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Top 8 Sales Forecasting Templates

Top 8 Sales Forecasting Templates

Kushal Saini Kakkar
Kushal Saini Kakkar
January 23, 2023
•
5 min read

Imagine life without weather forecasts. All those sudden cold days you’re totally unprepared for. 

Floods, cyclones, and tsunamis that nobody sees coming. 

Storms that ships sail into because they had no idea what was in store on their routes. 

A horrible heat wave that leaves hundreds with a heat stroke because who doesn’t plan a picnic on what was expected to be a lovely summer’s day? 

So without weather forecasts, we’d have more accidents, some part of the population ailing and sick and zero ability to relocate people before a natural disaster strikes. 

Forecasting – or, more specifically, the lack of forecasting – can have disastrous effects on sales too. In place of accidents, you have missed sales targets. In place of a population that falls sick, you might have overworked sales reps or misaligned focus. 

And in place of the inability to move populations before disaster strikes, you might have the inability to ramp up efforts during a period when sales volume forecasts look grim.

That’s why you need forecasts. That’s why they’re such a big deal in finance, fashion, business trends, and in sales. 

What is sales forecasting? 

If only! But preferably use spreadsheets, not a crystal ball

A sales forecast is an estimate of how much your sales team or your company will sell during a given period. A truly sophisticated sales forecast is able to make such predictions with great accuracy. They are used in product sales and in solution sales or sales for SaaS businesses. They work in the consumer space and in the B2B space. And they are useful whether you have a brick-and-mortar business or an e-commerce business.

Sales forecasts are an important part of sales planning and sales management because they help the business plan ahead. When you know that your sales are expected to grow, you’ll plan to have extra inventory, shipping logistics, and so on. You’ll ensure sufficient cash flow to manage higher inventory and logistics costs related to this new business. You’ll have sufficient customer service resources in place. You’ll hire more sales reps or open an experience center in the geography where sales are expected to climb.

Alternatively, you might plan a special discount or package deals during a period when sales are expected to drop, or you might reduce your inventory production. 

Sales forecasting methods

Before you dive into the different sales templates out there, and attempt to decide which one will work for your sales team, you need to decide what method of forecasting you will use. The first step in the forecasting process is choosing the right forecasting model.

There are three sales forecasting methods — also known as forecasting models — that you need to consider

  1. Forecasting based on historical data
Your template going through all your old data to make a thorough forecast

Historical forecasting is the most popular type of forecasting no matter what sector you are in. Even finance companies use historical data to forecast future stock prices. As the name suggests, you use past sales figures to make corresponding predictions about future sales. 

Of course, you will tweak your forecast based on ongoing factors in your environment. If you’ve been witnessing a 5% increase in total sales annually, you will account for that by making an upward adjustment to your sales forecast. Similarly, if you’ve recently launched a new product and have a monopoly in that market, you’d forecast higher sales, right?

Alternatively, if some unfavorable economic event has occurred and spending in your sector is expected to plummet, you might make a downward adjustment in your forecast. 

  1. Forecasting based on regression analysis

This type of forecasting selects a single variable (part of the process is selecting the right variable). So you might select the number of sales calls per day as the variable and forecast sales figures from there. 

Call, call, call… Ka-ching!

Again, just like in the previous method, you need to contextualize your calculations. If one of your top salespeople takes off on maternity or paternity leave for a month, you might want to factor that in and have a lower sales forecast unless you’re hiring a replacement or having other reps pick up the absent rep’s leads. 

  1. Opportunity stage forecasting

Unlike the others, opportunity stage forecasting looks at specific stages of the sales pipeline or the sales funnel and creates forecasts accordingly. For example, if you have noticed over the past three years that in January, 65% of the leads at stage 3 tend to convert into customers, you can use that data to create a corresponding forecast for this year. 

Here too, you need to be making apples-to-apples comparisons. Most people will not make sales projections for March 2022 based on March 2021’s opportunity stage conversions because March 2021 would still fall during the anomaly period of the pandemic. Be careful to avoid using anomalies as your base.

Some sales teams like to use all three forecasting models because they want to improve their forecasting accuracy.

8 top sales forecasting templates 

We’ve rounded up a handful of free sales forecasting templates from the templates website smartsheet.com. You can also download editable Microsoft Excel versions of these templates. Some of these templates can also be used in Google Sheets.

We love these sales forecasting templates because you fill in the data or import it, and the rest is automated. 

All those Richie Rich automation dreams coming true on the salesforce

Let’s have a look at these templates and how and when you can use them. 

  1. Daily & Weekly sales forecast template 

This sales projections template is the simplest you can use and gives you projections for daily and weekly sales based on historical data. 

When to use this sales template: 

This might work well for a retail business, a restaurant, or any type of software or app that does day-based or week-based plans. 

How to use this template:

Step 1: Fill in historical sales data for the same days/ weeks from prior (normal, not pandemic preferably) years. 

Step 2: Fill in the fields below each week’s start date to add notes that might impact sales. Is there a big national holiday or a public holiday this week, meaning that your sales team will be out of action? A strike? Best sales guy on leave? This template gives you room to modify projections based on these.

 

  1. Basic monthly sales forecast template

This sales projections template is your go-to if you’re doing forecasts for the first time or if you have limited time for forecasting. It's as simple as it gets and gives you forecasted sales for the coming months. 

When to use this sales template: This is an any-business, any-time-period sales forecast template that is super easy. If you’re just beginning to forecast as a sales practice, this might be a good place to begin. 

