Sales forecasting is one key aspect of the success of small businesses, and having the right software can make all the difference. In this article, you’ll discover a comprehensive list of the 15 best sales forecasting software, offering a wide range of features and pricing plans to suit various needs and budgets.
What is Sales Forecasting?
Sales forecasting is a critical element of strategic planning for businesses. It helps companies predict the sales they will likely achieve in a specified future period, which is fundamental to their operational planning and decision-making. This process requires careful analysis of multiple data sets and consideration of numerous external factors.
Here’s an expanded understanding of sales forecasting:
Estimating Future Sales Volumes and Revenue: The primary goal of sales forecasting is to estimate the sales volumes and associated revenues a business can anticipate. This prediction can be based on weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual timelines, depending on the business needs and market volatility.
Utilizing Market Trends and Historical Data: Sales forecasts are not random guesses; they are grounded in empirical data and observable market trends. Businesses usually examine their historical sales data to understand their growth rates and seasonality. They also review market trends to understand consumer buying patterns, new product entrants, competitive strategies, and economic factors influencing future sales.
Analysis of Multiple Factors: Several factors can influence future sales, such as customer behavior, competitive landscape, industry developments, regulatory changes, economic conditions, and internal business changes (pricing strategy, marketing efforts, product changes, etc.). Successful sales forecasting involves analyzing all these factors to make a comprehensive prediction.
Guiding Strategic Decisions: By providing an estimate of future sales, sales forecasting helps businesses make strategic decisions. These could involve entering a new market, launching a new product, setting up new production facilities, hiring more staff, or investing in research and development.
Resource Allocation: Understanding potential sales volume helps efficiently allocate resources. For instance, if a company predicts a surge in sales, it might decide to increase its production, hire more sales staff, or ramp up its marketing efforts. On the other hand, if a decline is expected, they might consider cutting costs to maintain profitability.
Setting Sales Targets: Sales forecasts also aid in setting realistic sales targets. By understanding what is achievable based on past data and future predictions, companies can set sales targets that are challenging yet attainable, thereby motivating the sales team and driving business growth.
Overall, sales forecasting is an essential practice for businesses. It provides a roadmap for future operations, drives strategic decision-making, ensures effective resource utilization, and sets a performance standard for the sales team. Accurate sales forecasting can significantly improve a business’s efficiency and profitability.
The Importance of Sales Forecasting for Small Businesses
Sales forecasting is crucial for small businesses. It aids growth planning, budgeting, and risk management. By setting achievable targets, allocating resources effectively, and anticipating market fluctuations, businesses can make informed decisions to drive success. For example, when high demand is anticipated, sales managers may dedicate more resources to cold calling and reaching out to new potential leads.
What is Sales Forecasting Software?
Sales forecasting software predicts future sales based on market trends, historical data, and other relevant factors. It assists businesses in estimating demand, optimizing inventory, and making informed decisions. It provides accurate projections to guide sales strategies and maximize revenue potential.
Why Sales Managers Should Use Sales Forecasting Software
Sales managers can greatly benefit from using sales forecasting software. With data accuracy, predictive analytics, and automation, they can generate more accurate sales forecasts, identify sales trends, and monitor team performance effectively.
Sales forecasting software ensures precise data collection and analysis, minimizing errors and providing reliable insights that inform accurate decision-making for sales managers.
Leveraging advanced algorithms, sales forecasting software predicts future sales trends and customer behavior, empowering sales managers to make informed strategic decisions.
Sales forecasting software automates repetitive tasks, streamlining the forecasting process and saving valuable time for sales managers.
More Accurate Sales Forecast
With improved data accuracy and predictive capabilities, sales forecasting software enables sales managers to generate precise sales forecasts, leading to better resource allocation and goal setting.
Identifying Sales Trends
Sales forecasting software helps sales managers identify emerging sales trends, allowing them to adjust strategies and stay ahead of the competition proactively.
Monitoring Sales Team Performance
By tracking key sales metrics and analyzing performance data, sales forecasting software enables sales managers to evaluate individual and team performance, identify improvement areas, and optimize sales strategies.
Which software is best for forecasting?
Zendesk Sell is the best sales forecasting tool for accurately predicting sales. Its intuitive interface and data-driven approach streamlines the sales process, empowering users to forecast sales based on sales activities and achieve more accurate projections.
