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As a product manager responsible for CRM Sales Planning, I would like to give you a brief overview about the current sales planning applications in SAP CRM 2007. Afterwards a first outlook for future releases.

For SAP CRM we provide the following sales planning applications:

  • Top-Down Sales Planning,
  • Bottom-up Account Planning,
  • Bottom-up Opportunity Planning and
  • Quota Planning within Pipeline Performance Management

Excluding the quota planning (CRM application), the sales planning applications are delivered as example business content in SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (SAP NetWeaver BI). Our planning tool is BI BPS „Business Planning and Simulation”, using additional CRM Planning Services and CRM Enhanced Layouts. You can also use your own business content in SAP NetWeaver BI to specify alternative dimensions and key figures for your planning.

The sales planning applications support sales managers and sales representatives in their planning tasks. For these roles we see the following tasks:

  • Sales Managers are responsible for managing a team of sales employees and ensuring that their teams meet their sales targets. They translate strategic and financial objectives into operational targets and budgets for the team, monitor and analyze sales performance, and conduct performance reviews at team and sales representative level.
  • Sales representatives are responsible for maintaining customer relations and selling products and services. They plan and forecast sales for their area of responsibility based upon their accounts, products, territories, etc., and have to meet their given sales targets. Sales representatives need operational data and transactional applications to analyze sales success and pipeline.

Now I’ll explain each kind of planning application.

Top-Down Sales Planning


This sales planning application is only loosely integrated with SAP CRM, that is, the integration is restricted solely to the master and actual data that was extracted from SAP CRM into SAP BI. It can be called via transaction launcher into the CRM UI but it is performed in SAP BI BPS.

The planner uses work lists and status tracking to manage planning at different levels. Sales managers plan targets broken down by organization / territory, product and customer. The plan contains pre filled information from past revenue, forecast sales for the current year, or known costs. Planning tools automatically calculate total profits, costs, and contribution margin.

Top-Down means from the main planners, to the sales managers down to the sales employees. The figures, as planned sales revenue and quantity, are then distributed top-down to the next level of aggregation directly below. Then back from detail planning on different sublevels to an aggregated perspective. Sales employees adjust the sales figures and return them to the sales manager who adjusts their plans accordingly and sends it finally back to the global planner for approval.

There are also pre-packaged reports for Plan/Actual Analyses. For more information see the blog Pre-defined BI content for SAP CRM Sales Analytics (Pre-defined BI content for SAP CRM Sales Analytics).

Bottom-up Account Planning


The SAP CRM Bottom-up Account Planning is an embedded planning within general account management functions. In CRM, the assignment block Account Plans in the account overview page provides all account plans available for this account. It is possible to create a new account plan or navigate into an existing one. In the CRM account plan overview page, the account executive plans how he can reach his objectives for the next planning period with this account. Beside text based information (CRM notes, attachments), he plans sales revenue and quantity in the planning sheet (BI BPS / Enhanced layout embedded in the CRM UI). Such key figures are stored in BI.

Account planning is available in the CRM Server and with CRM Mobile Sales.

Bottom-Up Sales Opportunity Planning


Opportunity Planning is closely integrated with SAP CRM. The master and actual data is supplied directly from SAP CRM when planning is executed, without it first having to be extracted into SAP BI.

Opportunity Planning enables detailed planning of important sales figures, particularly for long-running projects, providing an important base for sales and production planning.

Sales representatives can enter planned sales figures directly in the opportunity. This enables them to carry out detailed sales revenue planning for the coming weeks, months, quarters or, if necessary, years. They can enter planned sales figures, for example, sales revenue, market share, quantities, for the opportunity in total, or planned sales figures for individual products.

Quota Planning

Pipeline Performance Management in CRM uses input from Quota Planning to calculate and display the targets in the appropriate charts and tables.

Quota Planning as a CRM application, it is also available in CRM on-demand.

You can map your entire sales organization and plan target sales quotas for all of the sales teams in the organizational hierarchy.

Sales managers have special authorization to access quota planning from the Target to Date page. In the Quota Planning page, they enter the sales quotas for their teams and individual employees for the next planning period. Then they define the quotas for the next lowest level in the organizational hierarchy and also transfer the planning to the sales manager on the next lowest level of the hierarchy.

The pages

  • Target to Date
  • Closing Date
  • Sales Pipeline

allow to compare the actual sales with the planned sales in the bar charts and tables.


In future we plan to leverage Business Objects tools inclusive NetWeaver BI to improve our planning applications.

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  1. Vijay Vijayasankar
    Silvia, why is it that CRM continues to put new functionality into BPS (the one you mention here, TPM etc), when it is not a reccomended option in other areas of SAP?

    For the past several SAP events – the product managers from netweaver side have been telling us to not use BPS for anything new, but to migrate to IP or BPC.

    Is this because IP and BPC don’t have what CRM usescase would require? What is the roadmap for CRM in this area?

