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If you haven’t already, you should move towards centralizing your sales operations and forecasting, and allow one person or team to control it. Over the years, companies with a strong and strategic leader in the sales operations department have been proven to be more tuned-in to their metrics, more likely to make timely updates to quotas and sales comps, and more likely to use their CRM correctly. The sales operations role is to align selling resources with the greatest opportunities in the most cost effective way.
We came across an article which suggested that sales operations leaders have suffered a diminishing in their authority over the past few years.
The United States relied on net imports (imports minus exports) for about 45% of the petroleum (crude oil and petroleum products) that we consumed in 2011. Incorporating sustainability initiatives into warehouse and distribution center (DC) design is proving to be a win-win proposition. Comprehensive connectivity – from 802.11 wireless LAN technologies, cellular networks, Bluetooth.
The benefits of effective S&OP are compelling - lower operating costs, reduced inventory requirements, and top-line growth, and top-performing S&OP companies are realizing these benefits and in the process gaining competitive advantage. Wholesale Distributors are faced with growing costs, shrinking margins, new competitors and demanding customers.
Long advocated by expert observers of the supply chain scene, the Sales and Operations Planning process (S&OP) has reached a point of broad adoption.
This article outlines study findings, provides key insights on challenges and opportunities, and offers a path forward for those seeking to join the ranks of S&OP top performers. First emerging well over 30 years ago, S&OP has moved from business buzzword status to mainstream adoption among the world’s large supply chain-focused organizations.
The appeal of S&OP lies in its ability to drive dramatic improvements in key business performance metrics.
Effective sales and operations planning can help your organization meet its profitability objectives. As a result, organizations must spend a lot of time validating data by manually comparing it to source systems or the information stored in shared drives.
Also, because uncontrolled spreadsheets cannot be automatically refreshed with up-to-date data, it is hard for organizations to create valuable what-if scenarios, since the data they extract from spreadsheets may be out of date by the time they get around to looking at it. Furthermore, Supply and Demands departments need to be able to easily and frequently communicate with one another. Excel is here to stay – what does this mean for the future of sales and operations planning?
Despite the inability of static, uncontrolled spreadsheets to support collaboration or make up-to-date data immediately available, research shows that Excel is here to stay.
Millions of users enjoy its raw analytic power, flexible formatting capabilities and options for enhancing the look and feel of reports with charts and graphs.
What if there was a way for your organization to keep working in native Excel while automating the processes related to S&OP to save time and reduce risk?

Automated S&OP processes come with a host of advantages and are supported by a workflow engine to facilitate collaboration, business rules to protect data and a central database to store and access up-to-date information.
Vena makes Finance, Accounting and Business processes more efficient by embracing the best of Excel® within an enterprise-class corporate performance management solution.
It is uncommon these days to find someone with a diverse background as so many are focused on one particular area of expertise. Upon seeing the opening for a Sales Operations Director, I became very interested in offering my experience and skills to contribute to (company name’s) bottom line. In my previous position as a Business Manager, I was able to successfully restructure current operations in order to streamline processes and update procedures, while concurrently driving increased sales through the introduction of a revamped sales and marketing department. I would welcome a personal interview at your convenience to tell you more about my qualifications, as well as what I can do for (company name).
You are a career coach, a resume writer or an HR professional looking to gain exposure and build your expertise?
The project yielded exceptional results, providing senior leadership with the tools to better manage the business and driving substantial operational and economic improvements. Customer service fill rates rose from 4th quartile to 1st quartile in four months, consistently achieving targeted 98.5 percent fill rates. Finally, the improved stability of the supply chain enabled management to redesign and rationalize the manufacturing network, reducing overhead costs by 10 percent. Achieving S&OP top performer capabilities and performance requires a focused effort, dedicated, knowledgeable resources, and at least six months. Once the current S&OP environment has been stabilized, the typical next step is to develop the future state design.
Once the pilot cycles are completed, organizations typically transition to a mode of continuous improvement that focuses on measuring performance, addressing issues and gaps, and executing further improvements in S&OP capabilities on an ongoing basis.
As top performers have experienced, a mature, best-practice-based S&OP process is a very powerful mechanism for managing the business and maximizing performance.
Len Prokopets is a Principal in the Strategy and Operations practice of Archstone Consulting, a division of The Hackett Group. They should take responsibility for improving sales performance through better processes, tech and methodologies. We can see Marketing Departments taking an ever growing chunk of the responsibility that used to lie with Sales Operations Professionals.
Sales Operations professionals tackle everything from determining sales territories and sales strategy at the executive end to mailing holiday cards, managing sales reps’ social profiles, or manning internal networks at the entry level end. As a result, top performing organizations find that S&OP is 68 percent more effective at driving benefits than it is for other organizations.
We define Sales & Operations Planning as a collaborative decision-making process used to develop and align time-phased demand, supply, and financial plans in support of the overall business plan. A current Google search turns up over 860,000 entries and a search on professional networking site, LinkedIn, finds more than 16,000 individuals who list the term “S&OP” in their profiles.

Our experience indicates that effective use of S&OP can help grow the top line of the business while reducing operating costs and reducing inventory required (see Exhibit 2). Many are using uncontrolled Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheets to aggregate, share and report on data.
The Supply Planner needs to communicate with a variety of departments in near real-time to ensure a viable plan has been created and can be carried out.
However, I am one of those rare individuals who offer a broad and comprehensive variety of experiences with the unique ability to apply both simultaneously to uncover creative solutions and apply fresh initiatives. My solid experience in business operations combined with my background in sales and marketing enables you to add an experienced professional to your team — one who is eager to put those skills to work immediately. Expediting was substantially reduced enabling reduction in raw material and packaging costs. In these organizations, an additional triage and stabilization step may be necessary to address gaps and disconnects and establish a starting point for developing an Integrated Business Planning process. Through a strong governance process and continuous progress, these improvements can be sustained over time, leading to a significant competitive advantage for the organization. But to think of sales operations as an “errand runner” for sales is a mistake, when there is a lot of value to be gained by putting them at the center of managing sales strategy, and the tools and technology required for flawless execution. Few business improvement initiatives match the economic return that implementing an effective S&OP process can generate. However, Excel lacks workflow capabilities or security features that prevent users from making unauthorized changes to data, formulas and models. However, static spreadsheets do not support communication, forcing users to resort to emailing each other back and forth. I possess wide-ranging expertise in business operations, sales, marketing and full lifecycle product development which aligns perfectly with the position of Sales Operations Director.
They also help build the organization’s comfort level and “muscle memory” to enable sustained execution of the process. The problem is that these departments within a company have their own agendas, which might not necessarily align with winning as many sales as possible.
A Sales Operations executive is perfectly positioned to optimize strategy and monitor progress, without having other vested interests. Without adequate filters to discern good from bad, you end up with a pile of poor leads, instead of a smaller pile of well qualified, higher value leads.

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