This article covers the following topics:

Overview

You can use Forecasts to plan and review revenue gained and projected for Users, Units, Products and Product Categories for whichever date period you select. Drill down into the underlying data in different views that allow you to interact directly with the information displayed. You can create Quotas and enter committed Forecast values and then have those populate the User’s Target Settings in the Opportunity pipeline view.

How to Create a Forecast/Quota Report

Click on the Analytics menu and select “Forecasts

Next, click on the “Create New” button to open up the Forecast Setup

Forecast Data

Name the Forecast (this can be changed at any time) and add a Description to clarify the purpose of the Forecast to help other users who may access it

Choose the Period to use for your Forecast from “Monthly”, “Quarterly” or “Yearly” and then add the Start date and End date for your report.

If you use multiple pipelines, select the relevant pipeline(s) to use.

Then select the Forecast Type. You can forecast by Users, Sales units, Products or Product Categories. The Forecast type will help to define what other field types drop-down lists are available.

Once you’ve confirmed the Type, select the specific "Users", "Sales Units", “Products” or “Product Categories” that you want to include in the Forecast

Now choose the pipeline that contains the Opportunities to be included ….

… and the field to use for your Forecast. Opportunity Value is the default but you can select a different field to use - this could be a Value field but could also be a Count (or sum) - for example, Opportunity Count. Choose from any other system or user-defined dropdown, number or currency Opportunity fields to use for your forecast.

Additional System Forecast Field Selection Possibilities

  • Days in Sales Step — will base your projections on what would happen if the number of days an opportunity stays in a sales step changes.

  • Due in Sales Step — will base the projection on how close opportunities are to reaching the date in which they should typically be moved from one step to the next or if those opportunities are past the date they were expected to be moved to the next step.

  • The number of related completed activities — how many activities are you projecting should be completed compared with how many were completed.

  • Number of related deferred activities

  • Number of related in progress activities

  • Number of related not started activities

  • Number of related overdue activities

  • Number of related waiting activities

  • Lost Reason

  • Opportunity base value

  • Potential Size of Opportunity

  • Product Count

  • Product difference (count)

  • Product value

  • Custom dropdown fields that you have created

Finally, decide if you want to apply a filter to the Opportunities that will be included in the Forecast. You may, for example, want to limit this Forecast to just Opportunities linked to Prospects rather than existing Customers ⤵

NOTE: you cannot change the filter criteria once you’ve created the Forecast and if users select the Forecast to populate their Target Goal in the pipeline view, the Forecast Target overrides their Profile filters.

Quota

Now you can choose if you also want to include Quota values in your report. Click on the Quota tab

If you want to start with a total Quota value and then split it between your users/sales units etc, click on “Split Total Quota” and enter the Expected Sales Quota for the users (or sales units, products etc), pipeline(s) and period that you choose in your forecast settings.

Now you need to decide how to split the Expected Sales Quota between your users (or sales users). You can split “Evenly” - this will divide the Expected Sales Quota evenly between all selected users (or sales units) - or split “By Historical Performance” which will divide the quota based on the past sales performance of each user (or unit, product or category).

NOTE: Alternatively you can manually enter a Planned Quota value for each user or unit.

Next, you can select individual users, units etc to refine the quota. You can update the quota for the selected items by Increasing or Decreasing by a % amount

Click on Quota Planning to spread the Quota values over your date period - choose from “Split Evenly” or “Split by Performance” ⤵

Performance Comparison lets you review the previous performance of the user, unit etc based on “Previous Period”, “Avg Performance” or the “Weighted Avg. Performance”. The value associated with your selection then displays in the performance column next to Planned Quota for each user, unit etc.

Previous Period - total value of Won opportunities for the user or unit for the previous period (for example, last year if your selected period covers this year)

Avg Performance - this is the average value of Won opportunities for the user or unit for previous periods of the same length (for example, previous years)

Weighted Avg. Performance - this is the weighted average value of Won opportunities for the user or unit for previous periods of the same length (for example, previous years)

NOTE: alternatively you can manually enter a Planned Quota value for each user or unit

The green and red arrows indicate an increase or decrease in the Planned Quota for each user or unit.

The scale icon beside the Planned Quota indicates that the current selection is “Split Evenly” as opposed to the line icon which indicates “Split by Performance” is being used

Click on the scale or line icon to Customize Quota Planning for the user or unit

You can now update, or confirm, the Planned Quota for each period that you selected originally - for example, each quarter of this year - for the selected user, unit etc.

As you make changes, the Total Planned Quota value will keep updating so you can compare it to the Planned Quota and make sure the values are the same

Once you’ve finished updating the quota for that user or sales unit, click on Save and then move onto the next, as necessary

The “person with cog” icon will display for any user/unit where you have chosen “Custom” as your quota option. You can delete any user/unit/product from your quota using the bin icon

Once you’ve finished, click on “Create” to create your Forecast ⤵

Forecast Fields

Forecast Value - this field is editable, select a period from the dropdown and then click into the Forecast Value field to enter the committed values for a period. The values you enter will roll up throughout the Forecast.

Quota - this is populated based on the Quota configuration you enter when creating the Forecast. Fields in your Forecast such as Open Value vs Quota will only be created if you enter Quota values.

Prediction - Pipeliner will make a prediction for Won value based on Won values from previous periods. Pipeliner takes the Won value from all previous periods for the particular record and use the ARIMA method to predict future outcomes based on the historical time series https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/autoregressive-integrated-moving-average-arima.asp

The other fields in the Forecast compare data from Opportunities (that meet your filter criteria) and aggregate and compare those values to your Forecast and Quota. Each of these fields is clickable and can be viewed in the Drill down.

Forecasting using Products and Product Categories

When creating a Forecast based on Products or Product Categories, you’ll be able to select different fields as your Forecast Field. You’ll usually select either “Amount” (value of that Product/Product Category as included in Opportunities) or “Quantity” (total quantity of that Product/Product Category as included in Opportunities).

You can also add Quota values as usual.

Once you’ve created your Forecast, update Forecast values directly by individual date period

Updating your Forecast

Settings

Click on the “Settings” button to open up the Forecast Settings.

On the Forecast tab, you can add additionalcolumns to include in your Forecast View.

The “Add” button lets you select additional fields ⤵

If you choose a Value Comparison, your added field will display as a percentage comparison

NOTE: To remove an existing column, you can hover over it and then click the X

You have the option to choose to group Values by selecting from a list of dropdown type fields and, finally, you can “hide rows with empty values”. Click on Save to apply your changes.

Using the real time Drill down

The Drill down tab lets you customise the options for the way data displays in the drill down panel that appears when you click into one of the numerical fields in your Forecast that is directly derived from data in Pipeliner - for example, the Won Value column.

The List tab within Drop down allows you to choose which columns should appear when using the List View to drill down into the underlying Opportunity data

NOTE: the List View is fully actionable - for example, you can update the displayed/selected Opportunities directly using “Owner” or “Bulk Update”, add a new Opportunity by clicking on the “Create New” button and even run Automatizer processes or enrol selected records into Email Sequences.

You can set your default Sort By value in the List tab or click on a column header directly in the List View. Use the inline editing capability to directly update Opportunities ⤵

The Chart tab within Drill down lets you select what sort of sum value to apply to the chart that is displayed when selecting the Chart View to display the underlying data ⤵

Choose from “Sum” which displays the data for your chosen period

or “Running Sum” which aggregates data over time (see this Wiki for more details:Running total - Wikipedia)

The Pipeline tab within Drill down lets you choose view options for the underlying Opportunity data when displayed in the Pipeline View

You could, for example, switch on Fitness to see the possible impact on the deals in your Forecast ⤵

Add additional Filter criteria using the Filter tab

NOTE: any additional filter criteria that you choose are subordinate to the main filter option if you selected one when creating your Forecast.

Clicking on the main “Edit” button allows you to make some basic changes to the Forecast Data you first entered - for example, changing your selected units, users or products - and to update your Quota values.

Adding Forecast Values

Once you’ve decided on the columns you want to include in the report, added any grouping and set the right order, you can enter the Forecast for each user (or unit) for each period in your report. First click into the Period field and choose the period you want to edit ⤵

Click into the Forecast field and type the forecast value straight into the field. Click the tick icon to save the value and move to the next field

Once you’ve completed the forecast values, the calculated fields - for example, Won vs Forecast - will be updated

If you have enabled grouping for Won values, click on the chevrons icon to view each column expanded by your selected field - e.g. Ranking

Select each period to review the values using your selected drill down options ⤵

Sharing Your Forecast

Once you create a Forecast, no one else can see it unless you share it with them. Click on"Settings". Select the drop-down next to private and select the "Custom" to share it with specific Pipeliner users on your team, or "Public" to share the Report with all Pipeliner users ⤵

Using Quotas in Target Settings in the Pipeline

Once Forecasts are created and Quotas set for individuals or Sales Units, the Quota amounts can be used directly in the Target Settings in the Opportunity Pipeline view.

Target Definition and Target Goal

Target definition shows when at least one Forecast has been created. The available options then are:

Custom - select a custom value by manually typing in your Target Goal amount for this specific Profile of Opportunities

Specific forecast - select from available Forecasts and automatically populate the Target Goal based on the Quota values from the Forecast you select

If the selected Forecast includes you as a User, the Target Goal will be automatically populated with your Quota amount from that Forecast

If you are not a User in the Forecast, the Target Goal will be automatically populated with the Total Quota value from the Forecast

NOTE: It’s important to remember that if you have added an Opportunity Filter to the Forecast when you created it and you select that Forecast in your Target Settings, then all Opportunities will be filtered based on your Forecast Filter and, if your selected Profile has additional filter criteria, these will be used only as a subfilter.

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