The “closing date” and sales forecasting

I got asked the other day by a new trial user for Tracks about forecasting capabilities. It’s something I have looked at a lot over the years building Tracks. It’s also something I’ve tried (and failed) to improve on.

Looking back, I’m not convinced it’s something we need to improve. Here’s why:

Sales forecasting can be a complicated area. For example, you can consider previous activity or conversion rates, seasonal effects (busy in January, quiet in August for instance), quality of data, buyer behaviour, recurring revenue or renewals, weighted values (like setting confidence levels) and so on.

Accurate forecasts are difficult to achieve. They have many variables. And to get right, they need constant refining.

I am convinced that more intelligent software will emerge and give small businesses more accurate sales forecasting capabilities, but with Tracks – for just now – we have focused on one aspect: keeping your closing date up to date.

All new deals entered into Tracks have a closing date. We send emails on the day that deals are due to close and we send weekly reminders of deals that are past their closing date or are due to close soon.

When adding a deal you need to set the Closing Date

When adding a new deal you need to set the Closing Date

For small companies like agencies, consultants, web designers, IT service providers and architects keeping the closing date up to date is enough for forecasting. The Tracks timeline view gives you an overview of deals that are closing in a weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis. And if that’s not enough you can export to Excel.

All of this is controlled by the closing date

pipeline-forecasting

The Tracks timeline view can quickly show you what’s closing

So as I said to the new trial user:

“As long as you and others doing sales keep the closing date up to date then you’ll get the forecasts you need.”

I really believe this to be true for small businesses (or at least the ones we are lucky enough to call our customers!).

Thanks for reading