Tips for aligning business processes and systems to support an accurate quota and compensation structure

Aligning sales processes to business systems to optimize sales performance

Misalignment in business processes and systems after an acquisition is expected. Efficiently aligning with the parent company as quickly as possible is key to success, but this period of change is also an opportunity to make major changes or enhancements such as eliminating siloed information and improving collaboration between departments—especially with the sales force. Implementing a unified sales performance management system brings alignment, saves time and money, and helps build trust with the sales force.

In this sales performance management webinar, Prakash Hariharan, now Senior Director of Global Customer Success at Anaplan, offers advice and insight based on his previous experience at McAfee during Intel Security’s acquisition when he was the Director of Go-To-Market Finance. The challenges Prakash faced are similar to the situation in many organizations—and the success he achieved by partnering with Anaplan reflects the kind of results other companies can expect by following a similar path.

In this webinar, Prakash discusses four critical sales processes he managed at McAfee that he was able to transform through the implementation of Anaplan.

  • Territory alignment. Prior to Anaplan, McAfee had a lot of siloed information and analysts at all levels had to manually consolidate data. A small change—such as, for example, establishing the territory for a new hire—took a week, while bigger issues, such as costly gaps in coverage, were even more difficult to identify. Conversely, some markets were overserved, creating conflicts in sales rep assignments. These problems also had a trickle-down effect to individual quotas and sales compensation, which, if left unaddressed, can hugely impact sales productivity.

    But now with Anaplan, territory planning is streamlined and transparent. Even small gaps are readily discerned, and sales reps can be reassigned as needed to achieve balanced territories and account coverage. Assignment changes can be made quickly as the market changes, and “what-if” scenarios can be developed in real time to find the best way to achieve that balance.

  • Quota management. Prakash recalled how a lack of visibility led to under-allocation, while the inability to audit changes to spreadsheets led to poor quota management. Combined, the issues made it impossible to manage change in a timely and efficient way, and problems in territory alignment only compounded the difficulty.

    McAfee solved these problems and achieved better quota allocation and attainment by aligning territory and quota management through Anaplan. Sales reps now receive accurate quotas in a timely manner so they can achieve their goals. As the market changes, sales reps can be reassigned to keep quotas balanced with territory assignments. For deals that arise after quota allocations, Anaplan has the flexibility to adjust quotas to quickly accommodate new opportunities.

  • Sales compensation. Lack of a real-time picture, delays in processing commissions, and a lack of connectivity with territory and quota management led McAfee to have larger-than-necessary expenses and many other problems. Sales reps didn’t know where they stood at any point in the sales period, they lacked trust in the numbers they received, and they didn’t see or act on certain sales opportunities. This led to a high variance between planned and actual commission payments and a high volume of calls to the help desk, increasing staffing requirements. These issues were especially pronounced at the end of the period when the system was overtaxed because sales reps were pushing hard to meet their numbers.

    Now with Anaplan, McAfee has transparency. With a timely, accurate release of quotas and goals and on-time commission payments, McAfee has increased sales rep trust, cut help desk call volume, and significantly reduced commission expenses. Another plus: Real-time access to quota attainment reduces the sprint as the end of the period approaches.

  • Deal desk. Due to the lack of real-time access to data, McAfee’s deal desk team was particularly challenged. Delays in getting current SKU guidelines led to an incorrectly configured solution. Lack of visibility into the pipeline meant the forecast data available to the deal desk wasn’t aligned with the current sales forecast. And if more than one quote per customer had been created, only the most current quote was available. This increased the likelihood of excessive discounting and reduced margins.

    Using Anaplan, enhanced connectivity and alignment improved the speed and accuracy in developing quotes. SKUs and forecasts at McAfee are now updated daily and integrated with the quote modules—meaning quotes are updated at the deal desk every day. Additionally, multiple versions of a quote are created in seconds, allowing immediate comparison—the analysts can do the metric analysis and, along with the sales rep, develop a quote in real time.

  • To get the full picture of McAfee’s challenges and the solutions Anaplan provided to sales operations and throughout the organization, watch the webinar. And to further understand how your company can address similar challenges, contact Anaplan for a personal demo.

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