LinkedIn on Anaplan: Key wins, lessons learned, and accelerating value

Explore the power of decision excellence and the value of Connected Planning, and learn how Anaplan enables LinkedIn to streamline go-to-market planning, improve efficiency, and achieve significant business growth.

Ohad Gilberg 0:00:03.5:

Come on.


Audience 0:00:03.5:



Ohad Gilberg 0:00:06.6:

Does this work? Is this working? Okay.


Rachel Krall 0:00:08.6:



Ohad Gilberg 0:00:08.7:



Rachel Krall 0:00:09.2:

It sounds like it.


Ohad Gilberg 0:00:10.3:

[Laughs] All right, hello, everybody. I think we’ve got a couple more sessions today. Hopefully, y’all are having a good day so far. I’ll just do a brief intro about myself and my role. As you mentioned my name is Ohad Gilberg. I’m the vice president of customer success, overseeing our technology and media and telecom customers across America. LinkedIn is, obviously, one of our most proud relationships and partnerships, and we have Rachel Krall here from LinkedIn. Maybe give a little shout out about yourself as well.


Rachel Krall 0:00:43.6:

Awesome, sure. Hi, can everyone hear me? It sounds like it’s working, awesome. Hello, I’m from LinkedIn. I’m based in San Francisco, so made the trip to see everyone today. I’ve been at LinkedIn for about nine years, actually, and I’m in a department that we created about three years ago, which is in our operations organization. What we do is a lot of different foundational, operational work. We support our SaaS businesses at LinkedIn. That includes talent solutions as well as sales solutions, and then our acquisition engine. The entire business comprises of over $8 billion in annual revenue. We are supporting a number of processes in SaaS via Anaplan and through other connected tools, and so excited to talk to you all today.


Ohad Gilberg 0:01:32.9:

Fantastic. So maybe just a quick hand raise. Obviously, there are a lot of different sessions here around different industries and companies and use cases. We’re going to be focusing on go-to-market planning today. Maybe just raise your hand if you work in technology companies, some software of some sort. Awesome. Raise your hand if you work at LinkedIn. [Laughs] Okay, that’s about half! If you’re in a financial services company of some sort, raise your hand. All right, we’ve probably got some consumers, some retail otherwise here. So good diversity. Hopefully, we can pull out some themes that are applicable to all of you guys around Anaplan and driving decision excellence, which is our favorite word and theme of this day so far. Rachel, maybe just tell a little bit more about your charter, as you’re running the sales operations for that SaaS business that you were alluding to.


Rachel Krall 0:02:31.8:

Yes, happy to. As mentioned, my organization, we call it crossline and business sales operations, it has existed for about three years now. What we’re trying to do is drive efficiency and grow in our SaaS businesses. So we think about both of them in parallel. It’s really around how are we driving incremental revenue through ensuring that our teams are working on the right things, they’re innovating, and they’re able to innovate as well. Part of my team does financial planning, actually. We own the top-down revenue plan for our SaaS businesses. We sit a little bit removed from the day-to-day of the lines of businesses, so we’re viewed as an objective team that can really drive a top-down plan. We also drive go-to-market strategy, and how we think about that is, are we launching new products, are we launching new promotions, pricing models? Are we thinking about different ways to sell, that could be third-party selling, partner selling, that type of thing? So that’s the side that’s more on the revenue-generation side.


Rachel Krall 0:03:34.0:

Then the other part of my team is really working on the foundations, and making sure that we have excellent foundations that support our SaaS field teams and our customers, so that we can be selling with our customers in a streamlined way. We’re engaging with our customers in the moments that matter. We have the right intelligence and data to know when to engage. That includes a team that we have that drives analytics. They own our enterprise data for our SaaS businesses. They own a semantic layer that just means that they have a reporting layer that everyone is pulling the right metrics from, so that everyone’s looking at the same data. That was a huge win. Prior to that, people were pulling their own tables, looking at their own metrics. We were debating on what the data was, rather than the insights, so that was a big win in the last few years. Then we have a team that works on systems and tools, and that’s the team that’s really closely tied to Anaplan. We have a number of folks from that team here today. That team also works with our internal productivity engineering teams, our product teams, and they’re really thinking about the broader connected ecosystem, and how are we supporting our sales and field teams, our operations teams, and ultimately, our customers by giving the right insights, the right tools, and creating a streamlined experience? That’s the broad buckets that I have.


