Sales forecasting is a procedure in which a company forecast the sales of its products over a given period of time that is usually based on quarterly periods however it can be yearly or each after 2 years. The time period for forecasting sales varies from company to company. Sales forecasting has a number of methods and procedure that are solely dependent on the nature of business, market conditions and the reputation of the company or how old the company is, analysis of the rivals and the growth rate of the company. Every company needs to forecast its sales because it is an essential part of the success of a business as a company can only able to hire the right amount of the staff and other resources.
Here is preview of 24 Month Sales Forecast Template created using MS Excel,
Here are a couple of useful tips that can help you in making an accurate and effective 24 month sales forecast.
- For multi products companies it is best to divide all the products in different categories because this will make your forecasting simple and easy as well as will help you in understanding your profit and loss in different products.
- Determine a measuring tool for the sales of your company that is the number of products sold during past 24 or 36 months. Take averages of each year as well as different months as this will give you an estimation of product sales on an annual and monthly basis. For the purpose you can simply use Microsoft Excel and can collect the data of previous 2 to 4 years.
- From that collected data, find out the months in which your sales are weak as well as the months in which you think your sales are increasing. This will help you in understanding the reasons for which your sales go high and low especially when your weakest and strongest sales months are same in all years.
- Check the sales of those months in which you have used an advertising campaign or special offer. This will show you the impact of your out forces over the sales of your products.
- Finally, set a target of sales you want in the coming 24 months, set pricing but don’t forget to look at the inflation and market condition.
- Consider different factors that can affect your estimation like market competition, economic situation, seasonality, trends, political conditions, technological advances and target market.
- Keep track your forecasting because the forecasting process is a never ending process that needs a close eye and check on it.
- Prepare some B plans related to different things including marketing plans, pricing strategy, staffing and expansions for making your forecast successful.
Making a 24 month sales forecast needs to look back because only then you would be able to forecast accurate, however keep in mind that a number of internal and external unseen issues are there to affect your estimation and so one always need to make a flexible forecasting plan. After one or two forecasts the readability and estimation power of a company will become strong and then you would be able to forecast even for 3 to 5 years successfully.
Here is preview of this 24 Month Sales Forecast Template,