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Fast track your business by following performant business processes -

You might often read a sentence or catchy headline like this and think: what does it mean? For sure performant business processes sounds like something you want - but how does it translate to your business, your situation and the challenges you are facing within your customer-facing departments? Let me try to start from the beginning.
Customer relationship management was once simply a way to record contacts and interactions. Nowadays a CRM System covers all the ways you manage customer relationships across sales, marketing, customer service, and e-commerce and is often very crucial for a company's success.
But sales do not increase just because you implement a CRM - if you do it poorly, it can even have the opposite effect.

A modern CRM System like SAP Sales Cloud gives you all the features and functions to support business success. But yet, there are several things you need to be clear about BEFORE you start implementing a new system. Let me show you a fundamental example to illustrate what I mean. Let us look at an example home screen of SAP Sales Cloud. It is the central starting place for SAP Sales Cloud users:

Example Home Screen from SAP Sales Cloud

As the access to SAP Sales Cloud can differentiate between different roles and user types, the home screen can be adjusted to show anything and nothing. The sheer existence of a feature-rich home screen does not help your CRM adoption, let alone your sales success. If you are not clear about your processes and the roles your people play in this process – you will not be able to come up with a home screen that delivers value to the salespeople in your organisation if you are not clear about your keys to success.

The importance of having your business processes and expected outcomes clearly defined is also illustrated by the "Transformation Triangle" concept below. It shows how a transition from an initial to a future state takes place and which elements you need to consider to be successful.

Transformation Triangle

  • A company's vision and strategy (BUSINESS) form the basis for all important decisions to optimise day-to-day operations.

  • The strategy is translated into business processes that deliver the optimal value in terms of quality, service (-> user experience) and time.

  • Based on business processes, value is generated through the implementation of IT systems (SOLUTION) and organisational structures (PEOPLE).

  • These three factors (BUSINESS, SOLUTION and PEOPLE ) influence the success of a program, and all three must interlink seamlessly.

If we now focus on the SOLUTION factor, to put it very simply, the goal of any solution is to facilitate performant business processes.

Which means:

  1. Ensure that the transaction process can be run in the most efficient way

  2. Provide the relevant data to the different process actors at the different stages of the process (INFORMATION NEED).


In short: strategy and vision are your "Why", and business processes are your crucial "How". This blog post focuses on the "How" and some basic thoughts to consider – laying the foundation for a series of blog posts and webinars with the different aspects of what can be and must be meant and considered when we say "change management" as an overarching topic. This series is planned to be released during the cause of 2022 by my colleagues and me from the global CX adoption team.

But back to the matter at hand: Before deciding on features and functions, look at your business process – many organisations fail in software implementations because they take too many things for granted or think their processes are evident to everybody in their organisation. What is your lead to cash process? What does your lead handover look like? What are your typical Opportunity phases? Are there different ways of selling to various customers or in other scenarios? How do you quote? What do you expect people to do to get your customers from awareness to decision and action?

The Solution – SAP Sales Cloud – itself can help you to follow performant business processes by giving you some guidance through various features which exist as a standard – some examples:

Opportunity Sales Cycle and Phases

Sales processes typically have sales cycles with sales phases. It could be different for different types of opportunities. Standardization of your business processes when it comes to a typical sales cycle helps not just with predictability, but also with identifying challenges, strategies, coaching needs etc for your sales team – which ultimately leads to better outcomes and overall team performance.

To begin with, SAP Sales Cloud has example / standard Opportunity Phases defined. These Phases come with a chance of success, which influences the weighted revenue. (More Details here) – Make sure you have defined your business process to adjust these phases to your business, process and people needs. If you then start small without overwhelming your users with new features – you have done an essential step for a good adoption of your SAP Sales Cloud system and the value it can deliver.

Another example is the workflow engine SAP Sales Cloud is offering (Link to Documentation) – Workflows can be adjusted (Blog) in many ways to fit your business processes allowing for automation that drives your salesforce efficiency and can have a direct impact on key metrics like your closing rates or sales cycle times. Workflows are supported for most of the objects and offers a lot of flexibility with events, conditions and rules. Instead of doing custom coding you can evaluate whether a workflow rule can be created instead. Also make sure you consider the recommendations for best workflow rules practices outlined in this Blog.


