Why the Sales Budget Process is critical to effective business planning

Mirko Gubian – Global Demand Senior Manager

To achieve the desired success it is necessary to analyze the future scenarios of the business, and the Sales budget helps us to build different hypotheses.
But are we planning correctly? Will we succeed?

I made a podcast on this theme, traveling a journey, dictated by my experience, in the main benefits that gets those who are able to fully exploit the value and power of the Sales Budget.

You can listen to it below:

See Podcast translation:

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Are we planning correctly? Will we succeed? The answer to these questions is in analyzing your organization’s budgeting and forecasting process.

I am Mirko Gubian, Axiante’s Global Demand Senior Manager, and my goal today is to share Axiante’s point of view on the Sales Budget process and its impact on all planning

Let’s start with the end. Does it sound strange? Sure, but I suggest you continue listening.

When you take a trip, you leave with a destination in your head.
To leave my home in Lombardy and go to South Tyrol that I like, I know I will have to go to the North West, but to find the best possible route that I consider tails and accidents in real time, I will need Maps or Waze .
Planning the itinerary of a trip is no different than making a business plan.
It is a question of understanding what is the goal that we want to achieve, assessing the possibilities and alternatives based on real data.

Now let’s go back to our initial question: why is Sales Budget crucial for effective business planning?

Here are the reasons that, in my opinion, make it the main process within each organization.

1.  Actions, first of all

The real challenge is to structure a plan that focuses on actions and strategies rather than individual sales numbers.
The must-have is the perfect combination of a consolidated plan of actions and the flexibility to adapt it to the events that will occur.
Considering sales numbers as attributes, or consequences of an action plan, you can always tweak the details in progress without having to review the entire plan.
Best practices in this regard include:
• The clustering of the customers according to the main business attributes and the relative weight of the customers themselves, subdividing them for example in top, named, other;
• Setting up a plan with specific actions for
        •  new products,
        •  new customers /markets
        •  new scenarios or opportunities on existing customers.

2. Check the progress

Planning actions helps control your progress. In this way you can control the factors that determine the result, thanks to the budget it is easier to control and forecasting new activities
Continuous monitoring allows you to deal with situations in a timely manner and to act accordingly with a new action plan.

3. Structure the process to motivate the team

Awareness, information and participation of managers in the drafting of the budget bring the correct concentration and the right responsibility in meeting the objectives to be pursued in the year of sales that will come.
The structuring of the process affects and influences the real feeling of independence of the managers that after the communication of the achievable real results and the relative bargaining with the organization are free to concentrate on the obtaining of the results agreed.
The plus that assures the success of the plan is a correct and transparent management of the system of incentives, that brings advantages to the entire organization.

4. Strengthens communication between the different areas

Improving the performance of the sales planning process improves the planning performance of all other business departments. Structuring the process means giving each department the necessary information, promptly and with the right level of detail.
It is also important to keep track of all versions that have been distributed. By acting in this way you will encourage communication and coordination within the entire business budget process.

Final considerations

You probably already knew everything I listed. My question for you is:

“Which tool do you use to manage your sales budget?” Does it allow you to handle the whole process?

  • Initialization, versioning, target setting;
  • control of progress;
  • the presentation and sharing with other departments;

I hope I gave you some food for thought, a greeting and see you at the next podcast!

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If you want to know more about the topic, stay tuned to our Insights section or on our Linkedin page.

       

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