How Anaplan Put the Customer at the Center of Their Demand Generation Strategy

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April 12, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, challenges are inevitable. Anaplan, a leader in business planning software, faced numerous hurdles in creating a repeatable and efficient demand generation engine. In a recent webinar, three key Anaplan leaders—Kerry Vogel, VP of Revenue Marketing, Sadie Beckius, VP of Sales Development, and Jenifer Salzwedel, VP of Marketing Operations—shared their journey of overcoming these challenges.

Watch the full on-demand webinar or read on for a detailed look into their experiences and the strategies they implemented to drive success.

Identifying the Challenges

When Anaplan embarked on its journey to improve its demand generation, several key challenges emerged:

  1. Resource Constraints: Headcount and budget cuts required smarter marketing strategies.
  2. Lack of Segmentation: Marketing efforts were too broad, targeting the entire known universe without proper segmentation.
  3. Unclear Roles and Responsibilities: Decision-making was muddled, with too many voices influencing outcomes.
  4. Prioritization Issues: With everything labeled as a priority, real progress was difficult.
  5. Outdated Nurture Campaigns: Marketing automation lacked relevance and impact.
  6. Disjointed MarTech Stack: Although Anaplan had a robust tech stack, the lack of integration hindered efficiency.
  7. Inconsistent Lead Scoring: Differing rules across campaigns caused confusion and inefficiency.
  8. Insufficient SDR Enablement: Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) lacked the tools and information to effectively convert leads.
  9. Lack of a Campaign Planning Framework: Campaigns were executed haphazardly, without a coordinated strategy.

Strategic Solutions and Implementation

  1. Creating a Segmentation Strategy - Kerri emphasized the importance of segmentation. By focusing on specific industries and buying centers, Anaplan tailored its content and campaigns more effectively. This included creating industry-specific web pages, leveraging paid social media, and hosting targeted industry events. This approach ensured that marketing efforts were more focused and relevant.
  1. Aligning Roles and Responsibilities with a RACI Model - To address the confusion around roles and responsibilities, Anaplan implemented a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) model. This clear delineation of roles helped streamline decision-making and ensured that everyone knew their responsibilities. The RACI model also facilitated better communication and coordination across teams.
  1. Building a Cohesive Demand Funnel - Sadie highlighted the development of a structured demand funnel. This funnel provided clarity on how leads progressed through various stages and what actions triggered their movement. It also aligned marketing and sales teams on the criteria for success and the specific actions required at each stage.
  1. Integrating the MarTech Stack - Jenifer discussed the importance of a well-integrated MarTech stack. Anaplan conducted a thorough technology audit to identify gaps and streamline processes. By differentiating system administrator roles from campaign orchestration roles, they ensured that each tool was used effectively and integrated properly. This integration was crucial for creating a seamless customer journey.
  1. Implementing a Lead Scoring Framework - Anaplan established a council to oversee lead scoring, ensuring it was a dynamic and data-driven process. This council met regularly to review and adjust scoring criteria based on performance data. This approach eliminated the inconsistencies that previously plagued their lead-scoring efforts.
  1. Enhancing SDR Enablement - With improved lead scoring and clear roles, Sadie’s team was better equipped to engage with leads. They received the necessary training and tools to understand and act on the information provided by marketing. This alignment significantly boosted the effectiveness of SDRs in converting leads into opportunities.
  1. Developing a Campaign Planning Framework - Kerri emphasized the need for a structured campaign planning process. Anaplan created a detailed framework that outlined the steps and responsibilities for each campaign. This framework included specific use cases for each technology in their stack, ensuring that all tools were used optimally to achieve campaign goals.

Anaplan's journey from facing numerous marketing challenges to building a cohesive and efficient demand generation engine is a testament to the power of strategic planning and cross-functional collaboration. By addressing key issues around segmentation, roles and responsibilities, technology integration, and lead scoring, Anaplan significantly improved its marketing efficiency and effectiveness.

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