DocuSign transforms sales forecasting with the Anaplan platform

Technology

Industry

200 million users in 188 countries

Fact

Sales, finance

Use case

Challenge

As DocuSign expanded across the globe into new markets and products, its sales forecasting process became increasingly inconsistent and hard to scale. Many processes were manual, and the sales operations and financial planning teams had to cobble together a combination of data from their ERP systems and spreadsheets—leading to a lack of transparency and consistency. In order to keep up with the company’s growth, the teams needed to unify their planning and make it fully data-driven with a unified set of tools.

Solution

With the Anaplan platform, DocuSign’s sales forecasting process is now consistent, and the risk caused by data gaps is drastically reduced. Since the Anaplan platform is cloud-based, data integrity isn’t an issue, and essential information is always at the fingertips of the right planners.

Results

With the Anaplan platform, DocuSign has “de-risked” the forecasting process, and its teams have found great value in the real-time reporting functionality of the Anaplan platform. Those teams have also benefited from unifying sales and financial planning into one platform. The feedback from senior leadership has included sentiments like, “This is first class” and, “This is 1,000 percent better than what we had before.”

Jeremy Scheffel, Senior Director of the Sales Performance Intelligence Team, shares how Anaplan has helped DocuSign improve its forecasting alongside its fast-growing business expanded.

Jeremy Scheffel: We have been growing into new markets. We are growing into new products. So we are international; we are multi-product. We have been shedding our skin and becoming a bigger company, and Anaplan has actually been a big part of that. Where it was a very simplistic, frustrating, difficult-to-assemble process that somebody built (which probably seemed like a very easy thing at the time), some spreadsheets and some macros just didn’t scale, and we needed something that was new—we needed a “clean-slate” system. What worked for one team wasn’t working for another team, or the other team didn’t understand what they were doing. It’s not that one was better or worse than another—it was just inconsistent. So we want to make sure we have a consistent set of tools for them so they can actually make a better forecast.

So having everyone on the same sales forecasting system with a consistent forecasting process has taken out a lot of the risk from the business from not knowing what gaps were actually in the data sets—and that’s consistent for enterprise across the world. So it just happens automatically, but it just happens, and so no one has to worry about when was the data pulled, and whether you are stitching together two different data sets that actually aren’t congruent—and you got to go figure out what the mismatch is. Those pains are actually gone.

As a company that wants to be a fully data-driven company when it comes to decisions, spending more time on the high-value items is really important. But it doesn’t actually have to be hard. The better part really comes to de-risking the forecasts. I think most people who have been in sales will have gone through a quarter where they actually missed their forecast—not by a little bit, but by a lot—and that can become pretty painful. They want to have a system that’s available for them, so that they have that visibility so they can de-risk the business. There is always going to be risk in the business, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be unmitigated risk in the forecasting process.

The sales leadership really likes that they have the information readily available at their fingertips—that, ultimately speaking, it works. The three things that come to mind in terms of feedback that I have gotten from direct leadership: First one is, “This just works.” Another one that comes to mind is, “This is a 1,000 percent better than what we had before.” Then the final one is actually from our enterprise leadership, and the words, I quote, were, “This is first class.”

The mobile piece is—you know, it’s almost like the Holy Grail that you can just check to see what’s going on, on your phone, and it’s done, and actually it looks really good; it works really well—it becomes interactive. I am actually really excited about the predictive stuff that’s coming in Anaplan so we can actually do it in one spot. That’s really powerful. It’s going to help us grow faster.

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