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Getting closer to the customer is paramount for sellers today. Yet, the CRM paradigm for sales has been built historically on the premise of management visibility and control. With this approach, there traditionally hasn’t been much in it for either the customer or the sales rep.
We see evidence of this in research by Forrester which talks about the need for an outside-in approach to CRM that helps build a customer-centric culture. This approach enables sales reps to better understand their customers, bring them new ideas in solving business problems and deliver on customer needs faster and more effectively. In addition, research from CSO Insights shows that 76% of CRM deployments for sales organizations results in poor user adoption. If sales reps aren’t getting value back for the time they invest in using CRM, why bother?
What sales organizations need today is a new approach to CRM, one that is designed to help sales reps sell effectively and deliver value to customers at every stage of the relationship. Here are three must-have product capabilities that support this goal:
1. Consumerized User Experience – Designed for Salespeople
Rather than primarily designed around the traditional paradigm of command-and-control, the latest release of SAP Sales OnDemand continues to build off of a sales-centric approach by providing a homepage for salespeople that they can easily personalize with the customer and sales information that fits their selling motion. Salespeople now have the most relevant customer insight, sales team collaboration, best practices and performance metrics specific to them and their customers.
Sales reps now want to log-in rather than being forced to log in – because the solution is molded around them and their particular customers. And the upside to this is that it’s also a win for sales management. When sales reps are using CRM, management has clearer visibility into what’s happening – and can provide real-time coaching while also feeling more confident about the forecast.
2. Complete Mobile Access – Both Online AND Offline
Mobile sales applications are one of the best productivity enhancers for sales people – and sales reps like mobile apps due to their ease-of-use and fast access. Tablets in particular are being rolled-out en masse. Recent research from the Sales Executive Council shows that 75% of sales organizations are already using tablets or deploying them within the next 8 months. Equipping sellers with easy, complete and cost-effective mobile CRM access is key to improving sales productivity and preparedness, as well as providing quick responsiveness when in front of customers. The Sales Executive Council research also uncovered, however, that nearly 50% of respondents couldn’t access CRM through their mobile apps. Cost and difficulty with deployment can be major impediments – when evaluating CRM applications for sales, fast, easy and cost-effective mobile access should be a primary purchase criteria.
Offline access is also important, as some customer environments (for example, industrial manufacturing and healthcare) can have limited or no cell signal. Sales rep productivity and the customer experience can take a nose dive without offline access. The Sales OnDemand mobile application provides full-featured mobile CRM in its base subscription, and deployment is as simple as downloading any mobile app from your favorite app store. Offline capabilities (see below) ensure that sales reps keep selling in any customer environment.
SAP Sales OnDemand iPad application offline map view
SAP Sales OnDemand iPad application offline account overview
3. Guided Selling – Continuous Improvement at Each Stage of the Sale
Sales people spend a good percentage of their time looking for sales best practices, sales tips and the best content pertinent to any given sales situation.Guided selling is a systematic way to surface best practices, recommended activities, high-quality content and relevant internal experts at each stage of the sale. The SAP Sales OnDemand Activity Advisor provides recommendations on the best activities for each sales stage so that reps know the right steps to take. Best practices can be refined continually through ongoing review of sales analytics for top performers and incorporating these best practices into the Activity Advisor.
To become the customer-centric enterprise, you need to apply an outside-in approach to everything you do. It’s time to equip your sales organization with modern sales applications that are not only easy-to-use but also help them understand their customer’s specific challenges and bring them new ways to address their needs.Take a good look at what your salespeople are using today.Do these sales tools help them sell more effectively? Does at least 90% of your sales organization use your CRM application daily? Do they have complete mobile access on the road? Are best practices recommended at each stage of the sale?
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