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CRM Live Duel: Cloud Collaboration Boosts Sales Success

December 9, 2014 by Theresa Böhme 0

Sales departments are increasingly interested in finding out how to more effectively turn opportunities into deals and intensify collaboration among their team members.

A product demo for SAP Cloud for Sales and SAP Jam by SAP partner maihiro gave its audience of CRM personnel plenty to think about.

How do you sell a software solution to salespeople? Ideally, reasoned maihiro, you concentrate on showing them the practical benefits. That was the approach that the SAP partner and CRM specialist took when it put together a demo scenario for the SAP Cloud for Customer sales solution and took to the stage at the CRM Expo trade fair in Stuttgart, Germany, for a live CRM “duel” with Microsoft partner Infoman AG.

The rival companies had exactly 20 minutes to demonstrate examples of collaborative sales opportunity processing within a sales transaction. The contest ended in triumph for maihiro’s demo of SAP Cloud for Customer and SAP Jam, which won out over Infoman’s demo solution – a combination of Microsoft Dynamics and other applications including Outlook, Word, and Sharepoint.

maihiro’s live demo: managing opportunities in the CRM system
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Andreas Stroh showed examples of opportunity management

To demonstrate how opportunity management works in the SAP Cloud for Customer solution, Christoph Stecker and Andreas Stroh, both presales and business development experts at maihiro GmbH, took on the role of a salesperson. They began by showing how the solution provides salespeople with information relating to customers, existing sales documents, activities, competitors, products, and partners ― and enables them to identify which customers are assigned to which salesperson.

They then moved on to the detailed customer view, which displays master data such as important KPIs, the customer’s classification, contact permissions, and contact information and also includes a feature that shows the customer’s address on a map.

Finally, they demonstrated the customer activity history, which reveals information that could be crucial in future negotiations, including records of telephone conversations, appointment details, e-mails, and mail attachments.

In this context, they pointed to the practical benefits to be gained by the fact that data that is already maintained in an ERP system is fully integrated in SAP Cloud for Customer. What’s more, the data is accessible on mobile devices in real time and can be displayed and processed across all channels.

“It is extremely important to have a consolidated view of all the relevant information. It’s the key to processing opportunities correctly and efficiently. Having this information available on their mobile devices means that salespeople can make much more effective use of their limited time,” Stroh told the audience.

SAP Cloud for Customer and SAP Jam: making opportunity management simpler

Different opportunity phases involve different activities. SAP Cloud for Customer contains many useful features for processing them, including the integrated Sales Activity Advisor, which recommends relevant and mandatory steps in the sales process.

Christoph Stecker demonstrated the solutions SAP Cloud for Customer and SAP Jam

Christoph Stecker demonstrated the solutions SAP Cloud for Customer and SAP Jam

“Today, opportunity management tasks are not processed by a single person, but by a team,” said Stecker. Team collaboration has many advantages – but only if the relevant information can be shared and is accessible to everyone. “As a sales manager, I need to talk to the design engineers about a machine’s construction and characteristics and liaise with the legal department on drafting a contract. But how do I know how to contact the responsible colleagues? By e-mail, telephone, or in person? Information like this is generally not documented in an opportunity; but these are important details that have simply been ‘lost’,” he said.

So, what options are available for ensuring that team members’ input and opinions are displayed clearly for everyone else to benefit from? And how can the decision-making process be documented for future reference?

SAP Jam eases teamwork in the cloud

SAP Jam, a cloud-based communication and collaboration network, is fully integrated in the SAP Cloud for Customer CRM solution. This means that sales team members can exchange information, distribute documents, and share knowledge with their colleagues, with external partners, and even with customers ― no matter where they are located. In their live demo, Stecker and Stroh used a simple example to explain how cloud collaboration works:

“Let’s assume we want to collaborate as a team to find out which components are used for the sleeve on the drive shaft of a machine,” said Stroh. “We begin by creating a new collaboration group in the CRM solution. Next, we add all the relevant employees and external partners to the group so that they can communicate with each other and pose our question to the group members. They are then free to enter their comments and process the question with the help of tools. As you can see, thanks to the power of collaboration, it’s really easy to make complex decisions within the team and document them for future reference.”

The benefits:

  • Data can be shared internally and externally.
  • Decision-making processes are permanently documented in the opportunity.
  • There is no loss of data or data quality.
  • Cloud-based collaboration replaces telephone calls, meetings, and workshops and reduces the need for training.
  • Group members can open forums; assign tasks; create surveys; submit evaluations; and draw up pro-con lists, rankings, agendas, and timelines.
  • The mobile CRM solution corresponds to the desktop CRM system.
  • Complex tasks can be effectively solved by delegating responsibility in the collaboration function.
Closing the deal

The last step in opportunity management involves creating a quotation and sending it to the customer. “The quotation document can be created easily from within the solution and already contains all the relevant data,” said Stecker. During contract negotiations with the customer, sales personnel can access all the corresponding documents and information in the solution ― even if they are working in offline mode.

Every step of the way – from creation and processing through collaboration and contract negotiation, the combination of SAP Cloud for Customer and SAP Jam offers a 360-degree view that simplifies the management of sales opportunities. “In a nutshell,” said Stroh in his closing statement, “We believe that a successful sales process is innovative, intuitive, and collaborative.”

maihiro GmbH is an owner-managed SAP partner specializing in customer relationship management (CRM) and business analytics. It serves more than 250 customers in numerous projects.

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