Go-to-Market enablement of your technology infrastructure

Go-to-Market programs are critical tools to connect with customers and build profitable relationships, but most companies do not have the technology platform to properly manage them. This white paper shares Go-to-Market building blocks, best practices and strategies to achieve your ideal future state Go-to-Market infrastructure.

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i n f o @ v i s t e x . c o m Dave Hafermann Principal, Go-to-Market/CRM Solutions w w w. v i s t e x . c o m Vistex white paper Go-to-Market enablement of your technology infrastructure Go-to-Market programs are critical tools to connect with customers and build profitable relationships, but most companies do not have the technology platform to properly manage them. This white paper shares Go-to-Market building blocks, best practices and strategies to achieve your ideal future state Go-to-Market infrastructure. In CloudOn-PremiseServicesSoftware i n f o @ v i s t e x . c o m w w w. v i s t e x . c o m Companies use Go-to-Market (GTM) programs to connect with their customers and build profitable relationships. Yet most companies do not have a platform to properly manage these programs, and are forced to patch together different technologies to create a workable solution. You likely already use a combination of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to run your business. ERP software manages and automates back office functions for finance, accounting, human resources, manufacturing and production, distribution and supply chain, services and human resources. And CRM supports sales, marketing and customer service. But what technology should you use to support Go-to- Market programs? The complexity of rebate, reward and MDF & Co-op programs, as well as billbacks and chargebacks, is staggering when you consider all the parties these programs incentivize and support. So, it is crucial to have the right technology in place to manage these intricate and often complex programs. This white paper defines the building blocks of a GTM platform, shares best practices to help you integrate GTM technology with your existing CRM and ERP systems, and shows you how to develop a roadmap to guide you from your current to future state infrastructure. Why GTM Programs Need More than CRM and ERP Go-to-Market refers to the set of tactics used to connect customers with the organizational processes necessary to guide customer interactions from initial contact through fulfillment. In other words, GTM Programs are the vehicles by which the value proposition is delivered, and typically describe the product portfolio, as well as how, where and to whom the portfolio will be promoted. GTM programs typically follow a standard lifecycle, and require support of the following business processes: As the table below shows, ERP and CRM platforms do not address the business processes that support 2 Go-to-Market Technology Infrastructure GTM Business Processes ERP Coverage CRM Coverage Planning & Budgeting Low N/A Program Communication – promoting the program to potential participants N/A Medium Participant Management – who is eligible N/A Low Activity Capture – what source(s) of data are used to measure performance Medium Low Performance Calculation N/A N/A Performance Reporting – to program participants N/A Low Settlement – fulfillment of the program or incentive High N/A Measurement – determining whether or not the program achieved its objectives N/A Low i n f o @ v i s t e x . c o m w w w. v i s t e x . c o m 3 GTM programs. To get this coverage, you must choose between building a standalone solution, searching for off-the-shelf solutions, customizing your ERP or CRM platforms or continuing to run programs using spreadsheets – all of which present challenges: ■Build: Expensive option with lengthy development cycles. And once built, IT is usually unable to implement marketing’s ever-evolving creative program strategies in a timely manner. ■Buy: You will need to integrate various GTM applications – likely from multiple vendors ■ Spreadsheets: Lack of ability to scale, subject to manual errors, lack of controls and inability to operationalize. Compounding the matter, GTM programs rely on master data that lives in ERP, CRM and other external systems, so integrations can be problematic. Also, giving customers and supply chain partners visibility into programs is challenging because ERP and CRM licensing models make it expensive to support hundreds or thousands of external users. As a result, many GTM programs are not well-communicated or made visible to those who need them the most. So what should you do to support Go-to-Market programs? First, you need to understand the essential GTM building blocks. GTM Infrastructure Building Blocks Extending your existing technology to support GTM programs can be complex. The first step is to focus on the foundation upon which every effective GTM infrastructure is constructed: ■ GTM Data Model ■ Customer Portal ■ Integration Framework. ■ GTM Program Applications GTM Data Model GTM programs are data-driven. Therefore, it’s important your data model is structured to deliver a 360-degree view of customers and partners. A complete GTM Data Model will provide your account and program managers with the information they need to effectively manage assigned accounts, measure customer value and gauge performance of GTM programs. It is also the foundation for delivering relevant, targeted content, benefits and communications to customers and partners The GTM Data Model should be implemented on your CRM platform because CRM provides many of the necessary data objects (collections of similar, related information), as well as the tools to track, manage and maintain your data. However, there are several considerations and extensions required to effectively support GTM Programs. Customers at the Center Customers are the focal point of CRM. The CRM Account manages customer and partner profiles, and should be at the center of the data model. But in order for it to work correctly, you will need several standard extensions to the CRM Account to keep profiles accurate and complete. ■The Golden Account: Account master data is best managed within a Master Data Management (MDM) system, which Go-to-Market Technology Infrastructure i n f o @ v i s t e x . c o m w w w. v i s t e x . c o m 4 is a common component of ERP. Account records from CRM must be “synced” with MDM for validation, de-duplication, hierarchy