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Customized Forecasting – A HigherEchelon Model

July 6, 2018 in

Forecasts are an integral component of most sales teams. It is critical to review, receive and analyze accurate sales forecasts based on Company sales processes and business goals. Salesforce.com offers an out-of-the-box, free Forecasting tool. Salesforce Forecasting has many great features, but there is not a lot of room for customization. That said, it is still possible to provide the accurate forecasting sales teams need by building a custom forecast solution – without code.

Reviewing forecasts is a focus of every sales meeting that occurs at HigherEchelon. HigherEchelon uses Salesforce to manage sales opportunities and had the following forecasting requirements:

  1. Calculate Forecast Revenue based on standard Opportunity field Amount and Opportunity custom fields Contract Start Date and Duration in Months
  2. Revenue Forecasts dynamically change whenever Opportunity Amount, Contract Start Date and/or Duration in Months values change
  3. If the Opportunity Stage is “Execute” and Opportunity Amount, Contract Start Date and/or Duration in Months values change, do NOT adjust any Forecasts from previous or the current month
  4. Revenue Forecasts are prorated based on Contract Start Date
  5. Revenue Forecasts can be viewed from Opportunity page layouts
  6. Review ALL Forecast Revenue, regardless of forecast month, in a Dashboard by Calendar Month/Year

HigherEchelon selected a custom solution because standard Salesforce Forecasting does not support:

  1. Custom Amount fields (#1 and #3 above)
  2. Viewing Forecasts from an Opportunity if you are not using Opportunity Splits and/or Products; HigherEchelon uses neither (#5 above)
  3. Viewing more than 12 calendar months in a forecast (#6 above)

HigherEchelon designed the below solution to meet their Forecasting needs:

  • Create a new custom object called “Revenue Forecasts”
  • Revenue Forecasts have a master-detail relationship with Opportunity
  • Each Revenue Forecast record includes the Forecast Month and Forecast Amount
  • Revenue Forecasts are never created or deleted by users, but can be edited as necessary
  • Add “Revenue Forecasts” as a Related List Lightning Component to Opportunity page layouts

  • Leverage declarative tools Process Builder and Flow to manage forecasting logic
  • Build 4 custom reports and add to 1 Forecasting Dashboard, which is reviewed every sales meeting

While Salesforce does have a nice, free Forecasting solution, it does not meet every organization’s needs. Salesforce Forecasting could not be customized to meet HigherEchelon’s requirement. Instead, HigherEchelon built a custom forecasting solution using declarative tools like custom objects, Process Builder and Flow.