HUB 2014 Recap: Salesforce and Anaplan Joining Forces


In April, we announced our partnership with Salesforce, as we launched our Territory Planning and Quota Management app on Salesforce1 AppExchange. To help our clients make the most of that partnership, we brought together an all-star panel on the final morning of HUB 2014, led by Dennis Dresser, GM Americas, Anaplan, to share how they are combining the power of Salesforce with Anaplan to take CRM and sales effectiveness to new heights.

Panelists included: Jared Waterman, VP, FP&A, Pandora; Scott Forrey, Sr Director, Operations and Planning, Akamai; Merritt Alberti, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting; and Lindsay Johnston, Regional Vice President, Enterprise Accounts, Salesforce.

Key Opportunities from Anaplan’s Partnership with Salesforce

“I’m seeing tremendous engagement and collaboration,” Lindsay Johnston said. “As our partnership is developing it gives us an opportunity to sit down with our customers and go a little deeper into the planning space. “

What does Lindsay see as the key value Anaplan is bringing to Salesforce customers? He identified two primary benefits: taking applications out of the silos, putting those spreadsheets they are using to make those complex business decisions around territory and quota planning into a cloud solution, and the ability to use the Salesforce CRM data points to really drive the planning process and territory quota rollouts.  This combination gives both the sales organization and planning groups better insights.

How Salesforce + Anaplan Empowers Sales Reps to Help Drive Territory and Quota Assignments

Territory and Quota Management was Akamai’s first effort on the Anaplan platform, taking them about 6 weeks time in total. From their first rollout, with their Americas team, they learned they could easily place their historical data into Anaplan, and cascade it down and see how it would roll out, and saw that it mapped closely to what they’d actually assigned in the past.  This made it clear Anaplan would be the right way to move forward with planning in the future, providing the organization with more transparency, and getting the team out of Excel.

“It opens up a more collaborative conversation between the operations side and the sales side,” Scott Forrey said. “When there is a top line number that comes down at the corporate level and that moves down to the first layer in the sales organization, they understand where that number came from. And it’s no longer a ‘tops down’ number; they’re able to add in that front line information.”

Another benefit to using Anaplan integrated with Salesforce, instead of Excel, is having more consistency and control over the eventual output. “When that Excel spreadsheet leaves you, you’re sending it on its merry mission, and you don’t know what it’s going to look like when it comes back,” he said. “With Anaplan, since you know how it’s being deployed and how it’s being moved around, the operations team can see what’s taking place at those lower levels and what’s being moved. Then, if they need to, they can provide guidance to those teams, while empowering them to run that business themselves, to deploy that quota and have those conversations.”

By involving all levels of the sales team throughout the process, he noted, you arrive at a mutually agreed upon number, that’s more likely to have sales buy-in.  This collaborative approach takes away a lot of the challenge that usually comes with deploying territories across a large sales team.

Using Anaplan to Analyze Salesforce Data Collected Throughout the Pandora Organization

Like many organizations, Pandora’s use of Salesforce started with the sales team, but their use of Salesforce has quickly spread throughout the company, with all employees now having a login.

“What’s great about that as a leader in FP&A is that we have this platform that’s producing data throughout the organization…data that we can use to make our jobs easier, better and more accurate,” Jared Waterman said. “Then when you layer Anaplan on top of that, you have a powerful solution that allows you to extract that data, utilize it, analyze it and become better forecasters.”

Deloitte Clients Find Value in Anaplan’s Ability to Extract Extra Value from Their Salesforce Data

“One of the reasons you go with Salesforce is for the functionality within the Salesforce application, but on top of that, customers are looking for ways to get more value out of that information,” Merritt Alberti said. He noted that sales forecasting, quota setting, territory sizing and planning are all areas where Anaplan helps clients extract that extra value from their Salesforce data.

“Anaplan is a tool that allows you to execute your ideas. So you can have an idea, and you can make it happen in Anaplan, and you’re not constrained by some of the older legacy rules, constraints, that you may have had a few years ago.”

Making the Business Case for Anaplan

For Akamai, a big piece of the business case for making the move to Anaplan was one of scale and oversight. As they grew and scaled, they wanted to better understand how to manage multiple layers of targets, such as an account level target and a product level target, looking at those numbers across multiple geographies, and providing visibility into those targets deep within the organization.

“As we looked at the Anaplan product, we realized this will give us the ability to continue to hold that interlock between product and sales by geography, by quarter, down to the individual level,” Scott said. “We realized that was how we could scale, that’s how we could grow.”

Akamai’s initial tool for forecasting was Excel, but they quickly ran into a number of limitations with its ability to handle their required level of complexity.

“We were limiting ourselves because Excel could only do so many changes and monitor change period over period,” he said. “We were really limiting ourselves and from a business perspective we lacked insight into what was taking place in our pipeline and our forecast. Those were the 2 elements that drove us to choose Anaplan.”

Anaplan Super Charges Pandora’s Forecasting, Quickly Pinpointing Potential Issues

At Pandora, every opportunity that’s lost has a reason code assigned to it. That gives them the ability when a new product is introduced in a market to gain significant insight into what’s working and what needs some fine-tuning. For instance, if a product sells really well once it gets into a pipeline, but it is having difficulty getting into that pipeline in the first place, that can be an indicator that they need to adjust their front-end marketing.

“Salesforce for us provides all of this data and Anaplan helps us analyze it in ways that are well beyond what we thought was just basic territory management,” Jared said.

Anaplan Improves Sales Quota Accuracy Through Forecasting

Many organizations track quota accuracy as a metric. Anaplan provides real time forecasting into the likelihood of meeting that quota, giving companies the ability to adjust mid-quarter.

“Many companies look at trying to tighten up their quota accuracy after the period was over,“ Merritt said. “With Anaplan, you actually have the ability to adjust it in the mid-period, so you have a forecast on your quota accuracy.”

Merritt also noted you can also forecast your quota coverage, which allows you to see gaps, so you can make a zero cost adjustment in the middle of a period, allowing you to adjust your quota or fill up your pipeline, to meet your goals.

Stay tuned for more highlights from HUB 2014, and check out our archive of conference presentations on SlideShare.

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