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Invariably when I talk to CFOs and business finance leaders, discussion shifts to key performance indicators (KPIs) and how the organization is going to attempt to move forward on achieving target outcomes.  There is usually a dual approach to achieve outcome-based strategies.  First, the organization is going to innovate, disrupt, and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.  Second, the organization is going to drive more revenue results in their market facing campaigns and sales promotions.  So how is an organization to mobilize and do both without massively spending themselves into new tools and solutions which have great promise but deliver very little?

http://www.sap.com/content/sapcom/global/usa/en_us/pc/analytics/enterprise-performance-management/software/overview/highlights/_jcr_content/sublevelfeature/image.sapimage.jpg/1382541393699.jpgUnfortunately for most organizations, the last several years have been very unkind to preserving talent needed to grow and position the company organically to reach the same kind of targets that the merger craze of the mid-to-late 2000s afforded.  While some companies can and are pursuing growth strategies inorganically through mergers, divestitures of non-core business units, and acquisitions of new revenue sources and talents, this is a difficult strategy without a cash war chest or deep venture capital pockets at the ready.  In addition, since the Great Recession companies have also focused on slashing costs and increasing efficiencies to the point the turnip simply has no more blood to give.  Columbia University laureate Rita Gunther McGrath goes one step further in her Strategy + Business interview stating that only 11% of all employees in today’s company ecosystem actually have ever been a part of a high growth experience.  That’s amazing to think that just over 1/10th of the entire workforce has experience growing organizations and the talent needed to grow companies organically through innovations (McGrath even expands the envelop to include innovation as processes and methods, not simply invention of new products and services, yet with the same experiential results).

Assuming, then, that your organization isn’t cash flush and talent rich, your next play is to look at revenue from existing sales and marketing campaigns.  This inevitably is a call to review CRM and Sales Force Automation (SFA) methods, processes and solutions.  However in this market shifting world, simply stepping on the gas pedal harder may not change the results without putting more octane in the tank (to extend the racing metaphor).  Something disruptive needs to happen to energize and increase not only the efficiency but also the effectiveness of the sales team and the sales operation management process.

Read the Ventana Research report on increasing Financial Performance Management

The revenue question came up during this week’s crm2014 conference in Las Vegas where SAP is disrupting the marketplace with a shift beyond traditional CRM and SFA approaches and moving beyond SFA cloud models into Customer Engagement (CE).  Sales and Revenue KPIs can be more effectively achieved – and harvested – through the deployment of social media analytics, cloud for customer and sales solutions, as well as predictive methods supported by HANA and other traditional SAP data sources.  Active sales oriented pipelines, such as those found in opportunity management models, are harvested real-time and brought into planning line items such as SAP Planning and Consolidation, and strategic program management using SAP Strategy Management.

Integrations between cloud and on-premises as well as CE methods and metrics reporting are maturing each day.  Follow me as we look into these and other updates, as well as the release of the new EPM title from SAP Press, both here and on our SAP Press title Facebook page.

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