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Hiring and Pipeline Planning: From Back-of-the Envelope to Mathematical Programming

By April 21, 2021August 1st, 2023No Comments

Depending on your fiscal year, you either recently or are now actively reviewing how sales performance is measuring up against the goals set at the end of last year. Board rooms are filled with questions including the following:

  • Can we hit our revenue target or growth trajectory?
  • Was the revenue plan we put in place last year realistic?
  • Is there need for a re-evaluation and adjustment?
  • What do we need to do to ensure we hit quota by year-end?

Despite best efforts at the start of the year to plan or mid-year to course correct, many companies will still miss their revenue goals at year-end due to one of the following common missteps:

  • Under-staffing the sales or marketing team
  • Miscalculation of the time to fully ramp an account executive
  • Setting the wrong sales quota
  • Prioritization of the wrong territories or customer profiles
  • Over-estimation of market conditions
  • Not enough investment in pipeline generation tactics

While every company believes they are leveraging a data-driven strategy to set goals and staffing, many often incorporate some degree of guesswork or back-of-the-envelope triangulation to estimate the headcount required to meet bookings targets, often resulting in disappointing performance by year-end. Conversely, those that do end up exceeding their annual bookings targets wonder whether they over-hired or over-invested in certain areas.

Enter data-driven analytics: the end of sales planning guesswork. Just imagine being able to plan confidently, avoid mistakes, and hit targets using your existing data in a more effective way to programmatically optimize hiring and pipeline. Companies are increasingly leveraging machine learning to aid revenue strategy and planning efforts. 

Systematic analysis of a company’s historical and current CRM information provides an objective view into true sales projections. Through the application of reasonable assumptions based on current trends and budget constraints, companies can run optimization models to allocate resources more effectively and achieve sales targets. Doing so not only saves significant budget resources, but it can also help maximize win rates and revenue results.

Regardless of an organization’s fiscal year, executives and business systems leaders should be constantly thinking about what needs to be done to ensure quotas are hit at year-end. Taking into consideration new hire ramp times, objectively assessing resource allocation and hiring plans can’t and shouldn’t wait for the end of the year planning.

Do you have the tools to achieve data-driven hiring and pipeline planning? Discern.io is at the forefront of this evolution. Click here to request a demo and learn more.