Salesforce is rolling out many new features for Collaborative Forecasts in Winter ’14, removing most of the reasons to look at the more established Customizable Forecasts. With all these changes, is Collaborative Forecasts always the right option? Ask yourself these five questions to determine which kind of Salesforce forecasting is right for you.
- Do you use Territory Management or Custom Fiscal Years? If yes, proceed no further. You need Customizable Forecasts!
- Are you using Opportunity Splits and need to see the split value in your Forecast? If yes, you need Collaborative Forecasts.
- How do you calculate forecast categories? Customizable Forecasts rolls up multiple forecasting categories into a single category while Collaborative Forecasts does not. For example, do you consider your Commit category to be all Opportunities that are almost closed plus those that are closed, or is it only those that are almost closed? If the first, you want Customizable Forecasts. If the later, you want Collaborative Forecasts.
- Does your organization use terms pipeline, best case, commit and closed to talk about your forecast? If not, use Collaborative Forecasts and you can rename forecast category names to fit your organization’s vernacular.
- Do you need the ability to submit forecasts? If you said yes, is your goal to have a snapshot of your forecast on a weekly basis or is to drive the behavior of having your sales reps update their forecast weekly and then formally submit it to management? While Collaborative Forecasts do not allow you to submit forecasts as you can with Customizable Forecasts, you can use new Historical Trending reports to take weekly snapshot of your forecast data and look at how it changes week-over-week over the course of a month in a report. Note: if you need longer term trending, I recommend using a BI tool as Historical Trending reports is optimized for day-over-day and week-over-week reporting.