Forecasting Fundamentals: Common Use Cases for Sales Reps, Sales Managers, and Executives


Mid-market companies are keen to know all the details around their sales pipeline, which means Sales and marketing teams must act based on any movement or changes to reach their goals. These companies also need intelligent solutions at their fingertips in order to understand and track the necessary KPIs to measure the progress of their businesses. 

There are several challenges customers commonly experience in their efforts to maintain accurate sales forecasts. CRMs often do not provide sellers with enough value to justify the time required to keep opportunities up to date, resulting in organizations failing to collect the valuable data required to produce an accurate sales forecast. Sales leaders and executives also struggle to gather relevant information needed to conduct effective pipeline inspections and forecasting, wasting time bouncing between spreadsheets, CRM reports, and wading through CRM records trying to get a clear picture of the pipeline. But, having an effective CRM can change all of that.

It’s All About the Pipeline: A Day in the Life of a Sales Manager

Sales managers at companies of all sizes want fast, accurate access to the metrics that matter most to their business. Gathering and understanding these metrics daily can be an exhausting routine of scouring reports and dashboards (and thereby wasting valuable time). 

In fact, according to recent research conducted by SugarCRM, 43% of respondents cited forecasting and pipeline insights, and 41% cited intent data/lead scoring as the most important CRM-based activity that organizations are prioritizing today.  

Challenges for Sales Leaders

  • Unable to compare changes in the business over time
  • Key insights are hard to find
  • Standard sales and pipeline questions are impossible to answer

The CRM reporting gap has created many band-aids ranging from CSV downloads to spreadsheet juggling, all the way to labor-intensive BI tools. All these options are time-consuming and typically very expensive. Likely your sales operations team will have to build reports manually in the background using Excel or other BI-type reporting tools.

Enhanced Forecasting provides sales leaders insights about how they’re doing and gives them the power to make key decisions based on data at-a-glance. For example, sales leaders can:

  • See the full flow of leads and how prospects enter the pipeline
  • Find where deals are being lost and why
  • Measure and monitor deal velocity to push stagnant deals forward. 

With a fully configurable view of forecasting visualizations available directly within Sugar Sell Premier, managers can look at trends over time to make key sales and marketing decisions.

Sales managers can also look at specific sales rep performance. For example, you can monitor how long an opportunity has been in a given stage to determine who is holding on to deals too long before closing and how this compares to their peers. This helps managers have all the information they need to talk with their reps, as well as measure overall team progress. In addition, Enhanced Forecasting can provide a view into the partner pipeline and where deals intersect, making weekly forecasting calls a breeze as all parties can reference a single source of truth in real-time.

Measuring What Matters: The C-suite’s Burden 

C-suite executives are busy. They must make key business decisions with limited time, and having accurate data helps them meet this need. For them, it’s not only about saving their time, but also executives don’t want their teams to be swimming in spreadsheets all day instead of spending time on revenue-generating activities. Manual or inaccurate forecasting slows down every sales coverage decision and often results in inconsistent reports across the organization.

It’s about time this got easier. Enhanced Forecasting provides CRM at-a-glance insights based on Time-Aware analysis so executives and employees can make the hard things easy and drive revenue growth.

Simplifying Reporting for Sales Team Members

With Enhanced Forecasting, sales reps can see their own views of key forecasting metrics and get individual insights into past and present performance, with a look at how their pipeline is trending in the future.

They’ll have access to the information they need to report back to their sales managers and the ability to track the progress of deals over time to make better sales decisions and grow commissions!

Daily or weekly calls with their sales manager are a breeze when sales reps have all the information they need at their fingertips. 

Time for a Change 

Enter Enhanced Forecasting. This tool automatically captures time-based changes to sales pipeline and other key sales and marketing metrics within your CRM and empowers users to recreate any point in your CRM’s history and compare it with what’s happening today. 

Sales leaders who don’t have analytics as a core capability or haven’t deployed a complex analytics project are only able to view a single point in time — today. Enhanced Forecasting’s Time-Aware capabilities show the past and the present to help businesses predict the future. 

With Enhanced Forecasting, sales leaders and C-Suite executives can see and interact with forecasting details and get immediate answers about changing business conditions without manually poring over dozens of reports, dashboards, and spreadsheets. Additionally, Enhanced Forecasting is available as an in-platform Sell Premier functionality and, unlike many competitive solutions, does not require additional 3rd party add-ons or additional costs. Time to value is also a big factor in all of this, so Sugar’s out-of-the-box Time-Aware analytics reduces the cost and time to value for deploying such capabilities.

Interested in learning more about Enhanced Forecasting from Sugar Sell Premier? Reach out to your Sugar or partner representative for more information. Or view it alongside all the other fantastic added capabilities found in Sugar Sell Premier in this interactive guide.

Emily Jahn
Emily Jahn Emily is the Manager of Content Marketing at SugarCRM with years of experience working in the SaaS industry. Her strong suits include long-form and short-form content creation, SEO-optimized writing, and editorial planning and promotion. When she's not reading, writing, or editing, Emily enjoys everything the outside world has to offer—hiking, camping, backpacking, and most importantly, skiing!

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