February 24, 2023

Top 7 Sales Forecasting Tools for SMBs in 2023

Reading time about 13 min

An accurate sales forecast helps you plan more efficiently and saves you a lot of money. Instead of shooting in the dark, you can make informed business decisions about hiring, adjusting your sales strategy, or planning the next quarter.

On the other hand, inaccurate forecasts have serious consequences. 

Underestimating future revenue can mean missed opportunities and lower profits. And overestimating potential outcomes results in demotivation, frustration, and burnout as your sales team struggles to meet unrealistic targets. 

That’s why it’s critical to choose a sales forecasting tool carefully.

A good sales forecasting tool is like a crystal ball for your business — only, with correct predictions. It estimates how much money you’re going to make, points out potential blockers, and saves you headaches down the line. 

In this guide, we’re featuring sales leaders’ favorite tools for sales forecasting that deliver reliable predictions. Let’s dive in.

How Sales Forecasting Tools Help Business

You can do sales forecasting in Excel manually. Why invest in technology? 

There are many advantages to using sales forecasting tools. 

1. Accuracy

For one thing, creating an accurate sales forecast is a science and not all salespeople nail it. It involves a deep understanding of sales data, market trends, and customer behavior.

2. Time saving

Manual sales forecasting is a time-consuming process. It takes hours of work every week to collect and analyze the sales data needed to make informed predictions. Fore the forecast to be of any use, it needs to be constantly updated.

This can be a drain on sales teams, taking away valuable time that could be spent on actual sales.

3. Error-free

Perhaps most importantly, manual sales forecasting is simply not as accurate as machine-based forecasting. Sales forecasting platforms use sophisticated algorithms that update in real time and are not prone to mistakes like humans. 

So why do you need a sales forecasting tool?

In short, sales forecasting software collects and analyzes historical sales data, market trends, and other relevant information to identify patterns and make predictions about future sales. 

It not only saves you time and resources but also improves the accuracy of your sales forecasts.

Sales Forecasting Methods Offered by Software

Different tools employ different forecasting methods. The most popular are:

  • Historical forecasting: Uses past sales data to predict future sales. It assumes future performance won’t differ much from the past so historical data can be used to identify trends and make predictions.
  • Weighted pipeline or opportunity-stage forecasting: The idea behind this method is to assign a probability of closing to each stage in the sales process. The probability increases down the sales funnel. Then estimates about future sales are calculated based on how many deals you have at each stage with the corresponding probability.
  • Lead-driven forecasting: This technique involves evaluating every lead source’s potential to bring sales based on past data. These scores are then used to forecast sales for each lead source. This method helps you focus on the most promising lead sources if you can’t cover them all.
  • Length of sales cycle forecasting: When using this method, you look at the time it takes to close a deal and make predictions about future sales based on that.

There’s also a difference in the technology sales forecasting tools use to make revenue predictions. Some platforms are AI-powered, which means they use real-time data and artificial intelligence to deliver forecasts with minimal input from sales teams. If you feel comfortable with relying on AI insights, you’ll find some AI-powered tools on our list.

Most platforms on our list, however, combine the power of automation and human input, creating accurate forecasts.

The Best Sales Forecasting Tools Compared

Here are the most popular CRM software with sales forecasting functionality. As you see, not all are geared towards small businesses but it’s important to mention and compare them so you see the difference.

Related: 8 Best CRM Software Examples for Small Business

1. Brevo (ex Sendinblue) — the best sales forecasting tool for small businesses

Brevo (ex Sendinblue) is a sales forecasting tool

Brevo (ex Sendinblue) is an all-in-one marketing platform that offers a convenient sales forecasting tool to help businesses predict future revenue.

The tool uses a weighted pipeline approach. This means estimating your future revenue based on the probability of closing deals at each stage of the sales pipeline. 

This approach lets you customize the forecasting process to better reflect your business’s unique sales cycle and customer behavior.

sales forecast in Brevo (ex Sendinblue) CRM

Additional features

Brevo (ex Sendinblue) offers a full marketing and sales toolkit:

  • Customer relationship management system (CRM)
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Task and pipeline management
  • Email marketing
  • SMS and WhatsApp marketing
  • Transactional email
  • Marketing automation
  • Landing pages and signup forms
  • Push notifications
  • Live chat and chatbot

Brevo (ex Sendinblue) pricing

The sales forecasting tool is a part of Brevo (ex Sendinblue) CRM, which is completely free. Manage deals, tasks, and sales reps without limits! 

Best for:

Brevo (ex Sendinblue)’s sales forecasting tool is best for businesses that want to make data-driven decisions with improved revenue forecasting accuracy. 

It’s also a complete toolkit under one roof. All Brevo (ex Sendinblue)’s products integrate smoothly with each other for a 360-degree management of customer relationships and engagement. With its affordable pricing plans and easy-to-use interface, Brevo (ex Sendinblue) is the most affordable, beginner-friendly, and comprehensive solution on this list.

2. Pipedrive

pipedrive sales forecasting tool

Pipedrive is a sales CRM and pipeline management software with revenue forecasting functionality.

To get started with Pipedrive’s sales forecasting feature, you need to set up your sales pipeline. Input relevant data for each deal such as deal value, expected close date, and deal stage. 

Pipedrive’s algorithm analyzes the information to create a sales forecast for the upcoming weeks or months. The more data you enter, the more accurate results you get.

