The sales forecast is a crucial exercise, estimate of future sales – an expressed interest either in physical or monetary terms of one or several products for a given period of time, the company’s future lifeblood.
You must include all your known key factors; how many products you are going to produce, how many staff you require, how much investment you require for future expanses. The sales forecast bring all of these targets and as an efficient business allows you to plan, coordinate, evaluate, and control all your activities and resources.
You do not need elaborative statistical techniques or complex mathematical formulas. It is a matter of experience, creativity, common sense and reasonable guesswork, and a desire to succeed.
Limiting aspects of the business can be investment availability, production capacity, supply capacity, size of business, marketing effort, etc. There may be an unsatisfied demand for your products, but if your investment and capacity allows you to offer a certain volume of products, then only that quantity should be captured with your sales forecast. If you decide to increase your investment in advertising next month, you should assume that your sales will increase as well. Be confident but ensure you know how they are linked.
You must take into account of seasonality products that are demanded throughout the year (they have a continuous demand), whilst others only demanded at certain times of the year. Also incorporate others that have an irregular demand, when their demand tends to increase or decrease at certain times for no-known reason other than that they do.
Take into account your sales aspirations – take into account how much you would like to sell, or what you would like your sales targets to be. But always take into account other factors, especially factors that are limiting the business.
Use a system that facilitates the whole process. @Spire you will be able to produce your sales pipeline and funnel forecasts from data held in your prospects and sales funnel assumptions, including flexing your forecasts into best case worst case and expected case.
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