Salesforce Forecasting allow you to predict and plan the sales cycle based on a rollup of Opportunities. This rollup is determined by several factors in the Opportunity. As long as those data points are kept accurate, you don’t have to do much to take advantage of the forecast functionality.
The factors that segment your Opportunities into the matrix above are:
- Forecast Category: As Opportunities are moved through the Stages, a default Forecast Category is assigned to the Opportunity (which gives you fewer segments to chart on the forecast tab). The out-of-the-box categories are: Pipeline, Best Case, Commit, and Closed. You can define which Stages fall into each category by default and decide if Users should be able to override that. Typically, Pipeline is everything less than 50% probability, Best Case is 50-75%, Commit is 75-99%, and Closed is Closed Won only. These are set on the Opportunity Stage field settings.
Note that in this example, we have allowed the Prospecting Stage to be excluded from the Forecast. This is a common practice if you allow Opportunities to be created earlier on in the Sales Cycle (prior to being fully qualified).
- Opportunity Close Date: The Close Date allows you to segment your Opportunities into time periods (this month, this quarter, etc). Using both Close Date and Forecast Category, you can prioritize your pipeline to focus on the deals nearest to close.
- Amount: The value shown on the Forecast tab can be shown in a few different ways:
- a) Opportunity Amount (Revenue)
- b) Opportunity Quantities
- c) Opportunity Splits (Revenue)
- d) Product Families (Revenue, Quantity, or both)
You define this select when setting up Forecasts for your organization. Watch the video to learn how to do this!
Forecasts are available on: PE, EE, UE, PXE
When does the Probability % come into play? It seems like the Forecast Category is only affected by the Stage, not the Probability. And the Probability doesn’t seem to affect the $ amount either. What’s the purpose of the %?