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The Definitive Guide to Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

Feb 13, 2024
4 min read

Enterprise performance management can be cumbersome and time consuming, so it’s no wonder the enterprise performance management software market is projected to reach around $6.45 billion by 2028. But what exactly is EPM software and how can you get the most value out of it as a sales manager?

What is EPM?

Enterprise performance management (EPM) is the process of monitoring performance across the entire enterprise organization using an integrated, data-driven approach.

By this definition, EPM has existed for decades, first in the form of cross-departmental meetings and memos, then through rudimentary software programs, spreadsheets, and emails. Today, EPM has matured into cloud-based software solutions that automate processes, enable remote collaboration, integrate systems, and provide sophisticated data insights that drive decisions.

It’s important to note that enterprise performance management is not interchangeable with enterprise resource planning (ERP). The two are related, however — EPM leverages ERP data to connect operational output and resource usage to performance. Most EPM solutions integrate directly with a company’s ERP system(s).

EPM should not be confused with corporate performance management. While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they have some distinctions. CPM is typically driven by the Finance team, while EPM takes into consideration Sales, Marketing, supply chains, and other day-to-day aspects of the business operation.

Sales Enterprise Performance Management Process

Sales plays a major role in the enterprise performance management cycle. A strategic EPM cycle can help Sales teams improve their performance. However, to do this leaders must first measure sales performance, so they can create effective models.

Strategic modeling and sales forecasting

Strategic modeling is a form of forecasting based on detailed models that allow leaders to look into various what-if scenarios and tweak parameters to get a better look at potential outcomes. When done effectively, strategic modeling allows leaders to test their assumptions and consider different scenarios, to create more accurate sales forecasts.

Planning and budgeting

Sales planning helps leaders automate key sales operation processes, reducing reliance on error-prone spreadsheets and time-consuming charts. EPM tools can help leaders model sales quotas and more effectively manage territories, budgets, and incentives—maximizing the performance of their teams.

Sales budgets should be constantly reviewed to ensure they're allocated in a way that maximizes conversions and rewards high-performing staff members. EPM tools can provide insight into how previous plans have performed, guiding future plans and giving a clear overview of current budgets.

Reporting

To manage your enterprise sales organizations effectively, it's essential to have access to information about current and past performance. Reporting is an important part of enterprise performance management, giving team leaders and their superiors an understanding of how each part of the business is operating.

Being able to generate detailed reports at a glance and feed information into other third-party tools or share it with other departments can be invaluable. Enterprise performance management tools facilitate the sharing and coordination of information across departments to offer a bigger picture of the health of the organization.

That information can feed into the final part of the cycle... data-driven decision-making.

Data driven decision-making

Data-driven decision-making takes the emotion and guesswork out of making leadership decisions. It provides teams with access to clear metrics that can drive actionable insights. According to this Forrester survey, 90% of respondents said that making real-time decisions based on real-time insights is important to be effective.

Sales leaders who use data effectively are better equipped to set achievable targets, maximize their budgets, and provide powerful incentives to their team members.

Benefits of Leveraging EPM Software

Leveraging EPM software allows you to take your enterprise performance management process to the next level. EPM software often offers a level of automation that helps centralize data, increase visibility, and reduce error for your organization.

Strategic alignment

One of the core principles of traditional EPM and a major benefit it still offers today is strategic alignment across departments. Specifically, Finance and Operations teams have a shared understanding of the current financial state of the organization, and they work together to plan accordingly. This results in cost savings, greater efficiencies, and better overall planning.

Central data repository

Enterprise performance management solutions eliminate silos by serving as a centralized data repository for the entire organization. With an enterprise performance management system in place, Finance and Operations teams work off of the to-the-second data in the same system, using it for more informed and aligned planning.

Higher visibility

Visibility is one of the main drivers of successful data-driven strategies across industries. Enterprise performance management systems offer it at several levels — users can see an overarching view of enterprise performance and drill down to specific teams, processes, and even individuals to analyze contributing factors. This ability to see at both holistic and granular levels makes EPM systems a powerful tool for both long-term strategic planning and day-to-day decision-making.

Reliable performance reporting

The ultimate goal of any EPM strategy is to understand business performance. Automated, AI-driven data processes executed by modern EPM systems provide this insight in real time, meaning users can be confident they’re looking at an accurate, up-to-date snapshot of company performance any time they access the data.

Greater collaboration

EPM platforms make it easy for contributors in different areas of the business to work together to achieve goals. In-platform communication and multi-user editing functionality are just a few of the ways this occurs.

Advanced analytics

Adaptive forecasting and other AI-driven data capabilities are more important than ever as companies strive to stay agile amidst unpredictable market conditions. Financial forecasting and reporting capabilities in modern enterprise performance management systems allows users to account for multiple potential scenarios and take a wide array of variables into consideration when analyzing data.

Enterprise Performance Management Support with Xactly

Xactly’s suite of enterprise sales management solutions enable organizations to align employee behaviors with company goals, track performance metrics, and provide real-time visibility into performance data. This allows businesses to identify areas of improvement, set targets, and incentivize performance to drive better business outcomes.

By leveraging Xactly's enterprise performance management solutions, businesses can improve their ability to plan, execute, and measure performance, leading to increased productivity, better decision-making, and ultimately, improved business results. Contact us today to learn more.

  • Cloud/SaaS
  • Sales Performance Management
  • Sales Planning
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Xactly News Team
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The Xactly News Team reports on the latest product, events and market trends taking place within Xactly and throughout the revenue intelligence industry.