FP&A Forecasting: 5 Better Ways to Present 2022 Revenue Forecasts to Your CEO

Financial planning and analysis professionals are close to the C-suite but sometimes feel that they toil unappreciated in a dungeon. So how can the FP&A department make a difference?  In the second part of our series on FP&A Forecasting Tips, we look at how to present the information you have gathered in a way that […]

Financial planning and analysis professionals are close to the C-suite but sometimes feel that they toil unappreciated in a dungeon. So how can the FP&A department make a difference? 

In the second part of our series on FP&A Forecasting Tips, we look at how to present the information you have gathered in a way that will truly help the executive suite.  

  1. Lots of KPIs, choose only 20 to present: Companies may have hundreds of business drivers or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that each department might track. When presenting to the executive suite, it is important to narrow it down to 10 or fewer key performance indicators. The idea is to focus on the Pareto principle drivers, where 20% produce 80% of the value. Not all the drivers will be within the company. External drivers can include macroeconomic data points like interest rates, exchange rates, etc.
  2. Don’t read the numbers, tell a story: CEOs need you to interpret the numbers. You need to tell stories of the scenarios. Data isn’t actionable unless you make it so. 
  3. Trigger them: Tell them where there is a fork in the road, and they must make a choice. Your job is to outline the trigger points for different scenarios and let the executive suite decide. Whether the trigger points are internal like sales metrics or external like market expansion/contraction, you need to outline to the CEO what is determinative. 
  4. Give them hedges: If (metaphorically speaking) your company must go through a snowy mountain pass, snow chains are low-cost and easy to get ahead of time but expensive and scarce once it starts snowing. This minimal expense can be amortized over future trips. You now have the ability to take the faster route when others are afraid. A small hedge can have a huge ROI. 
  5. No guts, no glory: According to a survey of 635 FP&A directors, “61% of the time decision-makers selectively choose analytics that validate their gut instinct — what they would have done if no analysis had been performed.” FP&A professionals need to speak truth to power. They need the guts to overwhelm the executive suites’ guts. 

While most decisions are based on emotions, often the person with the best data can win the day. Following the steps in our forecasting series is a great way to start.

That’s why we built the best revenue forecasting practices under the hood of our products but also displayed them in a way that will help FP&As make a coherent and actionable plan for the executive suite.   

If your company uses Salesforce and needs help turning all that data into actionable insights for revenue forecasting, contact us. We can help. 

ForecastEra’s Revenue Forecast Navigator is the missing component that turns Salesforce into a true forecasting engine. Schedule a demo to see what we can do for you.

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