Corporate strategic planning plays a vital role in business success, but undertaking it can present…
In Dresner’s recent Wisdom of Crowds Sales Planning Market Study, which explores attitudes to Sales Planning in organizations worldwide, a huge 84% of respondents scored sales planning as important, very important, or critical to their success. The study also presents some interesting figures relating to the correlation between successful BI initiatives and the use of sales planning solutions.
Whether you’re in the same camp as the 72% of organizations using, evaluating, or considering sales planning software, or the 28% who said they were not currently looking into it, you’ll want to ensure that when the time comes to review the best sales planning software on the market you make the right choice.
Sales planning software enables organizations to optimize various elements of the sales planning process, including sales quota planning, sales territory planning, sales capacity planning, and the segmentation of target accounts. It replaces disparate processes, which are typically spreadsheet-based, with a more unified approach that enables businesses to maximize the potential of their sales teams based on factors such as historical activity, capacity, resources, and market opportunities.
So why should you consider investing in sales planning software when you can forecast your sales figures and make decisions based on that information?
A key difference between sales planning and sales forecasting is that sales forecasts, while useful for predicting financial performance, don’t provide the detailed level of information required to ensure that resources are being utilized to their full potential. Sales planning, on the other hand, brings data together from various sources to help maximize sales targets by ensuring the most efficient allocation of resources is achieved.
Let’s look an example of sales planning solutions in action to illustrate the point.
This approach gives you true visibility into sales performance and the factors influencing the end result, helping you to make an informed decision on where to focus your sales efforts and who to focus them with.
Achieving this level of decision-making support with spreadsheets is impossible without considerable manual effort to collate, deduplicate, error-check, and compare your data. By that point it’s probably out-of-date anyway so isn’t really going to help with driving your sales based on the latest data. This is where a sales planning solution, and more importantly, one which offers the ability to consolidate and utilize data from across the business comes into its own, offering true decision-making support.
As with any change project, the full process will require some careful thought and evaluation, but here are some key considerations to get you started:
Ensure your software evaluation takes these factors into account and you’ll be on the road to higher sales figures in no time.
If you’d like to know how other organizations are utilizing sales planning software to improve their sales results, check out our case studies for Puma, Groupe SEB, and Gruppo Amadori, who are utilizing BOARD’s decision-making capabilities to improve their sales and promotion management capabilities.
Download your complimentary copy of Dresner's Wisdom of Crowds Sales Planning Market Study