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Orchestrating Sales & Marketing Planning with Decision Intelligence
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Orchestrating Sales & Marketing Planning with Decision Intelligence

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  1. This is it.

Sales and Marketing have long been two of the most tightly measured parts of any business. A dizzying array of metrics are used to measure and understand every aspect of business development. The entire sales cycle is closely measured and quantified, and most businesses carefully track their Marketing ROI, number and quality of leads, sales activity, deal close rates, and of course, forecast data. And yet, for all the quantification of Sales and Marketing, there are still many aspects of the planning process that remain stubbornly tricky.

The key challenge for Sales Planning is that most decisions are by their very nature forward-  looking, such as when to make hires, creating compensation schemes, or long-term revenue forecasting. But the metrics that are used to make decisions are decidedly backwards looking, such as team performance, previous commission payments, or revenue trends.

This disconnect between past data and future performance makes planning difficult. Business Intelligence explains how your business has performed. But to make strategic forward-looking decisions, you need information about how your business will perform in the future. Planning based only on Business Intelligence is like trying to drive a car by looking only in the rear-view mirror.

Added to this is the fact that many sales decisions are reliant on decisions made elsewhere in a business. Sales execution is dependent on Product releases, Marketing activities, Competitive forces, and Strategic decisions at a corporate level. Not only do Sales decisions need to be based on forward-looking data, but they also need to account for a myriad of internal and external forces. Generating Decision Intelligence

Sales and Marketing teams produce a range of metrics because of the processes they undertake. These processes include Marketing Activities such as Advertising, Events, Thought Leadership, or Digital Marketing. And they also include Sales Activities such as Cold Calls, Meetings, Negotiations and Commercial Agreements. Intermediate data is a product of each of these processes.

By mapping and modelling these processes it is possible to simulate the metrics they generate into the future under any number of what-if scenarios. Indeed, this approach can be extended to capture interdependencies with other parts of the business, such as product or finance. In this way, these models can be used to calculate the timings of important decisions, predicting how new product launches will cascade through an organisation and lead to increased sales capacity requirements. Or optimising how restricted financial budgets are most effectively used across Sales and Marketing teams. Or even how Sales Campaigns might play out differently in multiple Geographical regions given the differences in resource constraints.

We call the intelligence these models generate ‘Decision Intelligence’ and this Decision Intelligence is the missing ingredient you need to advance towards truly Orchestrated Sales Planning. Here are some of our suggestions for how Decision Intelligence can transform your Sales and Marketing decision-making process:

5 Sales Planning Questions that you didn’t know you could answer with process simulation:

When should I make my next Sales hire?

Knowing when to increase Sales resources is especially problematic given the number of timing issues that are unique to every company. Getting these decisions wrong can impact revenues negatively. Knowing when your existing Sales team will be at capacity, when new products might drive demand, or when Marketing investments will have an impact, are all dynamic forces that will change over time. Added to this, there will be delays in your hiring process as you source talent, identify the right candidate, and wait for notice periods to run their course. Waiting until demand is high enough is usually too late but hiring too early is setting your team up for failure and will impact the bottom line. There is an optimum future point in time to make hires, and Decision Intelligence can give you the tools to calculate when this is.

What is my optimum Marketing mix?

Modern marketing campaigns are multi-faceted using a wide variety of channels, each with their own specific success rates that are unique to your business. But given your budgetary constraints, what is the perfect mix? A dynamic model that can take the Business Intelligence data that you have at your disposal, and run lots of future scenarios, will be able to determine your optimum strategic approach. In exploring the relationship between cost and impact, and any diminishing returns, Decision Intelligence can help you to decide your next best move.

What corrective actions do I need to take to meet budgetary targets?

In the world of Sales and Revenue, timing Is everything. But how much of your budgetary forecasting considers the time delays involved in business growth? In an ideal world, your forecast would be a dynamic representation of your sales process, projecting current performance forward, and suggesting the corrective actions required to meet the plan. A Decision Intelligence model provides this exact capability by integrating time as a variable and constantly recalculating to meet the most recent numbers.

What is the optimum balance between Sales and Retention?

Hiring more Salespeople could increase revenue. But hiring more Account Managers can ensure fewer cancellations. A decision made even trickier when the roles are unlikely to cost the same to hire. So, what’s your next best move and how is it likely to change over time? This kind of optimisation challenge is a perfect candidate for Decision Models and their ability to explore different future scenarios.

How many Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) can we handle before Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) reduce?

There is a hidden conflict in your generation of MQLs and SQLs. We all understand the dangers of too few leads, with poor lead generation often resulting in poor revenue performance. But what about too many leads. Nice problem to have you might think, but in a fast-growing business, understanding what your optimum mix of Sales execution and Business Development is will be the key to growing as quickly as possible. If your Salespeople are drinking from a firehose, it’s time to fit a sprinkler. To ensure that you have the right number of Salespeople and that you grow at the fastest rate, Decision Models allow you to map out both your Sales and Marketing processes and to predict when the best time to change your budgetary allocations will be.

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To find out more on how Silico is transforming Sales and Marketing strategies with its Decision Intelligence solution visit us at or, to see a Sales and Marketing Decision Model in action contact us at