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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  

Quota planning in CRM 2007

 

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.

Quota planning in CRM 7.0

 

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.

Target to date in CRM 2007 

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.

Target to date in CRM 7.0

 

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. 

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7 Comments

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  1. Kranti Kiran Avadhanula
    Hello Prabhudev,

    The purpose of PPM is to help sales professionals get insight into their pipeline and to enable the identification of opportunities that a sales professional should concentrate on to meet targets.

    You said that PPM can be a report overhead at the quarter end. PPM is meant to be used as a strategy tool and not to be used as a quarter end reporting tool. BI reports are to be used to derive quarter end results. PPM is to be used to identify gaps in the pipeline, if any, and to plan accordingly to close the gap. The simulation mode is meant to analyze what-if scenarios; i.e. to simulate the changes you anticipate in your pipeline and thus understand the impact of the change and plan accordingly to mitigate the risks and accelarate the positive events.

    I did not understand the second issue. What are you trying to imply by “Many sales reps use this tool for mass changing the opportunities. For egs change the status of opportunities together”.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Kranti

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    1. Prabhudev Pattanshetti Post author
      Hi Kranti ,
      Thanks for the response .
      Sales reps are tough to convince when it comes to making them use CRM Screen .
      In Case of PPM , Sure therotically it is meant to be what is is suppose to , measure the targets and analyse gaps .
      Targets are set by managers at the beginning of year ( or quarter ) and sales reps work towards their targets set by managers. Since PPM only looks at Opportunities ,in  many cases sales rep create Quote / order directly without creating opportunity . Since PPM looks at opportunities only , they are forced to  create opportunities ( in some cases after creating quotes ). That’s what when I mean opportunity and PPM becomes mere a document entry overhead for them.

      Simulation capability is great . It gives “what if” or “to be” scenario . For egs , how my pipeline looks if the opportunities are won/lost in the future (by changing either status , dollar value etc) . But again sales reps don’t see that way, they are so busy chasing their targets that they don’t update the opportunities regularly. In most cases they update opportunities in mass during the quarter end, when they are actually paid(commission/incentive) for their sales.

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      1. Kranti Kiran Avadhanula
        Hello Prabhudev,
        On your second point, the sales reps need not use PPM’s simulation mode to mass update their opportunities. This functionality is available in the opportunity advanced search page for sales reps convinience. Once you have searched for opportunities: select the opportunities to be updated; select the kind of mass updation you wish to do by selecting an appropraite action under the “MORE” button. More Button is available above the result list. So simulation mode need not be misused for the mass updation purpose 🙂
        Thanks and Regards,
        Kranti
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        1. Prabhudev Pattanshetti Post author
          Its so easy for sales reps to use one PPM for all their purpose , instead of moving into search or other screens .i.e From PPM Screen , Sales rep can view their pipeline , View opportunity details,change opportunities etc. and sales reps hate to work with multiple screens(for egs search) , that does almost same thing.
          Thats what i mean when i said Simulation or Mass change?

          PPM is the Powerful tool , no doubt . i just wanted to highlight the concerns and actual use sales rep has with  this tool, which i came across during implementation …cheers

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          1. Rishi Handa
            for ppm to work whats the best practice to maintain sales hierarchy in SAP CRM? sales rep- manager relationships for ppm to work

            please share your thoughts
            thanks
            RH

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  2. Maria Ray
    Do you if I can modify the default settings. For example I would like to default the view to only see opportunities relevant for forecast and not weighted. I cannot find any place where I could make changes to this settings
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    1. Anonymous
      Hello Maria,
      you can default the relevant for forecast in personalization chart under general options of TTD, CTD and Sales Pipeline pages.

      Regards,
      Srinivasa sirasapalli

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