Business planning for 2021: what to consider in yours?


Business planning for 2021

All companies, as well as sales professionals, had a different experience in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic and the global crisis it provoked made everything take a new perspective, imposing the need to review and restructure many processes. However, the year also leaves many lessons learned — which should be the basis for business planning for 2021.

Teams, structure, sales model, tools, forms of negotiation and relationship with the customer: all this had to be revised in most businesses. Many companies had to turn around in their thirties, make big changes and obviously were not able to put into practice what they had planned for the year.

However, this by no means that making a business plan for 2021 is not important. Quite the contrary: “it is possible that other events may occur in the future and we cannot control this, but we may be better prepared to deal with what may happen”, explained Raul Candeloro , founder and partner of the VendaMais Group, during a webinar on the theme we carry out .

The meeting also brought together Júlio Paulillo, CRO and co-founder of Agendor, and Marcelo Caetano, consultant and partner at VendaMais, who debated what should be considered in planning for next year. In this article, we will bring some fundamental points and tips proposed by market experts to help managers in this task.

The importance of valuing the act of planning and involving sellers

For starters, entrepreneurs, leaders and sales professionals need to keep in mind that business planning for 2021 cannot be just something theoretical, like a piece of paper that is left in a drawer . It must be put into practice immediately and be part of the team’s daily life.

For this, it is essential that the act of planning be valued above all. This is a crucial exercise that allows you to first look back on what happened and seek relevant information about the market. From this, it is possible to structure a plan that relates the macro business objectives with the specific goals of the area and, in the end, connect all this with the company’s mission.

It is also essential that the entire team participate in this process. As Caetano recalled, a good sales leader puts people together to think and plan and listens to what everyone has to say. This activity has the power to unify the focus and direct the team to seek the expected results. In this sense, the action of planning can even be more valuable than planning itself.

The context in which you are inserted cannot be left out

Until the great shock that the pandemic represented for most sectors, there were few companies that, when planning, really took into account the environment in which they operate. However, today it is impossible to disregard the influence of context, as it has been proven that no business is protected from the effects of what is happening around it.

Therefore, in business planning for 2021, it is necessary to break free from this mistaken view of immunity. “I think this year showed that no one is as isolated as they thought, because there is an interdependence in relation to the environment and this needs to be considered”, emphasized Marcelo Caetano.

Júlio added, mentioning the survey carried out by Agendor that those considered antifragile organizations are the ones that have been doing better in the crisis and, therefore, are aware of the scenario and adapt quickly to it.

This means that you have to play according to the game and be aware that your rules can change throughout the game. “The impacts of a pandemic reverberate in waves, as the macroeconomic effects extend,” warned Raul. Therefore, it is necessary to be, more than ever, linked to the context and market fluctuations – which will remain in the coming months.

Working with different scenarios is essential in business planning for 2021

In this sense, in order to act quickly and effectively when something happens, it is crucial to work with several scenarios in planning for the next year. It is not by chance that this key has been hit, after all, it is not customary for organizations to draw at least three scenarios: an optimistic, a neutral and a pessimist.

However, this is more than necessary in the commercial planning for 2021, as it will allow for a proactive posture and not just a reactive one in the face of an apparently unfavorable situation. Raul recalled that “proactivity allows for greater emotional balance and greater control over the process, which, consequently, leads to better results”.

Therefore, the strategy can no longer be designed based on just one situation. “There’s no such thing as ‘my business will only work if this happens.’ It needs to work according to the market movement and, for that, it is necessary to be prepared for different scenarios”, added Caetano.

Having good room for maneuver has become even more strategic

Another point that Raul and Caetano have been working hard on at VendaMais is the need to provide greater room for maneuver for next year. It will be very difficult to act with a great limitation of growth or pressure in the market.

Furthermore, the room for maneuver needs not only to exist, but also to be reviewed monthly. According to Caetano, this need became very clear in 2020: “everyone has a budget, but only decides to analyze it in depth and redo it when the situation is already very ugly. In fact, it has to be systematic. If you ignore the market, you will end up having to force sales and harm the business”.

Segmenting the growth process makes the business stronger

In strategic business planning for 2021, it is very important to bear in mind another lesson of the current crisis: bold targets that force the long-term investment budget make companies very vulnerable. Therefore, segmenting growth processes will be essential.

Caetano used the example of the real estate market to illustrate: “I can buy a huge piece of land, measuring 50,000 square meters, but I’m going to build two towers now, another two in a while, and then two more and so on. I don’t start building them all right from the start, because if the context changes, I can get in trouble”. The ideal, therefore, will be to work on the planning for the next year in cycles , taking one step at a time.

Growth depends, more than ever, on technology

The need for social distance imposed by the pandemic, accelerated many changes that were already underway and one of the most important concerns the process of digital transformation of companies. And, as we already knew, the use of technological tools as sales allies is definitely here to stay.

“Those who know how to handle these resources in the most efficient way possible, always focused on serving the customer better and differentiating themselves from the competition, empower themselves and have a great competitive advantage”, defended Raul.

Thus, it is no longer viable to neglect technology, as Caetano added: “many entrepreneurs do not care about having a payroll of BRL 12 million, but are afraid to invest BRL 500 thousand in software that, in the medium and long term, will help to minimize costs and increase earnings. This mentality needs to change”.

Business planning for 2021 needs to reflect changes and learning

If many things, as we have already seen, have changed in the past year, these transformations need to be reflected in the commercial planning for 2021. According to Caetano, he cannot, therefore, be a copy of the previous one: “many companies are trying to do the same kind of planning, but that doesn’t make sense, because even the way of planning has changed”.

If this is not taken into account, the risk of failure of this plan tends to be much higher. In this sense, the experts’ tip is to apprehend the lessons of the last few months and apply them in your favor when planning. Whoever manages to turn this all into something positive and change the way they work to the point of making the company more resilient, will have a big difference in 2021.


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