Rachel Krall 0:04:56.2:

As mentioned, our true north is really about how are we driving efficient growth for our SaaS businesses, try to be more productive with the resources we have, and also just finding new revenue streams.


Ohad Gilberg 0:05:08.6:

So your end users, sales ops, sales managers, primarily? How would you break down the folks that are going into the tool?


Rachel Krall 0:05:17.6:

Into Anaplan, or just in general?


Ohad Gilberg 0:05:18.6:

Yes, into Anaplan.


Rachel Krall 0:05:20.2:

In Anaplan, we’re using Anaplan mostly for planning use cases, so that would be sales operations and sales managers. I would say, for my organization in general, our customers range anywhere from field reps to sales managers to executives. It really just depends on the specific team.


Ohad Gilberg 0:05:44.3:

Okay, so you’re mentioning Anaplan as part of the broader ecosystem of tools and processes. One of the themes here, obviously, has been about the connectedness and the value of connectedness in an organization. I wanted to ask you, what’s your perspective on how you’re driving connectedness across those tools, and the value that you’ve seen from that?


Rachel Krall 0:06:08.1:

Yes, it’s great. So I would say, first off, the thesis of my organization is really about connectedness. My org, as I said, was created three years ago. Prior to that, all of this work was distributed. It was distributed across a lot of different teams. LinkedIn has been around for over 20 years, so Talent Solutions has been around for about that long. Sales Solutions a little bit less. These organizations are large, they’ve been established, and we had distributed work being done by distributed people. The spirit of connectedness, that was the first step in making a more holistic, connected enterprise tool space, was bringing my organization together. It was established, as I mentioned, three years ago, and we realized, hey, there’s a lot of value of bringing like work together, creating functional expertise, making sure that we’re able to create centers of excellence, upskill the talent because you’re getting a center, a mass. For example, we’re now able to have a director of analytics that’s driving analytics, a director of systems and tools that’s driving work. That was really big.


Rachel Krall 0:07:14.6:

It’s also a reinforcing feedback loop, if you will. My directs are all doing very different things, but they’re all working together very tightly, and that really helped drive a more connected strategy. At a corporate level, we’ve been thinking about it really similarly. We also had disaggregated engineering teams and disaggregated product teams. In the last year, we’ve done a lot to bring that together as well. We now have a single leader for engineering and a single leader for product that are thinking about all our productivity tools. That just means that now, we’re building tools in a way that’s much more end-user-focused, rather than tool-specific. One framework that we’ve adopted is this idea of jobs to be done. Has anyone heard of that before? Yes, so it’s a product-management concept, and this idea is, you’re focusing on the jobs to be done of whoever you’re building for. You’re not focusing on a specific tool or a specific solution to start.


Rachel Krall 0:08:14.0:

So we’ve embraced that, and really thought about, okay, what are the jobs to be done for something that we’re solving? An example we could talk about is quota management, for example, where we thought about, okay, we need to solve quota management, and your quota management. It’s something that took sales operations 40 hours a month to do. That’s a lot of time, and we were like, that’s not a great use of people’s time. We’d like to come up with something that’s more simplified. So, as part of that, we had to think about, okay, what’s the job to be done? Well, a sales operations manager, you have to, every month, know what the talent movements have been within your organization, know how that impacts the quotas that people should be getting, and then find a way to have account-level quotas, breaking it all down in different parts, and then, ultimately, submitting that model to your compensation partner. So each step has a user journey, if you will. We thought about, okay, how can we build something that’s solving these jobs to be done, but in a way that’s connecting back to all the broader systems, and doing so also in a way that, maybe, starting with the things that are blockers, and then moving from there to things that are critical, and then nice to have.


