Salesforce Forecasts & Quotas: Initial Setup & Configuration


This is the first video in our Salesforce Forecasting Series! You will learn all of the ins and outs to Salesforce's Collaborative Forecasting tool. We have implemented this tool many times over and wanted to share with you what we have learned along the way. You will learn how to do the following:

  • How to enable Forecasts
  • How to create a new Forecast Type
  • Forecast Category descriptions
  • Forecast Settings available in setup
  • Permissions users need to use and see their forecast
  • How to setup a Role Hierarchy & Forecast Hierarchy
  • Forecast tab features
  • How to enter Quotas
  • What happens if you need to change the Forecast Period
  • How to enable Historical trending for Forecasting Items
  • Gaps in roll-ups for Forecast Managers
  • What happens if you need to change or edit a Forecast Type

Salesforce Resources:

Our Business Requirements

We will set up a new Forecast Type for our sales team. They use Opportunities to manage their deals and would like to use Salesforce to manage their quotas and review their pipeline. They have requested the following:

  • Ability to see where they are at versus their goal
  • Ability to update Opportunities easily from one place
  • Training on how to manage their pipeline
  • Introduction to forecast management and how to categorize their opportunities

Our sales team consists of the following people:

  • 1 Head of Sales
  • 2 Sales Managers with 2 sales team members on each team.
  • Both Sales Managers report to the Head of Sales.

The sales team is paid a quarterly commission on all opportunities except the ones that are replacement products.

We will use these requirements to guide the setup of Forecasting and Quotas in Salesforce for the team.

Forecast Settings Tab

  • Create a new Forecast Type -> (Name = Rev Est by Month - do not use words revenue or overlay) and filter out Opportunities with Type = Existing Customer - Replacement because our sales reps are not comped on this Opportunity Type and therefore should not count towards their quota.
    • Once you activate the new forecast type, you cannot modify it without deleting existing forecast and quota data. Make sure everything is correct.
  • Enable Adjustments and Judgements -> we will cover this in a future video and recommend rolling this out after the users have used the Forecast tab for a while to manage their pipeline review meetings.
  • Manage Forecast Rollups -> Recommend leaving this on Cumulative category rollups. This means that the Commit Forecast will include the commit and closed opportunities. Best Case will include best case, commit and closed opportunities.
    • You can also edit the names of the columns
    • These Forecast Categories are coming from the Forecast Category you have setup and assigned to your Opportunity Stages. Go to Opp Stage field to see the default Forecast Category values for each stage.
    • If you want to change these values or add additional values, you can go to the Forecast Category field on the Opportunity. Recommendation would be to use the values that are there -> these terms are universal in the sales world and you want to keep them simple. Adding additional categories will only further complicate the forecasting process.
  • Choose Default Date Range -> This sets the default date range for the Forecast tab. When a user goes to this tab, they will see the date range you default here.
  • Forecast Period -> it is very important you set this correctly now. If you need to change it in the future, you will need to reimport all quotas and forecast adjustments. We recommend using monthly and giving your sales reps monthly quotas even if they are comped on a quarterly basis. You will then have the flexibility to see both the monthly and quarterly % to quota. If you choose quarterly, you will only be able to see your quarterly % to quota.
  • Show Quotas -> this allows you to show/hide the quotas on the Forecast tab. One of the major selling points of the Forecast tab is the sales rep's ability to see where they are at versus quota - we recommending showing quotas!

Forecast Hierarchy Based on User Role Hierarchy

The User Role hierarchy needs to be setup if you do not currently have one.

We have two sales managers and two sales reps that we need to setup the hierarchy for. If you have distinct regions or names that are set, you can use those in the roles names. We do not so we are going to use generic role names and assign the following sales team members:

  • Head of Sales -> Cheryl Fernandes
    • Sales Manager Team 1-> Tara Hunter
      • Sales Team 1 -> Calvin Claw
      • Sales Team 1 -> Lyla Pouncer
    • Sales Manager Team 2 -> Nate Panther
      • Sales Team 2 -> Mina Mauler
      • Sales Team 2 -> Roger Roar

Assign Roles to Users from Role Names.

Go to Forecast Hierarchy tab and Enable Users -> Assign Forecast Manager at each manager level.

Permissions for Forecast Users

Users must have Allow Forecasting checked on their user record in order to show in the Forecast tab.

User's must have the following permissions via their Profile or permission set:

  • View Roles and Role Hierarchy permission to access role-based forecasts in Lightning.
  • Access to the Forecast tab.
  • If you want a to see Forecasts for all users, they must have View All Forecasts permission.

Things to Note:

This section will outline the settings in a Forecast Type that cannot be modified once you activate and start using the forecasting tool.

  • Forecast Object, Measure, Date, Hierarchy and Custom Filters cannot be modified on a Forecast Type once it is activated without any impacts. If you need to modify one of these areas, you will need to export all forecasting objects' data, deactivate the forecast type (all forecasting data will be deleted), make changes, reactivate and then import all of the data back into Salesforce. We will be doing a future video how to do this process.
  • Forecasting Period cannot be changed without any impacts. The period cannot be changed from Monthly to Quarterly or vice versa with active forecast types. If you need to change this, you will need to do an export of all forecasting objects' data for ALL forecast types, make changes to the period (all forecasting data will be deleted) and then import all of the data back.
  • Quotas for sales reps do not roll up to managers. We consider this to be a gap in the forecasting product and will share a workaround for you in a future video. You will learn how to show the rolls ups for the managers without duplicating the quota amounts in forecasting reports.

For any questions, comments, concerns – let us know in the comment section below!
We would love to hear from you!

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About the Author

Cheryl Fernandes

Cheryl is a certified Salesforce Application Architect and is the Founder and Lead Salesforce Consultant at Blu Ninjas. She has been working with Salesforce for 12 years and has helped companies in financial services, insurance and beauty industries implement solutions on the platform. Flow is her favorite Salesforce declarative tool, it is a game changer for anyone who does not know how to code.

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