Custom forecast categories in CRM

Custom forecast categories in CRM

Last modified on 21/04/2023: Custom forecast categories are now available for all Zoho CRM users in all DCs. Note that it was an early access feature available only upon request. As of April 21, 2023, it is rolled out for al Zoho CRM accounts. Find out more about custom forecast categories in our help doc.

Hello everyone,

We're here with an exciting enhancement for forecast categories— now add up to two additional custom categories for your open deals. Let's get into the details! 

Deals are categorized into three types, Open, Closed won, and Closed lost. The various stages that follow in between, from opening a deal to qualification, negotiations, discounts, and ultimately closing the deal, are all captured using the stage field in the Deals module.

To capture additional details on the deal status, and the possibilities of the deal closure, we have the forecast category picklist. Currently, for open deals a user can set a forecast category as follows:

  • Pipeline for open deals which is still in the sales cycle,
  • Best case if they are aware that the deal has the best chances of convergence,
  • Committed which would mean the deal is just waiting for closure,

Additionally, for closed deals,
  • If the deal is closed won, the forecast category would be Closed.
  • Also, for closed lost, it would be Omitted.

This categorization of deals also helps while setting forecast targets, users can see the various deal amounts in the different stages to decide whether to include them in the forecast.

Now, apart from the three options for open deals, businesses may want more options to describe their deal status, as well as want to rename the values to suit their business better.

For example, let's say in your business once a deal is in pipeline, you pitch your product or service to the customer, and you want to consider such deals with a separate category other than pipeline. However, the deal is not strong enough to consider as a best case. You can now create a category Launch for such deals where the customer is contacted and the solution has been pitched to them.

How to configure a custom forecast category?
You can find the two additional options for the forecast category picklist once you edit it in the deals layout. You can name them as per your business requirements, change the color of the picklist values, as well as remove them if not necessary.

Additionally, you can now change the colors for the existing system-defined forecast categories as well (exception: Closed, Omitted).
The newly added custom fields will only be available for the Open deal category.

In case you want to delete a custom forecast category, you can do so from the picklist editor. However, it is mandatory to select an alternative forecast category to transfer current deals and stages of the deleted category.

Where can you find the custom forecast categories?
The custom forecast categories along with the existing system-defined categories will be shown to users in the following places.
  • While setting up forecast targets

  • The category-wise details will also be available for viewing target achievement reports

  • Forecast details page

  • User performance pages

Points to be noted
  • System-defined forecast categories (Pipeline, Best case, Committed) can only be edited in terms of renaming, and color change. They cannot be deleted.
  • In case of deleting a forecast category, and mapping existing records for the category to a new option: only records with closing dates from the current date will be updated with the changed forecast category and so those changed records will be reflected in the forecast.

That's all about the enhancement. Let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. 

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