Rachel Krall 0:09:33.2:

Anyways, these are the types of things that we’re now getting much more agile on how we’re planning, and we’re thinking a lot more about what is an MVP, but it’s all tied back to the end user and the job to be done. Zooming out, back to this idea of being more connected with the broader ecosystem, that’s been something that’s been really powerful, is thinking about the jobs to be done in a holistic ecosystem, rather than just in Anaplan. That has allowed us to find ways to connect tools that has only furthered the value of Anaplan. For example, at LinkedIn, we have a CRM, as I’m sure most of you do! We have an in-house roster tool that we’ve built. We have Anaplan. We have Workday, which is an HR management system. They’re all doing different things and helping different user groups with jobs to be done, but what we found is, there’s a ton of value in having all those tools talk and be connected. For example, when we brought Anaplan to LinkedIn, that was one of the first tools that had this concept of seat ID, or position ID.


Rachel Krall 0:10:45.1:

Why a position concept is really powerful is because, when you’re building processes on people, people change. People get promoted, they leave, they get sick, whatever happens, they find a new job. So having processes that are built on people can often create a lot of complexity. It leads to data integrity issues, etc. One thing we did when we built our Anaplan models early on was that we built it around the concept of positions. If I’m building territories for North America Mid-Market West, I just care that there are six reps that are going to be selling in that, and they’re reporting to a single manager. I don’t really care if it’s Peter, Paul, and Tom, or if it’s Sarah, Sally, and Susan. At the end of the day, it’s about having six people that are selling against that segment. What we realized is, position IDs are really helpful, but we also then had other systems that were coming in the market, or ecosystem, that also had the concept of position IDs. That gets really complex really fast.


Rachel Krall 0:11:48.9:

One of the biggest investments we made was on driving this integration between our internal roster tool, and Anaplan, and our CRM. So now, when you have a sales manager that’s looking at their territories, and they’re making adjustments, or they have talent movement on their team, that’s immediately… The talent movements are immediately moving from our roster tool into Anaplan. As we make adjustments, it’s moving back to the roster tool, it’s moving back to the CRM. So you’ve created an ecosystem that’s all talking, and it’s allowing everyone to have the same information and make decisions on the real data that’s in front of them, no matter where they’re sourcing it from.


Ohad Gilberg 0:12:26.6:

Yes, that was awesome. There was so much richness in that entire answer, and I’m sure a lot of people are going to want to ask about position ID planning, but no, we talked a lot [over speaking 0:12:37.1]…


Rachel Krall 0:12:37.1:

We have a lot of experts right here in the front row.


Ohad Gilberg 0:12:38.6:

Yes. We’ll have time for a Q&A at the end. I guarantee you we’ll get something about that. The decision-excellence piece, you’re talking about connecting a bunch of different tools together to run processes more efficiently, faster, and more accurately, probably, if you’re getting the bidirectional integration. Maybe talk about some of the decisions excellence, and how Anaplan has supported that in… We talked about going from an annual quota setting process to a semi-annual quota setting process. That’s how I think of decisions being made better and faster, so maybe just give some [over speaking 0:13:17.1].


Rachel Krall 0:13:17.1:

Yes, we can talk a little bit about that, for sure. First off, our business has been really volatile in the last four years. I would assume it’s felt similarly.


Ohad Gilberg 0:13:27.0:

Everybody else has been stable!


Rachel Krall 0:13:28.1:

Yes! [Laughs] I mean, we’re all in different industries, but I’ll speak for myself. It’s been really complicated last four years. As I mentioned, I do financial planning. It’s been really challenging. One thing that we’ve adopted at LinkedIn is a muscle around semi-annual planning. I, frankly, don’t think we would have even imagined that just a couple of years prior, just given how hard planning is. Planning is very hard. A lot of what we did was really invest in how do we enable semi-annual planning, and just enable planning to be much more faster and agile. I can give two reasons and examples. To start, one thing that we did was, we really had to invest in our data. A lot of things start with investing in your data. We moved CRMs and Talent Solutions, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, it’s about a $7 billion or $8 billion business, it’s massive, you’ve got thousands of sellers, and we moved CRMs.


