Sales Forecasting Software

Accolent ERP includes powerful sales forecasting software tools

Accolent ERP Sales Forecasting Software Tools

Accolent ERP sales forecasting software provides the tools to support all the traditional methods of generating sales forecasts using (1) a probability-weighted assessment of opportunities in the pipeline, (2) an adjustment of historical actuals or (3) a combination of both of these methods. Whether you can rely on your sales pipeline depends to a large extent on how careful your salespersons are about keeping their CRM data up to date. Typically, your sales pipeline alone is not sufficient to generate an accurate sales forecast. The problem with looking at historical sales and adjusting them up or down is that they don’t reflect changes in the environment with any specificity. You can improve the accuracy of historical sales by looking at them on a customer by customer basis and adjusting for current conditions customer by customer. You can also use the Pareto rule to narrow the list of customers that you look at individually rather than in aggregate. Many sales forecasts are prepared using both these methods together.

Sales Forecasting Using a Weighted Pipeline

Prospects created in Accolent ERP can be associated with Opportunities which specify the revenue potential and timeframe for closing. Accolent ERP allows prospects to be assigned user-defined sales process stages that correspond to your sales process. For example, your sales process stages might be (1) Prospect, (2) Qualified Lead, (3) Proposal, (4) Negotiation, (5) Close. The likelihood of a successful sale goes up as a Prospect moves through the sales process stages. You could assign numeric probabilities of closing to each stage. Then the value of each Opportunity multiplied by the sales process stage probability is the revenue associated with that Opportunity. When this is summed across all Opportunities for each salesperson and grouped by expected close month, you can compare this to the salesperson’s quota. Summing up across all salespersons gives you a sales forecast.

Sales Forecasting Based on Historical Sales

With this approach you would first run an Accolent ERP report on Sales by Customer by Month for a prior period. This report can be exported to a spreadsheet. Then using the Pareto rule look at the customers accounting for 80% of your prior sales individually and aggregate all the rest of the customers. Then for the 80%, go customer by customer and adjust the prior period revenue month by month to reflect the expected market conditions over the sales forecast period compared to the prior period, and adjust based on what you know specifically about that customer. You would do the same for the aggregated customers representing 20%. Summing up the results by month gives you your sales forecast.


Optimized for wholesale distribution across a number of vertical industries: auto parts, building materials, chemicals, fasteners, food & beverage, industrial, jan/san, restaurant supply and more


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Using Accolent ERP Sales Forecasting Software to Create a Sales Forecast

Creating sales forecasts that are predictive and can be used as a basis for planning is inherently difficult. Even with the best sales forecasting software, creating an accurate sales forecast is a time-consuming and subjective exercise. You can improve your results though, with access to good sales forecasting software tools delivering comprehensive reporting and data analytics.

It is worth persevering though as there are many benefits to creating good sales forecasts:

  • Better Decision-Making: By creating a sales forecast, you will have gone through the exercise of reviewing your business and creating the best guess about the future based on what you know. This exercise in itself is helpful to understand all the inputs and leads to better decision making when things come up that were not foreseen
  • Salesperson Quotas: A sales forecast will help you understand whether your salespersons are delivering for you. Based on the sales forecast you can adjust quotas, set goals and create benchmarks to evaluate salespersons’ performance.
  • Budgets, Initiatives: The sales forecast is the first step in budgeting. With a sales forecast you can build a budget to support the forecast. For example, a significant increase in the sales forecast should be supported by increased headcount and this can be budgeted and an initiative to hire more people undertaken.

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With Accolent ERP sales forecasting software, you can create accurate financial projections and budgets.

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