As long as there have been Sales and Finance functions at organizations (which is a long way of saying “forever”), there has been a natural and real tension between the two groups. For way too long, there has been a long-running cold (and sometimes warm, or even hot) war between Sales and Finance when it comes to designing, creating, analyzing, and ultimately utilizing the “Forecast/Budget/Plan” to execute the business strategy.
Part of what provides each side with its own set of proprietary ammunition, is that both groups are using different data, assumptions, and estimates to create their own projections of future activity, profitability, and costs. I’m sure we have all heard at some point in our careers, “That’s not our number, that’s Finance’s” or vice versa.
Adding an additional degree of difficulty is the fact that sometimes Finance feels that it is like pulling teeth to get data, assumptions, estimates, and predictions out of Sales, while at the same time Sales will question the validity, value, and usefulness of Finance’s analysis.
Bring in the fact, that regularly all this sharing of data and analysis is being done on spreadsheets – where we must extract, verify, reconcile, and control versions before we transform it into useful information. We are operating in a less-than-perfect environment.
Turn Strategic and Financial Goals Into Execution
As today’s sales leaders, our key priorities are to make overall company goals actionable for sales teams and track results transparently. Yet, for the reasons mentioned above, that is often easier said than done. Translating strategic and financial goals into specific sales targets, quotas, and processes for various territories and products is no small task. And aligning to strategy is difficult to say the least when sales, strategic, and financial planning work with disparate systems and excel spreadsheets.
It is critical to connect the missing dots to make sales performance management and financial planning and analysis seamless and reveal the complete picture. This will allow sales to plan, track, analyze, forecast, and manage sales in line with corporate goals ensuring strategic alignment and integrated performance management across the business. Now, Sales has the opportunity to create a truly multidimensional picture of sales performance. Performance tracking and reporting along with pipeline, opportunity, and customer analytics help sales teams become more effective in meeting growth targets and company objectives.
Integrated Planning Across All Departments
Sales performance data and forecasts are not only critical inputs for financial planning and analysis but also the basis for operational decisions such as sales incentives, marketing budgets, inventory and production, new hires and more.
Using an enterprise-wide performance management platform integrates strategic, financial, and operational goals and makes planning seamless for sales, finance, human resources, and supply chain.
- Sales increases forecasting frequency and accuracy while reducing the burden of planning, budgeting, and reporting
- Finance optimizes financial planning and analysis for better business decision support
- HR gets insights for headcount planning and personnel costs for improved capacity planning
- Supply chain obtains a clear view of demand, production, inventory, and logistics planning to enhance the service to customers at a lower cost
Integrating sales planning and performance management with finance and operations unleashes more agility and efficiency throughout the business. Discover which operational drivers are directly connected to financial and business results and use smart insights from rich data analytics to make faster, better decisions.
The future of sales is about smart insights and the ability to quickly adapt to new requirements with increasingly automated sales performance management from strategy to action. It’s time to lay the foundation for a new type of integrated sales performance management platform and financial planning and analysis today.
Want to know more about seamless sales planning and performance management?
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