Ohad Gilberg 0:14:37.3:

Sounds simple!


Rachel Krall 0:14:38.5:

Yes! I meant our data was really complicated and not very reliable. It was also 36 hours latent. So a big thing that we did was, we worked on completely rearchitecting our data pipelines. We were able to cut our data latency from 36 hours to less than 6 hours, and we also did things like invest in our data pipelines for Anaplan, so that was another big thing we did. Part of that was actually bringing talent to my organization. My team, as I mentioned, has an analytics team. They support our semantic reporting layers. They also support our Anaplan data pipelines. In the last year, we’ve been able to reduce our failure rate, I think, by about 65 per cent. So that’s a big deal. It means our Anaplan models are more resilient, they’re more reliable, they have data, and they’re usable when people need them. Investment in data is a big one. From there, we also invested in process improvement and process automation, and that’s where Anaplan comes in.


Rachel Krall 0:15:44.2:

So we have territory planning in Anaplan now. As mentioned, it’s now integrated with our roster tool, so that makes it a lot easier. It’s a lot faster to be able to quickly make team changes and then see, review your territories. We’re working on in-your-quota management in Anaplan. So all of these things have really just streamlined our processes. What has that enabled? It’s enabled us to do semi-annual planning, which, frankly, we’ve needed for the last few years. Entering last year, we realized our plan was off by an order of magnitude of, like, $1 billion. We were able to quickly replan and reset. It’s also allowed us to ensure that we’re able to reorient where our resources are allocated, so that’s a really big one. I don’t know about others. I think a lot of companies are operating in some version of zero-based budgeting, or some version of flat resources. What we have called that is agile planning. What that means is, when someone leaves a role in North America, and we realize that role would be better serviced in government segment in Europe, we try to make that switch.


Rachel Krall 0:17:06.6:

What that means is, you have to have systems that enable that, and processes that allow that type of flexibility in year. That’s been a big one, for us. What’s been great about it is, we feel like every half, we’re bringing forward a plan that is our best understanding of reality at that moment. We are giving reps quotas that we think are our best understanding of 50/50 quotas that are hopefully motivational and achievable. When we look at that and say, ‘Okay, what is success?’ Well, it means we’re seeing less undesired attrition, or regrettable attrition, and we’re actually seeing increased market share. So we’ve been able to increase our market share for the last cycles in Talent Solutions even as the business was seeing this level of volatility. You can only do that if you’re able to give people fair and accurate plans on a timely basis. That’s been a huge win, I would say.


Ohad Gilberg 0:18:11.6:

So, of that increased market share, 99 per cent thanks to Anaplan, 1 per cent thanks to other stuff?!


Rachel Krall 0:18:17.7:

Yes, more or less! [Laughs]


Ohad Gilberg 0:18:20.2:

That’s a really cool story. I mean, some really cool themes to pull out that I see across the customer base and across the industries, which is diverting resources, whether it’s money, or people, towards the best place to leverage those money or people. In the changing of the territories midyear, that’s an incredible accomplishment, and also, probably, gives confidence to the business, the users, that they can make changes when they need to make changes, and they can make smart changes, not just changes because they had to. That’s a very powerful thing, and probably increases, again, the confidence, but also the satisfaction in the users who are enabled by the tool. I imagine that’s a very powerful thing for them. So that’s a great anecdote. What’s next? Looking forward, what’s your plan for your team? Both your charter, how is that going to evolve? Then also the goals of the business that you’re supporting.


