Operationalizing the Sales Pipeline

Learn more about an untapped, secret weapon in market intelligence: your sales force.

  • Salespeople tend to think in deal terms, not operational planning terms; (i.e. number of systems by customer or total dollars a customer will spend by product line).

  • Salespeople tend to not want to share information with the planning organizations for fear it will affect their personal bottom line.

  • Each sales rep has a unique style and way of doing business, which leads to different reporting styles, often difficult to interpret.

  • Their primary focus is selling, not developing forecasts or supporting demand planning.

  • Salespeople typically think in terms of today's deal, not the long-term impact on revenue or demand that a new deal may have over time.

  • Pipeline gaming and personal sales styles lead to hard to understand and inconsistent opportunity information.

The Art of Bridging the Sales Funnel to the Demand Plan

Factoring Sales Input Provides Insight, Accuracy

Understand Why You Win (and Lose) Deals

Real-time Exceptions in the Planning Process: Proactive vs. Reactive


  • Translating vaguely defined sales opportunities into meaningful demand planning data.

  • Identifying and leveraging trends in the sales funnel to predict accurate close rates.

  • Gaining real-time visibility into why deals are won and lost enabling the organization to proactively increase close rates and close any trends or gaps in the process.

  • Providing exception alerts to enable right-time planning updates when important changes take place.
About the Author: Timothy Campbell is president and CEO of Steelwedge Software Inc. (www.steelwedge.com). Located in Pleasanton, Calif., Steelwedge is a provider of enterprise planning and performance management software.