Sales

HubSpot’s Forecasting Tool: Powerful, and Easy to Use

If you're new to forecasting, and HubSpot Forecasting this blog guide is a great starting point. Get up to speed with forecasting in HubSpot now!


If you're new to the world of sales forecasting or looking for a more effective way to predict future sales, HubSpot Forecasting is an excellent place to start. Our blog guide provides a comprehensive overview of how HubSpot's forecasting tool works and how you can use it to make informed decisions about your business. As your business grows, it can be increasingly challenging to predict future sales accurately. However, with HubSpot Forecasting, you can access a powerful tool that uses historical data and machine learning to generate real-time, accurate forecasts of your future sales pipeline.

Our blog guide covers everything you need to know about generating a sales forecast, from understanding the different types of forecasts to setting realistic goals. The guide includes key topics such as the types of forecasts, setting realistic goals for your forecast, inputting data into HubSpot's forecasting tool, and tips for improving the accuracy of your forecast.

Whether you're a sales director or a business owner, HubSpot Forecasting can help you gain valuable insights into future sales, revenue, and customer behaviour. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, this tool is an essential tool for anyone looking to make data-driven decisions about their business strategy. So why not dive in and discover the power of HubSpot Forecasting?

What is HubSpot Forecasting?

As your business grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to predict future sales. HubSpot Sales Forecasting can help.
This powerful tool uses historical data and machine learning to give you a real-time, accurate forecast of your future sales pipeline.

HubSpot Forecasting is a versatile, powerful, and user-friendly tool that can be easily customised to meet your business's unique needs.
With customisable forecast categories and models, you can create a holistic overview of your entire pipeline and quickly analyse the details with your team. You can also keep a close eye on how your quarter is progressing and inspect deals to ensure your team is on track.

If you're tired of guessing your sales forecasts or using outdated methods, HubSpot Forecasting is the perfect solution for you. With this tool, sales representatives and managers can submit custom forecasts for the month or quarter, which can then be rolled up by the team to give leadership a complete view of their teams' expectations. Forecast permissions also provide you with the necessary control to ensure forecast submissions come from the right source.

With HubSpot Forecasting, you can take the guesswork out of sales forecasting and make data-driven decisions to help your business grow. 
HubSpot Forecasts text 

What is a sales forecast?

A sales forecast is an estimate of future sales, typically based on past sales performance. Companies use sales forecasts to make decisions about where to allocate resources and how to manage growth. Sales forecasting can be done using statistical methods, judgmental methods, or a combination of both.

Sales forecasting is an important part of financial planning and analysis. It helps companies track actual sales against their goals and objectives and identify trends that could impact future sales. Additionally, forecasting can help businesses make informed decisions about inventory levels, staffing needs, and marketing budgets. A sales forecast is a projection of future sales based on past performance and current market conditions.

To generate a forecast, HubSpot analyses your sales data and looks for patterns in conversion rates, deal size, and close rate. Based on this analysis, HubSpot makes predictions about how your business will perform in the future. Use HubSpot to predict future sales outcomes and help you make informed decisions about your business.


HubSpot Deal Category Grouping

Sales Forecast Methodology 

Sales forecasts are essential for businesses to make informed decisions, allocate resources, and set goals. There are several types of sales forecasting methods, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some common types of sales forecasts:


Qualitative forecasting:

Qualitative forecasting methods rely on the opinions, intuition, and expertise of salespeople, managers, or industry experts. These methods are particularly useful when there is limited historical data or when the business environment is rapidly changing. Some qualitative forecasting methods include:

a. Sales force composite: Salespeople estimate their individual sales for a given period, and these estimates are combined to create a forecast.
b. Expert opinion: Industry experts or experienced managers provide insights and estimates for future sales.
c. Delphi technique: A panel of experts provides individual forecasts, which are then discussed, refined, and combined to create a consensus forecast.

