Research reveals a correlation between high-performing firms, sales planning best practices, and investment in technology

Sales planning involves a wide range of diverse activities, which are often undertaken collaboratively across the firm, and demands a daunting breadth of planning expertise.

Sale Management Association’s (SMA) research suggests that most companies under-invest in planning support, resulting in planning deliverables that are often slow or late and clumsy accommodation of mid-year changes. Additionally, sales people are often not included in relevant planning decisions, unaware of how planning ties to company objectives, and unsure of the plan’s prospects for success.

In this report, we investigate how high-performing organizations are meeting these planning challenges, as well as identify emerging trends and planning priorities.

A few of the key findings in this research include:

  • 75 percent cited forecasting at least on a quarterly basis and is the most frequent planning activity
  • The majority reported that quota setting and expense budgeting occurs once or twice a year
  • Data accuracy was cited as the most essential component to planning effectiveness
  • The second-most important component to planning effectiveness was management buy-in
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