Most businesses generally use a system of sales forecasting as an important part of their sales management strategy. Such systems or software programs make sales forecasts in two ways; one is either by automatically mining data that already exists in the system, or by following a step-by-step worksheet that collates all the necessary sales information to make the necessary calculations. But not all sales forecasting systems produce accurate results.

It is important for the sales experts to know in which direction the business is heading. One cannot rely on a single source for the accurate forecasting of results. It is a good practice that the forecast be vetted from multiple perspectives to help the management make critical decisions. It is necessary to have a comprehensive Sales forecasting process in place that can be continuously evaluated, modified and managed smoothly as conditions change.

We have adapted to the following practices in order to improve overall Sales Forecasting:

We initially set the forecasting objectives and the need for sales forecasting. We decide what is to be forecasted such as the sales value, volume of sales and similar such parameters. It is important to set the time frame of the sales forecast and how regularly the results should be generated. For example the frequency of the forecast, if it should be for one week, one month, three months, and half yearly, one year or more depending on requirement. Once such parameters are set we move on to collecting the actual data for forecasting. We collect data from internal sources and external sources. It is then decided whether to use quantitative data or qualitative data. Finally we select the forecasting model in order to build and test the forecasting model. We then prepare the final sales forecasts, which are finally evaluated and modified to reach accurate outcomes.

SALESFORCE OPPORTUNITY PLANNING WALL

At VisionTree Digital we use the Salesforce Opportunity Planning wall to visualize and modify the opportunity pipeline graphically. The Opportunity Planning Wall shows all the sales opportunities represented as small coloured cards on a virtual wall and lets the users filter, group & modify on one simple screen. The wall offers features such as filtering, sorting and grouping of opportunities by any standard and custom field. The users can utilize the drag & drop feature to edit opportunities. The Opportunity Planning Wall is a CRM extension which is free. It gives users an extremely interactive and visually appealing method of working with Opportunities. Users can group cards. Each group is displayed as a column on the wall. Dragging and dropping cards between the columns and then clicking the "Save" option modifies the current grouping attribute's value. So by moving cards the users can update the status, owner, Stage and other opportunity attributes as well.