Do you have the ‘Clarity’ to succeed with your CRM strategy in this economy?

May 11, 2009

Today, we’re at an inflection point in the global business environment. We are all contending with survival through a period of unprecedented economic volatility.  Learning from previous downturns, I think it is safe to say that many forward-looking companies realize that the ‘do nothing but cut costs’ approach to managing business is not really going to help them survive for too long. 

However, determining what to do in order to survive and emerge stronger is by no means a trivial undertaking.  Businesses and consumers alike are forced to reducing spending. In addition, the Internet has driven a tectonic shift in power toward consumers, who now directly influence business models as well as the design and delivery of products and services. As a result, companies are trying very hard to find ways to protect market share today so they can emerge stronger with a base of loyal customers who champion their brand.

Whatever strategies companies embark on, there is a compelling case today for ‘Clarity’.  Clarity of insight, strategy, ownership, processes, and measurements.  Clarity to help your employees and partners execute to perfection in the most optimal way.  Clarity that can be delivered to all the right people at the right time.  Consider some examples:

  • How impactful would your marketing department be if they knew which customer segments are the most profitable to pursue based on profitability and availability of your products?
  • Wouldn’t your sales rep be ‘oh, so thankful!’ if he or she knew some facts about a customer’s ability to make prompt payments before even embarking on an opportunity?
  • How satisfied would your customers be if the invoice they receive matches the initial offer your company made to them – including costs such as taxes, shipments, etc.?
  • How much more money you could make if you knew when your customers’ service contracts were expiring and if you could automatically renew them?

I believe that SAP and our partners have the unique combination of expertise and tools to deliver this clarity – quickly and effectively.  I welcome your thoughts, and also encourage you to explore further and engage with us in this exciting journey.

Thanks,

Vinay Iyer, Vice President, SAP Enterprise Marketing, CRM Solutions

vinay.iyer@sap.com

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Old Ski Boots and New CRM Systems

May 8, 2009

I remember when I was learning how to ski I could not wait to get out of my wet and cold ski boots. Every ski day would start with the painful exercise of getting into the ill fitting boots and would end with the pleasure of coming out of them. These, of course, were the used boots that I had inherited from a distant cousin – or maybe the kid of a friend of a friend of my parents. The rational was simple; “equipment doesn’t matter, first you have to learn how to ski, if you like the sport then we will buy you better boots…”

But now I know better, equipment does matter – especially ski boots! Today, I have real ski boots which are warm, fit perfectly and are never wet. At 43 I ski better than ever, and I actually enjoy the cold, snowy, powdery days – bring it on I say!

This brings me to my point about the decision process about enterprise systems – especially about CRM systems. It is crazy to see how the same criteria that my parents used when they decided not to buy me ski boots – but still take me skiing – are used to make CRM investments.

Somewhere along the decision process people forget about the outcome that they are looking for – like getting a child excited and passionate about a sport and not horrified at the thought of it. In the same way that you might take the ill fitting ski boots with you week after week to the ski slope and have miserable days, organizations spend money on quick fixes and tactical CRM projects while never enjoying the benefits of these systems. Why? I believe the answer is that they lose sight of the intended outcome. Under pressure organizations gravitate towards the seemingly easy and low cost solutions and promises – similar to borrowing used ski boots. As always, you get what you pay for.

– Reza Soudagar, Sr. Director CRM Solution Marketing, SAP | reza.soudagar@sap.com


We do it for you, so you don’t have to

May 8, 2009

We recently wrote this article in SAP Insider discussing SAP’s value proposition (a process-based approach to CRM vs. siloed CRM) and we found our article was very well received by our constituents. Why did it resonate so well with our customers?

Perhaps because of the saying: “We do it for you, so you don’t have to”. Although a bit cliché-ish, I thought of this as I was reading an article discussing the value of SAP Business Suite 7 in the context of our competitors. I found the conclusion of this article very compelling: “SAP’s revenge will come as customers find that they are spending more time moving their business forward than struggling with integration issues, which should never be their responsibility in the first place.” SAP has already done the integration for you . And not only do we describe how to do it, but give you a roadmap if your company can’t consume it all at once.

Or perhaps it is because of something my old business school professor once said: “It should always be about delivering superior customer value, if it’s not then they you shouldn’t do it”. To quote from our article: “Delivering a process-centric approach to CRM is what differentiates SAP from its competition. SAP breaks down the traditional functional boundaries of three-letter-acronym applications and is uniquely positioned to deliver solutions that support a set of comprehensive, end-to-end processes that are driven by industry requirements and are targeted to specific lines of business. SAP believes that this approach provides the highest value to its customers, which in turn enables them to deliver superior customer value to their customers. ” Maybe our customers have determined that they want to deliver superior customer value in every interaction and now they want someone to show them how to do this most efficiently.

Or perhaps it’s because we have the most loyal customers in the industry, who know the quality of our products and have been extremely satisfied with the value we bring to their business. For them, the SAP brand speaks for itself. For the new customers we talk to, this article is a chance to experience what SAP can offer, and everyone wants the comfort of knowing they are in good, capable hands, especially in these times.

–  Reshma Mani, Director CRM Solution Marketing, SAP | reshma.mani@sap.com


Welcome to SAP CRM Voice!

May 7, 2009

Hello,

Thanks for visiting our blog.  Here, you will find discussions on topics related to Customer Relationship Management (CRM).  The discussions in this forum will be primarily focused on business issues and trends.  For product and technology discussions wrt SAP CRM, please visit our community at:  https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/bpx/crm.

Who are the contributors to this blog?

Business professionals who have experience in the CRM domain (Sales, Marketing and Service.)  SAP employees as well as our partners and customers.  In general, people who have something to say that matters to CRM!

We hope you find the discussions and perspectives expressed here useful and thought-provoking.  And we certainly welcome your feedback and contributions.

Thanks
Vinay Iyer (on behalf of the SAP CRM team)

Vice President, SAP CRM Enterpise Marketing

vinay.iyer@sap.com