We recently hosted a webinar for our customers where members of our leadership team – myself, Nate Burnes, vice president of Customer Success and Adam Rice, vice president of product development discussed insights and learnings from 2020 and our objectives and product plans for 2021. This 2020 wrap up was very well attended and a great chance for us to connect with our customers.
We have the best customers. One of the really interesting parts of the webinar was how engaged the audience was to polling questions that we posed during the discussion. Customers shared their insights and real-time feedback on their business outlook for 2021 – and I would like to summarize some of their fantastic thoughts below.
First, we asked ‘What is your outlook for 2021?’. 67% indicated that they anticipate higher revenue in 2021, with only 19% expecting lower revenue which I find to be very encouraging about the optimism that things will be better in 2021. This makes sense at the high level and also makes the point that customers are more optimistic when they have a clear view on potential outcomes. And with a clearer forecast comes higher confidence.
We also asked attendees for their top three financial priorities for the coming year. We actually had a tie for the number one priority – participants reported that both new forecasting, reporting and analytics processes and improved cycle time and frequency of forecasting and reporting were their top priorities in 2021. Followed by new technology and automation projects in Finance, and collaborating closer with business teams. Coming in a distant last with just 5% was adding staff to the Finance team. Without adding staff, customers are going to need to seek automation and software to increase in cycle time, launch new forecasting and reporting initiatives and work closer with the business team. Fortunately the technology available today is amazing and evolved dramatically in the last couple years.
And lastly, we asked our customers what types of services they would be interested in to help them be more successful in the coming year. The number one service our customers would like to see is report creation services. This tells me customers are seeking more assistance to augment their stretched and overworked team. Customers also indicated an interest in training and consulting assistance to support forecast workflows.
While just three questions, the responses were very telling – giving us valuable insight into how our customers are under pressure to transform and support the business more broadly and frequently. These sentiments are shared in many Finance departments across the globe. Companies like Centage that provide both services and software appear to be best positioned to help customers in these challenging and resource constrained times.
Here at Centage, we believe that CFOs, controllers, FP&A experts and others are critical to the success of any business. That’s why we’ve created the leading cloud FP&A platform that equips finance teams with the tools they need to confidently provide strategic recommendations to the executive team, propose action plans backed up by solid data and insights, and accurately report on progress and results. We firmly believe that with Planning Maestro our customers are equipped with the right solution to evolve their planning and forecasting process in order to tackle the challenges still to come, meet their priorities and goals and help them make a measurable contribution to the success of their business as we close a very challenging year. and look ahead to 2021.
Centage Corporation’s Planning Maestro is a cloud-native planning & analytics platform that delivers year-round financial intelligence. With Planning Maestro, Centage offers the sophisticated features needed by small and mid-market organizations to integrate budgeting, forecasting, and deep data analysis within one easy-to-use, scalable SaaS solution. For more information on how to modernize your office of finance with intelligent planning, view our product demonstration video, or call 800-366-5111.