Optimizing marketing performance and driving collaboration with sales using Anaplan
By Jesse Grindeland
June 15, 2016
At Hub16, I was excited to present a session explaining how Anaplan can help integrate sales and marketing plans to optimize company performance. Here is a recap reflecting the industry trends we’ve seen at iSoftStone and the many engaging conversations I had with customers and prospects at Hub16.As an Anaplan partner, iSoftStone helps clients create innovative solutions to improve business performance and provide a sustainable, competitive advantage through data analytics, digital experience, enterprise application integration, and much more. In this budding relationship with Anaplan, I’m excited about what they offer marketers, including tools for built-in collaboration with the sales organization.Through our client work, we've seen that marketers have a plethora of technology solutions to choose from, but the backbone is often missing — a marketing plan that's shared across the enterprise. Also crucial is a plan that can be easily updated based on a unified planning process encompassing marketing and other business units such as sales, operations, finance, and HR.The tension between sales and marketing is a persistent issue. However, with today's speed of business, it is strategically imperative for marketing to be aligned with sales. There is increased attention and pressure on marketing given the increasingly demanding consumer. But for marketing to meet and exceed this challenge, alignment on a targeted plan of attack with sales is needed. If marketers toss leads to sales and, in turn, sales complains and tosses leads back to marketing, the company is no longer able to compete and survive.The inescapable reality is marketing and sales need to collaborate to enhance key performance areas and overall revenue results. To overcome this long-standing challenge, sales and marketing must work together to identify which measurement tactic will have the most immediate impact, and agree on it as an integrated sales and marketing organization. For example, your sales and marketing tactics might include:
Shorter sales cycles
Reduce product launch failures
More qualified opportunities (and lead acceptance)
With the Anaplan platform, marketers can proactively plan their budget and resources, track current campaign performance, and accurately choose the best future campaigns to invest in based on the platform's new predictive analytics features. The ability to plan the marketing budget, resources, and future performance of campaigns is not something previously available to marketing. Now with the connection to sales within Anaplan, marketing gains real-time insight into spending and resource issues, to understand what activity will be most effective based on the business objectives.
Anaplan not only provides marketing executives with a visual decision-making tool, but also insight into the operational tactics such as reviewing the current budget allocation and seeing how different allocation scenarios of future spending influences campaign performance. Anaplan empowers marketing leaders and operations teams to understand the impact of a change before making that shift. With Anaplan, marketers have access to a powerful platform that will help them align with and collaborate across sales, operations, finance, and HR, and also allow them to update their plans as quickly as executives shift their objectives.Watch my full session or take my word for it and see a live demo of Anaplan’s marketing applications.
Jesse Grindeland is Vice President of Marketing for iSoftStone, a global management and technical consulting company, and Head of SILK Digital, the companies digital marketing agency. He is responsible for linking innovations of the company’s products and services team to sales and marketing activities of the global business units to build iSoftStone’s global brand, create customer awareness and advocacy, and drive customer preference for the brand through all channels, every day.