Sven De Leeuw is a member of the Soltius CRM team and he says that the widespread use of structured sales methodologies like Miller Heiman or CustomerCentric Selling make CRM a vital tool for managing and controlling sales cycles.

“Key account management supported by CRM allows account managers to more easily track progress from leads to opportunities to wins, while providing the business with better visibility of the sales pipeline. This not only enables identification of the accounts with the most revenue potential, but also allows for better forecasting down the line.

“For companies with larger target groups and smaller deals, CRM’s Marketing functionality, such as Campaign Automation, can be applied. Personalised emails can be sent from the SAP CRM system, with dynamic content ensuring the right messages and offers go to the right target groups.”

SAP CRM’s Internet Sales adds another sales and distribution channel, allowing customers to purchase products online via a web store. The integration with back office SAP systems ensures orders can be fulfilled on time.

SAP CRM’s Interaction Center enhances customer satisfaction by recognising the telephone numbers of customers and automatically routing their call centre enquiries to the agent who has handled their past calls, ensuring continuity of service. Moreover, the agent can engage in cross selling activities while having the customer on the phone, by making use of SAP’s Real-Time Offer Management.

Sven says that despite the huge potential benefits in increased sales revenue and customer retention, CRM implementations can fail if a few simple steps are not followed. “Projects can become bogged down in business-wide process re-engineering, but CRM implementations are flexible and don’t require the mobilisation of the whole company.”

To avoid this problem, the company should identify the business priorities at the beginning and then aim for a quick win, he says. “If the sales team uses the system to manage their sales cycle as a first step, for example, the business will gain from having more insight in the sales pipeline. With a sound basis to build upon, getting buy-in for the roll out to other business units will be easier.”

Last but not least, SAP CRM Best Practices are available to help speed up the implementation process. Soltius can carry out an analysis of benefits to build a business case for the project. Email us at info@soltius.co.nz or go to our SAP CRM page to find out more.