Rachel Krall 0:19:19.8:

Yes, so we’ve invested, probably, the last six months or so, in building a three-year roadmap for our technology space. I think we call it the sales and support platform. Really, going back to what I was talking about earlier, we’re really trying to figure out, what are end users trying to achieve, and what are our customers trying to achieve, and how do we design a platform that supports that? We’ve worked really closely with our engineering teams, our product teams, our sales organizations, our business leaders, and put forward this three-year vision. Now, what it tries to do, it breaks the world down into four core categories. The first is around sales performance and planning. That one, you can think of as, how do I ensure my sales reps are able to engage and transact with their customers? It’d be quote-to-cash type process. We’ve got the CRM customer relationship management and intelligence. For that, we’re doing a lot of investments in AI. How can we make sure that we are thinking about ways to prompt our reps on what customers to engage with, in what ways, at what time? What are critical customer moments? What are impactful customer moments? How do we drive the most impact? We actually did a pilot just recently on a next best action logic, and the results so far are pretty promising, so it’s exciting.


Rachel Krall 0:20:56.4:

That space is just starting to really kick off. We have, then, this thing around, really, deal and transaction orchestration, so that’s a big one. LinkedIn’s a big company, we have a lot of customers, we have a lot of diverse customers. We have customers that buy differently, and we’ve realized we need the flexibility to be able to process different types of complicated transactions. We’ve also realized that, as much as we can streamline processes and automate, the better, a lot of the data issues that we run into is from manual processes, from things that our systems don’t support. So auto-renewal swaps, consolidations, stuff like that. It’s not really the sexiest stuff, but it’s really important, and we’re going to invest a lot in that. Then, ultimately, all of it underpins this data and reporting strategy. As you can imagine, too, all the other three are really feeding our data, and we need to make sure that the data is consistent across all of the tools, that it’s presented in the right way, and that it’s real-time.


Rachel Krall 0:22:04.5:

So we’ve mapped out this ecosystem, and we are already finalizing what that’s going to look like in terms of priorities for our next fiscal year. Our fiscal year starts in July. So we’re pretty close. We probably have an 85 per cent plan already, under what our next fiscal will look like, in terms of investments in these areas. For Anaplan specifically next year, we’re going to really double down on quota management. As mentioned, that was a model that we were able to bring to market in less than three months. As I said, it’s something where sales operations are spending 40 hours a month on this process. We’ve been able, with an MVP, to reduce that to 20 hours a month. It’s material impact, but our intent is actually to reduce the time by 90 per cent, so to 4 hours a month. That type of investment is really powerful, it’s really important, particularly as we talk about doing more with the resources you have and being in a tight budgetary cycle. So that’ll be a big one, is investing in quota management. Both quota modelling and your quota management.


Rachel Krall 0:23:16.3:

Then continuing to just double down on the connected planning space. With these integrations, and some of the work that we’ve been doing, there’s just more opportunity to continue to simplify and automate. What we do often is think about user journeys, and you’re mapping out how are people getting their job done, going through various steps across multiple systems. It’s trying to come up with system-agnostic solutions that just work and are streamlined. Ideally, if you can cut down on duplicate steps, or duplicate processes, the better. Our number one pain point we got from people last year was actually around duplicate steps in the process. These integrations hugely impacted that in a material and meaningful way, but there’s more that we can do there, so that’ll be a big investment.


Ohad Gilberg 0:24:10.6:

Yes, and what you’re talking about – by the way, I’m really proud we made it 25 minutes, and the first AI reference presentation, so good job. Let’s talk about it a lot more! The change management piece I’m thinking about, too, because the jobs-to-be-done concept is all about simplifying process steps and figuring out what’s going to make the user’s life easier and better. That is the heart of change management, so actually rolling out the new process and getting them to adopt it, if it’s been devised based on, you used to do this, this, this, and this; and now you’re going to do only these five things, that’s also really powerful.


Rachel Krall 0:24:50.2:

Yes, absolutely.


Ohad Gilberg 0:24:50.9:

Do you have a specific team of people who oversee that, or how do you orchestrate that within the fact that it’s, I guess, across multiple systems?