Quantitative forecasting:

Quantitative forecasting methods use historical data and mathematical techniques to generate sales forecasts. These methods are more objective and typically more accurate than qualitative methods when there is sufficient historical data. Some quantitative forecasting methods include:

a. Time series analysis: This method involves analysing historical sales data to identify trends, seasonality, and cyclical patterns. Future sales are predicted based on these patterns.
b. Moving average: The moving average method calculates the average sales over a specified period and uses this average to predict future sales.
c. Exponential smoothing: This method assigns different weights to historical data, with more recent data given greater importance. The weighted average is used to forecast future sales.
d. Regression analysis: Regression analysis is a statistical method that examines the relationship between sales and one or more independent variables (e.g., marketing spend, economic indicators) to predict future sales.

Mixed approach forecasting:

Mixed approach forecasting methods combine elements of both qualitative and quantitative forecasting techniques. This can provide a more balanced and accurate forecast by incorporating human expertise and intuition with data-driven insights. Some mixed-approach forecasting methods include:

a. Judgmental adjustments: Quantitative forecasts are adjusted based on qualitative inputs, such as insights from salespeople or industry experts.
b. Scenario planning: Multiple sales forecasts are generated based on different assumptions, scenarios, or potential market conditions, and then combined or weighted to create a final forecast.

Each of these sales forecasting methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of method depends on factors such as the nature of the industry, the availability of historical data, and the business's specific goals and needs.

Types of HubSpot Forecasts

HubSpot's forecasting tool is primarily designed to help businesses with their sales forecasting needs. Whilst the exact forecasting features may have evolved since my knowledge cutoff date in 2021, the core forecasting types within HubSpot typically include:

Revenue Forecast:
The revenue forecast is focused on predicting the total sales revenue for a given period. It takes into account the deals in the pipeline, their stages, probabilities of closing, and historical data. This helps sales teams and managers set realistic revenue goals and allocate resources effectively.

Deal-based Forecast:
This type of forecast focuses on the number of deals expected to close within a specific period. It helps sales teams understand the volume of deals they need to close to meet their targets and assists in planning sales activities.

Opportunity Stage Forecast:
The opportunity stage forecast breaks down the sales pipeline into different deal stages, helping sales teams and managers understand the progress of deals and identify potential bottlenecks or areas that need improvement. This can help prioritise efforts and improve the overall sales process.

Custom Forecast:
HubSpot allows users to create custom forecasts based on specific criteria, such as deal owner, deal type, or custom deal properties. This allows for a more granular view of the sales pipeline and helps identify trends, patterns, or areas of concern that may not be visible in the overall forecast.

Individual and Team Forecasts: HubSpot's forecasting tool also provides forecasts for individual sales reps and teams, helping managers track performance and hold team members accountable for their sales goals. This can help motivate sales reps and ensure everyone is working towards a shared target.

Bear in mind that HubSpot's forecasting tool is part of its larger CRM platform, which means it can be integrated with other HubSpot tools and features. As a result, the types of forecasts available may expand or change depending on the specific HubSpot tools and features your business is using.

HubSport Forecast Reports Sales Analytics

Benefits of Using the Forecasting Tool

There are many benefits of using HubSpot’s business forecasting tool. HubSpot's Forecast tool is designed to help sales teams predict and manage their sales revenue more effectively. With this tool, you can get a holistic overview of your entire pipeline and quickly dive into the details with your team. You’ll also be able to see how your quarter is going and inspect deals to make sure your team is on track. With customisable forecast categories and models, you can tailor the tool to match your business needs. The benefits of this all include:

  1. Precise revenue forecasting: 
    The tool utilises historical data and machine learning algorithms to generate accurate sales forecasts, aiding sales teams in understanding their potential revenue and setting realistic targets.

  2. Improved decision-making: 
    With an accurate view of the sales pipeline and future revenue, managers can make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, recruitment, and other strategic initiatives.

  3. Enhanced accountability
    The Forecast tool offers visibility into individual and team performance, which helps motivate team members to meet or exceed their targets and fosters a culture of accountability.

