Pipeline Performance Management tool – Whats new ? How Useful?
Today, the biggest challenge the sales professionals have is to plan and manage against the planned sales quota in an integrated, real-time application.
In SAP CRM 2007 a new interactive tool for sales pipeline analysis called Pipeline Performance Management (PPM) is introduced. Infact, This tool was first introduced in SAP CRM on-demand in 2006, is included in SAP CRM 2006s, and will be available for subsequent releases.
I am sure you will find many blogs and articles explaining the features of PPM in CRM 2007, in this blog I will try to compare the features of PPM in CRM 2007 with respect to PPM in CRM 7.0. At the end, I will try to list the concerns many customers still have with this tool.
When I was talking with many customers about their reasons to go for CRM 2007 or CRM 7.0, the answer I got were not surprising. Web User Interface was great from User Experience point of view, but from value addition point of view Pipeline Performance Management tool is one of their driving reasons.
PPM helps Sales reps as well as Sales Managers to Plan their opportunity pipeline information in the form of tables and bar charts to check won deals, expected deals, sales targets, and the remaining difference between won, expected deals, and sales targets.
1. Quota Planning
Sales Managers define targets for his team. In CRM 2007, he can only define the expected quota in terms of total sales volume (dollar).
Issue: Many companies have 1-3 main products which they sell regularly and number of accessory products that support these main products. For them mere defining and measuring the target based on total sales volume is not sufficient.
Today, many customers’ wants their sales team to be evaluated not only based on dollar value but also on the volume (units) of products and sales volume of each product. Manager’s wants their sales team to sell more of their main products (which eventually sell accessory products) and they want to set the target for each of their sales reps based on the quantity of products as well as Product sales volume.
In CRM 7.0 PPM quota planning tool was enhanced. Mangers can define quota not only based on total sales volume but also on Product sales volume (and Product Category Sales Volume) and Product unit (and Product Category Unit) as shown in below figure.
2. Pipeline Performance views
Once manager have set targets, he can measure the performance using 4 views . Viz,Target to date , Closing date , Sales pipeline , Sales pipeline change .
For e.g. In CRM 2007 Target to date view shows the total sales value of expected sales and sales targets in the sales pipeline up to the current date.
In CRM 7.0 , Sales reps can view and compare the sales target from 3 different views .viz Product units , Product sales Volume and Total sales volume as shown below.
Even though the Pipeline performance management tool has been improved greatly in CRM 7.0, Customers still have concerns with the tool.
1. What is my pipeline? : The PPM tool shows the Sales pipeline from opportunities. This is good but not sufficient. For Sales reps their pipeline is not only made up from opportunities but also from quotation, sales orders etc.
So, one PPM Graphical tool is not sufficient for sales team to view and measure their entire sales pipeline.
One may argue that the quotation and sales orders are taken care in the PPM tool since Quotation/orders are considered as one of the phase in opportunity and if quote or order is created as a follow up from opportunity this is already being taken care in the opportunity pipleline. But this is not the case with many customers. They create quote and order directly without creating opportunities in many cases. (Fast /quick orders, Consumable products, direct Order through web, order through CIC etc). This leads to confusion and not so correct depiction sales pipeline.In many instance during quarter end, sales reps create opportunity after creating quote / order (just to show the numbers in PPM tool). Opportunity and hence PPM becomes mere one more document / report overhead.
2. Simulation or Mass change tool? : PPM has Simulate functionality, where Sales Managers and Sales reps can make changes (without saving) the opportunities to show the expected or “to be” pipeline. Once saved the changes are committed to the opportunity. This Simulation tool is good, but not really helpful. Many sales reps use this tool for mass changing the opportunities. For egs change the status of opportunities together.