Customer participation acts as a multiplier to customer success

edited January 2023 in Blog


A Fortune 500 insurance company built and implemented a fully functioning License Management model in weeks rather than months. A local government saved $190k+ on audit consulting fees while adjusting forecasts quarterly instead of annually. A beverage manufacturing and distribution company rolled out model enhancement requests to business end users with an adoption rate more than double that of the initial model deployment.

What is it that they did differently to help them achieve such outstanding results? They used a sometimes-overlooked ingredient that is critical to the success on any SaaS platform: customer participation.

At Anaplan Live! in San Jose, Anaplan’s Chief Customer Officer Erin Siemens shared how customer participation is the secret ingredient for maximizing success with the Anaplan platform (and in many other aspects of life, like ordering food at a restaurant). This secret ingredient has been found to have a multiplying effect on the value we provide to our customers in addition to an outstanding product and world-class customer experience. As she demonstrated in her keynote, using this secret ingredient — customer participation — in the process of implementing and using Anaplan, can lead to accelerated outcomes and unbelievable value from the time and financial investment already being made in Anaplan.

When Erin outlined that customer participation has a multiplier effect on success, we asked ourselves how should one get started with that participation? Are there some kinds of participation that are more likely to result in the positive outcomes Erin mentioned, or that provide more **** for the buck of energy required in the participation? Are there different levels of participation that all qualify as multipliers of success? Or if somebody is already highly participating in some aspects of their implementation, what are some ways to double down and leverage that existing participation to take it to the next level and continue multiplying that energy into successful outcomes?

I’d like to take this opportunity to keep the conversation going around this idea of customer participation by taking the next step into discussing the HOW of customer participation. Let's start by breaking participation down into three key areas:

  • The first is participation in your local implementation, likely in the form of your current use case or department that is using Anaplan.
  • The second is participation at a broader company-wide level, acting as a change agent to break down the traditional siloes of business planning.
  • And the third is at the broader Community level, connecting and sharing with your peers who are on the same journey as you in other companies across the world.

Within each, you’ll find an easy, medium, and highly-committed version of what your participation could look like, all with the aim of helping you opt-in to your desired level of participation, and most importantly prioritizing helping you get started as quickly as possible on your path towards multiplying your success!

Local participation

  • Network: Meet all the people within your team and company with responsibilities for managing Anaplan. These can be your model owners, business sponsors, Anaplan CoE team, other end users, or even your Anaplan Customer Success Business Partner and other account team members.
  • Learn: Dig into learning about your use case and all its different functionality, all the edge cases it supports, and other ways you can use standard Anaplan functionality to enhance your planning process without requiring any additional model enhancements.
  • Join: If you don’t yet have a Community login, create an Anaplan Community account to connect with your peers and join a Persona hub based on your role or a User Group based on your location or functional area of interest.

Company-wide participation

  • Connect: Join or organize internal Anaplan User calls (sometimes called an “Anaplan Community of Practice”) to stay in the loop with the latest and greatest ways your company is using Anaplan.
  • Share: Find something exciting in the Anaplan platform — something that is unique to one of your Anaplan use cases, a new feature documented/showcased in Community, or something you picked up in your Training journey like Anaplan Essentials or UX Page Building — and share how it might be relevant to other users and parts of your business.
  • Innovate: Identify adjacent spreadsheets or planning processes that are logical next steps in connecting your plans into a single source of planning, and share these with your company's Anaplan CoE Leader. These are sometimes referred to as shoulder use cases, since they represent an expansion of the current use case without requiring an implementation team or the full development of a new model.

Global Community participation 

  • Showcase: Share your story with our Community, either of your specific use case or of your career path that led you to Anaplan. Our Community Content team is ready to hear from you by emailing to help publish your written, video, audio (think podcasts!), and live content.
  • Author: Provide your technical or business thought leadership to fill a void that you’re aware of or share something you do exceptionally well with the rest of the Community. This is your way to leave your mark on the Anaplan Community, demonstrate your expertise as you build your professional brand, and spark engaging deep-cut conversations with your peers.

I hope this helps you put in practice Erin’s key message that customer participation acts as a multiplier to customer success, and that these action-oriented options help you get started today at whichever level is easiest and most comfortable for you. If so, we’d love to hear from you, please let us know in the comments or by emailing about how you will accelerate the value you add to your company by increasing your participation locally and globally!


  • Totally, company wide participation, word of mouth internally with showcases and doing model live demo has absolutely created win win with adoption, new use case inquiry and in some instances improving value drivers with more operational data.