  4. Time-saving: 
    Automated sales forecasting saves time that would otherwise be spent on manual data analysis, allowing sales teams to concentrate on nurturing leads and closing deals.

  5. Real-time updates: 
    The tool continually updates forecasts as new deals are added or existing deals progress, providing up-to-date insights into the health of the sales pipeline.

  6. Customisable views: 
    Users can tailor the Forecast tool to their specific needs by customising the display, filters, and timeframes, allowing for more in-depth analysis and reporting.

  7. Better collaboration: 
    By providing a shared view of the sales pipeline, the tool can improve communication and collaboration between sales team members, helping them work together more effectively towards shared goals.

  8. Integration with other HubSpot tools:
    The Forecast tool is part of the HubSpot ecosystem, which means it can be seamlessly integrated with other HubSpot sales, marketing, and customer service tools for a more comprehensive business solution.

How the HubSpot Forecasting Tool Works

The forecasting tool works by allowing reps and managers to submit a custom forecast for the month or quarter. This forecast then rolls up by the team to give leadership a full view of where their teams think they'll land. And with forecast permissions, you have the control you need to ensure forecast submissions are coming from the right source.  

Data integration:
The tool gathers data from your HubSpot CRM, including information about closed deals, deal stages, sales activities, and team performance.

Historical analysis:
The tool assesses historical data to identify patterns and trends, such as average deal size, conversion rates, and sales cycle length. This information helps the algorithm make informed predictions about future sales.

Deal progress tracking:
The Forecasting Tool keeps track of all deals in the pipeline, monitoring their progress through various stages and updating the forecast accordingly.

Machine learning algorithms:
By employing machine learning algorithms, the tool is able to analyse large amounts of data and identify patterns that might not be apparent to human analysts. These algorithms continuously learn from the data and refine their predictions over time.

Customisation:
Users can customise the Forecasting Tool to account for unique factors relevant to their business, such as specific sales processes, deal stages, and timeframes. This allows for more accurate and relevant forecasts.

Real-time updates:
The tool updates the forecast in real-time as new deals are added, existing deals progress, or sales activities are logged. This ensures that the sales team always has access to the most up-to-date information about their sales pipeline.

Reporting and visualisation:
The HubSpot Forecasting Tool provides clear and user-friendly visualisations of the sales forecast, including charts and graphs that display projected revenue, deal stages, and individual/team performance. This enables sales teams and managers to easily understand the current state of the pipeline and make data-driven decisions.

HubSpot Sales Forecasting considers a variety of factors, including:

  • The number of deals in your pipeline
  • The size of each deal
  • The stage each deal is in
  • Your close rate
  • Your win rate

In summary, the HubSpot Forecasting Tool operates by analysing historical sales data, current deals in progress, and sales team performance to generate accurate and actionable sales forecasts. With this information, HubSpot Sales Forecasting can give you a detailed view of your expected sales for the next 30 days, 90 days, or even 12 months. Additionally, HubSpot Sales Forecasting provides insights on what's driving your results, so you can make changes to your sales process and improve your forecasting accuracy over time.


HubSport Forecast Columns

Tips for Using HubSpot’s Business Forecasting Tool

Using the HubSpot Forecast tool effectively can greatly benefit your sales teams by providing accurate sales forecasts and insights. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the tool:

Keep your data updated:
Ensure that all deals and their stages are up-to-date in your HubSpot CRM. Accurate and timely data entry is crucial for generating reliable forecasts.

Customise the tool:
Tailor the forecasting tool to your business by adjusting the deal stages, probabilities, and timeframes to match your sales process. This will help improve the accuracy and relevance of the forecasts.

Monitor individual and team performance:
Use the forecasting tool to track individual sales rep and team performance. This can help you identify areas of improvement, hold team members accountable, and provide coaching or support where needed.

