The Forecasts Tab

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Working With Forecasts

Working with Forecasts makes use of the Accounting system Time Periods, which must be properly configured to support Forecasts of future results.

Caution: Make sure you have configured your fiscal accounting Time Periods 
to cover the range of dates for your forecasts.  Otherwise, the lack of Time Periods 
will cause problems with forecasting.  Both Quarterly and Monthly Time Periods
must be configured for the Forecasting to work properly. 

Salespersons enter their Account and Lead Opportunities in the [Opportunities] Tab, management assigned Quotas are entered into the [Forecasts] Tab, and the system produces individual and group Forecasts and a Company wide total Forecast using the process we are discussing.

Steps In Forecasting

There are several steps in preparation of a complete forecast, as follows:

  • Entering Each Salesperson's Opportunities -- Each salesperson’s forecast is based on the Opportunities for that person’s Accounts and Leads during the time period of the forecast. (If these Opportunities are changed, it will cause Forecasts to be recalculated, so revisions to Opportunities should be orchestrated. )
  • Creating a Special Salesperson -- Follow the Special-Rule below to create a Special Salesperson and then to get a Company wide forecast total that is correct.
  • Enter Company Quotas --- Quotas are determined by Company management using their process outside of the opentaps system, and then they are entered into the form in [Forecasts] Tab. This triggers creation of Forecasts for the selected Time Period.)
  • Accumulate a Total of Forecasts -- any Salesperson's assigned Account or qualified Lead having a defined Opportunity is used to calculate a part of the forecast, contributing to the total for the Sales force. This leads to double (or multiple) counting of the components of the total when more than one sales person is associated with the Account Opportunity.
Warning:  As a result, the total forecast that is totaled for all the 
salespeople can be greater than the total forecast for the whole company, because 
multiple salespeople could be related to the same account opportunity.  When this 
occurs a particular opportunity with multiple sales people associated will be added 
multiple times into the forecast total.
  • Review the Special-Salesperson Forecast -- This represents the correct total, for company wide total without double counting.

This completes the forecasting process. The following rules should be understood to insure a valid forecast.

Rules for Correct Forecasting

Special-Rule: To get a correct total Forecast for the company, add a unique real or fictitious sales executive or manager once and only once to each Account and qualified Lead (Account Team membership) that should contribute to the company total. Then, their forecast will be the one that accurately reflects a company wide total.

Rule: Any sales rep can create a forecast for them self and enter their own committed amount, and the sales pipeline stage. They cannot create a forecast for anyone else.

Rule: Only the sales manager can create a forecast for someone else, for a team, or for a territory.

Rule: By default, only the sales manager or supervisor can modify existing forecasts.

Rule: A special security group (or permission) is required to view another person’s forecasts. This authority is usually configured by the system administrator as part of the business organization maintenance activity.

Rule: A new forecast can only be done for quarters,

  • which are not officially closed in the accounting subsystem,
  • whose end date has not passed, and
  • for which no forecast is currently available.

Rule: Monthly Accounting Time Periods Must Be Configured -- Forecasts are calculated and quotas are entered by month, so the monthly accounting periods must be configured for the new quarterly forecast. (Otherwise the "Enter Quotas" form will come up without entry boxes.)

Using Forecasts

The following sections discuss the creation, modification and history of Forecasts. Implications of changing Forecasts are discussed in detail.

Create a Forecast

To create Forecasts, first enter all of your relevant sales Opportunities for your assigned Accounts, and Leads using the guidance in this User Manual Section, The Opportunities Tab. Then return to [Forecasts] Tab and proceed as follows.

To access Forecasts from the Main Navigation screen, proceed as follows to Create your Forecast:

* Click: [CRM/SFA] Icon > [Forecasts] Tab 
* Use the "Enter Quotas for" box
* Select a quarter to forecast and Click: [Enter Quotas].
* You will then be prompted to enter your quotas by month as assigned by your 
     Sales management.  Then, when you are done, 
* Click: [Enter Quotas].  

How Forecasts Are Calculated

Your forecasted sales will be calculated by the system based on your Opportunities which you have previously created for the new forcasting quarter, and then both monthly and quarterly forecasts will be accumulated according to the following formula:

1.  Closed Amount = sum of opportunities which are already CLOSED in the period
2.  Best Case Amount = sum of all opportunities predicted to close in the month, regardless of
      stage (or probability).  The best case is included for reference only.
3.  Forecast Amount = sum of each probability times the amount of each forecast, above a
      threshold of minimum probability configured by the administrator.  
4.  The quarter’s forecast is the sum of all its months’ forecast.

View or Change a Forecast

Viewing Forecasts

By default, you are only allowed to view your own forecasts.

With permission to view others' forecasts, click on [Find Forecasts] and you will be able to find forecasts for other people. Then you can search by team member or time period. The list of quarterly forecasts is returned.

Modifying Forecasts

Rule: By default, only the sales manager or supervisor can modify existing forecasts.

Use the Viewing Forecasts steps to open the one that you need to modify. To change a forecast it is necessary to change the Opportunities from which it was calculated. Refer to the The Opportunity Tab for guidance in editing the Opportunities.

Forecast History Records

Each time a forecast is updated, the old version is stored into history. When viewing a forecast, you can see its whole history with change dates and the projections, best case, and forecast amounts of the old versions. Changing your Opportunities will have the following impacts:

•  The forecasts of all team members which are related to the changed opportunity through  
     any account or lead is automatically updated.  
•  If the estimated close date of an opportunity moves from one time period to another, 
     the forecasts for both are changed.  
•  If the opportunity moves to a period far enough into the future that it does not have
     forecasts yet, a new forecast would not be automatically created.
•  If a forecast is already created for a time period, it will be automatically updated 
     when new opportunities are created or when an existing opportunity is changed.  
     Therefore, do not change your Opportunities unless you know it is the right time to 
     do so. 

Rule: Remember, once a time period is officially closed or has passed its forecast can no longer be updated.

The Opportunities Tab < Tabs pages > Marketing Applications