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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

  • December 17, 2018

How to Plan Like a Boss

Guest Author

By Fortune Alexander, Sr. Director, CX Product Strategy and Emma Yu, Product Marketing Director, ERP/EPM Cloud, Oracle

Would you be surprised to learn that less than one-third of companies have incentive compensation plans, territories, and quotas ready on the first day of the new fiscal year?

If you work in finance, this number probably comes as no shock. The majority of companies take weeks—even months!—to produce their sales plans. As a result, a significant amount of revenue is often left on the table through the loss of momentum and productivity. When sales reps don’t receive their plans on time, they have less incentive to work. It literally pays to have your sales plans integrated with the overall company plan in a timely fashion.

Sales planning is complex, though—as many sales and finance leaders can attest. The challenge is to optimize sales territories, quotas, and comp plans so that sales can deliver on the overall revenue target. To do this, sales ops teams typically spend weeks laboring through complicated spreadsheets with complex formulas. Those spreadsheets are shared across the sales, finance, and executive teams, several times over. The result? Inevitably, the spreadsheets get out of sync and outdated, which takes days to reconcile, thus prolonging the process still further.

To control the chaos, forward-thinking finance and sales leaders have started to invest in sales planning tools. These tools, collectively called sales performance management (SPM), make the planning process more efficient. More sophisticated organizations want even more: they need a planning tool to help predict optimal outcomes, and they want to integrate these sales plans and models into the company’s overall financial plan.

Ditch the Spreadsheets and Get to Sales Plans Faster

Here’s the good news: Oracle has just released a next-generation sales planning solution built on Oracle EPM Cloud. This connected planning enables seamless collaboration between sales and your financial planning & analysis (FP&A) team. Oracle Sales Planning also helps build smarter plans with advanced analytics and statistical methods to create predictive models. This prescriptive application equips your entire organization to work collaboratively, with fewer data silos throughout the planning process. All teams gain great visibility into the sales plans and forecasts.

The result? An annual financial plan that’s integrated with a timely sales plan—meaning a happier finance team and a much more productive sales force that can deliver on targets.

Want to learn more? Watch our webinar, "Excellence in Sales Operations Using Oracle Sales Planning Cloud Service."

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