Hewlett-Packard transforms territory and quota planning across the globe with Anaplan

Transform planning Increase speed
The time gap between design and implementation of sales territories and quotas at HP could be as long as 120 days, resulting in lost time and momentum in sales cycles. Anaplan was brought in as part of a major consolidation of enterprise applications, and quickly proved its value when the four-month gap was reduced to several weeks. Now, the company has global visibility into quota attainment and sales performance on the first day of the fiscal year, sales letters are sent out in mere days, and areas for improvement are easily uncovered.

I have been at HP eight years, and I have never seen a start of a year like we had this year, thanks to Anaplan.
Sue Barsamian, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Indirect Sales


Before Anaplan, there was a gap between the design and implementation of HP’s annual territory and quota assignments. Disconnected spreadsheet-based planning processes led to unpredictable deployment and a lack of visibility into what was actually implemented in the field. This left sales leadership without transparency into quota attainment and an inability to effectively collaborate across 20,000 sales managers and hundreds of sales plans.


Closing the gap in territory and quota planning proved challenging for HP’s sales team until they found Anaplan. With Anaplan, HP was able to deploy the platform to hundreds of users across more than 50 countries within a matter of weeks and gain sales adoption-something that would have been unheard of prior to Anaplan.


Using the Anaplan platform, HP has global visibility into quota attainment and sales performance on day one of the fiscal year. Anaplan reduced the time spent aggregating sales data from a month to three days. Sales letters are now sent out in just days instead of weeks. Additionally, Anaplan’s advanced analytics capabilities enable HP’s sales team to identify places for improvement or business opportunities that would never have been uncovered when managing data in spreadsheets.

Why Anaplan

HP could not find a solution that met their needs, and planned to create their own home-grown solution, until they found Anaplan. The capabilities the sales team could get with Anaplan exceeded HP’s expectations and empowered the sales leadership to stretch beyond traditional ideas for quota deployment. Anaplan’s standout features included “what if” scenario modeling and the ability to handle an impressive volume of data with sub-second response times.

At HP we have a very large sales organization, about 20,000 strong. And when you think about the simple tasks of getting ready for a new year, and you have got to make sure that you are using every dollar of your field-selling cost most effectively. For us, that’s a pretty big challenge, how do you-in 170 countries-make sure that your sales design is optimized before somebody presses Go on the start of a new year. Because once you press Go, it is very difficult in an operation of this size to ever turn back.

Before Anaplan, we were always looking at what actually got deployed in a rearview mirror that was usually 90 to 120 days later. And that’s because it was completely manual. This was a spreadsheet-run exercise, and by the time that all got rolled back up, and people corrected minor errors along the way, we were usually at the beginning of Q2.

In order to understand the context around Anaplan, it might be interesting to understand the transformation journey that HP is on. We are transforming the company, and one of the ways in which we are doing that is by transforming the applications, the services, and the infrastructure that drive HP.

For us, that involved a very big consolidation project. We went from 7,500 corporate applications down to significantly less than 750. And in the process, we went to the best-in-class, next-generation version of every category.

For us, it was incredibly exciting but also a really big deal to be able to step into what we consider to be the best-in-class quota and territory management application out there.

As we took a step back and said, “Why jump into a system like Anaplan,” it really fell into three fundamental buckets for us. The first is the one we had already talked about. When you start the year, you have got to make sure that you are interlocked around both your design and the way that design is deployed as well as your number and the way that your quota is deployed across all the roles in your model. So interlock and starting the year faster and knowing what’s getting deployed before you deploy it was really the first critical value proposition that we were attracted to in Anaplan.

The second is execution. Once you start the year, things change. Starting on day two, things change. Salespeople come and go; quotas get adjusted. Sometimes the company adjusts the number because of currency fluctuations. A whole host of things change the second the year starts, and those things in Anaplan are eminently easier to manage and control, just like starting the year and executing the first interlock around deployment was easier.

I would say that shiny light for us was really the third area, which is optimizing. What we saw was that once these all got into Anaplan, the analytics capability that Anaplan brought to the table would allow us to all of a sudden get insight from our model from the data that sat in Anaplan and tell us things about what was working. Probably even more interesting: seeing what was not working in our model and would not allow us to make changes that we never would have discovered or uncovered without the insights that we can get from the Anaplan engine.

This cycle went very quickly for a project of this magnitude. And I think when you look at it, there were a couple of reasons for that, and it was really built around ecosystems of stakeholders. In order to get to initial deployment, our IT team, our sales ops team, and the Anaplan team worked incredibly well together and probably did a project of this size faster than it’s ever been done. And we owe a lot to those three constituent groups for the work they did.

We have deployed our first year in Anaplan, and it went great, and it went better. I have been at HP eight years, and I have never seen a start to the year like we had this year, thanks to Anaplan.

We are now in the phase of optimizing what we think we want to deploy and interlock around next year. So at some point, this is just a cycle that starts over every year. And for us, we are really living the Anaplan lifecycle.

I am Sue Barsamian, senior vice president of Indirect Sales at HP, and my sales plan is powered by Anaplan.

HP had acquired a number of companies over the years. We have been using Excel, and frankly, the ability for Excel to handle the enormity of the changes that we were getting through as a result of new products to sell-also the style of IT that we are seeing at the moment-the way that our sales reps have to sell to try and target those guys, was becoming way beyond the capability of Excel to handle.

So the last opportunity for us was that we were spending months trying to determine what the sales targets were, the assignments for our sales reps, and to get them oriented around serving customers.

We had an “aha” moment when we saw Anaplan for the first time simply by the speed and accuracy, both of which we can use. We were able to make changes on-the-fly, which were taking us literally weeks and months to do previously under Excel.

The implementation process that we had in Asia Pacific was extremely interesting from the point of view that we are a region, so we don’t really rely on a lot of help from outside. We are able to do most of the implementation ourselves within the region. We didn’t have a lot of consultants. I was expecting a huge number of consultants to be hanging around and trying to tell us how to do it. We were able to do most of the work ourselves in terms of the modeling, in terms of management of change, and getting users oriented to the new product and a new way of doing quota in our business.

We started to use Anaplan in ways we just didn’t expect from a point of view of analytics. We didn’t think that we would be able to get down to the point of looking at the cost-to-serve so quickly in the space. It’s really good to see that we have now made these benchmarks where we can tell even if it’s costing us too much in one segment or another or in one country or another, compared to how we used to do it because we were just simply taking too long to make a change. And that’s really made our sales reps think that our management team is focused on the job-at-hand of improving HP as a company to work at, making us more customer-centric-just far more better feel around the goals we have at our company.

Hi, I am Tony Alizzi. I am the Director for Sales Compensation Operations at Hewlett Packard for Asia Pacific in Japan.