The Value of SAP CRM is More Than Just CRM

When I talk to our customers about why they use SAP CRM and the value they are achieving, one point keeps coming to the fore.  A big part of the value they see in SAP CRM is not just in CRM itself, but also in the value of data and processes across their business.  SAP CRM helps them to harness that data and those processes and bring them to bear where they can have the highest impact: at the point-of-interaction with their customers.

When you think about it, companies are full of pockets of data and processes.  Whether it’s financial, billing, inventory, manufacturing, or procurement information, it all has some relevance to ensuring your customers have positive and valuable experiences with your company, leading to greater customer retention and superior customer value.

Sales representatives need to know which of their customers are most profitable, versus those customers who return products constantly and are on credit hold.  They need to know a customer’s order history, what products are in stock and whether the product variation a customer wants is even possible to manufacture.

Service agents need to understand a customer’s purchase history, what products they own, what sorts of warranty and service contract entitlements are in place, and what other customers similar to that customer have purchased, so they can upsell or cross-sell successfully.  They also need to have all the relevant knowledge and data at their fingertips in order to solve the customer’s problem at first contact.

Marketing managers need to understand their current budget, expenses, and the availability of all the physical components necessary to implement a given campaign.  They need to develop target lists that take advantage of factors like purchase history, profitability, credit status, and likelihood to buy.  And they need to have clear visibility into the status of current campaigns, and the impact a campaign has on leads, orders, and future business.

The fact is that a CRM system alone cannot provide these benefits.  You need an integrated set of solutions, like the SAP Business Suite, that tie together data and processes from every line-of-business, to create a complete view of your customers.  In that way, you can not only maximize customer value and retention in the short-term, you can also develop relationships with your customers that stand the test of time.  Customers appreciate when you know them well, and can make every interaction with them count.

– Rick Fleischman, Sr. Director CRM Solution Marketing, SAP | rick.fleischman@sap.com

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