The concept of prospect management will differ from business to business and industry to industry. In cases where integration is in scope, the master account record will most often be held by the on premise solution. That information will flow into C4C. But, many businesses require the need for their sales team to enter prospects which can later be converted into accounts. The concept of a prospect in C4C is a flag indicating that this is not an actual account but a different type of account. There are different elements to consider when using prospect management in conjunction with integration.
When integration to ERP is in scope, the first questions to consider are:
Do you use the concept of prospect management today?
What is the process flow?
Can the sales team create actual accounts in the account master? Is there an account or data governance group that reviews account details?
Lets review the following options.
1. Prospecting is done in ERP. In this case, the prospect is created in C4C and replicated to ERP as a prospective account. When the prospect flag is removed in C4C, a manual change is done in ERP to modify from one account group to another. One item to consider in this option is that the customer master number range is dependent on account group. When the manual change is done to modify from one group to another, the account number remains the same.
2. Prospecting is done in C4C, not in ERP. In this case, we create prospects in C4C and do not send that information to ERP. The account is only replicated when the user removes the prospect flag. The removal of the prospect flag will send the account data to ERP and create an account in ERP. One item to consider here is that we have the sales team users now creating accounts in ERP which is often not a best practice for businesses with data governance in place. Most businesses have an account team and/or a set of rules that need to be followed before a new account can be added to the master account record.
3. Prospecting is done in C4C, account created in ERP, and manually linked back to C4C. In this case, the prospects are created in C4C, but the creation of a new account is still owned by the data governance or account management team. In this case, we are flexible enough to allow the sales team to create prospects but not allowing direct creation of master account records in ERP. To avoid duplicates, it is necessary to enter the C4C account ID in the ERP customer master linking the two records together. The step taken by the sales team to email or call the data governance / account management group to notify them that a new account needs created is still a manual step in the standard solution. A custom solution could be used to automate this process.
This option is the most common and most frequently used among businesses using prospect management in combination with ERP integration.
4. No prospecting, allow account creation in C4C. In this case, the accounts can be created in C4C or ERP and replication is bi-directional between the two. Changes made on either end will also replicate bi-directionally.
5. No prospecting, accounts are only created in ERP and replicated in one direction (from ERP to C4C). In this case, you need to consider how contacts will be handled. Once the accounts are replicated to C4C, the account data cannot be changed but users are able to add their contacts to those accounts. And, those contacts are not replicated to ERP. However, any contacts added to ERP will replicate to C4C. This replication will remove the contact details added manually in C4C. This behavior can be changed by updating the middleware mapping.
It is important to begin by understanding specifically what all of the requirements are to using prospect management. Many options are available in considering replication to ERP. The requirements and needs captured by the business will dictate what option is best suited for your business.
Additional details on prospect management can be found in the Quick Start Guide for Integration of SAP C4C with SAP on premise solutions..