OREANDA-NEWS. April 08, 2016. Brett Butler was at a crossroads. Even with a new Salesforce CRM handling his company Lexmark’s front-end customer operations and SAP handling its ERP on the back end, there was still a gap in the middle where those two heavyweight systems didn’t meet. Lexmark needed a solution that would bridge the gap between the systems and solve their spreadsheet woes. Enter Anaplan, the recommendation of Jeff Powrie and the Deloitte Digital team.

In our latest edition of App Talks, Brett and Jeff shared how they not only transformed their sales forecasting and territory management processes, but Lexmark's entire business.

1. Automate territory management

Oftentimes, manual territory management can be a painfully long process of pulling numbers, extracting data, and assigning territories. “By automating this process, we spend time on the important task of getting the right rep to the right customer,” shares Brett.

2. Ensure forecasting is accurate

For Lexmark, data accuracy and updating data was a real issue. “It was data gymnastics,” shares Brett. By moving to the cloud and out of spreadsheets, data was accurate and pulled quickly. “Our forecasting used to take days. Now it takes seconds, which means we can plan more effectively and make sure our customers always get what they want when they need it,” says Brett.

3. Focus on selling, not spreadsheets

“We had really smart, talented people spending way too much time in spreadsheets,” Brett reveals. Ensure your sales reps focus on solving customers’ business challenges rather than updating rows and columns. “When salespeople don’t think about spreadsheets, they can be creative,” shares Brett.

4. Plan for user adoption

By creating helpful video tutorials and choosing intuitive technology, adoption of Anaplan was smooth at Lexmark. “It was like a duck to water,” shares Brett, “We prepared for the barrage of phone calls once we rolled it out, but they hardly came.”

5. Choose a solid partner

Solid technology is crucial, but a solid partner is even more important. “They think about the process in a different way, and they think as a modeler,” says Brett, “They have experience. You need a solid partner in your corner.”