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Data connectivity is the key to strategic success


We’re all familiar with the time and energy devoted to annual business planning. We identify strategic initiatives, outline the associated tactical actions, and determine the quantifiable revenue projections we expect to see as a result. We note how our revenues are tied to cost pools and outline overarching cash flow plans.


For some of us, the process doesn’t end there. Annual business planning is often taken a step further by way of individual goal creation. This type of planning provides employees clear expectations and a baseline for success during performance reviews.


Somewhere in between all the well laid plans and strategies, business occurs. Industry opportunity that was previously expected doesn’t materialize. Unexpected opportunity pops up. Competitors take unanticipated actions. Product availability becomes constrained. Pricing changes occur. And while all this is happening, your business is forced into a reactionary mode.


Running an effective Sales and Operations Planning process requires commitment from top management, trust in the process, and a continuous update of data and performance indicators.


Having the right information in the right place for this process does not mean comparing spreadsheets, copy and pasting data, or manually updating files. Rather, data must be connected in a way that enables line and leadership team members to successfully complete their individual goals.


Applications that are used daily such as Quote to Cash or CRM systems hold vital data around day-to-day systems. However, looking at this information in a silo will only yield so much value to the leadership team. Rather, data surrounding entire end-to-end processes must be examined in order for the larger organization stay proactive.


Integrated, connected, and meaningful data enables an environment where plans are made continuously and iteratively. As a result, these plans do not get lost in the daily flurry of responding to the business. Employees are instead focused on solving outliers to performance proactively and handling daily customer requirements.


Managing the business proactively can be difficult but without a connected data system that covers all disparate pieces of the business, this process is nearly impossible. Don’t underestimate the importance of data connectivity as the main ingredient in the recipe for strategic success.


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