Building the right sales plan is easy in theory. Simply put, you want to make sure you have the right reps on the right accounts, with the right targets, selling the right products. However, what is simple in concept can quickly become complex.
Scott Forrey, Senior Director of Operations and Planning at Akamai, knows this first hand. He has been actively engaged in Akamai’s territory planning, revenue and productivity forecasting, and quota deployment for over a decade. He is all too familiar with the operational struggles that come with sales planning for a rapidly growing sales force. In a recent webinar hosted by the Sales Management Association, Anaplan’s Chief Marketing Officer Mark Sarbiewski met with Scott to discuss how Akamai used Anaplan to transform their sales planning.
With over 50 offices and 4,000 employees, planning for Akamai’s sales force was challenging. As an organization, they were moving to a de-centralized operational model and developing into a multi-tiered organization. These two changes added layers of operational complexity that Scott needed to manage, in addition.
Their previous methods of sales planning made it a struggle to keep up with a growing and dispersed sales force. Spreadsheets weren’t able to maintain constant changes, couldn’t provide historical data, and were limited to a one-way flow of information.
These challenges forced short-cuts to be made, usually resulting in late results, sales plans that were hit or miss, and frustrated sales reps and managers. In the end, even though a sales plan was in place, no one was satisfied.
Using Anaplan, Akamai was able to set targets at a geographical level, and cascade them down based on historical results. Decisions were made based on data, and changes could be made on an individual level within a larger sales plan. There was a total interlock between people, process, and technology, allowing for more confident decisions to be made.
Hear how Akamai developed a single living plan and streamlined their planning processes in the full recorded webinar Course Correcting the Sales Plan.