Configure forecasts in your organization

Requirements

License Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise or Dynamics 365 Sales Premium
More information: Dynamics 365 Sales pricing
Security roles System Administrator or Forecast Manager
See Predefined security roles for Sales

A forecast helps your organization predict how much revenue your sales team will generate in a given timeframe. When done correctly, forecasting can play a significant role in your company's success. By using a forecast:

  • Sellers can track performance against their targets and identify pipeline risks that might jeopardize their ability to hit their targets.
  • Managers can track individual sales performance against quotas to proactively provide coaching.
  • Directors can use forecast trends to anticipate departmental sales and reallocate resources if necessary.
  • Organization leaders can use the projected estimates to change the product strategy or convey updated projections to investors.

Important

Forecasting is not available on Government Community Cloud (GCC).

Enable forecasting

You can configure forecasts in your organization that are based on revenue or quantity. You can define the type of forecast, its hierarchy, permissions for accessing it, and the details you want to appear on the forecast grid. After a forecast is activated, your sales team can view the revenue or quantity, and pipeline projections.
By default, forecasting is available in your organization and the following page is displayed when you select Forecast configuration:

Forecasting configuration page.

To go to forecast configuration page

  1. Sign in to the Sales Hub app.
  2. In the site map, select the Change area icon Icon to change the work area, and then select App Settings.
  3. Under Performance management, select Forecast configuration.
    The forecast configuration page opens.

Also, you can observe the following changes in the Sales Hub app:

  • Forecasts appears under Performance in the Sales site map.

    Forecasts option in sales site map

  • Forecast category appears on the Opportunity form. The categories define the confidence level of closing an opportunity. If necessary, you can add custom values specifically defined for your organization. To learn more, see Capture forecast category for opportunity.

    Forecast category option in opportunity form

    Note

    Forecast category options consists of Won and Lost opportunity statuses. If an opportunity is set as Won or Lost, the forecast category automatically changes status through the Opportunity Forecast Category Mapping Process out-of-the-box workflow.
    To view the Opportunity Forecast Category Mapping Process workflow, go to Settings > Process Center > Processes and select All Processes view. Search and open the Opportunity Forecast Category Mapping Process workflow. You can customize or deactivate the workflow according to your organization's requirements.
    If you're using a custom option set instead of forecast category, you must create a workflow to automatically sync the opportunity status with your option set to ensure that the forecast is projecting accurate values.
    To learn more, see Use Workflow processes to automate processes that don't require user interaction.

    Currently, the Forecast category field in the Opportunity form can't be hidden through the Visible by default option in the form customization. If you don't want to use the Forecast category field in opportunity form, remove the field through form customization. To learn more, see Unable to hide forecast category field in Opportunity forms.

Configure a forecast

To configure a forecast in your organization, follow these steps:

  1. Select a template
  2. Define general properties and scheduling
  3. Provide viewing permissions
  4. Choose layout and columns
  5. Apply additional filter
  6. Configure and manage drill-down entities
  7. Configure advanced settings
  8. Activate and upload simple columns data

Important

This feature is intended to help sales managers or supervisors enhance their team’s performance. This feature is not intended for use in making, and should not be used to make, decisions that affect the employment of an employee or group of employees, including compensation, rewards, seniority, or other rights or entitlements. Customers are solely responsible for using Dynamics 365, this feature, and any associated feature or service in compliance with all applicable laws, including laws relating to accessing individual employee analytics and monitoring, recording, and storing communications with end users. This also includes adequately notifying end users that their communications with sales persons may be monitored, recorded, or stored and, as required by applicable laws, obtaining consent from end users before using the feature with them. Customers are also encouraged to have a mechanism in place to inform their sales persons that their communications with end users may be monitored, recorded, or stored.

See also

Blog: Tips for setting up sales forecasting in Dynamics 365 Sales
Project accurate revenue with sales forecasting
View forecasts
About premium forecasting