The 7 Best Sales Forecasting Tools to Grow Your Revenue

You know the old saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

In sales, one of the best ways to plan ahead is to invest in sales forecasting software. That way you get an accurate view of future sales performance and can act accordingly. The question is, which sales forecasting software is right for your company?

Keep reading to learn what sales forecasting software is, why it’s a valuable tool, and the seven best sales forecasting options available.

What is sales forecasting software?

Sales forecasting software is the closest thing to a crystal ball that your company will ever get.

These tools evaluate your lead volume, pipeline value, and the likelihood of each lead to close in order to predict future sales performance with a high degree of accuracy.

Sales forecasting software aims to answer three distinct questions:

  • How much revenue can we expect to generate in the future?
  • How do our actual sales compare to revenue projections?
  • Which lead types have the greatest impact on our forecasts?

Once these questions have been answered for your business, you’ll know which sales activities to focus on, which prospects are worth pursuing, whether to adjust your team’s quota, and most importantly, how to boost your sales and grow your company.

Why is sales forecasting important?

Sales forecasting helps businesses to make data-driven decisions, plan for the future, and optimize their sales processes.

Sales forecasting provides benefits in various areas, including:

  • Informing growth strategies: Sales forecasting provides data about what to expect in terms of sales and which strategies can help you get there. It enables you to plan for the future and informs strategies for sales, marketing, and your overall business performance.
  • Budgeting and resource allocation: Forecasting helps you predict how much revenue to expect in the future and where you may need additional resources to meet demand. Sales forecasting data informs budgets, hiring, inventory management, and more activities that support the sales pipeline.
  • Evaluating performance: Sales forecasting also assists in selecting benchmarks to aim for so you can ensure you’re on target to hit your goals and adjust as needed.

To realize these benefits, it’s important you select a quality sales forecasting tool that works for your business.

What are the best tools for sales forecasting?

When it comes to sales forecasting software, you have options. The key is to find the right one for your company, which will require a bit of research. Lucky for you, we’ve already done the heavy lifting. Take a look at our seven picks for the best sales forecasting software:

  1. Nutshell
  2. InsightSquared
  3. Anaplan
  4. SPOTIO
  5. Gong
  6. HubSpot
  7. Pipedrive

1. Nutshell

Nutshell is an all-in-one sales and marketing platform that helps B2B teams close more deals by taking time-wasting tasks off their plate and helping them capture their best opportunities. 

One of the top-rated CRMs on the market, Nutshell is loaded with handy features such as pipeline management, sales automation, embeddable web forms, and customizable reporting tools that are all super simple to use. Nutshell also functions as sales engagement software, helping teams automate and track communication with prospects. But what we really want to talk about is Nutshell’s sales forecasting capabilities. 

Available in the Nutshell Pro package, Nutshell’s forecast report allows you to segment your forecasts by product, pipeline stage, and more, all within the specific date ranges that matter to you.

Users also appreciate Nutshell’s pricing transparency. Nutshell Pro costs $49/user/month when billed monthly and $42/user/month when billed annually, and all Nutshell subscriptions include unlimited contact and data storage as well as access to their friendly, Michigan-based support team.

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2. InsightSquared

According to InsightSquared, “Sales is complicated enough, forecasting should not be.”

We couldn’t agree more, which is why InsightSquared leads our list of top sales forecasting software. If you invest in this tool, you’ll get access to advanced artificial intelligence that will help you streamline the forecasting process and achieve more accurate results.

Forecasts can be created for specific regions, products, and other segments. Said forecasts can then be analyzed by month or quarter. InsightSquared maintains all change records, too, which helps users understand why they’ve missed their sales goals.

Fortunately, all of this sales functionality isn’t difficult to use. InsightSquared doesn’t require any coding and comes with 350+ out-of-the-box reports so that sales managers can get up and running with the sales forecasting software in a flash.

Pricing isn’t listed on the InsightSquared website. To learn how much this forecasting solution will cost you, contact the InsightSquared sales team.

3. Anaplan

Anaplan is a flexible sales forecasting software that will help you make decisions faster and with more confidence, thanks to its impressive feature set.

With Anaplan, sales managers can forecast sales by account, territory, or product line, which makes it a flexible tool that can support many different workflows. Anaplan also has a “Predictive Insights” feature that helps users identify their best opportunities so that they can allocate the appropriate amount of resources to each one and increase revenue.

Similar to InsightSquared, Anaplan does not post prices on its website. To learn about the cost of this sales forecasting software, you’ll need to contact Anaplan directly.

4. SPOTIO

SPOTIO is the sales engagement platform that was specifically made for field sellers.

With it, outside sales teams can generate leads, assign and manage territories, design efficient routes, stay in touch with prospects and customers, automate tasks, and run customized reports.

SPOTIO’s “My Reports” feature enables field sellers to build reports based on the data that’s most relevant to them. You can easily track sales activities, pipeline metrics, and revenue data for specific reps and/or territories, then use this information to predict your future sales.

