Customer performance management is a new category of software applications for strategy management, scorecarding, planning, analysis, and optimization of customer business processes: Sales, Service, Marketing. This is not the same as CEM (Customer Experience Management) which is a more traditional aim of CRM – how to manage the customer experience throught out the customer life cycle from acquisition to retention.
They aim of Customer PM is to improve top line forecast accuracy while optimizing SGA expenses to achieve top line growth and increase operating margins. The software applications sit in between finance and supply chain planning to supply operational context (what sales and marketing activities should we do to maximize revenue while minimizing costs) to sales, marketing, and service business functions.
Customer PM has many facets. Key objective are to improve forecast accuracy, improve customer facing employee productivity, and supply visibility into how their activities are meeting or not their company objectives. This can be achieved with a combination of best practices and business processes aided by software tools for collaborative planning, best practice benchmarks, analytics, and optimization capabilities to enable front office workers to understand the operational and financial impact from their activities. This ultimately results on a more accurate budget, improved resource allocation, and improved operating margin.
One key objective of a successful customer performance management strategy is to enable early stakeholder involvement into CRM tactics to ensure there is commitment to deliver on next year’s plan. All marketing, sales, and service stakeholders should be included in a collective planning and bargaining process to get buy in and feed into a quota. Good planning also means access to historical data relevant to my plan. During the planning process, all stakeholders should have visibility of the impact their tactical plan has on corporate targets.
Another key area is to monitor forecast variance and quickly identify root cause. In B2B2C scenarios it is important to have early visibility into both shipments and POS data to identify areas of revenue leakage.
The translation of corporate objectives to actionable plans by customer facing functions is key to enable a successful sales, marketing, and service operation.