Sales forecasting software is technology’s answer to a magic crystal ball. The ability to see the future allows them to plan and brace themselves for growth, loss, or sweeping changes within the industry.
In times past, Excel spreadsheets were the go-to tool of sales leadership to track and predict sales. However, sales forecasting software creates a more accurate, insightful, and easier way to spot trends in sales data.
Here is what you need to know about the importance of sales forecasting software and the best brands on the market.
Why is Sales Forecasting Important?
Sales forecasting gives companies the chance to predict growth in their business and gain deeper insights. When leadership sees trends in data, they can help come up with effective strategies and make decisions to help foster their business.
Sales forecasting is broken up into two categories:
Quantitative forecasting is based on data and historical trends.
Qualitative forecasting is more intuitive. It typically requires market research, surveying potential customers, and the opinions of experts.
Sales forecasting tools use quantitative measures to help businesses get better insights into their future based on their past. It looks at historical business data and produces a report of potential sales based on trends.
Business use forecasting tools to answer the crucial questions for business growth:
· What is our expected revenue?
· Does out actual sales match with expected sales? If not, why?
· What is the most accurate method to forecast sales?
Typically, most software has templates that allow leadership and sales teams to easily and quickly analyze the data. The functionality of each software will differ based on how in-depth the software is. However, they all enable teams to get a look at where their company is and what direction they are headed.
What to Consider When Selecting Software
Technology has come a long way since sales forecasting Excel spreadsheets were the only option. Now, there is a wide range of companies that allow businesses to get more in-depth insights.
With the number of options, though, it may be challenging to decide which is best. There are some general factors to keep in mind when determining which sales forecasting tools are right for you:
· Static vs. Dynamic Forecasts. While some software offer static reports, more tools are starting to utilize dynamic forecasts that continually test to make sure they predict sales accurately.
· Import Capabilities. The forecasts you receive are only as good as the data your software can access. Import capabilities allow your tools to have all the information they need without the need to enter information manually.
· Collaboration. Sales forecasting is a team effort. The easier it is to share information, the more insights and alignment in the company.
· Simplicity. Many leaders hesitate to add yet another task onto their plates. The ease of use is crucial to how well your team will use the software and how often leadership will turn to it for information.
The number of options for sales forecasting software means that companies can find the one that meets their needs and priorities for their business. The right forecasting tools will add value, rather than taking more time and money away from the sales team.
Top Sales Forecasting Software
Pipedrive creates a more precise visualization of the sales pipeline to ensure better insights and results. It enables companies to see where exactly in the pipeline they need to focus their attention and what has to happen to drive better sales. It comes with a live dashboard that lets the sales team and leadership see how they are performing in real-time. It also tracks company goals to make sure everyone is on track each step of the way.
Several factors can influence your sales, but it can sometimes be difficult for leadership to see which ones have the most significant impact. Adaptive Insights allows companies to get better insights into which decisions will have the greatest effect. The software enables leadership to run what-if scenario analysis to see how various changes will affect the bottom line. It also helps companies find the right quotas for their team with more insight and visibility.
The Sales Analysis and Forecasting Tool by [basic-code] enables companies to utilize comprehensive tools for their company. It helps improve forecasting and strategic decisions while also allowing companies to optimize their inventory. It is also customized to each business to help meet their unique needs to create a more efficient company.
Gong.io works to give leadership full visibility over the entire buyer's journey. Sales typically happen over a variety of mediums: phone, email, text, meetings. Gong helps organize it all in one place so that companies know exactly where each deal is in the process. Understand whether a deal is going well or not and put an end to surprises in the sales forecast.
In addition to a CRM, Zoho also offers revenue forecasting so that all of your information is in one convenient place. It uses a variety of factors, including previous data and pipeline deals, to create accurate insights into your sales forecast. It can even be broken down my territory, team, or individual to get a look into the specifics. Zoho is a low-cost option for businesses that need one tool to serve a variety of needs.
Aviso Insights integrates with most CRMs to offer both real-time and historical data to increase insights and inform decision-making. With the use of AI and big data, Aviso can make predictions based on both sales and pipeline performance.
Slickpie is perfect for start-ups and small businesses that need accounting software that can perform a variety of tasks. In addition to accounting services, it also includes sales forecasting to get a look at the performance and profitability of your sales teams. It integrates with the top CRMs, including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, to make accessing information easy. It is also free, making it ideal for businesses getting started with sales forecasting.
InsightSquared takes care of all the math to free leadership up to concentrate on making decisions. Its algorithms take a variety of concerns into consideration, including previous patterns, rep performance, sales pipeline to average deal size, to get as accurate an estimate as possible. It provides insights into closing rates, revenue forecasts, KPIs, marketing processes, and more.
People.ai is an AI-driven and data-centric platform that syncs data across your company better insights. It not only provides insights but gives actionable advice to help leaders make decisions. It allows companies to create more pipelines for better sales.
Growth is exciting, but it also brings new challenges. When it comes to hiring more team members and scaling a business, leadership often needs more information to help inform their decision. SalesDirector is a conversational AI assistant that helps give a complete revenue picture and give helpful insights towards scaling the sales team. Also, pipeline visibility helps companies identify challenges and areas for growth. It also offers suggestions when a new pipeline is needed.
As one of the largest global networks devoted to sales, Collective[i] uses data, AI, and predictive technology to guide B2B sales teams. It connects easily to your CRM and any other data source to give insights and intelligence. Collective[i] guides sales reps with specific activities that lead directly to revenue. It both gives leadership insights into their team’s pipeline and performance, as well as direction for sales reps to focus for better sales.
The ability to understanding insights is as valuable as the insights themselves. Map My Customers helps leadership identify critical locations for growth with our mapping features. Get better insights into the challenging areas as well as the most significant opportunities for growth with helpful maps. We help companies understand their territories better, that enable them to make effective decisions.