11 Sales Forecasting Tools for Accurate Revenue Predictions
Sales forecasting software is a tool designed to predict future sales outcomes based on various data inputs. For example, it analyzes past sales data, market trends, and other relevant factors to estimate sales revenue over a given period.
Psst. Here’s our comprehensive guide to get you started with sales forecasting. Also, discover 8 sales forecasting methods along with expert tips to choose the best one for your needs.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 forecasting tools your sales team can benefit from:
- Zoho CRM
- Xactly Forecasting
- Forecast Pro
- Salesforce Sales Cloud
- Freshsales CRM
But it isn't your average Salesforce add-on; it's a strategic sales intelligence platform that makes it easier and faster for:
- Sales reps to update Salesforce
- Leaders to get visibility and real-time insights into their pipelines
Scratchpad’s ultimate goal?
To offer a holistic view of your sales pipeline, empowering you to make informed decisions and steer your team toward sales goals with unparalleled visibility, precision, and confidence.
How does Scratchpad pull this off?
A. Accurate Sales Forecasts
Scratchpad provides clarity and direction to your forecasts.
It automatically syncs with Salesforce Sales Cloud, aggregating scattered deal details — say from spreadsheets or 3rd party note-taking apps — into a single source of truth, reflecting changes as they occur.
With this real-time revenue perspective, you can spot red flags before they become end-of-quarter surprises, predict future sales performance, and proactively adjust processes and coaching to hit your number consistently.
But that’s not all.
Scratchpad takes it further by enhancing visibility and enabling mass updates across your Salesforce ecosystem — meaning no cluttered tabs or manual saving required.
- Advanced grid and Kanban views for lightning-fast edits to any Salesforce field or object
- Zero boards to instantly expose and update overdue tasks (Zero boards are essentially a focused list of items that need your attention – where the objective is to complete each item and have zero left up on the board).
- Cross-object filters to seamlessly modify key details in one spot
Scratchpad’s Rollups condense granular sales data into an aerial view of organizational, regional, team, and rep-level deal progressions.
Visualize how forecasts shape up company-wide or dive into specific changes with just a click. This unified visibility guides better forecasting and allows for targeted interventions to recapture revenue opportunities.
C. Forecast Changes Insights
Forget mysterious forecast fluctuations. Scratchpad's ‘Waterfall Analytics’ shines a spotlight on the ‘how and why’ behind every shift in your pipeline.
Get front-row seats as deals progress, adjust, or depart your pipeline through visual representations.
With such a clear picture of what's really driving your forecasted revenue, you can forecast confidently, knowing that you have the deals to back up your number.
Scratchpad's ‘Stage Projection’ view lets you track the progression of deals across your Salesforce sales stages and not just forecast categories.
It provides visibility into the number of deals in each stage and how they move between stages.
A sales manager can easily spot bottlenecks in the pipeline and guide the reps to close deals effectively and meet their revenue targets.
D. Sales Trends Analytics
‘Sales Trends Analytics’ compiles historical sales performance data into an insightful narrative on hitting targets.
Visually track ‘Commit’ changes, explain overnight pipeline shifts, and compare individual rep performance.
E. Daily Snapshots
Reviewing historical forecast data can provide key insights, especially if you want to evaluate your team’s performance over time or if you’re going through a structural transition.
Scratchpad automatically tracks daily revenue forecast movements so sales leaders can pivot their sales strategy based on pipeline data.
F. Deal Spotlights
Scratchpad Deal Spotlights show you warnings and gaps in your pipeline, helping you take action before things get worse. For example, if an opportunity is still in stage one, but your forecast predicted it to close next week, you have a problem.
Deal Spotlights ensures your deals are always in the correct stage, close dates are accurate, next steps are up-to-date, and amounts align to sales forecasts you can have confidence in.
You can even set up automations that trigger when certain deal conditions are met. For example, whenever opportunities are set to close in the next week, Scratchpad can highlight them to ensure they’re prioritized by reps and their managers.
Scratchpad offers flexible pricing to meet the needs of teams at any stage.
- Paid plans with a forecasting module start at $99/user per month, unlocking powerful features for automated forecasting and pipeline management.
- Those with smaller budgets can opt for Scratchpad Lite at no cost — the perfect way for an individual or a small business to benefit from streamlined visibility.
The best part?
Every organization has unique requirements, which is why we allow fully customizable upgrades.
Augment any Scratchpad plan through our add-ons to achieve a tailored fit aligned to your workflows. For instance, you can subscribe to the ‘Lite’ plan and get a forecasting add-on separately.