Rachel Krall 0:24:59.4:

Yes. So on our team, we do have a center of excellence dedicated to Anaplan and these types of planning processes. They’re working really closely cross-functionally both with the field to roll things out, our partners, and our stakeholders, in terms of understanding their use cases and needs, and gaining feedback. We do constant user testing. We’re doing a lot more rapid user testing. So gaining feedback on how are things working, are they solving the problems they’re intended to solve? I would say the center of excellence team for Anaplan is going to be a big one when it comes to driving adoption for these models that we’re thinking about on the planning side. Then on our internal broader ecosystem, back to the bigger conversation, we have a product marketing team that actually was recently created to help drive evangelism for internal tools and systems, and also gain user feedback and user sentiment and stuff like that. So it’s neat. There’s a lot of people in this space. We recognize it’s a really important space, and we are making more investments. We also have an enablement team. Obviously, that’s also, I would say, very involved as well in driving adoption and making sure that…


Ohad Gilberg 0:26:25.2:

Making assets that are used for…


Rachel Krall 0:26:27.7:

Exactly, yes. At the end of the day, back to your earlier point, the most important part of driving adoption is creating a product that solves a solution – or solves a real problem. It’s providing a solution to a real problem for your user base. If you can do that, that’s how you drive adoption. What we’ve found is, for our operations teams in particular, they’re the easiest ones to get to adopt things, their jobs are hard! They need more hours. They don’t need more tools, they need more hours, but if the tool is giving them hours, they will adopt the tools. That’s what we found, is it’s really about selling them on what are you giving them, and how are you making their life easier?


Ohad Gilberg 0:27:12.1:

Awesome. If the tool is giving them more hours, they will adopt the tool. I’m going to…


Rachel Krall 0:27:17.2:

They don’t need more tools; they need more hours.


Ohad Gilberg 0:27:19.1:

I’m going to be using that!


Rachel Krall 0:27:20.1:

[Laughs] I made that up right now, by the way!


Ohad Gilberg 0:27:22.6:

Fantastic. Okay, what have we got, 15 minutes left? Unless there was anything else you wanted to close with before we open it up for…


Rachel Krall 0:27:32.6:

I’m happy to do questions, if folks have questions, yes.


Ohad Gilberg 0:27:36.3:

It’s a packed house, so what have we got? Don’t be shy.


Rachel Krall 0:27:41.6:



Audience 0:27:43.6:

Hi, Rachel. I just wanted to ask about the go-to-market KPIs. Assuming you might have more than just a dollar value KPI, let’s say some sort of an engagement, or maybe just a trial period, so do you feed all those KPIs into the Anaplan for the quota management, or is it always a hard-value dollar amount?


Rachel Krall 0:28:09.2:

Oh, that’s a great question. So you’re saying, what metrics are in the model, basically, do we bring into Anaplan? Is that the question?


Audience 0:28:20.2:

Correct, right.


Rachel Krall 0:28:20.8:

Yes, so we do have a lot of different metrics that drive our quota model. Right now, our quota modelling process is actually not in Anaplan. That’s something that we’re looking into. What is in Anaplan right now is what we’re calling in-year quota management. It’s about how are you slicing up and distributing the quota to reps? That would be based on new reps are on a ramp, they don’t get a full quota as people move in and out of seats, that type of thing. In terms of what we’re thinking about, if I was going to answer your question about just KPIs we care about, at LinkedIn, we do look at a lot of things when we’re thinking about setting quotas, so we often work really closely with our data science team. We have a variety of data science driven models that are thinking about propensity scores. So if you’re thinking about acquisition, it’s going to be looking at propensity scores; trying to understand what do we think is a clear indication that a customer may want our tools or solutions.


Rachel Krall 0:29:24.1:

We’re very lucky at LinkedIn. We have a lot of data in-house, so we have a lot of information on the market, and what companies are opening jobs on our platform, where are people changing titles, that type of thing. We use a lot of our own internal data to actually funnel demand propensity predictions. Then, yes, also have various other data science models. We then have quota modelling that’s done by our operations teams. That’s all something that we are looking to build in Anaplan, actually. So that would be something that we’re currently in the process of looking into. I don’t know exactly what metrics would be brought in, but for now, what we’re doing more is just the constant monthly management of quotas that have already been set, and how are they assigned to your teams. Yes.


Ohad Gilberg 0:30:21.4:

What else? We’ve got one over here.


