Forecast Sales with Opportunity Stage Method

Introduction to forecast sales with Opportunity Stage method on an orange background with an illustration.

Depending on the different stages that each lead is in during the sales process, the opportunity stage method forecasting makes a prediction about which prospects are most likely to turn into transactions. As a result, a lead has a higher chance of closing a contract the further along in the sales funnel it is.

Furthermore, how can you forecast sales using the opportunity stage method?

How to Forecast Sales Using the Opportunity Stage Method?

Learn how to do it with the opportunity stage method. Therefore, here are the steps you need to take.

1. Definition

You calculate the chances of the deal closing based on where the prospect is in your pipeline.

2. Set up your pipeline
Here are the different stages starting from the top to bottom of the pipeline (or funnel):

  • Discovery
  • Pre Qualification
  • Qualification
  • Proposal
  • Decision
  • Negotiation
  • Close

3. Define the number of leads at this stage for each stage (with the help of your CRM tool, it‘s even easier)

4. Add a win rate probability for each stage

5. Set up an average annual sales value per client

6. Calculate the number of sales for each sale with a formula
Formula: leads number x to win rate probability x average annual sales per client

7. Refine your model by adding different win rates or annual sales values based on the type of client or distribution channel

A table of an example of a sales forecasting opportunity stage.


The Bottom – There Are Other Great Sales Forecasting Methods

Above all, which sales forecasting method do you use? However, there are other Sales Forecasting methods you can use:

  • Incremental
  • Sales Force Composite
  • Scenario Planning
  • Market Build Up
  • Lead-driven
  • Multivariable

In addition, you can learn all of them in my course. Finally, using these methods and knowing which one fits the best to your company will make you a valuable Finance business partner.

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