- G2: 4.8/5 (1400+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.9/5 (90+ reviews)
Pipedrive is a CRM that facilitates sales forecasting — primarily through its user-friendly interface and data-driven approach.
At its core, the tool leverages a combination of visual sales pipelines and analytical tools to provide an actionable view of sales activities.
- A visual interface allows for easy tracking of deals through different stages, offering visibility into your sales pipeline.
- Foresee deal, team, and client revenue from subscriptions and repeat sale orders to report on cash flow confidently.
- Set deal close probabilities for each pipeline stage, enabling forecasting based on deal progression.
- Generate detailed, customizable reports that provide insights into sales performance, facilitating an accurate forecast.
Paid plan with forecasting features starts at $49.90/user per month.
- G2: 4.2/5 (1,700+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (2,900+ reviews)
Anaplan, a cloud-based financial planning platform that helps sales teams use forecasting to make informed decisions, optimize resource allocation and supply chain ops, and achieve their revenue targets precisely.
- Driver-based forecasting to uncover the underlying drivers (factors) influencing sales performance.
- Analyze your sales forecast by geography, product line, or other metrics.
- Anaplan's modeling engine supports complex calculations and "what-if" scenarios for projections.
- Facilitate collaboration among sales teams, fostering goal alignment and shared accountability.
Contact the Anaplan team for a product demo and pricing.
- G2: 4.6/5 (310+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.3/5 (20+ reviews)
4. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM offers a selection of forecasting tools that harness the power of historical data, stage probabilities, and pipeline trends to predict future sales performance.
- Tailor forecasts to specific business needs, including custom fiscal years and adjustable forecast categories.
- Get insights into sales activity and performance across different territories.
- Zoho CRM employs Zia, an AI assistant, to score leads and deals, predicting their likelihood of success.
- Leverage advanced analytics for in-depth analysis and sales trend identification.
Zoho’s “Standard” plan starts at $89/user per month.
- G2: 4/5 (2500+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.3/5 (6500+ reviews)
HubSpot is a CRM designed to assist sales teams in forecasting by understanding market trends and aligning their strategies accordingly. The software integrates with daily sales activities, contributing to more accurate forecasts.
- Provides a detailed picture of your sales pipeline, with the ability to delve into specifics, ensuring your team stays on target.
- Tailor the tool to your business needs with customizable forecast categories and models, providing flexibility in forecasting.
- View high-level forecasts broken down by team, facilitating insights into team performance and goal setting.
- User-friendly interface for ease of use, making forecast planning and team meetings more efficient and productive.
Pricing plans for HubSpot's CRM ‘Professional’ plan with forecasting features start at $450 per month (includes 5 paid users).
- G2: 4.4/5 (10,900+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (3900+ reviews)
6. Xactly Forecasting
Xactly Forecasting is a tool for sales leaders, managers, and reps, focusing on precision and efficiency in sales forecasting. This tool leverages AI-guided intelligence and data-driven insights to enhance sales performance and revenue predictability.
- Harnesses CRM data to provide insights on the state of your revenue pipeline.
- Integrate revenue data to visualize and address sales performance gaps.
- Segment your sales pipeline into manageable groups for granular analysis and targeted interventions
- Test different forecasting scenarios to prepare for various market conditions and strategic decisions.
Xactly Forecasting has several enterprise software partners and systems integrators to support revenue growth. These include Salesforce, Microsoft, and Oracle.
Contact the Xactly team for a product demo and price quote.
- G2: 4.2/5 (100+ reviews)
- Capterra: N/A
7. Forecast Pro
Forecast Pro, a statistical sales forecasting tool, empowers sales teams to make informed decisions and optimize their sales process through the power of advanced statistical analysis.
- Features an Excel-like grid for easy adjustments and automatic reconciliation of changes at any hierarchy level.
- Allows forecasting at any level of granularity and supports hierarchy pivoting.
- Offers customizable reports focusing on different performance metrics to identify potential problem areas.
- Facilitates mapping history from existing or discontinued items to new items during forecasting, useful in various scenarios like product-line extensions or warehouse transitions.
Pricing for Forecast Pro starts at $1,495 for a single-user annual license.
- G2: 3.9/5 (10+ reviews)
- Capterra: N/A
Clari, is a revenue operations platform that provides AI-driven insights and automation to enhance sales effectiveness and forecasting for businesses.
- Predictive sales analytics powered by AI for informed decision-making.
- Facilitate seamless collaboration and accountability through advanced deal management.
