Sales & Operations Planning: 3 Ways To Improve It
By Kevin Hsu - Feb 03, 2017
In the current business climate there is a large focus on how businesses can and should use cloud-based services to gather more accurate insight out of their data analytics and improve their sales & operations planning. Many firms find themselves struggling to set quotas, create sales budgets, or conduct accurate sales & operations planning when using Excel spreadsheets. Most departments are aware that they spend too much precious time managing and organizing data, when they should be using those hours to actually analyze it.
If this sounds like your firm, then here are three tips to help you improve your sales & operations planning.
1. Combine with your CRM system and then build your plan and forecast based on your pipeline.
More than 75 percent of the best-in-class provide enterprise-wide insight into the size, timing, and stage of deals, giving an on-demand view of where the business is going. This helps stakeholders with their corporate budgeting, hiring, and project plans, which can lead to improved accuracy in sales & operations planning.
2. First, visualize sales trends and metrics, then update your plan in real-time.
In order to conduct accurate sales & operations planning, a central repository with key metrics is critical. By giving departments instant insight into attainment vs. plan and overall performance, you enable each team to answer for themselves the question of “how am I doing?” In addition, visualizing sales trends and metrics seamlessly and rapidly also positively impacts your ability to forecast.
3. Leverage the right technology to create a standardized process.
When it comes to technology, it is critical that you implement and utilize a standard framework for your finance teams to manage their pipelines and quotas. This helps to ensure that the whole firm’s efforts are effective and, if they are not effective, you can adjust your focus-point to the activities and services that do work. Look for technology that allows you to leverage your CRM system and weigh opportunities based on probability, then integrate that data with your planning system. This process will lead to to increased accuracy in your sales & operations planning and financial forecasting.
Kepion Sales and Operations Planning software aligns your supply and demand decisions into a single unified process. Accelerate the maturity of your S&OP process by empowering planners to collaborate across business functions, understand financial impact with what-if scenarios and easily adjust planning models.
- Immediately balance supply and demand in real-time at the aggregate or detailed levels and run transparent business rules that directly shows impact on the full P&L.
- Conduct “what-if” scenarios in response to unexpected or unplanned events and determine the best course of action. Compare scenarios on-the-fly, even when master data changes within the supply chain network.
- Have a closed-loop process for integrating plans across Finance, Sales and Marketing. Collaborate with trade partners like suppliers, distributors and customers-all in one place.
- Track participation from all stakeholders in the S&OP process. Create your own workflow process and define performance KPIs to track progress along the way.
Kepion’s Sales and Operations Planning software provides a collaborative real-time solution to accelerate your S&OP process maturity.