Enterprises rely on Winshuttle’s software to automate and simplify the collection, validation, and movement of data in SAP and other large enterprise resource planning systems. So it was particularly frustrating for Winshuttle CFO Jeff Bergstrom when his company was struggling to streamline some of its own key processes.
“As a high-growth software company, our business model is highly dependent on topline sales projections, because the rest of our financial model flows from there,” Bergstrom said. “If we don’t have our sales plan finely tuned, it’s very difficult for me to give accurate and real-time projections about how the company is performing.”
At issue was Winshuttle’s reliance on single-user spreadsheets. Sales planning was being conducted primarily in Excel, resulting in a slow and inefficient process of “spreadsheet trading” as the various pieces of the sales and financial models remained disconnected from one another.
A dynamic business outgrew static modelling tools
For an organisation like Winshuttle, Excel was no longer cutting it. For example, since Winshuttle had to constantly update multiple Excel spreadsheets in multiple workbooks representing its global offices and various markets, it could take days to come up with just a single model. Every time new sales projections came in, the process would start anew, leaving no time to explore multiple scenarios for growth projections. This made it difficult to know when and where the company needed to hire staff and make other investments to meet the demand.
Integrated data accelerates business planning and consolidated financial close
With quotas changing, territories being split and rebalanced, and capacity getting deployed and redeployed, the company knew it needed a highly tuned sales process capable of continuously optimising. That’s where Workday Adaptive Planning enters the picture.
With Workday Adaptive Planning, Winshuttle now has the ability to easily create a bottom-up model for meeting top-line booking targets. In addition, the company can finally connect its model to its Salesforce data to automatically bring in opportunity and account level information by rep.
Today, the sales team can easily view historical and seasonal trends in Workday Adaptive Planning to project sales going forward while analysing staffing, productivity, ramp, quota coverage, and attainment across multiple regions. All this easily accessible data makes it simple to look at multiple scenarios for growth projections, compare multiple plans, conduct what-if analyses in real time, and make adjustments to its sales strategy and forecast on a rolling basis.
“I’m able to have my operations teams in EMEA and North America update their sales forecasts, and I can see the results to the overall plan in real time,” said Scott Spilker, manager of business and sales operations at Winshuttle. “Dashboards enable us to run capacity and headcount scenarios on the fly and see the impacts of those changes immediately. It opened our eyes to things that we may not have known before and gave us the ability to further explore and model out changes in data points we may not have expected.”
Sales as the next step in the active planning journey
As a longtime user of Workday Adaptive Planning for forecasting, budgeting, and inter-company consolidations, Winshuttle gained incredible value by being able to bring the sales plan onto the same solution as the core financial model, creating a much tighter integration between these two critical functions.
“Linking the sales plan into the financial model has enabled us to run holistic scenarios in real time and given us a common language across the organisation to speak about how we’re performing both financially and operationally,” Bergstrom said. “Now we have executives speaking one language, one set of metrics, one source of truth. Therefore, our plans are much more integrated and tightly aligned between the various functions than they’ve ever been able to be before.”