simple in that productivity systems allow salespeople to do things more efficiently, resulting in more sales calls that lead to more sales being made.
In a competitive sales industry where hitting the projected sales targets is extremely important, the companies that can produce accurate sales forecasts have a distinct and clear advantage.
Forecast demand, plan inventory with GMDH Streamline or expand your predictive analytics with GMDH Shell.
- Accurate Statistical Forecast
- Forecast Approval System
- Revenue Planning
- Flexible Manual Adjustments
- New Products Forecasting
Vanguard Predictive Planning allows organizations to make better, more holistic planning decisions across their entire business.
- Automate supply chain planning
- Improve forecast accuracy
- Reduce costs, minimize stockouts, and improve profits and customer satisfaction
- Supply chain digitization
Creating a professional, investor ready business plan has never been easier.
- Sales forecasting for any business type
- Drag-and-drop makes forecasting sales easy
- Sales charts automatically integrated into your documents
- Track your progress against your sales goals
- Fully automated sales forecasting
- Explore opportunities with scenarios
The forecasting module in Zoho CRM integrates the data in the opportunities module to generate details of sales quota, percentage quota, closed amount, committed amount, best case amount, amount in pipeline etc. Start forecasting your sales fortunes with Zoho CRM system.
Sales Forecasting Software from Salesmate is a dedicated tool for sales forecasting helps you to track and plan sales activates more efficiently.
- Intelligent sales forecast gives a clear view of your sales cycle
- Identify your star performers
Copper sales forecasting software will help you track sales data of any kind, in any timeframe, so you can estimate the close date of each deal and know if you’ll hit sales quota.
- Google Data Studio connector
- Customizable pipelines
- Real-time alerts
- Pipeline reports
- Loss reason reports
- Sales activity reports
- Individual and team goal setting
- Sales leaderboards
- Mobile apps
- Pipeline analytics
- Opportunity management
- Days in deal stage
RELEX’s demand forecasting software takes full advantage of your data – internal and external – using pragmatic AI to give you the most accurate forecasts.
- Better promotion forecasting with richer data
- Machine learning captures the impact of weather
- New product introductions
Inventory Demand Forecasting Software – Prevent stockouts in your supply chain and improve margins with better demand forecasting software.
- Omni-channel Demand Planning
- Replenish smarter
- Maximize the ROI of your purchase orders
- World-class predictive analytics
- Inventory Optimization
Forecast Pro is accurate, easy-to-use and affordable demand forecasting software for creating accurate forecasts automatically, adding judgment and more to improve planning.
- Automatic Statistical Forecasting
- Customized Hierarchies & Multiple Units of Measure
- Easy Forecast Adjustment & Collaboration
- Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP)
- Forecast Accuracy Reporting
- Exception Reporting
John Galt helps solve your toughest demand and supply planning problems with their end-to-end supply chain planning software solutions.
- Enable world-class collaborative sales forecasting
- Deliver data and insights across your entire organization
- Focus inventory and production team efforts
- Prepare your sales and customer service teams for future demand
- Share planning information and feedback with any stakeholder