Sales forecasts and targets

Using your sales history and market research, you can forecast the number and value of sales you expect to make. You can then set targets for the sales you would like to make and figure out ways to achieve your target.

Sales history

Record your business's yearly sales performance by product sales. This allows you to determine your performance and make improvements to your sales strategies over time.

You may choose to keep more regular records - for instance, weekly, monthly or quarterly.

If you are starting a new business, market research will help you find useful records about sales performance in businesses similar to yours.

Sales forecasts

Use your sales history or market research to forecast month-by-month predictions of the sales you expect to achieve. List them by product or product line and market segment.

It is important to make realistic forecasts. Include:

  • how many new customers you gain each year
  • how many customers you lose each year
  • what your average volume of sales is to each customer
  • particular months where you win or lose more customers than usual
  • how many products you sell per year or per month
  • how many sales you make to each market segment per year or per month
  • how many sales per month you expect to achieve by product or product line
  • how many sales per month you expect to achieve by market segment.

Sales targets

Your sales targets indicate the sales you need to make in a given period to break even and make a profit.

Identify the sales targets you wish to achieve in the year ahead, by quarter and month, listing in order of product and product line.

Learn how to set realistic sales targets for your sales plan.

You may also like to search for sales plan templates or available sales planning software.

Also consider...