Also, don’t be fooled by the name. If you have a tiered pricing model like a lot of B2B SaaS companies do, this sales template can be just what you need because there is a special field for unit type. In addition to an overall revenue forecast, you can find out how much a particular type of product or solution is contributing to your total revenue. 

How to use this template:

Step 1: Choose a forecasting technique to populate the data fields

Step 2: Enter the product and the year

Step 3: Fill in the price per unit and the total units sold 

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  1. Detailed monthly/ annual sales forecast template

This template tells sales leaders the feasibility of the sales goals that they have set by holding goals against actual historical sales data from the same period. 

When to use this template: This works well for businesses that have recurring business. Use it when you need a monthly and yearly forecast and already have some projections that you need to verify. 

How to use this template: 

Step 1: Enter the projections that you want to verify. 

Step 2: Add historical data. 

The system will calculate variance, and you can now measure the accuracy of your earlier set of projections. You want accurate forecasting, after all.

Or if you trust neither, you can choose a midway ground or an average. 


  1. Detailed 12-month sales forecast template

This template gives you projected sales for your entire lineup of products and solutions at a glance. 

When to use this template: This works if you sell a whole buffet of products or SaaS subscriptions because it accommodates multiple products. A lot of companies sell managed security along with enterprise broadband and WiFi, and so on. A company that manages and streamlines data might also offer warehousing solutions. If you, too, sell multiple products or solutions and you need an overview, this template can make your calculations a lot easier. 

You can also actually customize the time frame. You can use it for a 12-month time frame or any other. 

How to use this template:

Step 1: Feed in product or SaaS category names. 

Step 2: Enter monthly sales data.

Step 3: Fill in historical data.


  1. Detailed 3-year sales forecast template

This template helps you to project your annual sales growth rate, margins, revenue, and gross profit earned. 

When to use this template: If you’ve been using basic templates for a while and need a variety of figures like annual/ monthly sales growth rates, profits and revenue margins, and YoY comparisons, then this template might be just what you’re looking for. 

How to use this template: 

Step 1: Enter the total number of subscriptions/ units sold. 

Step 2: Enter the price per unit/ subscription.

Step 3: Enter CoGS.

Now sit back and let automation do all the heavy math. 


  1. 5-year sales forecast template

This template gives you monthly and annual projections for a single product in an incredibly simple format. 

When to use this template: Let’s say you need to answer the “Where do you want to be five years from now?” question but for your sales figures. That’s a long way off, right? Well, this template can help. 

How to use this template: 

Step 1: Enter the number of units/ subscriptions sold.

Step 2: Enter your price per unit/ subscription.

Pre-programmed formulas will deliver monthly and annual forecasts over the next five years. 


  1. Sales and budget forecast template

This template tells you what sales you will be able to get for the budgets earmarked. It helps you project sales and planned expenditures towards the salesforce’s payroll, ads/ marketing, and overhead costs. 

When to use the template: As the name suggests, this template lets you hold your budgets against what the sales team is able to turn around with the said budget. Use it when you’re looking to make a case for higher budgets or when budgets are holding the team back. You could also use it when you want to get your team a reward for achieving so much with so little. 

How to use this template: 

Step 1: Enter your estimated number of conversions. 

Step 2: Add the average sale per customer.

Step 3: Add the average cost per sale.

Step 4: Enter operating costs.

Step 5: Enter the salesforce’s payroll information.

Step 6: Don’t forget office expenses including any of your sales team’s live SaaS solutions

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     8. Sales and profit forecast template 

This template gives you projections for sales and profit based on the target operating income and target market share that you feed in. 

When to use this template: When you want to see how you’re faring against your competitors because it shows market share. When you need to make a case for higher sales budgets or sales incentives, you can use this template to showcase the value sales is delivering to the organization. On the flip side, sales leaders and organizations might also use this template if they suspect that sales efforts are not translating into actual profits. 

How to use this template:

Step 1:Enter unit/ subscription costs

Step 2:Fill in unit/subscription prices

Step 3: Enter other fixed costs

Step 4: Feed in your market size in USD. 

Forecast faster, smarter, and more accurately with Wingman’s insights and metrics 

Wingman making your data dance to your tunes

As you browsed through these forecasting templates, it probably crossed your mind that for these templates to work, you need solid data. That’s where WIngman can help. 

Wingman helps your sales forecasting efforts with intelligent sales metrics and easy-to-use sales dashboards. With Wingman, you get call volumes and sales pipeline info at a glance, so sales forecasts are fully informed and much faster and easier.

But that’s not all. Wingman is your all-around sales wingman. Intelligent call recordings ensure that reps stay focussed on the prospect while on a sales call instead of being distracted as they take notes. Call summaries and annotated call transcripts allow managers and reps to breeze through past conversations at record speed – in fact, Wingman has a feature that allows sales leaders to listen to recordings at 2x speed. 

Reviewing sales calls using Wingman’s 2x speed feature 

Sales leaders can also speed up coaching with game tapes of especially exemplary sales calls and battle cards that are live, contextual on-call cues for sales reps. 

You can also get more visibility into deals where competitor mentions have gone unaddressed or pricing is not discussed with at-risk deal alerts, delivered directly to your slack.

A lot of sales teams love the fact that Wingman reduces the admin load on sales reps thanks to easy integration with CRM, pre-filled post-call emails and quick profiles to get at-a-glance prospect insights before a call. 

You don’t need to forecast, guess or estimate how Wingman will work for you. You can witness its magic with your own eyes – get a free demo today! 

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