HP leaders on their sales planning transformation with Anaplan

HP leaders Sue Barsamian, Bob Slaby, Yves Cabanac, and Robert Ficalora talk about the collaborative process they engaged in with each other and Anaplan to transform HP’s Territory and Quota planning process.

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Yves Cabanac, WW Sales Compensation Operations, Process and Capabilities, Hewlett-Packard
HP is going through a big transformation.

Sue Barsamian, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Indirect Sales, HP Enterprise Group, Hewlett-Packard
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.

Robert Ficalora, Senior Director, IT, Hewlett-Packard

Before Anaplan, it was a very distributed process to manage territories and set quota. We had spreadsheets, every business and every region within every business. They would plan on spreadsheets that we’d consolidate at a regional level, send all that data into corporate, and hopefully it all tied with what the business plan was for that year.

Bob Slaby, Vice President Sales Operations, Hewlett-Packard

One of the challenges of having so many spreadsheets, delayed information, incomplete information, working through those cycles to get everything clear and coherent, is that it delayed visibility for my business units in seeing their results in seeing how their plans were coming together. Is my quota fully deployed? Is my coverage model deployed in the way I expect? Are my sales assignments accurately covered? Are my customers accurately covered?

When solving this problem, frankly, we were beginning to develop a solution in-house because we really didn’t see anything in the marketplace until we came across Anaplan. And the capabilities that we could get with Anaplan frankly exceeded our expectations and our own requirements for building a homegrown solution. It gave us an opportunity to stretch beyond the ideas that we had for quota deployment.

Once we decided to move forward, we quickly defined what our models needed to look like and within eight months, had stood up a solution that was ready to deploy across HP.

I think the reason our cycle worked so well at HP was that the team worked in a very integrated manner together very rapidly, and quite frankly, we never could have pulled off this timeline if we had done it any other way.

With Anaplan, we moved entirely away from this being a rearview mirror conversation. With Anaplan, we don’t even go live until we’re sure that our design is being deployed as expected and that we are comfortable with the way that quota is actually rolled out. So we have forward visibility.

With the implementation of Anaplan, my team realizes that anything is possible. If we can solve the territory and quota challenges that we have, in such an effective way, we really feel empowered to be able to do anything to solve any problem. It’s been a very uplifting experience for us to deploy Anaplan.

In terms of visibility, it’s going from zero to 99%, so it’s a big win. It’s about getting, you know, zero visibility, you just wait til the end of the process to see what’s coming to you and you are issuing letters to reps, you did not even have a review, you’re working on spreadsheets that are all different, and you try to say “Does it match the numbers I’m looking for?” You can even not say that. And you switch to a process where you have 100% visibility on all your numbers at any time since the start of the process.

The ability for the tool to have the multi-dimensional data and do that with huge volumes of data is really what was powerful for us. That enabled us to do things that we couldn’t do in any other tool.

Overall, on our Anaplan implementation it was not a cost savings project, it was about bringing more benefits from the business perspective. But I can say today that those benefits are there already, after six months of implementation. And overall in terms of return on investment, I think we are talking about a factor of ten, even more, in less than six months. I don’t think that anyone on the market can say that. So it’s a huge, huge ROI.

I would say the real future promise of Anaplan is then to start taking all the data that sits there and start using the analytics capability to actually change and improve what you are doing. Not just do it better, faster, cheaper but do it differently because the data and the insight that comes out of the Anaplan engine gives you ‘ahas’ about your deployment model, about your design that you were never able to get when the data sat in disconnected Excel spreadsheets around the world.

With Anaplan, our expectation is that we will be able to deploy quota more effectively, tighten up our sales performance, and be able to allocate and spend our sales dollars much more efficiently. I see all sorts of opportunities with where we go next with Anaplan. I’d like to be able to model and simulate best performance so taking the plans that we put together in Anaplan with the actuals, mapping those back, and being able to simulate best practices to make the next plan even stronger.

There are just more use cases then I can imagine at this point.

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