Using RPM to Manage and Optimize the Entire ‘Customer Lifecycle’

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Posted: May 17, 2012 | Lifecycle Marketing

Revenue Performance Management (RPM) is much more than improving the effectiveness and efficiency of sales and marketing. In fact, RPM is today enabling organizations – from major health systems and global consumer product companies to web 3.0 start-ups – to transform their revenue processes and realize significant increases in performance and results.

But, I would argue that RPM is even bigger than that. We are increasingly seeing marketing automation and RPM on the front lines of creating new ways of thinking about, and ultimately creating, business excellence. RPM is helping companies to drive business-building change in a world that is changing faster than many of us would ever have thought possible just a few short years ago.

So where is that change taking companies now? And how can we harness it to maximize top-line results while improving bottom-line profitability? The answers lie in how RPM is providing a strategic and operational framework with which companies can rethink, enhance, and expand their critical relationships with customers. This is a big idea that is worth exploring.

Previously, I’ve characterized RPM as the “last frontier” in business process reinvention and reengineering. I would now amend that statement to say that the “true” last frontier is how companies manage and optimize the entire customer “lifecycle.” I am not just talking about customer satisfaction and responsiveness, or maximizing customer service. Great consumer brands such as Nordstrom and Ritz Carlton have long set the benchmark for over-the-top customer service.

What I am envisioning is using RPM as a platform from which you can strengthen (and reinvent, if need be) every aspect of the entire customer lifecycle – especially the valuable customer relationships embodied in that lifecycle. I believe there is huge ground to be gained and efficiencies to be realized by thinking more holistically and methodically about the various phases of the customer lifecycle.

Just as RPM has transformed the revenue cycle and related lead generation processes, it offers an excellent template for reinventing the ways in which companies manage (or don’t manage) their customer relationship lifecycles. The forward-looking companies that embrace RPM to manage their complete customer lifecycles will gain yet another competitive advantage. As they say, “to the victors, go the spoils” (i.e., more revenues and greater market share).

By extending the RPM approach to customer lifecycle management, you can start to think about the end-to-end value of customer relationships to your company. And, you can ask questions like: What kind of customer experience do you need to build and maintain in order to maximize those relationships and value creation over time?

Companies have become so obsessed with customer acquisition (and especially the costs involved) that they’ve forgotten the rest of the customer lifecycle. To truly win in today’s complex business environment, you need to start thinking about how you can optimize and extend the total lifecycle of your customer relationships. Once you have finally closed the deal, the real work of managing and optimizing that relationship really begins.

Business is fundamentally based on relationships – with colleagues, partners, and especially customers. Using RPM, you can enhance, extend, and grow those relationships. And that will help you transform your revenue performance and deliver winning results – today and into the future.

Phil is former Chairman and CEO of Marketo. He is a Silicon Valley veteran, with more than 30 years of experience building and leading breakout technology companies. Phil is a well-known writer and speaker on topics related to digital marketing, marketing automation, big data, and entrepreneurialism, and is the author of Revenue Disruption (Wiley, 2012), which delivers bold new strategies for any company to transform its sales and marketing to accelerate revenue.

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Using RPM to Manage and Optimize the Entire ‘Customer Lifecycle’

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