The Ultimate Guide To Your Forecast Call

Published on November 1, 2023 by David Zhang

The Ultimate Guide To Your Forecast Call

Forecast calls are essential elements in the world of sales management, providing a platform for teams to analyze and predict future sales outcomes. Predicting future sales is as much an art as it’s a science. With today's hyper-competitive environment, the ability to accurately forecast sales outcomes is more critical than ever. It allows businesses to make informed decisions, plan strategic objectives and manage resources effectively.

In this exhaustive guide, we will delve deeply into the blueprint for a successful forecast call. Whether you are a seasoned sales manager or new to the role, this guide aims to sharpen your forecasting skills and prepare you to derive the maximum utility from your forecast calls.

What Is a Forecast Call?

At its core, a forecast call is a routine meeting where sales teams discuss the likelihood of deals closing within a specific timeframe. The accuracy of this sales forecasting impacts multiple facets of your business, including budgeting, goal setting, resource allocation, and investment decisions.

Why Forecast Calls Matter

Forecast calls provide insights into your sales pipeline and help you identify challenges and opportunities. An efficient call can predict cash flows, support in risk assessment, and drive alignment between sales and other stakeholders like finance and operations. Moreover, maintaining accuracy in forecast calls can optimize inventory levels, prevent overselling, and facilitate better customer relationships.

Preparing for a Forecast Call

Preparation is crucial to a successful forecast call. Here's what you need:

  1. Data and CRM Reports: Bring to the table updated and clean data. Sales teams often use CRM systems to track prospects' positions in the sales pipeline. Ensure that the CRM is up-to-date with the latest information on deals and their projected close date.
  2. Deal Inspection: Examine deal health by assessing buyer engagement levels, understanding the decision process, and evaluating competitive positioning.
  3. Historical Performance: Review past forecast call accuracy to understand variances and improve future predictions.
  4. Subject Expert Input: Consult with team members or subject matter experts who have direct insights into the deals that are being discussed. Often, frontline salespeople can offer qualitative data that might not be evident solely from CRM analytics.
  5. Market Conditions: Consider external factors that may affect sales performance such as seasonality, economic shifts, and competitive actions. Enlightened forecast calls go beyond internal data and factor in the market landscape.
  6. Pipeline Stages: Understand deals in each pipeline stage, recognizing that those closer to 'Closed Won' might have a higher likelihood of realization.

Running the Forecast Call

When it's time to conduct the forecast call, follow this framework to streamline the process and ensure a comprehensive discussion:

  1. Review the Agenda: Start by outlining the critical points for discussion, providing clarity on the call's objectives.
  2. Past Performance Recap: Quickly go over the previous period's forecasts versus actual sales for context.
  3. Deal Review: Move through each deal based on priority and likelihood of closing. Discuss any changes or progress since the last call.
  4. Actionable Insights: Identify any particular trends, and encourage team members to share updates and actionable insights that could affect the sales outcomes.
  5. Risk Assessment: Highlight any potential risks to the forecast deals and brainstorm mitigation strategies.
  6. Commitment Forecasting: Segregate deals into categories such as 'commit,' 'best case,' and 'pipeline' for different forecast scenarios.
  7. Resource Allocation: Discuss if there are any resource shifts needed to move deals along the pipeline.
  8. Win/Loss Stories: Have representatives share brief accounts of wins and losses, extracting valuable lessons and best practices.
  9. Documentation and Action Items: Ensure all insights, decisions, and agreed actions are recorded and assigned.

After the Forecast Call

Post-call activities are critical to ensure insights gained translate into actions.

  • Communicate Outcomes: Share a summary of the call with all stakeholders and across relevant departments.
  • Monitor Progress: Designate team members to oversee the implementation of call action items. They should also provide continuous updates on progress or roadblocks they encounter.
  • Sales Coaching: Leverage insights from the call to coach team members on deal strategy and execution to boost sales performance.
  • Analytics and Insights: Use advanced analytics tools to assess forecast accuracy and make adjustments to future predictions. Tools like Aomni can simplify this process through AI-driven analytics and insights.

Best Practices for Forecast Calls

To enhance the effectiveness of your forecast calls, consider adopting these best practices:

  • Regular Schedule: Consistency is key. Hold forecast calls regularly to track progress and promptly tackle issues.
  • Accountability: Ensure team members know they are accountable for the accuracy of the information they provide.
  • Active Participation: Foster an environment where contributions and discussions are encouraged.
  • Objectivity: Emphasize the importance of objective data over gut feelings or opinions.
  • Forward-Looking Approach: While immediate deals are vital, also dedicate time to discuss pipeline development for future forecasting periods.


In summary, masterful execution of forecast calls contributes significantly to the success of sales organizations. It requires adept preparation, targeted execution, and continuous follow-up. By understanding the nuances involved in forecasting and adhering to the best practices laid out in this guide, your sales calls will become more anticipate and strategic, ultimately driving your organization to achieve its sales and business objectives.

Remember, the power of an effective forecast call lies in its ability to turn analytics into actionable intelligence. Tools such as Aomni can help streamline this process, providing real-time insights and automating much of the legwork involved in preparing for these meetings. With the right approach and resources, your forecast calls can transform from routine meetings into strategic assets for your organization.

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