SPOTIO offers four different plans, each with its own set of features and capabilities. The SPOTIO website doesn’t clarify what each plan costs, however.

5. Gong

With Gong, you can get “total visibility into your pipeline and use AI to forecast with superhuman accuracy.” It’s a bold claim—does it hold up?

We’re not sure how to quantify “superhuman accuracy.” What we do know is that Gong is a solid sales forecasting software that will definitely help you predict future sales performance. It does this via reliable AI features that help users get more done in less time.

Basically, Gong pulls data from your team’s calls and emails; then runs the details through its AI algorithms to pinpoint trends. Gong then uses the trends information to forecast sales and make recommendations so that your team can generate more revenue.

So, how much does Gong cost? Well, that depends…

Gong creates custom pricing proposals for each of their customers. Your best bet is to sign up for a free demo of the product, tell the sales team about your needs, and let them give you a price.

6. HubSpot

HubSpot is a world-renowned marketing, sales, and customer service platform.

In terms of sales forecasting features, HubSpot has the tools sellers need to accurately predict future sales performance. For example, HubSpot includes a “Categories” feature that allows users to group sales together. According to HubSpot, this helps sales teams adjust their forecasts in real time, based on the knowledge available to them, without losing track of their current place in their pipelines.

HubSpot’s Sales Hub is available at four different price points. As you would expect, the more you spend, the more features you get access to. Unfortunately, HubSpot’s forecasting tools are only available via the Professional and Enterprise plans, which cost $450 to $1,200 a month.

Related: Why is HubSpot so expensive?

7. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a well-respected CRM tool that includes sales forecasting features.

One of the best things about Pipedrive is its highly-visual nature, which helps sellers stay organized, effectively control their pipelines, and, most importantly, take action

Pipedrive is equipped with in-depth, easy-to-understand, and customizable performance reports, too.

You can use these sales reports to analyze past performance, as well as the current state of your pipeline, and identify both bottlenecks and winning patterns. This level of knowledge can then be used to predict future results with greater accuracy.

Also of note, Pipedrive includes a “Subscription Revenue” report, which allows sales teams to factor recurring payments into their sales forecasts.

Pipedrive offers five different plans, though only three of them include sales forecasting features. Expect to spend between $49 and $119 per user per month if you choose Pipedrive as your sales forecasting software.

Key features to look for when evaluating sales forecasting tools

With so many sales forecasting software options, choosing the right one takes time and effort. To help you narrow it down, here are seven vital features to evaluate.

1. Long-term strategic planning capabilities

Your sales forecasts should look at more than just the short term, so look for a sales forecasting tool that enables you to plan for your business’s long-term growth and sustainability.

Look for features that allow you to create forecasts for extended periods so you can align your strategies with your business goals, ensuring that your decisions today contribute to your success in the future.

2. Accurate sales projections

The accuracy of your sales projections is crucial for effective decision-making. A high-quality forecasting tool provides accurate predictions and continuously refines its predictions as new data becomes available, helping you make informed decisions with confidence.

3. Potential sales opportunities identification

The best sales forecasting tools don’t just project existing sales—they also help you identify potential sales opportunities. This could involve segmenting your audience, identifying untapped markets, and suggesting new products or services to expand into. By uncovering these opportunities, you can proactively grow your revenue and your business.

4. Analysis of specific products or services

Different sales trends and patterns may apply to different products or services. Your sales forecasting tool should allow you to forecasts sales for specific products or services in addition to your overall business.

Whether it’s identifying seasonal spikes, understanding the impact of marketing campaigns, or spotting shifts in customer preferences, this feature enables you to create strategies tailored to individual products or services.

5. Integration with data sources

Your forecasts are only as accurate as the data they’re based on, so your sales forecasting tool needs to integrate with various data sources such as your CRM, sales platform, and inventory management system. Connecting with these other tools enables your forecasting software to access real-time data, improving the accuracy of your predictions.

6. User-friendliness

While advanced capabilities are important, ease of use is just as essential. A user-friendly interface simplifies the process of creating and interpreting forecasts, making the tool accessible to your whole team. Look for intuitive dashboards, customizable reporting options, and clear visualizations that make understanding your forecasts a breeze.

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7. Scalability and customization

As your business evolves, your sales forecasting needs may change, and your forecasting software should be able to adjust to these changes. Look for a tool that allows you to customize forecasting models, adjust parameters, and add new data sources.

Ready to get started with sales forecasting?

So…which of the above solutions give you the features you need at a price you can afford? Once you’ve narrowed it down to 2-3 front-runners, sign up for free trials (if applicable) to test each app for yourself. Good luck!

Want to give Nutshell a try? As an all-in-one, user-friendly CRM, Nutshell offers sales forecasting along with everything else you need to optimize your sales process and grow your business. With Nutshell, you’ll get pipeline management, sales automation, email marketing, and much more.

Explore all of Nutshell’s powerful, easy-to-use features by signing up for a free 14-day trial today!

Photo courtesy of Wyron A on Unsplash.

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