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The Link Between xP&A and Customer Experience


Presented By: CrmXchange

Contributed by: Dr. Liran Edelist

 Most modern organizations put a significant portion of their resources into customer retention, customer loyalty, and expansion. For the majority of those organizations, retention and expansion are key drivers for their business planning and budgeting. Having a high customer churn and low retention rates impact business plans and requires planning for additional resources for churn prevention and new customer acquisition. Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) experts must track retention rates and expansion in a similar way that they would track revenue from new customers or expenses. 

A traditional approach to FP&A means organizations get most of their data from financial systems and base their planning on financial results. Modern planning approach of Extended Planning and Analysis (xP&A) extends the planning and analytical capabilities beyond finance, collects and collaborates data from systems such as a CRM tool and various customer experience systems. Those insights (business drivers) provide a needed explanation of financial results and offer better predictions and better analysis.

A recent xP&A study by the Association of Financial Professionals shows there is a measurable increase in how much finance is collaborating with the rest of the business. However, the adoption and use of technology (automation) supporting collaboration has not increased as much. If the past eighteen months has taught leaders anything, it is clear new tools are needed to manage the world’s ever-increasing complexity. Collaboration itself is not enough. Businesses need the methods and processes that can better support it too.

A guide to strategic sales planning

Sales planning has experienced a seismic shift in recent years. Access to complex customer behavior data along with the headache of building fair compensation models and setting proper sales goals and quotas can be overwhelming for the best of sales managers. It’s understandable that sales staff can get lost in the mire of data. Motivation plummets and sales performance suffers. Not to mention that CRM tools usually need support to effectively communicate with other systems it was not designed to communicate with.   

The basic framework of improving strategic sales planning is a multi-stage concept that flows smoothly into operational planning and thus perfectly links the two areas. Each step addresses its own points that need to be managed. The planning concept may vary, depending on individual parameters such as company size, market cycles, and strategic orientation. Nevertheless, the following can serve as a general guideline to follow. 

Identify Planning Parameters 

Business success depends on a number of internal and external factors, including management and customer expectations to strategy pivots and market volatility. The confluence of these aspects impacts business and defines organizational complexity. Globalized markets, technological disruption, and quickly changing customer demands are making the business environment more complex than ever before.

Foster Collaboration with the Right Tools

Smooth collaboration among employees is an integral part of the sales planning process. The entire team must share the defined approach. In each step of the process, members of the team collect data, evaluate it and thus create the foundation for executive decision-making. A collaborative environment must be equipped with the right methods and solutions.

Ensure Proper Forecasting 

Planning is only as good as the data on which it is based. It needs to be reliable and transparent in order for the planning process to be a success. This is often reflected in the tools used for data preparation and processing. The higher the need for coordination in a company, the more a supporting solution is required to handle processes in a standardized and integrated manner.   

xP&A is an approach that provides a unified, extended strategy for finance that 

  • enables better insights and decision-making across the organization,
  • helps leaders operationally measure the performance of multiple processes across the enterprise; and
  •  asists them in effectively detecting trends and problems before they impact the bottom line.   

Not only does the right hand know what the left hand is doing, but the entire organization is better informed - from HR to sales and marketing to operations -  are better aligned through smart data management. Savvy business leaders understand the power of having the right tools at the right time to improve overall customer experience. Undoubtedly, that time is now. 

 jedox - liran edelist  
About Dr. Liran Edelist

As President of Jedox, Inc., Dr. Liran Edelist leads Jedox’s mission in North America to build upon its leadership position in the growing EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) market. Edelist has over 20 years of first-hand experience with financial and strategic planning technologies, in both public and private sectors. http://www.jedox.com