Rachel Krall 0:30:22.4:



Audience 0:30:25.6:

Yes, so talking about investing to AI, do you have a plan to incorporate AI into the LinkedIn messaging? Just like a meta AI in WhatsApp. That may be a way to make the user data more reliable, getting [over speaking 0:30:44.8].


Rachel Krall 0:30:44.7:

User data at LinkedIn, or…?


Audience 0:30:46.3

Get into their LinkedIn messaging much better.


Rachel Krall 0:30:50.2:

Okay, I love this, because I’m now getting to represent just LinkedIn as a company!


Audience 0:30:54.0:



Ohad Gilberg 0:30:55.0:

[Over speaking 0:30:55.0].


Rachel Krall 0:30:55.7:

No, and I love it. I’m here for it. If you have any LinkedIn questions, I’m happy to answer.


Audience 0:31:00.4:

[Unclear words 0:31:00.4] do you see the metadata?


Rachel Krall 0:31:02.5:

Yes. We actually do have a lot of AI that’s being built into the product. I don’t know if you have a LinkedIn premium account, but if you do have a LinkedIn premium account, there’s a coach now, and the coach does behave a little bit like a chatbot, and can talk to you, and will… It’s really neat, actually. It’ll engage with you based on your profile, and help you think about job searches, posts on LinkedIn. It helps you consume LinkedIn content. So it’s really good at telling you, ‘Here’s the core takeaway of posts that people have done.’ It’ll help assess you versus other applicants for jobs, and tell you, ‘Are you a quality candidate? What parts of your background help you fit well with that job? What could you play up in your resume?’ That type of thing. It’ll recommend LinkedIn Learning, so it’s a pretty cool chatbot called LinkedIn Coach. We’re also working on various AI features, particularly in our enterprise products as well. You’ll see more AI coming from LinkedIn, yes.


Ohad Gilberg 0:32:17.8:



Rachel Krall 0:32:19.2:

Love it.


Ohad Gilberg 0:32:19.6:

Awesome. We’ve got one back there. Ask an Anaplan question. I dare you!


Audience 0:32:24.1:

[Laughter] It’s a sales question, sorry! So how do you guys at LinkedIn balance the concept of renewal quota versus net new quota? Is it just one quota?


Rachel Krall 0:32:35.5:

That is a great question. I love thinking about sales comp. We’ve been spending a lot of time on it. That was one of the things I told Ohad I can talk about, by the way, was some of our sales comp strategy changes. So right now, I would say it is just a single number. Our business is primarily the renewal at this point, as you can imagine. In Talent Solutions, we do have a number of different SKUs, and we are still trying to promote cross-sell. For LinkedIn Talent Solutions, you have the hiring solutions side of it, which is LinkedIn Recruiter, helping recruiters reach out to people. We also have job slots for companies to post jobs. Those are the hiring products. We also have LinkedIn Learning as a separate product line. In our Talent Solutions business, we have a dual-metric number, it’s hiring and learning. The intent of having the learning-only metric is to be driving more net new acquisition of learning customers. At the end of the day, it’s both just a single number. It’s not a renewal versus growth. That is something we’ve spent a lot of time considering. It’s something that we’ve definitely continued to discuss.


Rachel Krall 0:33:57.8:

For next year, we’ll be making some changes to our comp plan, which I think are the biggest changes we’ve made, potentially, ever. It’s not moving to a growth model, but it is rethinking how we incentivize what behavior we really want, and getting people to sell what we really care about. For example, enterprise programs. On that one, there’s a lot that we are going to have to do operationally in order to support it, including thinking about our systems differently, ensuring that we can delineate every type of deal type that’s relevant for that purpose. Then it’ll also put a lot more pressure on quota modelling and management. So there will be investments we have to make in our Anaplan solutions as well, in order to enable it.


Ohad Gilberg 0:34:46.0:

That was a great question. What else? I’ll get to you in the back after that.


Audience 0:34:55.7:

This is an Anaplan and a LinkedIn question together.


