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.
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.
- 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.