ISBM at the Penn State Smeal College of Business – Academic Institute supporting B2B Research. Switch to the ISBM-Corporate website.

ISBM at the Penn State Smeal College of Business – Academic Institute supporting B2B Research. Switch to 

This course is for PhD Students only who are enrolled in a PhD Program at an Institute for Higher Learning

Metrics and Statistical Models in B2B CRM


The main objective of this course is to serve as a guide to the metrics and models in the CRM literature. They will do this by first identifying a way to measure the net present value of a customer to the firm, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and a set of metrics by which customers can be managed. Then, they will follow the lifetime of a customer with the firm by analyzing empirical models that allow us to better understand how managers can improve at each stage of the customer’s relationship with the firm: acquisition, retention, growth, churn, and win-back. Finally, they will discuss how to implement CRM models with firms and to design and implement field experiments with firms to enhance the contribution of research.

Specific topics are likely to include:

  • What is a customer-focused organization? Why is CRM important?
  • Defining and measuring Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)?
  • Identifying and measuring CRM metrics
  • Models of customer acquisition
  • Models of customer retention and churn
  • Balancing acquisition and retention through Optimal Resource Allocation (ORA)
  • Models of customer growth
  • Models of customer win-back and Second Customer Lifetime Value (SCLV)
  • Models of cross-buying and multichannel shopping
  • Implementation and Field Experiments

The students in this course will be expected to prepare for each class by reading articles assigned by the instructors which will be related to the topic of the class. After most classes the students will be expected to estimate empirical models and interpret results with sample data provided by the instructors related to the topic of the class. The goal at the end of the course is for students to better understand key research questions in the CRM literature and have a basic understanding of appropriate methodologies to apply given the key research question.

The course will be offered on Friday afternoons from 2:00pm-4:00pm ET beginning in September 2020; the exact start date to be determined. The course consists of eight to ten sessions of 120 minutes each. If needed, a technology session will be scheduled before the course begins.


Rajkumar Venkatesan is the Ronald Trzcinski Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Professor Venkatesan teaches “Marketing Technology Products,” “Marketing Strategy” and Marketing Analytics at Darden. His research focuses on analytics as it relates to marketing return on investment, customer lifetime value, mobile marketing, and the global political economy. His research has appeared in several journals including The Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Harvard Business Review. He is also a co-author of the book Cutting Edge Marketing Analytics.

Many of his research publications have been recognized with prestigious awards, such as the Don Lehmann Award for the best dissertation-based article, the MSI Alden G. Clayton and the ISBM Outstanding Dissertation Proposal awards, and the ISBM award for long-term contributions to business-to-business marketing. He was selected as one of the Top 20 rising young scholars in marketing by the Marketing Science Institute, one of the Top 40 professors under 40 by Poets & Quants, and recognized among the Top 5 percent of marketing strategy scholars by the Journal of Marketing Education.

Sarang Sunder is an Assistant professor of marketing at the Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University. He received his PhD and Master’s degrees in Marketing from Georgia State University and undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Anna University, India. His research focuses on applying rigorous statistical methodologies to answer relevant marketing and public policy questions. His current research interests include Customer Relationship Management (CRM), salesforce management, causal inference and peer effects. Sarang’s research has been featured in various premier journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Retailing and the Journal of International Marketing. He is also the recipient of various awards such as the John Howard/AMA Doctoral Dissertation award in 2015, Mary Kay/AMS Doctoral Dissertation award in 2016 and the Don Lehmann award for best dissertation published in JM/JMR in 2017. He is also the recipient of the 2014 GTA Excellence Award for outstanding teaching as well as various research grants such as the 2015 SEF/Neil Rackham research grant for research in salesforce turnover.