Business transformation specialists, Oliver Wight, have just published a brand new white paper on ‘Managing the Sales Management Process with Vulnerabilities and Opportunities’. Dissecting the challenges surrounding the Sales Management Process the paper explores the management of opportunities and vulnerabilities in the sales pipeline.
The speed at which today’s market is changing gives rise to a number of challenges businesses face. Therefore, predicting what a business will look like in the 24-36 months time is paramount if an organisation is to thrive in the future. In this white paper co-author and Oliver Wight Partner, Andy Walker, claims that “A robust Integrated Business Planning (IBP) process is non-negotiable and this stands or falls by the accuracy of the demand plan and objective management of the sales pipeline.” And he observes that “Any failure at the top level runs right through the business and disrupts the entire IBP process; possibly even the business itself.”
Oliver Wight partner, Debbie Bowen-Heaton, explains that the demand plan is not merely a forecast. “The demand plan is defined as ‘the most likely outcome’ over (24-36 months), based on facts, statistical modelling and a set of formally defined and managed assumptions,’ she says. “And variability around the most likely outcome must be identified and managed through Opportunity and Vulnerability management.”
There are some sales opportunities that present particular challenges because of the high level of vulnerability around them, such as bids and tenders, contract renewals and renegotiations, as well as promotions management in the FMCG sector. But if these are not integrated formally into the demand management process it will create turmoil throughout the business and the supply chain.
“The integration of appropriate sales and marketing behaviours, a sales management (stage and gate) process and CRM tools injects rigour and enthusiasm into the demand management process,” Bowen-Heaton, explains. “A sales team motivated to provide timely and accurate information on opportunities means more effective go/no-go decision-making, leading to increased demand plan accuracy, reduced waste and excellent customer service.”
To find out more, download the new Return to Tender white paper.