- Automate sales processes, improving efficiency by streamlining routine tasks and workflows.
- Comprehensive forecasting tools use data-driven models to enhance accuracy and support revenue goals.
While Clari does not make their pricing publicly available, it is believed to be around $1,500 annually per user.
- G2: 4.5/5 (1,500+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (10+ reviews)
9. Salesforce Sales Cloud
Salesforce Sales Cloud is a CRM that gives organizations the ability to manage and automate their sales process from lead generation to deal closure in a centralized, cloud-based system.
- Automate activity management in CRM for streamlined data consolidation, creating a unified source of truth and enabling efficient reporting on sales activities at scale.
- Enable real-time forecast management for predictable growth, align metrics with business goals, and ensure accountability through shared insights on top deals and forecast trends.
- Boost seller efficiency with intuitive drag-and-drop workflow and process automation, optimizing territory assignments to align with sales goals.
- Customizable reports, dashboards, quoting, and contracts
Pricing for Salesforce Sales Cloud that includes forecasting capabilities ranges anywhere from $80 per user per month to $500 per user per month.
- G2: 4.3/5 (18,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (18,000+ reviews)
10. Freshsales CRM
Freshsales CRM empowers sales teams to forecast sales through its AI-powered forecasting capabilities.
It leverages historical data, deal stage probabilities, and real-time market insights to provide sales leaders with the insights they need to make informed decisions, optimize sales process and resource allocation, and achieve their revenue goals.
- Leverages AI algorithms to analyze historical sales data, deal stage probabilities, and real-time market insights to generate sales forecasts.
- Integrate forecasting data with Freshworks' CRM, offering a unified view of sales data and processes.
- Gain instant visibility into pipeline performance, potential roadblocks, and key sales metrics through dashboards and reports.
- Monitor forecast accuracy over time and identify areas for improvement with diagnostic tools and historical comparisons.
Paid plans with AI-based forecasting insights (Enterprise plan) start at $83/user per month.
- G2: 4.5/5 (1,100+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (600+ reviews)
Gong is an AI-powered revenue intelligence platform with forecasting features tailored to the needs of sales teams.
- Keep your focus on high-impact deals using AI, enhancing the chances of winning them.
- Combines historical performance data with current pipeline trends to call revenue outcomes confidently.
- Can listen to calls and analyze emails, providing insights into customer behavior and sentiment to evaluate deal progression.
- Comprehensive sales analytics, bringing together deal, pipeline, and team insights in one place.
Contact the Gong.io team to get a customized priced quote based on your team size.
- G2: 4.7/5 (5,400+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (500+ reviews)
It’s clear that many CRMs, like Salesforce and HubSpot, offer forecasting features.
But are they good enough for your forecasting needs?
The Problem With Built-In Forecasting Modules in CRMs
Legacy CRM forecasting often burdens sales teams with inefficient processes and limited visibility into pipeline performance.
Sales professionals often face these common pain points when relying on CRM forecasting:
- Manual data input and complex analyses waste a lot of time for both a sales rep and a sales manager
- Disconnected tools and activities can cause data inconsistencies, resulting in forecasting inaccuracies
- Poor UI/UX reduces user adoption and productivity, making it harder for sales leaders to make an informed decision
- Overwhelming information overload, as these tools are not tailored to the specific workflows of sales reps and leaders
- Most CRMs come with a steep learning curve, requiring significant time and effort to master, drawing resources away from core sales activities
Thankfully, dedicated tools like Scratchpad resolve these pain points with:
- Automated data syncing
- Built-in analytics
- User-friendly UI designed for each sales role's workflow
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, how do you choose a forecasting tool?
What to Look For in a Sales Forecasting Tool: 7 Must-Have Features
Navigating the different kinds of sales forecasting tools can feel overwhelming. To ease the process for you, we’ve identified six essential features that are crucial for transforming uncertain estimations into precise, data-driven insights.
1. Compatibility With Your Existing Stack: The tool should seamlessly integrate with your current systems, avoiding the need for complete overhauls or data transfers to new platforms. For example, teams using Salesforce can seamlessly integrate Scratchpad into their daily sales operations.
2. Integration With External Data Sources: The software should be able to leverage external data like market trends and competitor analysis for forecasts that truly reflect real-world scenarios.
3. User-Friendliness for Reps & Leaders: A user-friendly interface is crucial for efficient use by both reps and leaders. Tools with intuitive designs and clear navigation ensure that all team members can effectively utilize the software, leading to better adoption and more accurate data input.
