At the beginning of February 2009, SAP announced the launch of the SAP Business Suite 7. In my opinion, the launch timing could not have been more perfect as SAP Business Suite 7 is designed to help companies in this new economic reality. Under current market conditions, as companies look to do more with less in all areas, sales productivity cannot be an exception. In my previous post on territory management, I spoke about how territory management can be an effective sales productivity tool. In this post, I am outlining the 7 new enhancements in the area of territory management in CRM 7.0. Each of the enhancements contributes directly to one or more of the following tenets of territory management:
- Ensuring optimal sales market coverage
- Ensuring optimal usage of sales representative’s time
- Ensuring optimized information flow in an organization
Following are the 7 enhancements in Territory Management in CRM 7.0
1) Flexible Territory Definition: In CRM 7.0, attribute-based territory definition is replaced with business rule-based territory definition. There are many advantages of rule-based territory definition. Business rules lend flexibility to the territory scope. Even the most complex scope definitions, such as a range of postal codes with exceptions, can be easily maintained using business rules. The secret behind this flexibility is simple: 1) Define rules on attributes of your choice – SAP delivered or custom defined 2) Combine the attributes with a variety of operators such as “is between“, “is not between“, “is less than“, “is greater than and equal to” etc. Business rules also support the creation of exceptions to rule conditions.
An example business rule can be “Postal code + is between + 10000 + and + 20000 + except + postal code + is between + 15000 + and + 16000”.
In addition to providing flexibility in territory definition, business rules provide faster performance by persisting the relationship data between territories, accounts, products and sales areas. In the new browser based UI, the scope of the territories can be viewed in terms of accounts, products and sales areas with in the territory overview page with out having to navigate away. In addition to all of the above, you can over-ride an account’s association to a territory by defining a higher priority business rule in the account overview page.
2) Simulation capabilities: Territory management comes equipped with simulation mode in CRM 7.0. Simulation mode enables you to analyze what-if scenarios by simulating changes to your territories on a KPI of your choice. All the analysis can be done without actually changing the under-lying territory data. The simulated changes can then either be saved or discarded.
3) Territory based Authorizations: Territory based authorizations enable optimized information flow in an organization. Territory based authorizations can be switched on / off at transaction level and can also be controlled at a user level. When switched on at transaction level, the territory based authorizations ensure alignment of account, product and employee responsible with the territory assigned to the document. It is also possible to regulate user access to territories using these authorizations.
4) Territory based Searches: In CRM 7.0, territory ID and territory description can be used as search criterion while searching for accounts, products, one order documents such as opportunities, sales order and most marketing documents.
5) Easier integration with third party applications: A set of enterprise services are delivered with territory management in CRM 7.0 which enable easier integration with third party territory optimization applications.
6) Vacation scenario and Mass Ownership transfer of documents: Vacation scenario functionality enables companies to easily substitute the ownership of a territory from one employee to another while the former employee is on vacation or is leaving the position. In addition to ownership transfer of the territory, it is also possible to transfer the ownership of the documents associated to a territory from one employee to another using the mass ownership transfer of documents functionality.
7) Data consistency: A set of data consistency reports such as accounts with no territories, accounts in multiple territories and territories with no employees are delivered out of the box to ensure data consistency and to avoid gaps and overlap of account coverage.
For further information on Territory Management in CRM 7.0, please refer to the documentation at http://help.sap.com/.