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Get Started with Collaborative Forecasts

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Explain why sales teams use forecasts.
  • Enable 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update and collate all those separate documents, which creates a disconnect from Salesforce and causes documents to be outdated quickly.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 very 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 revenue. 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. Forecast amounts 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.

Predicting Sales with Collaborative Forecasts

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

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

You base forecast amounts on opportunities, opportunity splits, or product families. For most forecast types, you can base forecasts on revenue or quantity. For the role-based opportunity and product family forecast types, you can base forecast amounts on close date, schedule date, or product date. And you can enable up to four forecast types at a time.

Forecast users can view their own amounts or amounts 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.

Enable Forecast Types

Collaborative Forecasts can calculate forecast amounts several ways. You can enable up to four of these forecast types at any time. Here’s how each one works.
Forecast Type Hierarchy Date Type What the Rollup Is Based On
Opportunities - Revenue Role Close date The opportunity’s Amount and Close Date fields
Role Product date The opportunity products’ Total Price and Date fields
Role Schedule date The product schedule’s Revenue and Date fields
Territory Close date For each opportunity that’s assigned to a territory, the opportunity’s Amount and Close Date fields
Opportunities - Quantity Role Close date The opportunity’s Quantity and Close Date fields
Role Product date The opportunity products’ Quantity and Date fields
Role Schedule date The product schedule’s Quantity and Date fields
Product Families - Revenue Role Close date The Close Date field and the sum of the Total Price fields for all opportunity line items in a product family. Forecast amounts are separated by product family.
Role Product date The Date fields and the sum of the Total Price fields for all opportunity line items in a product family. Forecast amounts are separated by product family.
Role Schedule date The product schedule’s Date fields and the sum of its Revenue fields for all opportunity line items in a product family. Forecast amounts are separated by product family.
Territory Close date For each opportunity that’s assigned to a territory, the Close Date field and the sum of the Total Price fields for all opportunity line items in a product family. Forecast amounts are separated by product family and then territory.
Product Families - Quantity Role Close date The Close Date field and the sum of the Quantity fields for all opportunity line items in a product family. Forecast quantities are separated by product family.
Role Product date The Date fields and the sum of the Quantity fields for all opportunity line items in a product family. Forecast quantities are separated by product family.
Role Schedule date The product schedule’s Date fields and the sum of its Quantity fields for all opportunity line items in a product family. Forecast quantities are separated by product family.
Opportunity Splits - Revenue Role Close date The opportunity Amount field and each sales team member’s split percentage. For Opportunity Splits - Revenue forecasts, the split percentages for each opportunity must total 100%. To use opportunity splits forecasts, enable Opportunity Teams, Opportunity Splits, and the Revenue split type.
Overlay Splits - Revenue Role Close date The opportunity Amount field and each overlay sales team member’s split percentage. For Overlay Splits - Revenue forecasts, the split percentages don’t have to total 100%. To use overlay splits forecasts, enable Opportunity Teams, Opportunity Splits, and the Overlay split type.
Custom Opportunity Currency Field - Revenue Role Close date The amount in the custom opportunity currency field that you specify. To use custom opportunity currency field forecasts, Opportunity Teams and Opportunity Splits must be enabled. Enable a custom split type for the field, even if you don’t intend to split credit for the field amount.
Expected Revenue - Revenue Role Close date The amount in the opportunity Expected Revenue field. To forecast on the Expected Revenue field, enable Opportunity Teams and Opportunity Splits. Enable a custom split type for the field, even if you don’t intend to split credit for the field amount.
Lauren’s team calculates forecast amounts based on close date and opportunity revenue, product family revenue, overlay splits, and a custom opportunity field called Margin. She enables those four forecast types. (Your Trailhead Playground doesn’t have the splits or custom type enabled. Some extra setup is 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. (Again, these product families do not automatically appear in your Trailhead Playground. Some extra setup is required.)

To add the forecast type:

  1. From Setup, enter Forecasts Settings in the Quick Find box and select Forecasts Settings.
  2. Click +Add another forecast type.
  3. From the Forecast Type picklist, choose Product Families.
  4. Select Revenue as the forecast measurement and Close date as the forecast date type.

    The Forecasts Settings page with the product family revenue forecast type (by close date) selected to add

  5. From the Available Product Families list, choose the product families your team wants to forecast on and add them to the Selected Product Families list. For Rollings Tech, Lauren chooses Software and Hardware and then moves Software to the top of the list.

    The Forecasts Settings page with the Software and Hardware product families selected, Software at the top of the list

  6. Under Select Fields to Show in the Opportunity List, choose the columns to show in the related opportunities list on the forecasts page for the forecast type.
    • Opportunity Name
    • Account Name
    • Forecasted Amount
    • Close Data
    • Stage
    • Probability (%)
    • Forecast Category
    • Owner Full Name

      The Forecasts Settings page with columns selected to show in the opportunity list

  7. Click OK, then Save.
Lauren repeats these steps, with variations, to enable the other three forecast types, and then saves her changes. Now she’s turned the feature on, enabled the forecast types her team uses, and chosen the columns that appear in the opportunities list.

Nigel’s forecasts page with four forecast types enabled

Now it’s time for you to try!