How Algolia reduced time spent on sales planning by 90%

With Nicole Gilmour, Senior Manager, Revenue Operations • Algolia


Nicole Gilmour, Senior Manager, Revenue Operations • Algolia

, • Algolia

Nicole Gilmour
Senior Manager, Revenue Operations
Used by
Revenue Operations Team
San Francisco, California, USA
Implementation time
2 weeks
Integrations with
Google Sheets, Salesforce

At a glance

Through Pigment, Algolia has been able to:

  • Ditch their cumbersome, error-prone spreadsheet models
  • Create swift ROI from their Pigment implementation
  • Reduce time spent on what-if analysis for sales planning by up to 90%
  • Create new metrics and models with ease
  • Collaborate more effectively with the wider organization
  • Absorb change without compromising knowledge of the models and processes
“It used to be that I would have to pull numbers and insights from the spreadsheets and put them into decks to share. Now we have those people actually using Pigment, getting their insights firsthand and actually contributing, which is much more scalable." 

Nicole Gilmour, Senior Manager, Revenue Operations, Algolia

Copyright: Algolia illustration

Before Algolia was introduced to Pigment, their sales capacity and sales pipeline plans were held in spreadsheets. This created huge barriers to insight and collaboration, which made it difficult for the RevOps team to fulfill their mission of driving efficiency within the organization.

Since choosing Pigment, RevOps at Algolia has been able to improve efficiency of not only their own processes as a team, but also of the sales planning and forecasting processes of the GTM organization as a whole.

Spreadsheet models that served as a barrier to efficiency

By doubling down on GTM strategy and providing robust sales analytics, the RevOps team at Algolia knows they can boost productivity in other parts of the business. But when the processes of achieving those strategies and analytics through spreadsheets proved cumbersome, they knew that they needed a better solution.

Until that point, all of Algolia’s RevOps and sales planning models lived in spreadsheets. This created difficulties not only for the Operations team, but also for other planning stakeholders and managers throughout the business.

A large portion of the RevOps team’s time was being spent on what-if analysis, which required building new versions of the models for every scenario they wanted to run. This time burden meant they were less responsive and less able to contribute timely insights from that analysis.

Within RevOps, the team found it hard to ramp up their GTM planning across multiple spreadsheets, each with loads of tabs, many different versions, and small, iterative changes between those versions. This made it difficult to illustrate to stakeholders how the plan was built, including both assumptions and output, creating a barrier to collaboration with and buy-in from other parts of the organization, including sales leaders. This trust and buy-in was crucial in order to create alignment and velocity, and spreadsheets were getting in the way of that.

Further struggles resulting from Algolia’s use of spreadsheets included a lack of version control, the error-prone nature of such a manual process, a disconnect between forecast and actuals for regular updates, and the inability to quickly and accurately create new segments when required.

During the planning period, maintaining the spreadsheets was a full-time job, creating a clear value proposition for implementing a new solution.

“As the business evolves, we need to keep up with the pace of change that we want to model and assess the impact, in order to best react and be proactive to our growth." 

Nicole Gilmour, Senior Manager, Revenue Operations, Algolia

Why Pigment was the clear choice for Algolia

As the GTM planning period approached for Algolia, they knew their existing setup would not be able to adequately support them in the long run. And while other tools were up for consideration, Pigment stood out as a clear frontrunner due to both value for money, and the time it would take to realize that value.

Furthermore, Pigment’s ability to connect to their existing SPM tech stack – including NetSuite, Bamboo HR, Salesforce, and GSheets – meant that further cross-functional collaboration and planning could be enabled.

The most compelling deciding factor, however, was the ease of use. In one call, a Pigment Solution Consultant was able to demonstrate in real time how to build out a sales capacity planning use case in the platform, which would have previously taken Algolia much longer to achieve.

Once Pigment was selected, the Algolia team were able to devote their attention to implementation full-time, allowing for an unprecedented two-week build of their Sales Capacity, Quota and Pipeline Planning, and Sales Forecasting models. This meant they could complete their sales planning fully in Pigment during Q4, creating a rapid time to value and creating swift return on investment.

Agile, collaborative planning with added peace of mind

Since implementing Pigment, the efficiency of Algolia’s RevOps team has increased significantly. The scenario planning that used to take up to three days can now be done in just a couple of hours, creating a 90% time reduction in what-if analysis, while also delivering more robust insights to the organization.

Creating new metrics and segments within their GTM plan is no longer a cumbersome process, because Pigment makes it easy to adjust or adapt their model based on new requirements. 

Having a collaborative SPM (Sales Performance Management) solution has allowed them to include other key planning stakeholders in the process, including GTM leaders from sales and marketing, with more than 30 users across multiple teams and functions, helping facilitate the alignment and buy-in they were missing with spreadsheets.

“It used to be that I would have to pull numbers and insights from the spreadsheets and put them into decks to share. Now we have those people actually using Pigment, getting their insights firsthand and actually contributing, which is much more scalable." 

Nicole Gilmour, Senior Manager, Revenue Operations, Algolia

As a result, the RevOps team has been able to grow and shift with confidence. For example, when one team member needed to take parental leave, there was no longer any concern over whether the planning and analysis could take place without her, because the models and processes are accessible and easy to understand within Pigment.

What’s next?

As the team at Algolia grows and evolves, so does their use of Pigment. The implementation has been live since 2021, and the team remain firm champions of Pigment’s efficiency and user experience. The team is also dedicated to bringing new use cases from other parts of the business into Pigment, such as OPEX planning and marketing planning, as well as expanding the integrations they have with other platforms used by the Algolia business organization.

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