Sales is moving at breakneck pace and the approach to sales capacity planning needs a significant overhaul. The traditional spreadsheet-based planning methods, which have been the norm for many businesses since the beginning of time (or at least spreadsheets), are quickly becoming a source of trouble.
Let's look at why a software-based sales capacity planning approach is the need of the hour for 2023 planning season into 2024 and beyond.
The Inadequacies of Spreadsheet Planning
The time-tested method of spreadsheet planning has become a bottleneck for businesses, with planning season extending over months. While it served its purpose in the past, free planning spreadsheet templates were often relied on, and the rapidly evolving sales environment has made it insufficient and ineffective. Spreadsheets, with their static nature and lack of real-time data, are failing to provide the agility and flexibility that modern businesses need.
Limited Scope and Flexibility
Spreadsheets offer a limited scope in terms of data representation and analysis, unable to handle the complex calculations and scenario modelling required in modern sales capacity planning. The result is a rigid planning process that doesn’t allow for quick adjustments to emerging business conditions.
Lack of Real-Time Data
In the digital age, businesses thrive on real-time data and spreadsheet planning simply doesn't offer this luxury. Without real-time data, businesses can't accurately project revenue or adjust their strategies in response to changes in market conditions or business performance.
Time-Consuming and Error-Prone
Spreadsheet planning is labor-intensive and time-consuming, whilst the manual data entry process can lead to errors, as well as accidental formula deletions or alterations which can have serious implications for business planning and decision-making.
The Rise of Sales Capacity Planning Software
Sales capacity planning software addresses the limitations of spreadsheet planning. It brings agility, accuracy, and efficiency to the planning process, making it an indispensable tool for businesses going into 2024.
Real-Time Data and Insights
Sales capacity planning software provides real-time data and insights, enabling businesses to make informed decisions. It can integrate with CRM systems, providing a live view of business performance and facilitating accurate revenue projections.
Complex Modelling and Scenario Testing
Handling complex modelling and scenario testing, sales capacity planning software allows businesses to prepare for every business condition. This capability is essential in an unpredictable business environment where market conditions can change rapidly.
Automation and Efficiency
By automating the planning process with sales capacity planning software , you can reduce manual labor and eliminate errors. It also enhances efficiency by enabling quick adjustments to planning in response to changes in business performance or market conditions.
The Impact of Sales Capacity Planning Software on Various Business Aspects
The adoption of sales capacity planning software can have profound impacts on various business aspects, from sales roles to business metrics.
Sales Roles: AEs, SDRs, and Hybrid Salespeople
Sales roles in an organization are now more varied and complex than ever. Whether it's Account Executives (AEs) driving revenue, Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) filling the sales pipeline, or hybrid salespeople performing versatile roles, each has a unique contribution to the sales process.
Sales capacity planning software can help businesses balance these roles effectively, as well as the individual contributions that each role brings. It allows for real-time tracking of performance and enables quick adjustments in sales strategies based on the performance of different sales roles.
Business Metrics: Deal Sizes, Deal Lengths, and Conversion Rates
Sales planning software can help businesses adapt to shifting business metrics like deal sizes, deal lengths, and conversion rates, and by providing real-time data and insights, it enables businesses to adjust their sales strategies and resources in line with these changing metrics.
Marketing and Sales Alignment
Marketing plays a pivotal role in lead generation, directly impacting the number of prospects for the sales team. Capacity planning software can help businesses align their marketing and sales efforts more effectively. By providing real-time data on lead generation and sales performance, it allows for quick adjustments in marketing strategies and sales resources.
Embracing the Future with Sales Capacity Planning Software
At Clevenue, we've created a new way of building Sales Capacity Plans that get you working plans in minutes, not months. With a single plan in play, new strategies are built in sandboxes that work separately to the main plan, allowing everyone at the table to test their theories and ideas.
Blended with live data and advanced models, you can always know the impact of the decisions your about to rubber stamp, by seeing the difference between your current plan and your sandbox changes.
As time goes on you simply add to your plan, never having to go through a "planning season" ever again, and absolutely never being caught out by changes to the markets.
Q: What are the limitations of spreadsheet planning?
A: Spreadsheet planning offers limited scope and flexibility, lacks real-time data, and is time-consuming and error-prone.
Q: What are the benefits of sales capacity planning software?
A: Sales capacity planning software provides real-time data and insights, enables complex modelling and scenario testing, and enhances automation and efficiency.
Q: How does sales capacity planning software impact sales roles and business metrics?
A: Sales capacity planning software helps businesses balance various sales roles effectively and adapt to shifting business metrics.
Q: Why is it important to move away from spreadsheet planning to sales capacity planning software?
A: Moving away from spreadsheet planning to sales capacity planning software enables businesses to stay ahead of the curve, respond to changes in the market more effectively, and position their business for long-term success.
Q: How does sales capacity planning software align marketing and sales efforts?
A: By providing real-time data on lead generation and sales performance, sales capacity planning software helps businesses align their marketing and sales efforts more effectively.