Activity Planner


As activities, checklists and surveys are powerful instruments to make your sales strategy a reality in the field, there is a lot of value in automating these processes and streamlining the way tasks and activities are assigned. SAP Sales Cloud offers an activity planner feature set that can be activated in scoping in standard. Once enabled, it allows you to set up activity plans and routing rules. This way, tasks and checklists can automatically be populated when a Sales Rep creates a new visit or appointment. By being able to set certain automatically populated tasks to mandatory, you can achieve ever better control over the execution of your strategy in the field while at the same time you are giving your sales reps clear guidance on what activities are considered to be important. Please refer to the Blog to be able to make full use of the Activity Planner

Routing Rules

In Standard SAP Sales Cloud allows for fine-tuneable routing rules to determine involved parties and other attributes for different objects.

With Opportunity Party Rules, you can, for example, make sure that the right people are automatically involved at the right time depending on various attributes of an opportunity like the sales phase. Once configured, opportunity party determination can be automatically triggered under the following circumstances:

  • Upon opportunity creation

  • Anytime you make a change to an opportunity party

  • Anytime you make a change to an opportunity field that is part of determination rules, if applicable

For a step by step guide on how to set up Opportunity Party Rules, please refer to this document.

This feature set of rules can be a crucial cornerstone for your performant business processes. It allows for a high level of automation, taking into account various variables and spanning several business objects. Implementing these rules correctly can reduce your processing time and reduce errors caused by manual steps and assignments.

Data Workbench

Despite good integration, there might be a need for importing data in and out of the system in regular time frames. SAP Sales Cloud has a dedicated Workcenter for this. It is called the Data Workbench and enables the most performant process for data up and download. Please refer to this in-depth document to start using the data workbench right now. This can also be a potent tool when you want to check data quality. Instead of exporting data via reports, use the DWB as a better and more performant option. Use Analytics for decision making and operational analysis instead of using it for data export.

Duplicate checks

Creating duplicate records can lead to confusion, bad data and ultimately require cleanup not jus of the master data itself but also of the associated transactions. To have a performant business process and ensuring that you do not set yourself up for these challenges, it is important to check upfront if there are potential duplicates in the system and then take a conscious decision whether to proceed with the creation of the data.

The Duplicate Check function validates data that you input and allows you to control the creation of duplicate data records. When you input data to create a new change request, the system compares the data you have entered with data already in the system. If the data you have entered matches one or more existing records, the system warns that you are about to create a duplicate. For example, if you enter a new business partner, you enter the name and address. The system first compares the data from these fields with existing business partner records in the database. The duplicate check identifies any records that are potential duplicates of the record you are creating. Each possible duplicate is given a score indicating the probability of it being a duplicate of the new record. You can choose to proceed with creating the new record, or if you agree that by continuing, you would create a duplicate, you can begin to work directly with the existing record – effectively cancelling the creation of a new record.

This functionality can be activated through scoping questions for Accounts and Contact Persons, Leads and Opportunities.

FAQs: Business Partner Duplicate Check

Configure Duplicate Check

Performant Order and Quoting Processes

Time saved is money saved, especially when creating quotes and orders in front of a customer. Therefore, SAP Sales Cloud offers a set of features around Fast Order entry, Automatic Product proposals and Pricings that streamline these crucial sales processes and lead to a better experience for the salesperson

Watch this Webinar by my colleague Markus Echter for deeper insights:

Increase end-customer satisfaction and capacity of your sales personnel by simplified and accelerate...

In addition, you can review this playbook to dive deeper into this topic:

SAP Sales Cloud Sales Quote & Order Capture Value Accelerator Customer Playbook

But to my point: These feature sets will not benefit you if you have not come clear about your "How" and "Why" as crucial execution blueprints for your business strategy. Simply put, you need to be sure about:
"Who should be doing what, how, and why to achieve your goals."

Having this clarity will allow you to run a successful CRM implementation.

Make sure SAP Sales Cloud is seen as the assistant making your Sales Reps successful and not that process monster that needs to be fed every Friday before the weekend because somebody told somebody so.

If you know your business processes, SAP Sales Cloud has all the capabilities to implement these processes as the secure basis for your success – making it a System that your users love to use and that delivers value for your company every day.

As mentioned above – stay tuned for more "change management" content to come. After all, we know that change is the only constant in life.