Eliminate the Guesswork with Sales Forecasting: Part 1

by Apr 9, 2020Business, Digital Transformation, Microsoft Dynamics 365, New Features in Dynamics 365, sales, Sales Hub, Webinars

Stop playing the guessing game!

Being able to predict the revenue of your organization is vital.  An accurate revenue forecast allows for planning, focusing on the right aspects of your business, making informed strategic decisions, budgeting, and allocating resources appropriately, just to name a few. This in turn saves you time and money. One of the best new features included in the Dynamics 365 2020 Release Wave 1 is Sales Forecasting. Sales Forecasting enables you make accurate predictions, eliminating the guesswork.   In this 2 part blog series , we will discuss this cool new feature. Part 1 will focus on the basics of sales forecasting, as well as configuring sales forecasts. Part 2 will focus on viewing and analyzing sales forecasts.

Why use Sales Forecasting?

You might be asking yourself why not just use opportunities in Dynamics. Users have always been able to get a list of opportunities that are projected to close with an estimated close date, statuses, or stages in the process flow. Why do we need Sales Forecasting?  Sales Forecasting is a more accurate way to project what is going to close and what you’re going to be selling. It’s a big picture view that allows organizations to plan production activities to meet future sales. Goals in Dynamics 365 has existed for a long time as a poorly adopted feature. With Goals, it is only possible to create one goal at a time, but with Sales Forecasting, many goals can easily be created at the same time.

To learn how the new forecast abilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales can improve sales forecasting accuracy, view the video from Microsoft below:


Who benefits from sales forecasting?

Bottoms-up forecasting is a projection of what a salesperson, team, or organization will sell in a given predetermined period of time.

Salespeople can track their performance against targets, identify pipeline risks that might jeopardize their ability to hit the targets, and prevent deals from slipping away by identifying factors before it is too late. In addition, sales people can review information about specific forecasts according to the forecast period (ie. fiscal year, month, quarter).

sales forecasting | encloud9 | Dynamics 365 2020 Release Wave 1


Sales Managers can track individual sales performance against quotas, to proactively provide coaching.  This enables them to make informed business decisions.

sales forecasting | encloud9 | Dynamics 365 2020 Release Wave 1

In addition, sales directors and organization leaders can also benefit from this new feature.

  • Directors can use forecast trends to anticipate departmental sales and reallocate resources if necessary.
  • Organization leaders can use projected estimates to change product strategy or convey updated projections to investors.

Configuring a Sales Forecast

It is important to note that in order to configure a sales forecast, you must have either a system administrator or forecast manager role. The administrator sets who will have visibility to the forecast, but they are the only one who can make adjustment or changes.  To configure a forecast in your organization, visit the Sales Hub and follow these steps:

  1. Review the prerequisite tasks
  2. Select a template
  3. Define general properties and scheduling
  4. Provide viewing permissions
  5. Choose layout and columns
  6. Activate and upload simple columns data

How can we help?

Contact enCloud9 to discuss how we can improve your sales forecasting and tracking capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics 365. To see how Sales Forecasts can play a significant role in your company’s success, join our April webinar as we take a deep dive into one of the upcoming updates coming to Dynamics 365: Sales Forecasting. We’ll be discussing

  • How to build monthly quarterly or annual sales forecasts for your sales team
  • How to use forecasts with Dynamics 365 Goals
  • Creating reports

April 2020 New Feature Deep Dive: Sales Forecasting

Friday, April 24, 2020
1-1:30 PM CST
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