Sales Forecasting

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This week we return to our previous series with one last post about sales forecasting, perhaps the most important, and certainly the most difficult, phase of the forecasting process.

Sales is the life blood of every organization. Quite obviously, without revenue there no point to anything else happening in organization. Your sales numbers fuel every other business function, from purchasing to manufacturing, HR, accounting, and marketing.

Why is forecasting sales so hard? Well, it’s essentially predicting the future…….and that’s hard! There are, however, some methods and tools that help make it manageable.

According to Hubspot, a few common sales forecasting methods are:
Historical Forecasting
Pipeline Forecasting
Multi-variable Analysis
Intuitive Forecasting
Sales Cycle Forecasting
Opportunity Stage Forecasting

Every variable you can think of comes in to play when forecasting sales, so depending on the complexity of your business, many of these methods will not be applicable. If you are generating revenue online, you will have many tools available to you to analyze your potential customer base and their buying patterns, keeping in mind that variables such as political environment and natural disasters can become factors. Location and competitors are always important components to consider as well.

Forecasting takes time and practice, but it’s critical that you become proficient in order to keep your business firmly rooted and growing. Let us know if we can help you with this process!

For more thoughts on sales forecasting, check out these articles from the Harvard Business Review, Clari, and the Corporate Finance Institution.

As usual, for more reading recommendations, or to discuss other entrepreneurial tips and tools, contact Harvard Grace Corporation at [email protected].

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