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Collaboration Between Sales and Demand Planning

S&OP  

Creating channels for efficient communication and collaboration between your sales department and demand planning can have great results. The Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning said, “This allows the organization to capture what we know in current sales levels and trend and seasonality, whilst adjusting it for what we need to know about and anticipated variables as perceived by Sales.” This transparency between departments allows for realistic goals and expectations to be set across the board. Demand planning is instrumental in growing your company and becoming more profitable, and your sales team can contribute significantly with their “boots on the ground” insights.

Why Sales Must Work Together with Demand Planning: A Tale of Missed Opportunities and Unrealistic Expectations

This requires a few things: a robust forecasting process and demand planning function; regularly updated forecasts; a culture whereby Sales contributes with insights on changed assumptions based on the latest information; and for Sales operations to be closely connected with Operations so that potential gaps can be identified and closed.From the Sales department’s point of view, they may not generate the forecast but they should own the assumptions and need to be involved in the process to make a decision as to whether, and how, they can close the gap between forecast and target based on previous performance, production capacity, and available resources like marketing initiatives.

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