4. Visualizations: Visual tools like charts and graphs turn complex data into understandable insights. They help in quickly identifying trends, making comparisons, and understanding the sales pipeline at a glance, which is vital for strategic decision-making.
5. Detailed Rollups: Siloed data is the enemy of accurate forecasting. Your tool should break down those silos with powerful rollups, letting you slice and dice your pipeline by territory, product line, rep performance, or any custom criteria you can imagine. This granular view reveals hidden gems and potential roadblocks before they blindside you.
6. Automation & Alerts: Automations streamline repetitive tasks while alerts keep you updated on critical changes or milestones. This feature enhances efficiency and ensures that important opportunities or risks are not overlooked.
7. Data Security & Compliance: Security is not optional. Ensure your tool offers robust data encryption, access controls, and compliance with industry regulations. Your reps' hard work and confidential client information deserve Fort Knox-level protection, not a leaky bucket.
8. Demand Forecasting: Effective sales forecasting isn't complete without incorporating demand forecasting, which in turn facilitates demand planning. This feature allows you to predict customer demand patterns accurately, ensuring your sales strategies, inventory management, and supply chain operations are in sync with market needs.
Look for tools offering predictive analytics for subscription trends, capacity planning for resource allocation, and scalability projections.
Tip: Keep in mind that your industry and target audience can influence your choice of sales forecasting software. For instance, a B2B SaaS company may prioritize software designed for managing complex deal cycles, while a smaller startup may prefer a tool that's easy to use and navigate.
Still have questions about sales forecasting software? Let’s tackle them.
Other FAQs About Sales Forecasting Software
1. What Are the Different Types of Forecasting Software?
Sales forecasting tools are often categorized as follows:
A. Based on Functionality
- Sales Pipeline Forecasting: This future-focused tool analyzes your current deals, their stages, and probabilities to predict what you'll actually close.
- Historical Sales Forecasting: These tools use past sales trend data to spot patterns and facilitate an accurate prediction of what's to come.
Note: The best forecasting tools leverage both approaches to develop accurate forecasts.
B. Based on Deployment
- Cloud-based: The ultimate in accessibility, these tools live online and are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Think Scratchpad and Freshsales CRM.
- On-premise: These self-hosted tools require some tech muscle to set up, but offer more control and customization. Tools like Anaplan and InsightSquared fall into this category.
- Open-source: For the tech-savvy sales leader, open-source tools offer free access and the ability to tailor them to your specific needs. OpenForecast is a popular choice here.
2. How does Sales Forecasting Software Work?
Sales forecasting software employs various models to predict future sales, each with its unique approach:
- Time Series Model: Analyzes patterns in historical data, like seasonality or trends, to forecast future sales. This model is effective in stable environments with consistent historical data.
- Causal Model: Considers external factors like market trends, economic indicators, or promotional activities that might influence sales. These models are ideal for dynamic markets where external factors significantly impact sales.
- Judgmental Model: Relies on expert opinions and market knowledge, especially useful when historical data is lacking or in scenarios with new products or markets. This model leverages human intuition and experience for accurate sales forecasting.
3. What Are Some Sales Forecasting Software Trends to Look Out For in 2024?
Sales leaders, managers, and reps should be aware of the emerging trends that are set to redefine how sales projection is conducted.
These trends not only promise enhanced accuracy but also greater integration and accessibility. Here are the key trends to watch out for:
- Increased Use of AI and ML: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are becoming integral in sales forecasting, enhancing predictive analytics and providing more accurate forecasts.
- More Integrated Sales Forecasting Solutions: Say goodbye to data islands and fragmented insights. Integrated forecasting solutions seamlessly connect your CRM, marketing automation tools, and even your social media listening platforms. Imagine a forecast that reflects not just pipeline activity but also competitor chatter and customer sentiment.
- Increased Adoption of Cloud-based Sales Forecasting Software: Ditch the clunky on-premise software. Cloud-based forecasting tools like Scratchpad are soaring in popularity, offering accessibility, scalability, and security that on-prem solutions simply can't match.
Redefine Sales Forecasting Beyond CRMs With Scratchpad
Armed with the tips and insights from this article, you're well-equipped to choose the best sales forecasting software for your business needs.
As you explore the options, remember, the ideal solution is the one that seamlessly integrates into your workflow, empowers your team, and helps you scale with confidence.
This is where Scratchpad stands out.
Scratchpad not only simplifies but also enhances your sales forecasting experience.
Why not see the difference for yourself?
Start using Scratchpad for free to take your forecasting to the next level.