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Mar 28

2017

Step 5: Financial Planning and Analysis

Step 5: Financial Planning and Analysis

This is part 5 of our 8-part blog series, 8 Steps to Help Channel Partners Build and Execute a Profitable Cloud Business.

You’ve built a cloud sales financial plan based on KPIs, reviewed it, and you’re satisfied with it. Your sales team is ready to dive in and get started. But is everyone on the leadership team on board? Here are some key best practices to help ensure that your KPI-based financial plan will be successful and embraced by executive management:

Do not adjust results – adjust the KPIs that create results

This best practice deems repeating from Step 4 because it shows the leadership team that you’re serious about optimizing profitability for cloud sales. If your previous cloud sales reached $700,000, but you’re increasing that goal to $1,000,000, you need to do more than just write down the new number on next quarter’s projections. Look at the KPIs that got you to $700,000 and determine what you need to change to reach $1,000,000. You can’t just say you want more profit – but you can create the results you want by adjusting your KPIs as lead indicators.

Plan for investments and funding sources

Reselling cloud services is an investment in the business. There’s an old adage – which in this case is true – that you need to spend money to make money. And that’s another reason to get executive buy-in on your cloud financial plan upfront. Determine your funding sources and be ready to show executive management how your cloud sales will generate a return on that investment. Will the money come from the core legacy business, from outside investment sources or personal wealth? Or perhaps outside vendor investments? Regardless of the funding source, be ready to present your best go-to-market plan for cloud sales.

Secure executive commitment based on your financial plan

So how can you convince executive management that selling cloud services is a great and profitable idea? Every step you’ve completed up until now – from building your cloud solution, to pricing, to developing a KPI-based financial plan – will help to make your case for investing in the cloud. In addition, management should be aware that transitioning from older, on-premise technology to the cloud will probably interrupt cash flow, at least temporarily, so you need to be prepared to show the CFO how the business will survive during that transition. Most of all, not just the CFO, but everyone from the CEO, VP of Marketing, VP of Sales, on down needs to understand and buy off on your cloud financial plan, your revenue goals and how you’re going to get there – before you launch your cloud sales model. Otherwise, you’re looking at problems and obstacles down the road.

It’s a good idea to also consider these best practices when presenting your cloud sales model to your leadership team:

  • Review the financial output of the plan
  • Make sure it meets ROI expectations
  • Review short term, long term, and trending
  • Understand cash flow impact
  • Conduct risk assessment and develop mitigation plan

Now that you have executive buy-in, it’s time to look at the operational aspects of making your cloud sales model a success. Our next blog post will talk about best practices for scaling, automating, and tracking operational processes for optimal cloud sales.

For more information about Ingram Micro Cloud’s channel partner program, visit www.ingrammicrocloud.com/become-a-partner/.