assignment and enrichment from external data sources such as Dun & Bradstreet. Once this data is synced, the CRM Account becomes the single source of truth for customer profiles used by your GTM programs. ■Control Attributes: These are used to manage system-level access and business processes that act on Accounts. Standard attributes include type of Account (customer, partner etc.), record status (active, inactive) and lifecycle stage (e.g. suspect, prospect, customer). ■Business Profile Attributes: Attributes, such as company size, verticals served and others used by sales and marketing to describe and segment customer Accounts. ■Global Tiering and Segmentation Model (GTSM): This defines the set of standard attributes consistently used across the organization to classify customers and partners for purposes of entitlement, program eligibility, reporting, and access to relevant portal content, tools and other resources. Established best practices suggest limiting attributes to a manageable set of five to 10. GTM Program Framework The GTM Program Framework brings visibility of GTM programs into CRM, providing an enormous benefit to your sales and marketing teams. The ability to view and interact with this information in CRM offers many benefits, including: ■Easy management of eligibility and enrollment to your GTM Programs ■Tracking of program performance in aggregate and by Account, which improves visibility and forms the basis for program analytics ■An audit trail of program participation supporting compliance tracking ■CRM dashboards and reports that combine GTM program data with CRM profiles and other activity, to provide deeper insight ■Ability to leverage CRM workflow for program approvals and CRM communication templates for communicating with participants ■Program budget tracking You want the benefits above, but you also need a structure to deliver them. There are variations on structure, but a basic implementation always includes these additions to CRM: ■GTM Program provides a master definition of each GTM program, including dates, terms, requirements and benefits ■Account Program is the intersection between the Account and the GTM Programs that enables account and program managers to view and manage program eligibility for each customer. It also tracks program enrollment, Account GTM Program Performance TransactionAccount Program Go-to-Market Technology Infrastructure i n f o @ v i s t e x . c o m w w w. v i s t e x . c o m 5 participation and performance, which are all prerequisites for program analytics. ■Performance Transaction tracks performance activity of each participant against the program. For example, for a growth rebate this provides a summary of eligible sales activities for each Account and reporting period. Rounding Out the Data Model More than an Account profile is needed for a comprehensive view of a customer’s interactions with your organization. You need additional objects to manage information such as Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, Quotes, Contracts, Customer Service Cases, Certifications, Specializations, Attachments and more. The good news is CRM provides many of these out of the box, along with tools that make it easy to extend or customize the GTM Data Model so that you can build that comprehensive view. Customer Portal A customer or partner portal is the primary means by which customers interact with your company, so you want it to be as easy and as helpful as possible. It should embody everything you want customers to associate with your company, because it will influence their perception of you and your programs. As such, an effective portal clearly delivers the value proposition to customers and partners, and makes it easy to participate in your Go-to-Market programs. This can be challenging though, if you have multiple web properties supporting different divisions, regions, standalone applications and tools. Partners and customers alike often complain of stale content on portals, cluttered pages and clumsy navigation that makes finding information difficult. Avoid these common complaints by focusing on these tips: ■Provide an intuitive, easy user experience: Use a clean design, and apply the “three-click” rule to enable users to find what they need quickly. ■Create a profile-driven user experience: Leverage the data in your CRM profiles to streamline and personalize each user’s experience. It can also be used to manage role-based security controls access for GTM programs, resources and content. ■Consolidate multiple web properties into one portal: Partners and customers have limited time, so you have to make interacting with your portal quick and easy. Offer one portal with single sign- on for a seamless experience, consistent branding and fast access to content, tools and resources. ■Highlight GTM program Information: Help customers understand the benefits they receive and the programs for which they are eligible, using personalized GTM benefit and membership statements. ■Cultivate community and collaboration: Empower users to share experiences through content ratings and support communities. Interaction cultivates good ideas and knowledge transfer that benefits users, but also gives you insight into what is working well and what should change. ■Mobilize: Make sure the portal UI is optimized for mobile, offering anytime/ anywhere access. ■ Leverage your Content Management System: Keep your content up to date by authorizing content creators to author and publish content directly to the portal without IT involvement. ■Bring the portal to life: Keep your portal dynamic and relevant with pre- built widgets and controls that highlight features, such as recent, trending, and highly rated content, task lists and dashboards. Go-to-Market Technology Infrastructure i n f o @ v i s t e x . c o m w w w. v i s t e x . c o m 6 Integration Framework Do changes to your GTM programs take too long and cost too much? Do you have siloed data and multiple versions of the truth? Do your customers need to remember multiple passwords to access various GTM program benefits? Does your current technological environment limit your ability to deploy the types of GTM programs and tools you need? If you answered yes to any or a combination of these questions, then you likely are having trouble with integration – and more specifically, unique integration points. Integration points occur anywhere data is exchanged between systems – including user interfaces, databases, synchronization processes and data imports. They cause accumulation of technical debt – growing complexity, data redundancies, additional dependencies and creation of exceptions – that waste IT resources, create errors and make audits nearly impossible. The more integration points you have the more of these issues you will experience. There is a better way. A standards-based integration framework prevents these challenges, enabling you to seamlessly integrate tools and services for customers, without creating “islands” of data or incurring ever-escalating integration and maintenance costs. The framework minimizes the number of unique integration points, provides the flexibility to accommodate evolving GTM requirements and gives you the ability to plug-in solutions from internal and third-party providers – the technical equivalent of “plug-and-play.” Implementing a standards-based integration framework requires you to: 1. Establish one system of record for each data point. 