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Sales Forecasting Software: How It Predicts Earnings From Your Next Sale

If we told you that there was a way to predict future sales that your business is likely to make, how would you react? There’s a good chance you would think that it was some kind of joke, or an elaborate hoax, perhaps. 

Well, the truth is that there are actually ways for business owners to forecast how well – or not so well– their products or services will sell, as well as how much profit they are likely to make in a specific timeframe.

The best-kept secret in the industry? Sales forecasting software. If utilized correctly, this can be a game changer for your business’ sales.

If you are curious to find out more, look no further than our essential guide:

Sales Forecasting Software: What Is It?

To put it simply, sales forecasting can be one of the most crucial aspects of your company’s success. 

It’s a sophisticated process that allows you to uncover invaluable information on how your products or services are performing, as well as how much your company will likely earn from them. And it doesn’t just offer information about how much you will earn by selling a specific product – it can also suggest best practices for when and how to sell that product. 

You might be wondering, if sales forecasting is so important, then why is it estimated that by 2025, up to 90% of B2B companies will still be relying on intuitive methods instead of analytics to predict their sales?

Intuitive methods are less accurate, and conducting the sales forecasting process using a less accurate or even obsolete method can have a massively harmful impact. Faulty sales forecasting can induce a negative domino-like effect that trickles down through your entire corporation.

It is also worth mentioning that sales forecasting is not the same as setting sales targets. With sales targets, you are looking at what your company hopes or wants to achieve in terms of sales at a specific point in time, but without utilizing the same type of analytical forecasting models that the best sales forecasting software can conjure up.

The Benefits of Sales Forecasting

Let’s have a closer look at the benefits that your organization can achieve through sales forecasting.

1.    Optimizing Your Operations

If you run an ecommerce website, being able to predict the sales of specific items can be immensely valuable. It can, for instance, help you optimize your logistics, inventory, and supply chain operations, making sure that you always stock a good amount of your best-selling products.

But there’s more that sales forecasting can help you with. Departments like HR, accounting, and marketing all rely on accurate sales forecasting. Therefore, it’s vital that your company takes a modern, future-ready approach to forecasting.

2.    Helping with Sales Pipeline Management

Managing your sales pipeline is another aspect of your business that is heavily dependent on top-notch sales forecasting. This is because it will enable you to provide your sales reps and sales manager with up-to-date, precise, and trusted information on your products or services, which in turn allows them to close deals faster and more effectively.

3.    Keeping Your Customers Happy

You can and should consider sales forecasting from the perspective of your customers, too. 

For example, you are forecasting for a specific product to sell exceptionally well during a particular time of the year, you will need to tweak your stock accordingly to ensure that there are enough items to satisfy your growing customers’ demand.

As a result, if your customers are able to purchase your business’ product without any complications or delays, then they are much more likely to come back to you next time they need to make the same purchase. They might even buy something else entirely. The ability to create a high level of customer retention is a valuable asset that your business should be taking full advantage of.

How Does Sales Forecasting Software Work?

If you have decided to take a more analytical stance towards sales forecasting, then a sales forecasting software platform can help. By using one of these, you will be able to condense and centralize some of the main sales forecasting tasks, which include:

  • Historical data: Sales forecasting software collects past sales data on specific products to provide an accurate prediction of how much that product is likely to sell in the future.
  • Sales funnel: The way your sales funnel looks at this moment in time can be considered a good predictor of future sales. The majority of sales forecasting software has in-built sales funnel capabilities that let you enter all the relevant data about your sales funnel and provide you with a prediction based on that.
  • Pipeline forecasting: This method helps you create sales predictions based on your current sales pipeline. It achieves this by combining a wide range of elements, including average sales cycle length, individual sales rep performance, deal health, historical data, marketing funnel, and more.

What’s great about working with a sales forecasting software tool is that you can automate, integrate, and centralize all the above tasks – and many more – instead of relying on manual work that is prone to inaccuracies, delays, and human error. Some sales forecasting software platforms can be considered akin to resilient distributed datasets, which means that they can easily deal with and interpret vast amounts of unstructured data.