Rachel Krall 0:34:58.3:



Audience 0:34:59.4:

You were just talking about the LinkedIn coach, for instance, and that connection to premium membership. Have you started to connect any data using AI in Anaplan with the percentage of renewals, for instance, that are associated, say, with the use of the coach, or the use of some of those premium features? I was just interested whether you’ve started to connect disparate sets of data yet.


Rachel Krall 0:35:27.4:

Yes. We definitely have started down that route. That, for example, is similar to the example I was giving with next best action. So we worked on a prompt that’s trying to start telling reps what accounts they should engage in and how. What we’ve found is that it is driving different behavior, and that different behavior seems to be working. Again, it’s very, very early phase. In general, we’re going to be investing more in that. As I said earlier, it’ll probably be something where it’s almost solutions-agnostic. What you want is, you want to be connecting all the data, to your point. You want to connect all of the data, and then you want to drive insights from that. Then, where people are prompted, and where they consume those insights may be different, and that’s okay. One thing we’ve been talking a lot about is, once you connect all the data and you drive the right insights, some people may consume that through Copilot and Teams. Some people might consume that through an email. Some might consume it through a prompt in a dashboard they look at, or in Anaplan when they’re doing reviews. It could be from all these different sources, but at the end of the day, it’s about just really driving the insights and then surfacing it as many places as you can, frankly, to be driving behavior, yes.


Audience 0:36:49.6:

Can you go into some more details on how to transition to a biannual planning process? I’m at Coinbase, so we have a lot of the same processes with the bid management, and also, do you also do vendor planning from bottoms-up by vendor, or is it something else to be able to make that transition?


Rachel Krall 0:37:05.3:

When you say vendor planning, do you mean…?


Audience 0:37:08.2:

Yes, directly by POs, by vendor.


Rachel Krall 0:37:10.6:

Oh, okay.


Audience 0:37:11.0:

We have thousands of vendors, essentially, via the bottoms-up.


Rachel Krall 0:37:14.1:

I see what you’re saying. So we do an annual-plus, semi-annual process. I’m happy to chat more offline, too, if it’s helpful. I would say that, how it works is that we actually have a single plan that we lock with Microsoft, we’re a Microsoft company. So we lock our plan with Microsoft in May, June timeframe. That typically will include the majority of expenses and stuff like that, too. So headcount plan, vendor spend, things like that. Then our financial plan is originally set as an annual, but we have an opportunity to reset it at the half. What we do is, we perform the first half. We then reset. At that point in time, we have realized that we’re resetting quotas, territories, financial plan, all of that. Then we have our second half to deliver. Within that, what we have also then embraced is more of this agile planning. That’s where we’re finding ways to potentially support midyear investments and midyear strategy shifts. That could be something where we are actually shifting spend across.


Rachel Krall 0:38:30.5:

For example, this year, we identified a pretty cool investment opportunity mid H1 where we said, ‘Hey, we have all of these – we could add to our account universe.’ It was basically like, we can ingest a ton of accounts from Microsoft, and from, and move them into our CRM and try to sell against them, and we think we can do this midyear. So that was a cool investment opportunity midyear. We were able to make that change. That included shifting vendor spend towards some shared services resources that were going to help us with this strategy. It included, actually, getting an investment case to hire new account executives to go after accounts in different markets and include it… Assigning new territories, all of that stuff, and it happened in the middle of the year. That’s through having these more agile processes.


Ohad Gilberg 0:39:25.4:



Rachel Krall 0:39:26.0:



Unknown Speaker 0:39:26.6:

Thank you.


Ohad Gilberg 0:39:27.1:

That wraps it up for us.


Unknown Speaker 0:39:29.0:

Yes, that was great. Thanks, Rachel, Ohad. \


Rachel Krall 0:39:30.4:



Ohad Gilberg 0:39:30.5:

Thank you.


Audience 0:39:31.1:



Ohad Gilberg 0:39:34.2:

Great stuff.


Rachel Krall 0:39:35.1:



Rachel Krall, Senior Director, GTM Operations - SaaS, LinkedIn

Ohad Gilberg, AVP Customer Success, Anaplan