Get Started with Collaborative Forecasts

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Explain why sales teams use forecasts.
  • Turn on the Collaborative Forecasts feature.
  • Add a Forecasts tab so your users can easily access the forecasts page.
  • List the available forecast types.

Introduction

Lauren Cheng, the Salesforce admin at Rollings Tech, has a problem she hopes she can solve ASAP. Her team uses spreadsheets and handwritten notes to track sales forecasts. Each sales period, Nigel Roberts, the forecast manager, has to update and collate all those separate documents, which creates a disconnect from Salesforce and causes documents to be outdated quickly.

Nigel's desk with lots of documents

As you can imagine, that’s not efficient.

Nigel has asked Lauren to find a better way. Lucky for Lauren and Rollings Tech, it’s Collaborative Forecasts to the rescue!

What Are Forecasts, Anyway?

Glad you asked. Forecasts are expressions of expected sales. They help sales teams predict and plan their sales cycle from pipeline to closed sales, and to manage sales expectations throughout the company.

In Salesforce, a forecast is based on the gross rollup of a set of opportunities. Forecasts are determined by factors such as time period, forecast type, adjustments, and currency. You can think of a forecast as a rollup of currency or quantity against a set of dimensions: owner, time, forecast categories, product family, and territory.

Projecting Sales with Collaborative Forecasts

A forecasts page with product family forecasts for a forecast manager and team members

The forecasts on the forecasts page are totals and subtotals of the opportunities in your forecast categories.
  • Pipeline
  • Best Case
  • Most Likely (optional)
  • Commit
  • Closed
Depending on how you set up the feature, these forecasts can reflect opportunities from one category or aggregated categories.

When you set up Collaborative Forecasts, you create and activate forecast types based on an object, a measure, a date type, and a hierarchy. For some types, you also specify product family grouping or opportunity split types.

Users can view their own forecasts or forecasts of others below them in the forecasts hierarchy. They can view quotas and quota attainment information. And they can change many aspects of the forecasts page display, such as the currency and the time period.

Lauren’s sold! She decides to implement Collaborative Forecasts for her team right away.

Ready to Get Hands-on with Collaborative Forecasts?

Launch your Trailhead Playground now to follow along and try out the steps in this module. To open your Trailhead Playground, scroll down to the hands-on challenge and click Launch. You also use the playground when it's time to complete the hands-on challenges.

Let’s Turn It On

Lauren is ready to get her team set up on Collaborative Forecasts. First, she turns it on.

  1. From Setup, enter Forecasts Settings in the Quick Find box and select Forecasts Settings. The Forecasts Settings page in Setup, with the Enable forecasts checkbox deselected
  2. Select Enable forecasts and click Save.
Lauren has enabled the feature, but there’s more setup to do. Next she adds a Forecasts tab.

Add a Forecasts Tab

Lauren turned on Collaborative Forecasts, but if her team can’t access the forecasts page, it won’t do them any good, will it? So next, Lauren adds a Forecasts tab and makes sure its visibility is set to Default On.

First, use App Manager to add a Forecasts tab. Here’s a refresher on how to add a tab.

  1. In Setup, type App Manager in the Quick Find box and select App Manager.
  2. For the Sales app, click the down arrow and select Edit. (Be sure you are working with the Lightning app.)
  3. Click Navigation Items and choose Forecasts. You might want to reposition it so it’s near the top of your list.
  4. Click Save.
    The Edit App page in Setup with Forecasts selected
  5. From Setup, enter Profiles in the Quick Find box and select Profiles.
  6. Select Custom: Sales Profile and then Edit.
  7. Scroll to the Tab Settings section.
  8. From the picklist next to Forecasts, select Default On.
  9. Click Save.
Lauren added a Forecasts tab to her team’s Sales app. If your team uses the Lightning Sales Console, you can add Forecasts to it as well.

Create and Activate Forecast Types

Collaborative Forecasts can calculate forecasts many ways. You can have up to four active forecast types at any time. Here are the available combinations.

Object Measure Date Type Hierarchy

Opportunity
  • Amount (revenue)
  • Quantity
  • Custom currency (revenue) or number (quantity)
  • Close date
  • Territory
  • User role

Opportunity Product

(Used for product family grouping and required for product date forecasts)


  • Total price (revenue)
  • Quantity
  • Custom currency (revenue) or number (quantity)
  • Close date
  • Product date*
  • Territory*
  • User role

Opportunity Split

(Required for opportunity splits forecasts)


  • Amount (used with revenue, overlay, and custom currency split types)
  • Custom currency (revenue)
  • Close date
  • User role

Line Item Schedule

(Used for product family grouping and required for schedule date forecasts)


  • Revenue
  • Quantity
  • Custom currency (revenue) or number (quantity)
  • Schedule date
  • Territory
  • User role
*Forecasting by Opportunity Product, total price or quantity, and product date isn’t supported for the territory hierarchy.

Lauren’s team calculates forecasts based on opportunity revenue, product family revenue, overlay splits, and a custom opportunity field called Margin.  All their forecast types use close date and the user role hierarchy. She creates and activates those four forecast types. (Your Trailhead Playground doesn’t have product families, splits, or custom measures set up. Some extra steps are required.)

Lauren also chooses the Software and Hardware product families to show on the forecasts page, because those are the two that Nigel wants to forecast on. Rollings Tech already has the Software and Hardware product families set up in Salesforce. 

To create and activate the product family forecast type:

  1. From Setup, enter Forecast Types in the Quick Find box, and then select Forecast Types.
  2. Click Create a Forecast Type. The setup flow appears.
    The first page of the forecast type setup flow
  3. Click Start.
  4. Select the Opportunity Product object, and then click Next.
  5. Select the Total Price measure and the Group forecasts by product family checkbox, and then click Next.
    The product family forecast type page in the setup flow
  6. Move through the setup flow to select a date type (Close Date) and hierarchy (User role).
  7. Name the forecast type Product Family Revenue, and then click Next.
  8. Verify the forecast type’s details, and then click Save.
  9. Select these fields to show as columns in the opportunity list, and then click Next.
    • Opportunity Name
    • Account Name
    • Forecasted Amount
    • Close Date
    • Stage
    • Probability (%)
    • Forecast Category
    • Owner Full Name 
  10. Click Done to complete the setup flow.
  11. To make the new forecast type available to your team, select Activate from the quick actions in the list of available forecast types.
    The list of available forecast types, with the new type activated
In Forecasts Settings, Lauren selects the Software and Hardware product families to show on the forecasts page. Then she repeats these steps, with variations, to create and activate the other three forecast types.

Nigel’s forecasts page with four forecast types enabled

Now it’s time for you to try!

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