Note: This is a BETA Feature
|This feature is in Beta; only select organizations that utilize Salesforce or Dynamics as their CRM and opt-in by consenting to our BETA Terms & Conditions will have access to this feature.|
This article aims to provide Outreach Users with information about how to view data within Outreach’s forecasting and pipeline management features to understand the outcomes impacting your revenue teams.
- Outreach Admins
- Outreach Users
Overview of Forecasting and Pipeline Management
Forecasting and Pipeline Management bring predictability to Outreach’s Sales Execution Platform by helping revenue leaders optimize their pipeline, gain confidence in its health, and forecast with the highest possible accuracy. Outreach analyzes real-time buyer engagement signals to help leaders understand if deals should be included in the forecast and is integrated with Outreach’s engagement and deal management capabilities for reps to take action on deals. With Outreach, revenue leaders can stop guessing their forecast and start committing it with confidence.
Using the global navigation menu, managers have access to the following Outreach pages, depending on the Outreach package purchased:
- Pipeline Dashboard
- Forecast Rollup*
- Scenario Planner**
- Pipeline Movement**
Sales rep users who own opportunities will have access to a forecasting experience within their Opportunity list view.
*Number of configurable forecasts is restricted by package
**Not available in the Standard package
- Elevate (old packaging)
- Standard, Professional, Enterprise or Unlimited (current packaging)*
See the feature list above for package-specific limitations.
- Forecasting and Pipeline Management capabilities are available for Salesforce only at this time.
Your Organization must use the Salesforce Opportunity record as the source of truth for your Deals and Forecasts.
- The Opportunity record in CRM must have currency values on each opportunity representing the pipeline amount.
- Forecasting is supported on any numerical field on your Opportunity record (currency, units, etc.)
- Any selling motion that includes opportunities with numerical currency values are supported, e.g., can consist of new business, expansion, and renewal.
- Any selling motion where your Organization does not have complete visibility into the pipeline values before revenue is recognized (e.g., channel sales) is not supported.
The Outreach Pipeline Summary provides a comprehensive overview of how each of the various teams within your user rollup are performing this sales period in relation to their established quotas. From this view, users can gain valuable insights into overall quota attainment, deal pacing, historical coverage, and much more.
For a detailed explanation of the information found on this page, check out Pipeline Dashboard Metrics Overview.
From the Forecast Rollup page, managers can easily review, edit, and submit calls in a simple interface that provides visibility down to each deal that makes up the forecast. Reps who forecast will have a separate forecasting experience within the Opportunity grid.
From forecast rollup, you can drill into specific teams and even down to individual sellers to review their pipeline. When submitting your forecast call, you can override the rollup of forecasts provided by anyone directly below you before submitting.
For a detailed explanation of this page, check out Forecasting Best Practices.
With Scenario Planner, you are able to review and adjust the inputs that Outreach has used to simulate your current forecast projections to see how they may impact your results. Scenario Planner will run ten thousand simulations with each set of inputs to provide a distribution of the bear case, bull case, and the most likely outcome.
For example, you may know that your marketing team is about to launch a significant campaign that will generate a lot of qualified pipeline, and you suspect that will impact the amount of net new deals that come in during the selected sales period. In this example, you may use Scenario Planner to see what your adjusted forecast could look like if the Projected Amount for Net New business was higher.
For a detailed explanation of this page, check out Scenario Planner Best Practices.
Pipeline Movement allows users to understand what changed in their pipeline throughout historical time frames up to the last 3 years. Users can add filters across any forecast rollup team or user as well as any synced opportunity field to understand their sales outcomes for the given time period.
For a detailed explanation of this page, check out Pipeline Movement Best Practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I access Forecasting and Pipeline Management? Is it unified with Outreach?
A: These features are now unified with Outreach and accessible to customers with the minimum qualifications.
Q: How much historical data is required to produce results?
A: For best results, we recommend that customers sync historical data representing at least 3 sales periods. The more historical data Outreach is able to review, the more depth analysis it is able to provide.
Q: As a customer, do I need to use the default Salesforce forecast categories, or can I bring my own?
A: Outreach offers the flexibility to specify any custom field to be used as forecast categories in addition to the built-in forecast category field.
Q: Can we forecast on a time interval other than quarterly?
A: Yes, Outreach offers the flexibility to change the length of the forecast period to monthly, quarterly, semiannually, and annually.
Q: When can I submit a forecast?
A: Once your forecasting and pipeline management configuration is complete, users can submit a forecast update anytime. Managers can see the last time a user has submitted a forecast update via the last submitted column in the Forecast rollup.
Q: Can we forecast on different time intervals for different teams in my user rollup?
A: Yes, Outreach offers parallel forecasting, which allows for different time intervals to be assigned to different team forecasts. You can read an overview in Designing Your Forecast in Outreach.
Q: How long does it typically take to implement a new customer?
A: Implementation for new Forecasting and Pipeline Management customers typically takes 4-8 weeks to configure everything. Actual time for adoption will depend on how you plan to roll the product out and work it into your current forecasting process. You can find an overview of the requirements and enablement steps here.
Q: Do users of Forecasting and Pipeline Management also need a Salesforce/CRM license?
A: No, only Outreach users whose data you want to appear in the forecast must also have a CRM license. For example, a marketing user who needs access to Outreach does not need to be a Salesforce user.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of users that can be added to the user rollup?
A: No, there is no technical limit to the number of users synced beyond any licensing restrictions that might apply. You can learn more about the user rollup here.
Q: Where do I access the admin for forecasting?
A: Login to your Outreach account and access the admin. Forecasting is located within the Tools category.
Q: What can I manage in the Forecasting Admin?
A: The admin interface is the central place to manage your Forecasting and Pipeline Management experiences. It is used to ensure you are configured properly for sync, and to manage your user rollup, goals, and forecasts. You can find an overview of the requirements and enablement steps here.
Q: What if I see users in the user rollup that have left my organization?
A: Currently, any inactive user that is listed in your hierarchy will be lightly grayed out. Outreach will need these inactive users mapped into the hierarchy because Outreach uses them for historical data reporting purposes. All active users will be listed in bold, with the ability to add, edit, or delete a user from a team. You can learn more about the user rollup here.
Q: How do Quotas work?
A: Outreach tracks quotas per individual over a configurable period of time. We are able to set quotas for any duration of time and can be as granular as weekly or as broad as annual quotas. You can find an overview and guidance for Goals in Outreach here.