Configure forecasts in your organization

A forecast helps your organization predict how much revenue your sales team generates in a given time frame. When done correctly, forecasting can play a significant role in your company's success.

Tip

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License and role requirements

Requirement type You must have
License Dynamics 365 Sales Premium or Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise
For more information, see Dynamics 365 Sales pricing.
Security roles System Administrator or Forecast Manager
For more information, see Predefined security roles for Sales.

How forecasting helps organizations?

Using forecasts:

  • Sellers can track performance against targets and identify pipeline risks that might jeopardize their ability to hit them.
  • Managers can track individual sales performance against quotas to proactively provide coaching.
  • Directors can use forecast trends to anticipate departmental sales and reallocate resources if necessary.
  • Organization leaders can use the projected estimates to change the product strategy or provide updated projections to investors.

Forecasting isn't supported on Government Community Cloud (GCC) or mobile devices.

Configure forecasting

You can configure forecasts that are based on revenue or quantity. You define the type of forecast, the hierarchy, access permissions, and the details you want to see in the forecast grid. After a forecast is activated, your sales team can view the revenue, or quantity, and pipeline projections.

  1. Sign in to the Sales Hub app.

  2. In the site map, select the Change area icon Icon to change the work area, and then select App Settings.

  3. Under Performance management, select Forecast configuration. A screenshot of the forecast configuration page in Sales Hub Performance Management settings.

    If you're getting started with forecasting, play around with the sample forecast configuration before creating a new one.

  4. Select a template.

  5. Define and schedule a forecast model.

  6. Provide access permissions.

  7. Configure columns and layouts.

  8. Configure and manage drill-down entities.

  9. Configure advanced settings.

  10. Activate the forecast and upload data.

Use the sample forecast configuration

A ready-to-publish sample forecast configuration is available to you. Use the sample forecast to experiment and discover how forecasting works. Learn how to tweak the parameters and filters to suit your organization's needs.

  1. Go to App Settings > Performance management > Forecast configuration.

    You see a sample forecast configuration in your first-run experience. You can directly activate the forecast if you'd like to use the default settings. After the status turns Active, you can view the forecast.

    Screenshot of the three-dot menu for activating the sample forecast.

    If you want to know who has access to the forecast or restrict access to the forecast, continue with the following steps.

  2. Select Sample forecast.

  3. In the General step, check the Preview section to see the users who are part of the forecast. By default, all these users will have access to view the forecast after you activate it.

    A screenshot of the General step of the Forecast configuration page, with a preview of the selected hierarchy shown.

  4. If you want to limit access, go to the Permissions step and select the appropriate security roles.

  5. Go to the Activate & add quotas step and select Activate forecast to make the forecast available to users in the hierarchy.

  6. Wait for the status to turn Active.

  7. View the forecast to know the actual and forecasted values for your sales teams.

Use APIs to upload forecast data

After a forecast is activated, you can use the msdyn_ForecastApi custom action to upload forecasting data to simple columns. For more information, go to msdyn_ForecastApi action.

Find your forecasts

In the Sales site map, find Forecasts under Performance.

Screenshot of the Sales Hub site map that shows Forecasts under Performance.

In the Opportunity form, Forecast Category appears above Description.

Screenshot of an opportunity form with the Forecast category expanded.

The categories define the confidence level of closing the opportunity. You can add custom values for your organization if you need to. To learn more, see Capture forecast category for opportunity.

  • Forecast category options include Won and Lost. If an opportunity is closed as Won or Lost, the Opportunity Forecast Category Mapping Process out-of-the-box workflow automatically changes the forecast category to match.

  • To view the Opportunity Forecast Category Mapping Process workflow, go to Settings > Process Center > Processes and select the All Processes view. Search for and open the Opportunity Forecast Category Mapping Process workflow. You can customize or deactivate the workflow according to your organization's requirements.

  • Are you using a custom option set instead of a forecast category? You need to create a workflow to automatically sync the opportunity status with your option set to make sure that the projection is accurate. To learn more, see Create a cloud flow in Power Automate.

If you don't want to see the forecast category in the opportunity form, you need to customize the form. You can't use the Visible by default option to hide it. To learn more, see Unable to hide forecast category field in opportunity forms.

Important

The forecasting feature is intended to help sales managers or supervisors enhance their team’s performance. It is not intended for use in making, and should not be used to make, decisions that affect the employment of an employee or group of employees, including compensation, rewards, seniority, or other rights or entitlements. Customers are solely responsible for using Dynamics 365, this feature, and any associated feature or service in compliance with all applicable laws, including laws relating to accessing individual employee analytics and monitoring, recording, and storing communications with users. This also includes adequately notifying users that their communications with sales persons may be monitored, recorded, or stored and, as required by applicable laws, obtaining consent from users before using the feature with them. Customers are also encouraged to have a mechanism in place to inform their sales persons that their communications with users may be monitored, recorded, or stored.

Can't find the options in your app?

There are three possibilities:

  • You don't have the necessary license or role.
  • Your administrator hasn't turned on the feature.
  • Your organization is using a custom app. Check with your administrator for exact steps. The steps described in this article are specific to the out-of-the-box Sales Hub and Sales Professional apps.

See also

Blog: Tips for setting up sales forecasting in Dynamics 365 Sales
System and application users who can push data to Dataverse
Project accurate revenue with sales forecasting
View forecasts
About premium forecasting msdyn_ForecastApi action
Forecasting FAQs