For project based businesses you need to understand the sales pipeline inorder to produce a forecast, a typical sales pipeline looks like this:
- Prospects and Leads
- Qualified Opportunities
- Revised Proposals
In many cases larger contracts require a Prequalification Questionnaire (PQQ) and Tender.
If you want to forecast Sales you have to start by recording the volume of activity at each stage of the pipeline and your success rate at each stage.
Sales is all about activity, the more Prospects you can find the more Sales will be achieved.
Finding propects will be different for every organisation but Social Media and Linked In are increasing being used to find Prospects.
To prepare a Weighted Average forecast you simply use you success ratios and apply them to each stage of the process, so for example if you win 1 in 3 proposals that means you need 3 proposals to get one sale.
You can use this approach to set targets for your sales team.
On submitted proposals you can also apply a probability of success assessed by your sales team.
The key to Sales is to Always Be Closing!