The role of the sales managers in demand planning

The role of sales managers in demand planning

It’s understandable that strengthening your supply chain calls into question the disbursement of roles and responsibilities. We discussed the role of a demand planner in creating and maintaining a demand plan, but what is the role of sales/commercial managers in demand planning?

Demand planning is a bridging function between commerce and supply chain, so it’s understandable that sales/commercial managers play a crucial role in setting the stage for the demand plan.

Where do sales/commercial managers come into play?

Sales / commercial managers


Sales managers in demand planning are the ones feeding the funnel for business so they should validate the demand plan during a demand review meeting. This should occur within the sales operations/ integrated business planning (IBP) cycle. They’re responsible for the final number that will serve as a base point for relevant supply response and they’re the ones who need to meet key targets to ensure the on-going success of the business. In order to gain buy in from your sales/commercial managers, the following should be implemented:

1. Process

There should be an agreed upon approach to meet your business requirements. This sets the stage for sales to agree to the demand plan process.

2. Technology

You’re working with complex business structures, which means leveraging technology where possible can streamline processes and enable your employees to do the job required of them.

3. Organization

Creating an organizational approach that supports the process, tools and strategy as well as creates accountability for the success measurements.

4. Forecasting

Sales should provide input on items of high importance and variability but shouldn’t be tasked with statistical techniques.

By clearly defining where sales/commercial managers come into play when developing a demand plan, you can ensure the success of the approach. Having these roles keeping an eye on the demand plan, you take the risk out of daily operating decisions. You also have the different divisions working together with a common goal.

Want to know more about Demand Planning? Check out our other resources:

What is demand planning

The demand planning cycle

Why is Demand Planning important?

Demand Planning Key Features