Commercial Excellence and Maturity Framework
Commercial excellence and maturity frameworks and models vary by industry, by type of process or system measured, and by company. There are similarities among these frameworks, including defined systems of ranking organizational performance across metrics, strategic methodologies for implementation of these frameworks, and a focus on application of systems and processes throughout every segment of the organization. Examples of these frameworks include those outlined by McKinsey for sales and marketing, the CCM from IACCM, and the People Capability Maturity Model, the dimensions of which are each outlined in detail below.
Excellence and Maturity Frameworks for Sales & Marketing
- For achieving sales and marketing excellence and maturity, McKinsey’s research shows that commercial excellence and maturity frameworks can vary widely by industry. Achieving the highest levels of excellence/maturity “is a journey, not a destination,” and involves continuous reviews and improvements across multiple sectors within the company. They note that companies achieving superior levels of commercial capabilities maturity “outperform their peers in margin and revenue growth.”
- Their research also shows that the dimensions for most industries’ commercial excellence maturity frameworks are similar, though dimensional segments can (again) vary by industry. Several points-of-focus that are similar for all industries (for sales and marketing) include: Using benchmarking against industry best practices; Identifying the data to pull based on the metrics for measurement; identifying gaps where attentions are needed; and successfully implementing and managing change during implementation of new or revised processes that better meet framework goals.
- They outline five key characteristics for all similar sales and marketing frameworks:  Discovery process that aligns all functional leaders on framework and language;  Clear links of each capability to output, goals, results;  Perfect alignment of priority capabilities with long-term strategies and goals;  Highly-engaged leaders and influencers driving adoption throughout the process; and  Tracked and quantifiable improvements across capabilities.
- Additionally, McKinsey highlights how the capabilities noted as “most valuable” also vary by industry and change over time, as well as the measures used to assess success changing. For sales and marketing excellence, these capabilities include (but are not limited to): strategic marketing capabilities, sales and account management, innovation and product management, and commercial support. Changes within industries also mean changes within how excellence is defined.
- McKinsey notes how companies “improve their performance faster by relying more on facts and analytics than on anecdotes and intuition,” and recommend using the tools and processes available within the marketplace to adapt to meet their needs.
Capability Maturity Model from IACCM
- IACCM’s Capability Maturity Model (CCM) is a long-time standard across multiple industries in that it “provides a mechanism to rapidly and accurately assess both buy-side and sell-side process performance by focusing on the key commercial attributes that drive business outcomes.”
- With this model (unlike many others), company results “are immediately benchmarked against a portfolio of similar companies and processes,” which helps all companies on that spectrum see where they compare against their competitors – providing valuable insights into areas “for priority improvement”. The model is used successfully as a way to understand the current capabilities at an organization, as well as to provide information into how to determine the best paths toward improvements on areas needing such.
- The nine business dimensions included in the CCM are pulled from Six Sigma techniques, long-proven as standards across all industries, and developed by a “cross-industry, international team of practitioners and experts”. These dimensions include: “leadership; customer/supplier experience; execution and delivery; solution requirements management; financial; information systems / knowledge management; risk management; strategy; and people development.”
- IACCM developed a Six Step Plan to help companies rapidly move through “assessment, validation, and improvement planning” using the CCM. Step 1 involves benchmarking and gap analysis; Step 2 involves developing value propositions and statements of need for capabilities; Step 3 involves setting up the framework that identifies measurable standards for results; Step 4 involves defining potential projects toward identified improvements, as well as identifying and determining quantitative and qualitative outcomes; Step 5 involves prioritizing the improvement projects, including weighing cost-vs-output; and Step 6 involves creating a business plan outlining all findings, where improvements need to take place, the benefits of achieving these goals, and recommended actions.
- For assessment, the model assigns a phase-level to each capability dimension: Phase One – “start up” // Phase Two – “disciplines under development” // Phase Three – “discipline in functional” // Phase Four – “continuous development” // Phase Five – “world class (best-in-business)”.
People Capability Maturity Model
- The People Capability Maturity Model (P-CMM, or People CMM) is a framework for evaluating an organization’s measures against best practices “in areas such as human resources, knowledge management, and organizational development.” Developed by the CMMI Institute to focus on people management processes at the institutional level, the model helps “identify skill gaps, break down workflow bottlenecks, and empower team members to develop skills that will help the organization succeed.”
- The model was based on the concepts of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), and has proven that it helps organizations to “retain, grow, and nurture competent” employees. There have been two major versions of the framework published (1.0 and 2.0, the latter of which is the current version).
- The model includes five levels of maturity which organizations can reach, including: “Level 5: Optimizing, Level 4: Predictable, Level 3: Defined, Level 2: Managed, and Level 1: Initial." Each level includes a set of practices and processes to adapt to the organization and implement toward reaching the next stage of maturity/excellence.
- Companies scoring the lowest level (L1) are start-ups or those with low-people-maturity whose workforce practices need major overhauls. Companies scoring at Level 2 have learned to manage their workforce, but still have a long way to go toward achieving any type of people-management success. By Level 3, companies have reached the first stage of maturity, which means they have the basics in place, but are likely inconsistent in adhering to these practices across all segments of their organization.
- Companies reaching Level 4 have reached the second stage of maturity. They have an established and reliable organizational framework for assessing and managing their workforce, are fairly predictable in their implementation of best practices across all segments, and can quantify their performance. By Level 5, companies exhibit all these characteristics, as well as continuously and proactively working toward improvements.
- Organizations using the model see benefits such as: reduced employee turnover, increased rates of employee satisfaction, and improved organizational reputation. They also see increases in “transparency, democracy, and openness” in the company culture, a culture that is competency-focused, and a transformation of management toward being the most effective they can be.
The team’s initial research identified one well-known excellence and maturity framework. From this vantage point for this request, we focused on finding other highly-respected and often-used frameworks for success. This led us to collections from places like Flevy, as well as to individual frameworks. From this collection, we selected a variety of frameworks, outlined them, and noted the similarities in dimensions across all of them.