Transform your decision-making with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Forecasting

Sales Forecasting in Microsoft Dynamics 365

Are you struggling to plan? Finding yourself relying heavily on past business data? Do you constantly deal with sales issues as they arise?

Often organisations are blindly guessing when making business decisions around stock levels, product investment, growth plans and changes in their sales pipeline. Whilst there is some merit in looking at past performance, this will not help in accurately and realistically planning.

Without effective sales forecasting, resources could be wasted, sales targets missed and stock issues could occur, all of which can have significantly adverse impact on your cashflow.

Monitor whether you are on track to hit your targets, better allocate resource based on product or departmental sales, and plan for the future without guess work.

Following recent Microsoft releases, we are seeing increasing uptake in usage of the new forecast capabilities in Dynamics 365 Sales, and these will be extended further in upcoming release waves. In this post, we've shared an overview of Sales Forecasting, and what’s coming soon, but let’s start by looking at how sales teams benefit from accurate forecast insights.

Sales Forecasting List View

How Sales Teams Benefit From Accurate Forecasting

Focus On Deals Likely To Close

Have an up-to-date view of your sales pipeline at any given time, to see how well opportunities are progressing. Sellers can then focus their attention on the right deals which are more likely to convert into sales, rather than spending unproductive time on opportunities that require more time, or deals that are likely to close as “lost”.

Proactively Identify Pipeline Risks

If the expected results are at risk of falling short of your targets, dig into the data and identify which opportunities need extra work. Understanding how things work, allows teams to be more proactive. You’ll be able to shorten cycles by making nimble decisions, with the real-time data available to you. No more spending time gathering the data, before realising you have a problem at hand.

Improve Team Collaboration

One unified sales forecast can provide your team the transparency they require to not only monitor their own opportunities, but also assist others where help may be needed. This makes it easier to spot where a colleague might need support closing out deals, or guidance handling similar opportunities to ones you’ve dealt with before.

Better Sales Coaching

Help provide sales coaching to those who require it. Morale is always higher when teams are able to better plan, actively develop their skills, without having to constantly having to put out fires. Meaningful forecasts allow managers to provide constructive coaching, on an individual basis.

Sales Forecasting in Dynamics 365

Forecasting is available in Dynamics 365 Sales under the “Performance” section. This gives you a visual aid for your sales goals, by using data already available in CRM.

A forecast can be set up based on goals for revenue or quantity, and they can be based on organisation structure, territory or product. The forecasting workspace in Dynamics provides the perfect platform for sales teams to centrally manage and share forecasts which reflect real-time opportunity data, compared to manually updating spreadsheets and emailing static copies.

Choose Access Permissions

System Administrators and Forecast Managers can choose who can access the forecast. Restrict it to only managers to view and make decisions, or allow the entire Sales Team to track progress and monitor projections.

Forecast Categories

Forecast categories help capture how confident you are that an opportunity will close as “won”. Easily move opportunities between the categories as conversations progress, and keep the data as accurate as possible.

Filtering

Filter forecasts to display specific opportunities, that meet the conditions you want to focus on. For example, filter opportunities managed by a regional sales team, or all opportunities valued over specific forecasted value.

Drill-down into a user’s projections, to see exactly how they’re doing, opportunity by opportunity, and understand where extra time and investment may be needed. Perhaps a team member requires more training to close out opportunities, as their “best case” opportunities are not consistently converting into sales.

Sales Forecasting Drill Down

Kanban View

Easily see all opportunities managed by a specific seller which are sorted into a category, for example: won, lost, pipeline, best case, committed or omitted.

With a simple click and drag, move individual opportunities between the categories to quickly update their status.

Sales Forecasting Kanban Board

Multiple Currency Selection

Convert revenue data into different currencies to accommodate different regions, all within the same forecast.

Prediction Factors

Discover insights from your data and the factors that influence predictions, to better understand what the forecast is showing you.

Licence required for Sales Forecasting in Dynamics 365: Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise

Sales Forecasting in Dynamics 365 Overview

Premium Forecasting Features:

  • Trend Charts - a visualisation that shows forecast amount over time. This also displays a comparison to the period end predication and quota, and a separate line is created that represents projected future revenue.
  • Forecast Predictions - forecast driven by AI, to help managers and sellers to understand exactly how much revenue they could achieve. Based on historical data and the current sales pipeline, a detailed breakdown of the predictions is provided.
  • Snapshots & Flow Chart - capture what your forecast looks like at any given moment, and this process can be automated too. A Flow Chart then provides a visual representation of the forecast changes between any two snapshots taken, allowing sellers and managers to understand changes over time.

Licence required for Premium Forecasting Features: Dynamics 365 Sales Premium

Sales Forecasting Trend Charts

Coming Soon to Sales Forecasting in Dynamics 365...

In the 2022 Release Wave 1 Plans for Dynamics 365 Sales, Microsoft have announced a number of updates which are set to be released for General Availability in April 2022:

  • Capability for sellers to toggle a full year, and year to-date, forecast views which support comparisons between organisational targets and actual YTD performance across multiple periods.
  • Updating quotas with inline editing and roll-ups.
  • Filter underlying opportunities in a forecasting using column-level filter controls.
  • The ability to monitor stagnated deals, using the number of days stuck in the current stage, and understand their impact on the predictive score.

Learn more about upcoming updates to Dynamics 365 Sales

Get In Touch!

Whether you already have Dynamics 365 Sales, and are looking to start forecasting, or you’re looking to start with Dynamics and want to know what more you can do with it, get in touch on to start the conversation!

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