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How much and what kinds of technology does my company need in order to implement a customer stratification program? (Webinar Attendee Question)

This question was asked by an attendee during the Proformative webinar "Using Customer Stratification and Cost to Serve Information in Your Sales Efforts to Maximize Profits" held on October 9, 2012.  You can view a video of the webinar and access the presentation here:


Topic Expert
John Kogan
Title: CEO/CFO
Company: Proformative, Inc.
(CEO/CFO, Proformative, Inc.) |

Customer stratification can be done in spreadsheets with information most firms collect routinely. The better your ERP system, the easier it is to get better quality data but it is not an all stop. It has been automated by bolt ons and ERP systems like SAP as well. This simplifies the process considerably.

Answer provided by Dr. Barry Lawrence, Program Director, Industrial Distribution Program, Texas A&M, speaker on a recent Proformative webinar on the subject of customer stratification.

John Mansfield
Title: Vice President Business Development
Company: Graybar
(Vice President Business Development, Graybar) |

The foundation for a customer stratification model is the ability for your ERP system or Data Warehouse to be able to provide key data about your business that would be used to objectively measure the critical factors you identify as part of each of your key dimensions. The factors usually come from your customer master, item master, and transaction master. Page 27 of the research provides you with a list of the 39 most common data fields they recommend utilizing. I would also recommend having at least two years of data available.

Once you have the data, if you have a current version of Excel, you should be able to run all of the calculations using the variousl recommended formulas. These calculations will provide you with spreadsheets full of data. To translate that into information that is easily consummed by your sales force, I would recommend a visualization product that takes the information and puts it into a format that is easy on the eyes. As Dr. Lawrence mentioned, there are several different products available on the market that can take Excel information and transform it into an interactive dashboard of results. We have found the dashboard to be very powerful.

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