Everyone starts building a plan for the new year by the end of the third quarter — usually with a groan and some amount of trepidation as they look forward to hours and hours of presentations, spreadsheets, negotiations, justifications and often heated discussions. The process is usually not well-structured, with parts of the organization trying to justify structural changes, new initiatives, bigger organizations, more investment, and a lot of gamesmanship to win.
The 5 key aspects to the process are:
A good sales forecast
Clear financial objectives
Transparent current conditions assessment, AND
If you have a good CRM solution well-synchronized with the financial system and operations management system you can start out with a crystal clear snapshot of the current business situation and the sales outlook for the next few quarters at least. With a really good forecasting solution you can build a customer-by-customer, program-by-program, product-by-product sales forecast looking through the entire plan timeframe while making sure it is all tied to the historical results and sales funnel outlook for the future.
Developing the plan for the new year and getting everyone on board is a painful process. Building it with a comprehensive Annual Operating Plan solution can make it a lot less painful and keep everyone engaged and committed when it is done instead of feeling like they were forced to accept something that they did not really agree with. NEHANET offers a closed-loop system that gets the process done and delivers a plan backed up by all the supporting data on what happened last year and what the forecast is going forward. It all ties together with opportunities, forecasts, and accounts plans to build a credible Annual Operating Plan quickly.
NEHANET turns the plan into a team program to get buy-in across the organization and build an execution plan you can depend on. You can easily see where the critical issues are and work in a prioritized way to get closure on a final number. You also get to capture the key issues and plans to get them resolved so the numbers are based on the execution plans and everyone understands what needs to get done by engineering and operations and marketing and what sales expects to deliver as a result.
As you start the year, NEHANET integrates the plan into the sales management systems and it tracks where you are in real-time to make it happen. Our consultants can act as facilitators to drive the process if you want or it can be totally in-house to get real actions launched to execute the plan across the entire sales and operations team — including your channel partners.