Successful sales planning begins at the finance department!
Why? Because: All account plans have lots of cost accounts, but a very limited number of revenue accounts. BIG MISSTAKE! As that limits the possibility to see, where the revenue came from and hereby also limits the chance to see the actual profitability on certain customers and segments.
Just imagine, if you would put together pension costs, travel expenses, benefits, salaries and rents on the same cost account. The auditor would go crazy and so would the tax authorities as well. Therefore, cost accounting is very detailed, while the revenue accounting is more summary.
When sales and market people are about to find new profitable segments and customers in the market – there must be actual and trustworthy facts behind such decisions.
What discounts do our biggest customers receive? What advertising costs are invested in direct sales? What do we pay our dealers? How long does it take for key customers to pay? On which customer type do our sales people devote most of their time? Such questions!
You do not need a revenue auditor, but almost, a person with a complete insight and knowledge about the actual profitability of different customer types. And that can only be achieved by knowing the true origin of the revenues and their related costs.
So, how does one go about fixing this? A good start would be to start talking with the financial people about your needs. And from there you take it step by step. It is not a task, that will be solved easily, but it must be dealt with.
It is a question of ambition and attitude! Facts are there – just go and find them, if you bother!
The choice is yours – either be a Dr. See or a Mr. Hide!
Your company’s success depends on it as well as your success!