Hot Takes

Capacity Planning: You’re Doing it Wrong


Capacity planning is important. It’s one of the biggest drivers of your next year’s success because it should be the basis for the annual plan you’re creating. (This is something you should already be doing). It aligns the entire GTM team and establishes a set of assumptions that are the path for getting to the end goal you want.

Despite all of this, most brands are doing capacity planning wrong.

This was the subject of one of our recent Hot Takes Live, hosted by Rhys Williams, Founder & Managing Partner at Domestique.

According to Williams, brands typically have a few crucial errors that derail their capacity planning, which can directly cause budget misses and re-forecasts. Some of these mistakes include the following:

  • The bottoms-up plan is focused exclusively on Sales and neglects the overall go-to-market strategy.
  • The buttons-up plan is not mapped against the top-down goals to identify details and assumptions or bets needed to close them. 
  • The key assumptions or bets aren’t tracked on a recurring basis.

It’s not enough to tell your sales team exactly what their sales quota is and to call it a day. You need to make sure that they have the marketing in place to get them the leads they need, that the sales team has enough team members and training, and that there’s a strong system in place to make those end results possible.

And when sales does close those deals—do you have enough onboarding resources to actually bring on all of those new customers? 

Capacity planning takes historical data into place, and it looks that the entire GTM funnel. And then, you can look at what your goals are, what you need to do to get to that point and track the key assumptions. 

Driving alignment through capacity planning is essential. And knowing how to do this correctly is important. 

 You can get the entire wolf pack howling in the same direction, so to speak, if you do the following:

  • Map out a clear process that details the steps you’ll take and the data you’ll track; capacity planning is more than just building a basic model.
  • Foster a conversation with Finance and the GTM team to identify achievable assumptions and bets.
  • Ensure that everyone across the GTM team is on board.

The key takeaway here: Capacity planning is one of the single most important activities if you want to drive alignment across the entire organization and set up the entire GTM team for success. If you have big goals next year (or even small goals—sometimes baby steps are good!), you need capacity planning. And remember that it’s a process, not a model, so get started now.

Want to check out the full video? Watch the full Hot Take Live here