HEC Paris Students Augment Anaplan’s Internal Sales Performance Management Tool

Occasional Contributor

HEC Paris Batiment Building—copyright HEC ParisHEC Paris Batiment Building—copyright HEC ParisA few months ago, we were lucky to meet three HEC Paris students who wanted to try their hand at the Anaplan platform by improving the Sales Performance Management tool we use internally. HEC Paris is one of the world's best business schools and a leader in research and education in management sciences, so we were delighted at their offer.

We launched a short-term project with the students called “Sales Insight and Success Factors for Anaplan’s HEC logo.jpgHypergrowth.” It had three main components:

  1. Analyze the key factors that have influenced Anaplan's hypergrowth.
  2. Prepare an action plan for territory-setting and go-to-market strategy based on those factors, based on French and EMEA market data.
  3. Translate the analysis onto the Anaplan platform to build a flexible, future-proof, and repeatable model that provides our sales team with a dynamic target addressable market (TAM).

In our existing process, we segmented the market based on two factors: revenue and number of employees. We wanted a more intelligent way to segment the market based on our past successes along with additional factors such as industry and willingness to buy cloud services. Our objective was to determine a method that can be used in any data set that creates a leveling of the data through a reliability score, so we can then use our sales insight / modern score without any data gap. The HEC Paris students arrived at just the right time.

Who Are Our Champions?

We wanted students who had data science and data analytics skills, could learn quickly, had very good business sense, and were able to organize and structure the project. We also wanted them to bring fresh ideas to the table.

  • Aaishwarya Jain is a growth specialist with experience in the automation industry. She has worked with ventures from more than 10 countries in positions involving strategic planning, financial analysis, and project management.
  • Basit-us-Salam Khan is a LUMS graduate with experience in delivering digital transformation projects in the private and public sectors. He is skilled in advanced analytics, data-driven branding, design thinking, and revamping business processes.
  • Shubham Choudhary is a mining engineering graduate with experience in financial controlling, business strategy, and marketing in the oil and gas, packaging, and mining industries.

Their 10-week project was broken into three steps:

  1. Data cleansing, strategic segmentation, and hierarchy-building of local market data took three weeks.
  2. Sales insight analysis, success factor mapping, and building of dynamic scoring criteria was completed in three weeks.
  3. Creation of an Anaplan model for dynamic TAM and territory-setting was completed in four weeks.

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What Was Achieved?

The project has been an overwhelming success. Anaplan in Europe now has a model that allows us to determine, for each geographical area in France, the addressable markets and the accounts that we must approach, in priority order. With this model, our sales teams can optimize their efforts and time based on the accounts that have the best potential to need—and purchase—Anaplan. We can update the model on our own when new data becomes available.

We also have a foundation to grow on. The HEC team started with French accounts but developed the model to be easily extended to the entire EMEA region. As the model is dynamic in nature—meaning that it updates the priority of accounts based on our past transactions—we are able to reuse it in the future here in EMEA. This also forms a virtuous cycle: the model will get better and better because we expect our sales teams’ success to improve with each use.

We can also roll it out to APAC and the Americas, where Anaplan also does business.

The students enjoyed the project and appreciated the opportunity to build skills in Anaplan. "The product is very relevant for the current market,” Shubham Choudhary said. “The project gave us an opportunity to learn model building and discover how flexible and intuitive the platform is."

Their professors were equally enthusiastic. “This business project reflects exactly what we seek to achieve in our HEC Paris Strategic Management master: combining theory and practice, and learning by doing,” said Laurence Lehmann-Ortega, Scientific Director of the Strategic Management Master program at HEC. “It allowed our students to apply their knowledge, and Anaplan benefited from their insights and enthusiasm.”

All of us at Anaplan are grateful to Aaishwarya Jain, Basit-us-Salam Khan, and Shubham Choudhary for their excellent efforts, and look forward to putting their innovative Anaplan model to work for years to come. Anaplan’s University Connect program works with universities like HEC Paris to bring Connected Planning to the classroom, student projects, and research. If you are an educator please reach out to my colleague Heather Matthews to learn more. 

If you are a student who is interested in building Anaplan skills, you can start Your 90-Day Trial with Anaplan Access.  Anaplan Access is our free, 90-day trial program that grants independent learners access to a private Anaplan workspace. It enables those who are looking to develop their Anaplan skill set to get started on their Anaplan learning journeys quickly and create new opportunities for themselves within the Anaplan ecosystem.

1 Comment
Super Contributor

Thanks @ChristopherB for sharing the story.  It is awesome that the Anaplan - HEC Paris collaboration has been hugely beneficial to all involved!