2. Utilize standard single-sign-on to authenticate portal users and associated programs, tools and applications. 3. Provide a web service to enable affiliated applications to share core partner profile data from CRM. 4. Implement a standard GTM Program Framework used by all affiliated GTM applications to synchronize program and performance information in a consistent manner. GTM Program Applications The final building block is the GTM Program applications that power your programs. These applications need to be connected to your GTM Data Model and your Portal using an Integration Framework as described above. If your organization is like most, you have a mix of internal and third-party GTM applications. Perhaps a few of them meet your needs, but surely others do not – and it’s important for you to address the ones that are falling short. Because GTM programs are not well supported by ERP or CRM platforms, you are faced with the classic build vs. buy decision, and there are pros and cons for each as outlined earlier. However, given the availability of third-party solutions, the best choice, generally, is to buy rather than build. There are a few vendors, such as Vistex, that provide comprehensive GTM suites but most solutions manage only a single aspect of a GTM program. While a GTM suite provides you with the most complete capabilities and offers a path toward standardizing on a single GTM platform, the good news is that with a solid Integration Framework, a multi- supplier model can be supported with acceptable levels of incremental technical support. How Should I Proceed? In an ideal world you could build your technology platforms from the ground up, making sure each GTM Building Block is right before proceeding. You would ensure your data model, portal and integration framework incorporated the best practices shared in this paper. However, unless your organization is a start-up, this is a luxury few companies can afford. Go-to-Market Technology Infrastructure i n f o @ v i s t e x . c o m w w w. v i s t e x . c o m 7 Most organizations will need to retrofit their existing technology environment while keeping the business running. The only way to navigate this challenge is to create a roadmap to take you from your current state to your desired future state. Before beginning this exercise, make sure you have a clear definition of your GTM program requirements. Your first step will be to assess your current technology environment, taking into account your portal technologies, data model and other points for integration, such as your GTM applications and operational data stores. Part of this step includes identifying of all your integration points and establishing a clear picture of your current environment. With this in place, you can define your future state environment, which should reflect the best practices shared in this paper. With a comprehensive assessment of your current and future states, you will be able to identify the delta between the two by performing a Gap Analysis. You can then organize the gaps into discrete projects prioritized by pay-off, effort level and dependencies. The roadmap should cover a one- to three-year planning horizon, and should begin delivering incremental benefits within 90 days so that the business begins to recognize incremental value quickly. And in the End... Running global GTM programs is a complex endeavor, and success depends upon your ability to understand customers and partners well enough to deliver the right GTM Programs, and in a way that enables them to grow their business. Having the right GTM-enabled infrastructure constructed upon the four main building blocks is essential for success. By applying the design principles outlined in this paper, and armed with a solid roadmap and organizational commitment to follow-through, you can achieve game-changing results. ■ Assess current Go-to-Market strategy & program environment ■ Document current state Go-to-Market Program ■ Define future state environment based on best practices ■ Gaps, obstacles ■ Opportunities ■ Recommendations ■ Op High-level roadmap Go-to-Market Technology Infrastructure w w w. v i s t e x . c o m Solution Sets ■Program Strategy ■Analytics ■ Implementation ■Post-Production Support ■Training ■Global Payments ■Program Administration Services i n f o @ v i s t e x . c o m ■Contracts ■Pricing ■Rebates ■Benefits ■Trade & Channel ■Rights & Royalties ■Performance Management ■Payment Make More. Keep More. Grow Smarter. In CloudOn-PremiseServicesSoftware About Vistex Vistex provides enterprise solutions that manage pricing, incentive, rebate, royalty and channel programs to enhance business performance while reducing labor and infrastructure costs. The industry-optimized Go-to-Market Suite® provides end-to-end solutions for design, management and administration of the complete spectrum of programs. With an unparalleled offering of software and services, enterprises are empowered with unprecedented visibility into program performance, gaining deeper insights to better enable fact-based decisions that drive revenue, control cost, minimize leakage, and streamline processes. Vistex®, Go-to-Market Suite®,ViZi®, and other Vistex, Inc. graphics, logos, and service names are trademarks, registered trademarks or trade dress of Vistex, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or for any purpose without the expressed written permission of Vistex, Inc. The information contained herein may be changed without prior notice. © Copyright 2015 Vistex Inc. All rights reserved.