Monday, November 2, 2009

Using Goal Seek

"What If” scenarios are a valuable instrument for nearly any business. Excel provides a great tool to accomplish this by automatically making changes in a variable using Goal Seek (it can save you a ton of work, and make you look good in the process).

Using a very simple example, let’s say that you are a call center sales manager, and you know the approximate number of calls you are going to receive for the next month, as well as the sales goal that has been set by the executive branch. You wish to know the call-to-sale-conversion-rate so you can advise your staff. A rudimentary calculator can be created in the cells of your Excel worksheet as follows:

Number of Calls x Conversion Rate = Number of Sales (e.g. C4*C5 = C6)

After filling in the values for C4 and C6, you can use Goal Seek to calculate the required value for C5.

Obviously, this tool can be used to greater advantage with more complex scenarios, but you get the picture. Goal Seek can be a handy tool for the boardroom or any planning venue. Give it a try sometime!

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