May 12, 2021

Written by

Collective[i] Team

  • Posted in
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Historical Forecasting

Sales forecasting calculator

Forecasting data influences how sales teams react to changes in the market, informing the choices made by the entire business. But too much slapdash information from a variety of sources can bury sales teams, preventing them from creating result-oriented practices and tanking entire businesses.

A sales forecasting calculator helps sales teams plot their course without burdening team members with too many different “tools” they have to learn and adapt to, which can detract from their overall drive to push growth. A calculator collects data from a number of sources over a period of time to demonstrate helpful projections, amalgamating varying information into one source.

So how do you calculate forecasted sales growth rate? Let’s answer that question by establishing what information you have available and how you use it.

Determine what types of historical sales data are available to you. This starts with basic information about dates and amounts of sales. Additionally, is there information in your current methodology about consumer behavior that could be added to a sales calculator to show nuanced and dynamic projections? Use what you have already.

Identify missing information. Brainstorm the information unavailable to you or that you don’t have from current forecasts, and that’s your starting point for data collection: What are the missing pieces of data that could be useful?

Encourage the ongoing collection of useful data. If you centralize and pinpoint useful consumer data, your sales team will be off to the races. A calculator can also be the incentive for your sales team to value data collection moving forward. Better yet, the right modern sales forecasting tool can take care of data collection for you—enabling your sellers to focus on the human elements of their work.

How do you calculate a sales forecast?

The data you collect from current, traditional sales forecast methodologies are like pieces in a puzzle; They each provide a unique perspective on consumer trends. Accumulated together in a calculator tool, you see the full picture. So what data can you mine from historical sales forecasting techniques to inform a sales forecast calculator?

Opportunity stage forecasting: Sellers often look to their sales pipeline as a way to gauge the probability of success, be it from cold-call to demo. How about measuring how long each stage of the pipeline generally takes? Adding that information can help a sales calculator prepare more confident projections.

Lead-driven forecasting: Valuate leads and measure conversion rates over a given period of time. Your team knows what type of lead is most likely to work—and this is primary source data for a forecasting calculator.

Length of sales cycle forecasting: Time is a considerable factor for a forecasting calculator, and using data of length of typical sales cycles functions well with your other metrics, allowing you to create a timeline for sales growth, real-time and projected.

Historical forecast: This way of measuring sales data to predict future results is effective in general, but it doesn’t respond well to unexpected changes in the market. However, with a forecasting calculator, historical forecast data is still relevant when combined with, say, test-market analysis—so your sales team has a better idea of how the market will respond.

Keep in mind that all of these approaches to forecasting can be combined in the right sales forecasting tool. Collective[i]’s predictive forecasting technology acts as an intelligent sales forecasting calculator, updating recommendations daily with real-time data.

How is forecasted growth calculated?

Accumulated data provides relevant insight on projected growth—the more of the right data, the more accurate the prediction. And ways to measure growth will differ based on the criteria considered. A sales forecasting calculator should include as many variables as possible without adding additional baggage to the wealth of information your sales teams are already considering. A sales calculator should simplify the process for sellers, but it can’t simplify the equation by discounting significant growth forecasting factors:

  • Lead times
  • Pipeline stages
  • Seller confidence
  • Market risks
  • Activity levels

Without the right tool(s) to measure and compare, these metrics can quickly overwhelm without offering strategic options for improvement. A well-designed calculator includes these factors as it provides accurate estimates of growth that can inform your team.

How do you use the forecast formula?

Historically, sales teams forecast sales by putting price, sales, and timeframe into a formula to predict successes or failures. This is the most basic approach. But selling is not a basic process; there’s a practically endless amount of factors that could be looked at to provide truly actionable sales insights. Scientists say that humans can’t manage more than two factors at a time in their thought processes—and that’s why the modern approach to forecasting relies on neural networks.

Collective[i] provides a cutting-edge sales forecasting calculator that’s enabled by AI to learn not just from one sales team’s data, but a growing network of real-time information. We leverage machine learning to offer sellers a daily sales forecast that’s always re-calculating their next best move based on the most recent data. Where other solutions simply automate tasks or rely on historical data, Collective[i] provides tools, insights, and buyer connections to fully equip your team to succeed. The result? A way to streamline all traditional sales forecasting methods leaned on in the past—with the end goal of revenue growth.

Click here to learn more about Collective[i] and how we can help your sales team unlock their full potential.

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