Bill Cate, Senior Director Global Operations, Motorola

Bill Cate shares how Motorola achieved accurate sales and revenue forecasting—despite its complex sales structure—using Anaplan.

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My name is Bill Cate, and I work for Motorola Solutions. I am responsible for the global business process and operations. My team is responsible for primary platforms that are used globally, like Salesforce.com, like Anaplan.

Our sales organization is comprised of approximately 2,000 selling roles that includes our direct sales people and our channel account managers—and because we have a very strong and powerful channel network of around 800 partners, that also includes our inside sales teams and some overlay teams that come from services and pre-sales engineers; all really important parts of the sales process.

Our forecast accuracy was very good, but the process to achieve that was very clunky and cumbersome and had many, many manual processes. I am sure like many of Anaplan’s other customers, we grew up over the years using spreadsheets and lots of phone calls and lots of emails to achieve this. We decided to focus on sales forecasting because we can drive significant efficiencies by doing it differently.

A unique need we had in forecasting is being able to do our revenue forecasting, which very few tools could do in a very efficient way. I know we can achieve accurate forecasting, and while that’s a stated direction of this project, our real core goal is to drive value for our sales organization. How do we simplify this process for the frontline sales person and the frontline sales manager so they don’t see this as yet another tool to use, and they don’t see it as homework?

So if they can have pipeline discussions using this forecasting process that adds value to their ability to understand the composition of their pipeline, their deal velocity, their conversion rates, it changes the dynamics of that dialogue at the sales level.

The value that Anaplan brings and the features that really excited us are really many. The first was the seamless integration with Salesforce.com. The other really interesting set of features in Anaplan is the end-to-end transparency of the data. In Anaplan, all the data is in one place. It’s all modeled in one place, so that multiple users in different parts of the organization—whether it’s finance, or operations, or sales, or supply chain folks—they can all collaborate on opportunities together. So I think that’s the biggest feature that we love about the Anaplan implementation and architecture.

If I were to describe Anaplan, I would say you are a change agent. You are in a sweet spot.

My specific challenge was fixing sales forecasting. I didn’t know who to turn to. I have looked at the analytics companies; they all say they did sales forecasting well, but they don’t really. I looked at the sales enablement companies. Great companies. We do business with a couple of them today. They say they do sales forecasting, they don’t. When I met with the Anaplan team they not only understood my problem but resolved it in a way that I didn’t have to go build something in an IT environment. It’s in the cloud, it’s just about us determining what our process is, sitting down with them and building it with the cloud. I think Anaplan is on the leading edge, and we are excited we found them.

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