Additional features

You get access to a sales automation toolkit when you sign up for Pipedrive:

  • Lead management
  • Pipeline management
  • Email scheduling
  • Task management
  • Workflow automation
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Mobile app

Pipedrive pricing

Revenue forecasting is available on Pipedrive’s top-tier plans, starting at $49.90 (billed yearly) or $59.90 (billed monthly) per user per month.

Best for:

Pipedrive is a decent solution for small and mid-sized businesses looking specifically for a pipeline management tool. That’s usually SaaS businesses. It gets pricey as you add more users.

3. Zoho

zoho sales forecast

Zoho CRM is sales software that offers a flexible forecasting system using real-time data.

Zoho’s forecasting feature uses AI, which is both good and bad. Zia, the AI-powered assistant, finds patterns in historical data and predicts the chances for each deal to convert.

On the downside, users express concerns about the accuracy of Zia’s predictions. Complete automation of sales forecasting yet doesn’t feel right to many.

You can play around with Zoho’s predictions to make the most of the data. For example, use Zoho’s forecasting feature to compare your actual sales performance to your forecasted performance and identify areas to adjust sales activities.

Additional features

  • Sales automation
  • CRM
  • Basic email automation
  • Mobile app

Zoho CRM pricing

Forecasting isn’t available on Zoho’s free plan for small teams up to 3 users. You can access predictive insights on the Professional plan, starting at $23/user/month billed annually.

Best for: 

Zoho is preferred by small and mid-market companies that already use other Zoho tools.

4. HubSpot

HubSpot sales forecasting tool

HubSpot’s sales forecasting feature is part of its Sales Hub. The tool monitors your pipeline, predicts future revenue, and tracks progress towards sales goals.

Similar to Brevo (ex Sendinblue), HubSpot forecasts revenue based on the deal stages. It also displays a progress bar to show you how individual sales reps are doing in reaching their forecasted quotas.

Additional features

In addition to sales forecasting, HubSpot users get access to:

  • CRM
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Sales automation
  • Email sequencing
  • Live chat
  • Chatbot
  • Signup forms
  • Mobile app
  • Predictive lead scoring (only on Sales Hub Enterprise)

HubSpot pricing

HubSpot’s sales forecasting is only available on the premium tiers of Sales Hub and Service Hub, starting at $450/month each. New users are also charged a one-time $750 onboarding fee.

Best for:

HubSpot is best for bigger companies that use the HubSpot Sales Hub or are looking for a customizable CRM solution (and can afford it). Discover more HubSpot alternatives here.

5. Salesforce

salesforce sales forecasting tool

Salesforce is a cloud-based sales automation platform that offers a powerful sales forecasting feature. It uses historical data and AI to make predictions about future sales revenue.

In Salesforce, users can create custom forecast reports and dashboard views. Complex sales processes can be tracked here with the right amounts of credits to sales overlays, by revenue, contract value, and more. 

Managers can set quotas for team members, track progress toward meeting those quotas, and adjust them as necessary. 

Salesforce’s AI-powered forecasting tool is called Einstein Forecasting. It uses machine learning and data science to provide sales teams with predictions based on sales history.

Additional features

Salesforce Sales Cloud offers a comprehensive toolkit for salespeople and marketers:

  • Lead generation
  • Contact management
  • Sales automation
  • CRM
  • Reporting & analytics
  • Quote management
  • Mobile app

Salesforce pricing

Pipeline forecasting is accessible on the Professional plan ($75/user/month) and higher. Sales Cloud Einstein is available starting from the Enterprise plan ($150/user/month).

Best for:

Salesforce is clearly not an out-of-the-box solution. It’s suitable for larger companies with complex processes and big budgets.

6. SugarCRM

SugarCRM sales forecasting tool

Sugar Sell, a part of SugarCRM solutions, is a sales automation platform with forecasting capabilities. 

Sales managers can create forecasts based on their current pipelines and set quotas for time periods.

AI-based predictive forecasting is also available. The tool uses the company’s historical performance to identify trends and make sales predictions.

Additional features

Sugar Sell offers the following features for sales teams:

  • Sales automation
  • Omnichannel customer communications
  • Customer journeys
  • CRM
  • Quote management
  • Reporting & analytics
  • Mobile app

SugarCRM pricing

Sugar Sell starts at $49/user/month. All plans include the manual sales forecasting feature.

Predictive forecasting is a part of the Sell Premier plan that costs $135/user/month and requires a minimum of 10 paid users.

Best for: 

Mid-sized businesses

7. Outreach

outreach sales forecasting

Outreach, a sales execution platform, specializes in pipeline management for mid-market companies and enterprises.

The tool automatically aggregates the forecast for each team and sales representative, providing a full picture of your sales pipeline. It uses a combination of historical data analysis, machine learning algorithms, and predictive modeling to provide sales forecasts.

Additional features

Other than sales forecasting, Outreach has a lot of features:

  • Scenario planning
  • Opportunity management
  • Deal health intelligence
  • Sales workflows

Outreach pricing

Outreach doesn’t display pricing publicly.

Best for: 

Sales teams of mid-sized and large companies looking

Plan Your Pipeline With a Reliable Sales Forecasting Tool

When choosing a sales forecasting solution, pay attention to how easy it is to create and manage forecasts with the tools on your shortlist. Oftentimes, advanced capabilities and complex interfaces bring nothing but confusion to small teams. 

Brevo (ex Sendinblue) is an intuitive sales automation tool for small businesses. It makes it easy to create a reliable revenue forecast and plan your pipeline. 

Try Brevo (ex Sendinblue)’s FREE Sales CRM

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