Leverage historical data:

Analyse historical data to identify trends, seasonality, and patterns that may impact your sales forecasts. Incorporating this information into the forecasting tool can help refine its predictions.
HubSpot Sales Forecasting considers a variety of factors, including the number of deals in your pipeline, the size of each deal, the stage each deal is in, your close rate, and your win rate. By considering these factors, you can get a more accurate forecast.

Use a combination of forecasting methods:
Whilst HubSpot's Forecast tool relies primarily on quantitative methods, consider incorporating qualitative input from sales reps and industry experts to create a more balanced and accurate forecast.

Review forecasts regularly:
Keep an eye on the sales forecasts and make adjustments as needed based on new data or changes in the business environment. Regularly reviewing and updating forecasts helps keep them relevant and accurate.

Integrate with other HubSpot tools:
Maximise the power of HubSpot by integrating the Forecast tool with other HubSpot sales, marketing, and customer service tools. This can provide a more comprehensive view of your business and help you make more informed decisions.

Train your sales team:
Ensure your sales team understands how to use the HubSpot Forecast tool effectively. Provide training and resources to help them make the most of the tool and the insights it provides.

Analyse and learn:
Continuously analyse your forecasts and actual results to identify areas for improvement. Learn from any discrepancies between your forecasts and actual sales to refine your forecasting process over time.

Collaborate and communicate:
Encourage open communication and collaboration among your sales team members by sharing forecasts and discussing strategies, challenges, and opportunities. This can help foster a more cohesive and effective sales team.

Try different forecasting models.

HubSpot Sales Forecasting provides two different forecasting models: the trended model and the weighted model. The Trended Model is based on historical data and predicts future sales based on past performance. The Weighted Model gives more weight to recent HubSpot deals, which makes it more accurate for forecasting short-term sales. Try both models and see which one works better for your business.

 Use the HubSpot Sales Forecasting Insights to improve your forecasts.

HubSpot Sales Forecasting provides insights on what's driving your results, so you can make changes to your sales process and improve your forecasting accuracy over time.


HubSpot Deal Stages Forecast 1

What to Look for in a Business Forecasting Tool 

When choosing a business forecasting tool, there are a few things you should keep in mind: 

  1. Accuracy: The tool should be able to accurately predict future sales based on past performance.
  2. Ease of Use: The tool should be easy to use and understand.
  3. Customisability: The tool should be customisable to match your business needs. 

HubSpot Sales Forecasting meets all of these criteria and more. With HubSpot Sales Forecasting, you can get a holistic overview of your entire pipeline and quickly dive into the details with your team. You’ll also be able to see how your quarter is going and inspect deals to make sure your team is on track. And with customisable forecast categories and models, you can tailor the tool to match your business needs. 

By following these tips, you can get the most out of HubSpot’s business forecasting tool.

Conclusion: 

If you’re looking for a forecasting tool that is customisable, powerful, and easy to use, look no further than HubSpot’s business forecasting tool. With this tool, you can get a holistic overview of your entire pipeline and quickly dive into the details with your team to see how your quarter is going and inspect deals to make sure your team is on track. In addition, with customisable forecast categories and models, you can tailor the tool to match your business needs—making it an ideal choice for any business owner or manager.

Throughout our discussions, we have highlighted the numerous advantages of using HubSpot's Forecast tool in managing and improving your sales forecasting processes. The tool's comprehensive features, customisation options, and seamless integration with HubSpot's CRM platform make it an indispensable resource for businesses of all sizes looking to enhance their sales performance.

With the ability to generate accurate sales forecasts, track individual and team performance, and facilitate collaboration among team members, the HubSpot Forecast tool empowers businesses to make well-informed, data-driven decisions. By leveraging the tool's intuitive interface and adopting the tips and best practices we've shared, sales teams can significantly improve their sales processes, set realistic goals, and allocate resources effectively.

In conclusion, implementing HubSpot's Forecast tool in your business can lead to a more streamlined, accurate, and efficient sales forecasting experience. Embrace the power of data-driven insights and unlock the full potential of your sales team with HubSpot's Forecast tool.

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