Our fathers worked for the boss, and when they left the office at five o'clock, they left their job worries behind. Today's managers and employees work and worry nearly 24x7 - and probably for someone other than their bosses on the organizational chart. What has caused this shift, and who is this new boss? The answers to these questions are the Internet and the recently empowered customer, respectively. The Internet, with its powerful search engines and near-instant gratification, has irreversibly shifted power from sellers to buyers. Every supplier of products and services is scrambling to become more customer-focused.

Performance management, defined narrowly by most as merely better strategy, budgeting and control, is increasingly becoming recognized as a much broader concept. Performance management runs end to end as the complete, closed-loop planning, design, marketing, sales and customer order-fulfillment cycle. One of the critical components in the portfolio of performance management methodologies is customer relationship management (CRM). Why is CRM now so critical to performance management?

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