    1. Silvia Backes Post author
      Vijay, the sales planning applications I mentioned above are not new functionality into BPS and SAP CRM 2007 or 7.0. Here, I only want to give an overview what we have today, as requested by several customers. Currently no other technology then BI BPS with Enhanced Layouts / CRM Planning Services, also not BI-IP, provides the possibility to embed a planning sheet into the SAP CRM UI with direct relation to a SAP CRM object as e.g. Account Plan or Opportunity. And such investment is safe. BPS is in maintenance but still supported by IMS as part of NW2004s and will be supported at least until 2013.

      Consider implementing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for Netweaver for planning applications (not embedded in CRM) in the following cases
      – You want to implement a unified planning, consolidation, and reporting application managed by business users with best in class Microsoft Office integration
      – Your requirements call for integration to financial planning
      Consider implementing BI-IP (no embedded planning in CRM) in the following cases
      – You need to migrate your planning technology in 2009
      – You need to implement Public Services for Public Sector Budgeting application
      – You need to implement Retail for Merchandise Assortment Planning application

      However as already mentioned SAP CRM is evaluating a new approach for any kind of planning application beyond SAP CRM 7.0.
      Currently we plan the improvement in
      H2.2009 for Top-Down Sales Planning as standalone application, not embedded in CRM and
      2010 for Bottom-up Account Planning.

      1. Vijay Vijayasankar
        Thanks Silvia. The ‘new’ part was more aimed at TPM than sales planning. But I get the idea now – It is the layout integration aspect that seems to make it difficult for non-BPS apps to take the place of BPS.

        I am very keen to see what would be the long term planning solution that CRM will embrace.

        Thanks again

    2. J. van de Werfhorst
      Hello Silvia,
      Hope you still read this!

      We also use bps planning services and enhanced lay out, but thinkt the flexibility and customizability too low. With CRM-BI reporting integration we can pass parameters from accountplan and jump to ip report and do planning in IP, using a more advanced tool. Do you see troubles for this scenario? (For example when using pricing conditions)

      1. Silvia Backes Post author
        Thanks for your comment!
        Currently you can link to reports in the Analysis assignment block in the Account plan overview page and use the Account Plan ID as parameter.
        We still stick to BPS for planning applications embedded in the CRM UI.
        Pricing conditions will not be any longer a key capability for “standard Account Planning”. Please use Long Term Trade Promotions instead. There you will get more support of required features.
  2. Christopher Lafaire
    Hi Silvia,

    You mention that its ‘loosely’ integrated with CRM TPM; besides being able to render the layout in CRM and I know its the only application that supports the “Trade Spends tab/planing tab” for TPM what other integration are you making reference?

    Its my understanding that all the versions of Account Planning that you presented either don’t generate pricing conditions and as such you are not able to generate long term discounts such as EDLP – Every day low price. If a company needs to plan Volume and generate conditions what solution would you recommend?

    I understand that Mr. Javier Rojas (SAP employee from the West Coast) is prototyping account planning using Outlooksoft and integration with CRM TPM, in your opinion would this replace the Account planning tools you mention here?

    I now SAP TPM has long-term and short-term trade promotions where you can create pricing conditions, but there is no single place or planning tool that can aggregate all volume and discounts other than a BI report. What would your recommendation be, should customers build a custom solution using BI-BPS?

    Thanks a lot for sharing information in this blog, it provides very good info.

    Chris Lafaire

    1. Silvia Backes Post author
      Hi Chris,
      For CRM TPM reply I’ll forward your comment to my colleagues from Product Management responsible for TPM.
      At a generic, opportunity driven sales perspective we focus on Account Management and revenue and quantity planning in Bottum-up Sales Account Planning, without condition generation. We plan to improve this kind of Sales Account Planning in future releases.
      Many thanks for your comment.
      Silvia Backes
  3. Walter Phebus
    This is the first I have heard about CRM 7.0. Can you just enlighten me – is this the name of the next version of CRM? Is SAP really trying to confuse us.. going from 5.0 to 2007 and now to 7.0?
      1. Community User
        I was looking on the product availability matrix trying to find out when CRM 7.0 is GA. I seem to get in a big circle of links. Can you tell me the release date?


  4. J. van de Werfhorst
    2010-02-02 06:09:37 J. van de Werfhorst Business Card [Reply]

    Hello Silvia,
    Hope you still read this!

    We also use bps planning services and enhanced lay out, but thinkt the flexibility and customizability too low. With CRM-BI reporting integration we can pass parameters from accountplan and jump to ip report and do planning in IP, using a more advanced tool. Do you see troubles for this scenario? (For example when using pricing conditions)

      1. bhargavi J

        Hi Silvia,

        Your Blog is very useful and informative, now i’ve given with the task of doing setup in system.

        i have checked many of the documents which is available in SCN but couldn’t abel to find some helpful doxs, Can you please help me by sharing some documents to do the proper setup.

        my email ID:

        Thank you


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