What’s Here and What’s Missing: Salesforce Forecasting
Forecasting is not a widely used out-of-the-box feature of Salesforce customers worldwide, but with the new Multiple Forecast Types in Spring ’14, as well as other recent enhancements, it’s really worth another look! This is especially true for sales organizations that want to have target versus actual information and/or the ability for sales managers to adjust their sales teams’ Forecast numbers.
Multiple Forecast Types (Spring ’14 pp. 120-123)
These are powerful because until now, only one option could be selected. In addition, with revenue, quantity, and quota attainment all on one screen, the Forecasts UI could get very noisy.
Opportunity Splits in Sales Forecasts (Winter ’14 pp. 102-104)
Opportunity Team Forecasts and quotas – whoo hoo! Show the split percentage in the Opportunity list below the Forecast! Please note that as of Spring ’14 splits must equal 100%. However, there is a PILOT for Spring ’14 Opportunity Split Overlays where splits can total greater than 100%; indirectly responsible team members need to get credit as well to allocate credit in a more flexible manner (look for general availability over the next release or two).
Product Families in Forecasts (Winter ’14 pp. 103-104)
Gain insight into which Product Family is generating the most revenue! Product Family targets! Please note that in order to use this feature:
- Opportunity Products and Product Families must be in use
- If Product Family isn’t populated for all Product records, the line item amount will be added to a bucketed row called ‘Products Not Categorized’
- Adjustments must be made on the Product Family level
What’s still cool!
Quotas (see Forecasts Administrator’s Workbook, pp. 14-18)
If you want target versus actual out of the box without triggers, then this is where you’ll find it:
Adjustments (see Forecasts Administrator’s Workbook, pp. 12-13)
Allow Forecast managers to add adjustments to make Forecasts reflect what the manager perceives as the likely final outcome during a Forecast period by sales rep (when a rep or team is too optimistic or conservative Opportunity amounts).
A few points to remember:
- Adjustments can only be made for users directly below you in the Forecast hierarchy (e.g., the VP of Sales can only add adjustments to Regional Director level Forecasts, but not to Eastern Sales Rep Team Forecasts)
- Adjustments don’t change the gross rollup, and only add a level of detail
- With multiple Forecast types, adjustments are Forecast type specific
What’s still missing?
Include personal quota in ‘My Team’ view
Having a choice of whether or not include an individual’s, such as a Sales Manager’s, personal quota in the in the totals and subtotals for the ‘My Team’ view would be a nice add-on feature. Currently it only shows shows my quota in subtotals and totals in my manager’s view. In the screen shot below, Valerie’s personal quota isn’t shown in this view of Valerie and her subordinates, even though her Forecasted deals are. To see Valerie’s quota, we would have to view the Forecasts tab as the person above Valerie in the Forecast Hierarchy.
User friendly Quotas UI
Out of the box, an administrator must use a data loading utility to input quotas into Salesforce. This is a rather poor state of affairs, even though there is an App by Force.com Labs called ‘Edit Quotas‘ on the AppExchange. The App gets the job done, but it is not what I would call inspired UI design.
Also, if you do have multiple Forecast types, you’ll need the Forecast Type ID. This also requires data loader API Version 30.0. Look at the chart below to see what version of the data loader API is required for various quota import types.
Here is non-specific idea to vote for at success.salesforce.com.
One specific UI solution would be to create a custom tab with a specific Related List format, including all the awesome Related List functionality like inline editing, multiple list views, and Create, Read, Edit, and Delete all in one place.
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