Unlock the Potential of Sales Forecasting for Your Business

In a world where data remains king, using that data to help you predict how your products will sell and when you should sell them is a no-brainer. This is what sales forecasting allows you to achieve – enabling, in turn, to raise your customer satisfaction, increase your sales, and optimize your overall operations.

Taking an intuitive approach to sales forecasting is not only obsolete, but can cause serious damage to your business, leaving you more exposed to competitors and market fluctuations. On the other hand, a solid, analytics-driven line is what your business needs to thrive in the digital era – and beyond. 

6 (Extremely Effective) Ways You Can Increase Sales

Ask any business owner about their top concerns and you’re bound to hear it– more sales. Sales give a company the financial means to continue growing. According to HubSpot, “75% of companies say closing more deals is their top sales priority.” 

CRM

So how can you increase sales and support your team in the process? 

Invest in a CRM software system.

Multiple studies have proven the benefits of having a CRM system in place at your company. According to Capterra, “47% [of CRM users] said their CRM had significantly improved their customer retention rates and customer satisfaction rates.” 

But those kinds of results don’t happen by accident. It takes leveraging the information given to you by your CRM software, and putting that information to work, in order to increase sales.

What is CRM Software?

A Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) is a business management tool that can help you keep track of all of your company relationships. This could be relationships with both your existing customers and your prospective customers.

CRM Software  Built for Increased Sales

When used to its fullest extent, a CRM system can help you maintain or improve customer loyalty and simplify sales procedures. 

Here are 6 ways to increase your company’s sales with CRM software:

Capture Quality Leads

One of the best ways to increase sales for your business is to capture quality leads. Capturing leads is a no-brainer for any business, but the quality of those leads can play a major factor in whether the sale ultimately goes through. Thus, if you always use great-quality images, you will notice an improvement in your lead generation and marketing.

By implementing a CRM software system, you can use tools such as form integration on your website to capture a prospect’s information. Once that information is in your CRM system, your sales team can access customer data with ease.

Arming your sales team with this information before they follow-up with the prospect gives them the best chance to make the sale.

Target and Sell to Specific Customers

Once you’ve used your CRM system to collect information from potential customers, it’s time to put that data to good use! With your CRM software, you can sort your customers by parameters like demographics, stage of sale, or location, and then target your sales efforts using that information. 

By having the ability to sort and qualify your leads, you can enhance your marketing and sales strategies, thus creating a likelihood that your business will increase sales.

Streamline Your Sales Process

crm software using an erp

When you reduce the number of steps in your sales process, you increase the efficiency and accountability of your sales team. A CRM system can help you do just that. When you have CRM software in place, you can easily keep track of your sales team’s progress, as well as monitor all of your customers through every step of the sales process. 

Monitoring this information closely helps you identify which practices work (and don’t work) for your sales team– and make the necessary changes to improve sales.

Reduce Admin Tasks and Boost Productivity

How much of the workday do members of your sales team spend manually inputting sales data into spreadsheets? Wouldn’t their time and efforts be better spent working towards making sales? With a CRM system, that’s what they can do. 

All of your customer and sales data entry can be automated in your CRM. This not only decreases the possibility of mistakes that comes with manual data entry, but also gives your sales team more time to focus on creating opportunities to increase sales.

Keep Customers Coming Back

According to Small Business Trends, “It costs 5% more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a current one.” 

It literally pays to invest in customer retention. 

By having a centralized storage hub for all of your existing customer data, you can figure out the best ways to market and sell to those customers. 

For example, if you know a customer purchases the same product every three months, reach out to them early and try to upsell them on an additional service. By showing your customers that you are invested in their past, present, and future experiences with your company, they will feel more inclined to stay (and continue buying) from you.

Get Accurate Sales Reporting

In order to make improvements to your company’s sales tactics, you first need to know what your current company sales landscape looks like. By having a CRM software system in place, you can easily generate customer reports using any parameters that you define. These reports can help you better assess what is (and is not) working for your company and what changes to make in order to improve sales.

Conclusion

crm software on erp system

Implementing a Customer Relationship Management system at your company is a great way to streamline several of your business practices. 

Storing all of your customer (and potential customer) data in one location gives your entire organization access to this vital information. If used to its fullest potential, the data provided from your CRM software can enhance customer relationships, increase company productivity, and ultimately, improve sales for your business.