Sales Forecast Template
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What Is a Sales Forecast?
A Sales Forecast is a document that sums up the information received after the company has estimated its future sales. The purpose of the forecast is to help the company decide how to plan their performance on the market, how to manage their workload, and how to work with their resources.
Sales forecasting is usually based on the company's sales history, however, if the company is new they can use other aspects to build their forecast, such as market research and information about their competitors. Even though this type of data is less reliable, it is still worth being considered.
A Sales Forecast Spreadsheet template available in Excel can be downloaded through the link below.
How to Forecast Sales?
A Sales Forecast allows companies to predict their achievable sales, focus their resources in a more economic way, and plan their future development more precisely. In order to make the forecast more accurate, the company should also keep an eye on economic trends that tend to change quickly, and industry comparisons.
There are different methods of creating a Sales Forcast and each one of them uses a specific Sales Forecast formula. Even though the formulas use different equations they give similar results with a slight degree of inaccuracy. Regardless of the type of sales forecasting modeling a company chooses, they will generally receive pretty similar results, if the calculations and numbers are accurate. Nevertheless, if the company is struggling with choosing the best Sales Forecast method they should consult with a specialist who has extensive practical knowledge in this field.
After analyzing the data, it should be systematized into a report. To make it as thorough, easy to read, and informative as possible it should contain the following information:
- Information about the company. In order to state the specifics of the document, it should start with a title. It should be followed by the company's name and location. Some companies put their logo on the documents to give a more unique design.
- Product information. Here the document should designate information about the product. It can include its name, description, main characteristics, etc. This part of the forecast should not be overloaded with information since forecasts are usually dedicated to several types of products.
- The period of the forecast. Generally, forecasts are created to predict sales for the next 12 months, however, the time period of the document can be changed depending on the needs of the company. It should not be too extended in the future though, since it is hard to predict what the economic tendencies will be like. It can affect the accuracy of the forecast and it will not serve its main purpose.
- Past sales data. This document is mostly based on information about past sales. It is up to the company how to present it, nevertheless, the most common way to do it is in a form of a schedule. Each month of the previous year should be included in it, as well as the profit amount made during this specific time period.
- Attachments. To demonstrate the comparison between the time period or between the sales of different products the company can use graphic materials, such as diagrams, charts, timetables, etc. Using them has many benefits for the company, such as they help to understand the materials better, put the focus on the main aspects of the forecast, and add uniqueness to the document by visually expressing the data of the forecast.
Related Forms and Templates:
Download Sales Forecast Template