15 of the Best Sales Forecasting Software Options
Zendesk SellSales CRM, Maximized Productivity, Pipeline Visibility, Real-time Reporting
SalesforceAI-Powered Sales Tool, Data + CRM, Sells Faster and Smarter
PipedriveVisual Sales Pipeline, Team Collaboration, Revenue Forecasting
ClariRevenue Maximization, Win Deals, Automate Data, Accurate Forecasting
AvisoAI Platform, Predicts and Drives Revenue, Optimizes Performance
AnaplanSales Performance Management, Agile Sales Strategies, Predictive Insights
InsightSquaredPowerful Sales Forecasting, Self-service Access to 350+ Reports
OnPlanFlexible FP&A, Financial Planning, Budgeting, Scenario Analysis
ForecastXPowerful Forecasting in Excel, Automatic Interpretation of Data
AvercastDemand Planning, Accurate Forecasts, Increases Efficiency
SPOTIOSales Tracking, Performance Reporting, GPS Location Tracking
Aviso InsightsAI-powered Forecasting, Tracking, Analysis, Automation
Workday Adaptive PlanningForecasting and Sales Analytics, Improved Performance, Scalable Sales Operations
Hubspot Forecasting SoftwareComprehensive Pipeline Overview, Customizable Forecasting Categories, Team Collaboration
Gong.ioAI-powered Accuracy, Total Pipeline Visibility, Risk Identification, Accelerated Pipeline Reviews
Let’s look at 15 of the best sales forecasting software options. These tools offer advanced features and reliable predictions to help businesses optimize their sales strategies and achieve greater revenue growth.
1. Zendesk Sell
Zendesk Sell is a modern sales CRM that maximizes productivity, provides pipeline visibility and boosts revenue. It offers a free trial, data-driven teams, personalized customer experiences, and real-time reporting.
Supercharge growth with Sales GPT by Salesforce. AI + Data + CRM empowers sales teams to sell faster, smarter, and more efficiently. Experience the #1 CRM for sales.
Pipedrive features include a visual sales pipeline, team collaboration, and revenue forecasting. Trusted by 100,000+ companies in 179 countries.
Maximize revenue with Clari’s platform. Win deals, protect customers, and achieve precision. Automate data, increase productivity, forecast accurately, and identify revenue risks.
Aviso offers an integrated AI platform for sales teams, helping predict and drive revenue, optimize performance, and prioritize strategies.
With a focus on sales performance management, Anaplan provides agile sales strategies, comprehensive views, and predictive insights, eliminating silos and enhancing predictability for businesses
InsightSquared offers powerful sales forecasting and analytics with no code and self-service access to 350+ reports for predictable revenue growth.
OnPlan offers flexible FP&A powered by Google Sheets and BigQuery, enabling easy financial planning, budgeting, scenario analysis, and data integration.
ForecastX offers powerful forecasting in Excel, providing one-click forecasting. It automatically interprets data, selects the best forecasting method, and enables collaboration for better forecasts.
Boost your supply chain with Avercast‘s demand planning software. Achieve accurate forecasts, trusted by top businesses worldwide. Increase efficiency and reduce inventory.
SPOTIO offers sales tracking software with features like performance reporting, email notifications, leaderboards, and GPS location tracking for field sales teams.
12. Aviso Insights
Aviso Insights provides AI-powered forecasting solutions for companies, enabling accurate tracking, analysis, and automation of deal progress and forecasts.
13. Workday Adaptive Planning
Workday Adaptive Planning is a forecasting and sales analytics software that empowers organizations to make informed decisions, improve performance, and scale their sales operations.
14. Hubspot Forecasting Software
HubSpot’s forecasting software provides a comprehensive overview of your pipeline, customizable forecasting categories, and team collaboration for accurate business forecasts.
Gong.io provides top-notch sales forecasting software with AI-powered accuracy, total pipeline visibility, risk identification, confidence in forecasting, accelerated pipeline reviews, and flexible deal boards.
How to Choose the Right Sales Forecasting Software Tools
When selecting sales forecasting software, small businesses should consider several key factors. These include cost, scalability, ease of use, integrations, and customer support. It’s important to assess the business’s specific needs and align them with the features and capabilities offered by the software options available. Consider your business’s other needs and look for tools that include or integrate with additional tools, like the best CRM for small business users or your favorite sales automation software.
FAQs: Sales Forecasting Software
Can You Use Sales Forecasting Software Without a Sales Background?
Sales forecasting software can be used effectively even without a sales background. These tools are designed to provide user-friendly interfaces and intuitive features, making them accessible to users with varying levels of expertise.
Is It Worth Investing in Sales Forecasting Software for My Small Business?
Investing in sales forecasting software can be highly beneficial for small businesses. It enables accurate sales predictions, optimized inventory management, and informed decision-making, ultimately leading to improved sales performance and increased revenue potential.
How Can a Sales Forecasting Solution Improve the Business Decision-Making Process?
A sales forecasting solution enhances the decision-making process by providing valuable insights into future sales trends and customer demand. With reliable data and projections, businesses can make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, marketing strategies, and sales planning.
How Can a Sales Forecasting Tool Improve the Accuracy of Sales Forecasts?
Sales forecasting tools utilize advanced algorithms and data analysis techniques to improve the accuracy of sales forecasts. By incorporating historical data, market trends, and other relevant factors, these tools provide more reliable predictions and minimize forecasting errors.
Can Sales Forecasting Tools Ensure 100% Accurate Forecasts?
While sales forecasting tools significantly enhance forecast accuracy, it’s important to note that no tool can guarantee 100% accuracy. Forecasting involves various uncertainties, such as market fluctuations, global supply chain management, and unforeseen events. However, these tools provide a solid foundation for making data-driven decisions and optimizing sales strategies.
This article, “15 Sales Forecasting Software Options for Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends