In a typical business environment, the sales operation is dealt with by spreading the total work load into sections and zones. Each section has in turn sales directors, managers and executives in charge of each zone. And based on various factors, sales targets and quotas are allotted to each zonal department. Forecasting provides a means for analyzing how each zone is performing with the allotted quota and thus gives an insight on what can be achieved in revenue.
Being able to track the actual sales numbers against assigned quotas is essential to managing the flow of activities along the sales pipeline. This gives a perspective on what can be expected in revenue from sales for a given time of year, sales person, opportunities and such parameters. This sort of fore-seeing or fore-knowledge of what can be achieved constitutes forecasting.
Forecasting is a term that covers a broad spectrum. In certain instances it can include numerical predictive models, historical analysis, trends and so forth. So, it is possible for someone to assume upon noticing the word forecasting that it covers all the former mentioned functionality. Though such functions may enhance sales operations, forecasting in a sales sense need not be of a numerically involved level.
The forecasting module in Zoho CRM integrates the data in the opportunities module to generate details of sales targets, achieved target, closed amount, amount in pipeline etc. This is generated based on input of a particular Year and Quarter pertaining to a fiscal year. Care must be taken in setting the fiscal year since the starting month varies across different domains.
This snapshot gives a foresight on what kind of commitment in amount and assumption of best case amount or achievement, increases revenue. Additionally, the sales personnel who met their targets are easily identified. Though a modest numerical index, the percentage quota helps identify the extent of revenue generating sale per month or throughout the quarter (forecast history).
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