The "compare dates" function within the insights page allows you to compare your sales forecast between two different dates. We know the graphs aren't fantastically intuitive, but we think it is worth the effort to get familiar with the analysis they can give you a very quick view of what's behind all the changes to your forecast - new deals, lost deals, slippage and everything in between.
Selecting the right inputs
Here's a quick guide on how to use them.......
Firstly, you need to decide what financial period you are interested in. For example, you might just want to look at this quarter or next quarter. You select this period of time using the menu bar at the top with 'period start' and 'number of months'.
Secondly, you are comparing two forecasts and you need to select which ones. We automatically save your forecast every 15 days, so select which one to use from the 'compare' list. If you have saved a forecast yourself on other dates, they will appear here to. Then choose what to compare to using the 'to' menu. You'll probably want to leave this as 'today' if you want to compare to your latest forecast, but you can also select any saved forecast from this list.
As an example, say you want to compare today's forecast to the one you saved at the July board meeting and you are only interested in the forecast for Q3. Then you would select inputs as follows:
Then click 'apply' to create your insight graph.
Understanding the 'compare dates' output
The compare dates analysis shows a ribbon chart illustrating the changes in your forecast between one date and another as illustrated below.
The left hand column shows the forecast at the first date (in this case, the forecast on 29 Jul 2019) and the changes that have had a positive impact on the forecast since that date.
The right hand column shows the forecast at the second date (in this case, the forecast on 27 Aug 2019) and the changes that have had a negative impact on the forecast since that date.
The bottom section of the graph shows the breakdown of the forecast at each date. In this case, the breakdown is by sales owner but other graphs are provided to show a breakdown by client and by deal. In all cases, only the 10 largest items are shown.
The top section of the graph shows changes in the forecast.
Changes that have a positive impact between the two dates are:
- New deals
- Deals with an increase in value
- Deals previously forecast for a later period now forecast for this period i.e. that are early
- Deals previously forecast for an earlier period now forecast for this period i.e. that are late
Changes that have a negative impact between the two dates are:
- Lost deals
- Deals with a decrease in value
- Deals previously forecast for this period now forecast for a later period i.e. that are late
- Deals previously forecast for this period now forecast for an earlier period i.e. that are early