Time for some honesty — while we’d love to tell you we can give you the superpower to predict your sales revenue with 100% precision and accuracy we’ve yet to figure that out. Unfortunately, there’s no single forecasting method that can accurately predict your future sales revenue. But luckily, there is a way to ensure that your predictions are as accurate as possible and that is by using a valuable tool known as a sales forecast template.
If you want to find out more about sales forecasting and how to streamline the process, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the importance of sales forecasting and walk you through how sales forecasting software such as monday sales CRM can help small businesses better manage their revenue goals. Plus, we’ll provide you with an easy-to-use monday.com template that will simplify your sales forecasting process.
What is a sales forecast?
Sales forecasting is the process of estimating future sales; by using sales history data as a baseline, companies can predict their short-term and long-term performance.
Put simply, sales forecasting allows businesses to make informed decisions, maximize resources, and set achievable goals.
From allocating budgets and hiring new employees to setting company-wide goals and managing cash flow, forecasting gives businesses crucial information they need to grow and develop.
What is a sales forecast template?
A sales forecast template provides an outline to ensure you include all the necessary information in your sales forecast and ensures consistency in your sales forecasting process so everyone can better understand it.
What are the benefits of sales forecasting?
Sales forecasting can play a major role in the growth and development of any company from small businesses to operations of 5,000+ people. It gives businesses the insight needed to plan, make smart decisions, and assess sales performance.
Let’s take a look at some of these benefits in more detail.
1. Planning ahead
Although sales forecasting can’t predict the future with 100% certainty, it does provide a pretty accurate depiction of your upcoming sales, revenue, and profits. As a result, businesses can plan ahead and create an accurate sales timeline or successful sales plan.
Sales forecasts also allow businesses to identify potential problems that might arise in the future and avoid them before they become a bigger issue. For example, let’s say your latest sales forecast indicates you’ll hit a cash flow hurdle in the next quarter. Because you have access to this information, such as cash flow analysis, ahead of time, you’re able to put preventative measures in place to avoid or mitigate the cash flow problem.
2. Assess sales performance
Forecasting gives your team a benchmark to work toward. This makes it easier to identify how your sales are performing and whether they’re hitting the right milestones along the way. If anything is falling behind, you can see it pretty clearly.
Using a sales forecasting template can be helpful here. With the right software, you’ll easily be able to identify any targets that aren’t met and which sales reps aren’t hitting the mark.
3. Effectively allocate budget and resources
Knowing how to allocate your budget and internal resources is often a tough nut to crack. But, an accurate sales forecast can help you identify how to maximize your budget and use resources most efficiently.
For example, your latest sales forecast might predict that your sales will increase by 50% in the next 6 months. As a result, your sales team will struggle to manage their workload, and it could negatively impact the customer experience. So using this information from your sales forecast, your team decides to hire 2 new sales staff members to lighten the load and continue to provide your customers with excellent service.
Based on that sales forecast, you’ve got some good insight into how your revenue will grow over the next six months, so you know that it’s financially viable to expand the team. Without this forecast, you might not be so inclined to expand.
While tacking budget resource planning with Excel or Google Sheets are fine starting points, you can make budget and resource planning even easier with a platform like monday.com. Our robust, customizable software allows you to easily track your budget and resource availability so that you can keep on top of your spending in one central location.
What is sales forecasting software?
Despite the many advantages, businesses often struggle to create sales forecasts that are anywhere close to reality. A recent survey from Gartner shows that only 45% of sales leaders showed high confidence in forecast accuracy.
The research also suggests that this low percentage is due to a lack of evidence-based forecasts. Their solution? They suggest that every sales leader needs to track and communicate the accuracy of their sales over time in order to create an evidence-based sales forecast.
And that’s where sales forecasting software can help.Sales forecasting software helps businesses track, manage, and execute their sales forecast. It stores all the information you have relating to your sales — past and present — and allows you to use that information to create a sales forecast.
Here are a few examples of the types of historical data that a sales forecasting solution can store:
- How many sales you made last quarter
- When those sales were made
- Who made the sales
- Which customers purchased from you
- How those sales were made (whether by email, call, social media, and so on)
- Any changes within your company
With this information, a sales manager will know they’re using every resource possible to accurately predict future revenue.
Use monday.com to manage your next sales forecast
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to finding the right sales forecasting software solution for your business. To weed out the platforms that won’t fit the bill, try looking for a platform that’s versatile, easy to use, and accurate, like monday.com.
As a robust Work OS, monday.com offers all the features you need to effectively execute your next sales forecast. Our intuitive and user-friendly platform makes it easy for businesses to review past sales data and set new goals and objectives for the future. Let’s look at some ways you can use monday.com to manage your sales forecast.
1. Create your own dashboard
With monday.com, users can create their own dashboard to display information about their sales pipeline and performance, such as monthly sales, sales projections, yearly sales, and more.
Not only is this useful for reviewing top-line statistics and figures, but it also allows businesses to see how sales are progressing in line with the sales forecast.
All it takes is one quick glance, and you can see all the information you need in one place. We also understand that every business has different metrics they want to measure, and that’s why our dashboards are customizable. Users can pick and choose widgets that display the most important and relevant data and analytics.
2. Use a pivot board for deeper reporting
Our pivot board view allows users to slice and dice information. As a result, you can analyze your data in new ways and from different perspectives. Using the pivot board, users can quickly and easily review past sales data in order to inform their sales forecast. And like much of monday.com’s software, our pivot boards are flexible and customizable. This allows users to create the perfect display of information, which is pretty useful for reviewing past sales data.
3. Automate your workflow
We know that businesses want things to run as efficiently as possible. That’s why we provide our users with a variety of automations. We have various pre-made and custom automations for users to choose from, allowing businesses to streamline the sales workflow and keep things ticking along smoothly. As a result, employees can spend less time performing mundane manual tasks and focus on doing what’s important — keeping their sales operation on track.
4. Integrate external apps
If you’re already working with a sales forecasting tool, you’re in luck. With monday.com, users can continue working with external tools and platforms thanks to our integrations. There’s no need to flick back and forth between platforms, manually pulling data from one and putting it into the other.
With monday.com, businesses can integrate data from third-party apps straight into the platform, making sales forecasts as accurate as possible. Whether you’re using Salesforce or Stripe, we’ve got you covered.
5. Produce visibility for the entire team
When it comes to sales forecasting, everyone in the team needs to understand company-wide goals, how they’re going to achieve them, and when they need to finish. Using a central work management system provides users the visibility they need to keep on top of goals. With monday.com, everyone has access to sales goals, objectives, and the overall sales timeline.
Our software holds everyone on the team accountable for their work, providing all members with the motivation they need to hit their targets and complete work on time.
7. Jump-start your forecasting process with a template
Get started with our fully customizable CRM template, and create a consistent framework to track your sales forecasts every single time. Within this template, simply go to the Sales Pipeline board and start entering your deals. Customize your board to represent whatever forumla it is you use to forecast sales, and use our dashboards to then visualize this information in an up-to-date, centralized location that everybody can access.
Set better sales predictions with a sales forecast template and monday.com
Forecasting sales is an incredibly beneficial process for business growth and development. As you’ve probably gathered by now, it doesn’t come without challenges. Producing an accurate forecast is easier said than done, but using sales forecasting software is a step in the right direction. With forecasting software and the use of a sales forecast template, your predictions will be more accurate, easier to manage, and based on solid evidence from past sales.