Let’s face it: unexpected events will always happen. In our personal lives and in business, we are all faced with unplanned incidents and random occurrences that alter our plans and require us to course correct.
But imagine being unable to determine the cause of the unexpected events. Imagine not having the ability to alter plans due to a lack of visibility. It would be frustrating, to say the least, and would create decisions based on erroneous assumptions without much needed confidence.
For many CFOs, sales planning is no different: they set the quarterly sales forecast at the beginning of a period and that is the last that they see of their businesses’ revenue prospects for the next three months. During those three months, disruptive events often drive unexpected changes in sales plan variables such as rep coverage, quota allocations, product mix, territories, and channels.
This is, in large part, because the Integrated Business Planning (IBP) concept doesn’t fully support the complexity of sales forecasting or the voluminous datasets necessary to create a realistic plan. Nor do they serve the need to recalculate sales forecasts and the financial plans which depend on them in real-time.
As a result, the CFO is working in a vacuum created by outdated technology and reinforced by outmoded organizational structures and processes.
This should never again be a problem for any CFO, as there are in-memory analytical engines, such as Anaplan, that improve the accuracy of the sales plan, recalculate responses to exceptional events in real-time, and provide the CFO with certainty around the quarter’s outcome.
With Anaplan, disruptive events that drive unexpected changes in sales plan variables can be recalculated in an instant. The effect on projected revenues and costs, such as sales commissions, surface immediately in the CFO’s financial plan. Even better, with a powerful, cloud-based, in-memory platform like Anaplan at their fingertips, key stakeholders in the process, such as the CFO and sales management, can collaborate in real-time. Looking at a single data model the team can make rapid decisions around the best scenarios to fulfill or exceed the quarterly sales plan.
Join me for an exclusive, webinar–based interview at 10am ET on Thursday, February 27 with Gary Simon, managing editor of Financial Systems News (FSN) as we delve into why Integrated Business Planning has failed to live up to expectations and how – for the very first time – new, powerful modeling capabilities are allowing CFOs to view sales performance and respond to market changes in real-time. For more information and to register, visit Overcoming the CFO’s Blind Spot: The Sales Plan.