Let’s take a look at the CRM market category that SAP CX competes in with the likes of Adobe and Salesforce. The dynamics of this volatile and growing market offer huge opportunities to those who are agile and focused to respond to the changing needs of the end customers. The best place to start with is customer behaviour, and how CRM systems store and act on that information.
Customer behaviour and requirements are driving change in how organisations serve them, which in turn means change for the CRM landscape. As the CRM landscape is changing, with this change comes a unique opportunity to redefine this space. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, as you either move with the change (first-mover) or react to the change (follower).
Changing Customer Behaviour and Customer Record
The change is the usage of the Customer Record and reacting to Customer Events in real-time. This change is evidenced in customer behaviour, and the reactions of our own product teams over the past three years to build real-time capable products, our acquisitions, and our competitor’s acquisitions and announcements over the same period.
To serve the end customer it is no longer sufficient, to batch process historical customer information replicated between CRM, ERP and Marketing systems, creating much complexity, latency and processing overhead.
The Focus of CRM Solutions Must React to Serve the Customer
The existing set of solutions in the CRM category can no longer sit as equals, or with a traditional CRM system as a beating heart from which all data is replicated from and all events are processed. There is not ‘one suite’ or central CRM but many potential use cases and suite-deployments / landscapes that customers migrate to over time. We must give customers a blueprint on how to move to this new landscape and serve the customer requirements. It is not enough to say Go Beyond CRM.
Traditional CRM is still hugely successful as it competes directly in the overall category. This was the brilliance of traditional on-premise or cloud CRM to extend the CRM to all the peripheral areas. However, this is now breaking further apart. The traditional use cases of CRM which includes SFA and newer innovations to extend the sales force and service offerings now only remain as Sales-force Automation and Optimisation.
The new requirements and expectations of the End-Customer demand that data is managed in a centralised way optimised for real-time use cases and experience management. It should not take weeks and much processing overhead to process customer data from different sources to gain a holistic customer 360 view for back-end users. This is the Customer Data Platform.
The combination of tools that comprises of commerce, media delivery, customer interaction and service, customer feedback and engagement need to be optimised to work holistically with this underpinning Customer Data Platform (interoperable with any customer data source) is promoted to be a new category called Customer Experience Management. Traditionally this has been online Commerce and Media delivery/management.
There are no ‘solution categories’ in this model because solution categories denote equality in structure and equality in access point, all supporting one goal or vision. Also, the types and number of solutions can go up or down regularly, but market categories of applications do not. Customers need clarity on which sets of applications they need to replace, which guaranteeing integration with their existing landscape.
CRM is Breaking into Three Clear Sub-Categories
There are now only three clear sub-categories or attack verticals, which map to the new market landscape, where the winner will be the one that truly proves to understand how these new categories should play together, (and be optimised to work both as a suite ), but also as individual units should a landscape already have one of them in play. For example: instead of wasting effort in positioning a CDP solution to a customer with a strong CDP solution set, but a weak CXM solution set, just focus on the CXM set. So therefore, there is not confusion as to where interoperability is needed, or where a customer needs more strength or benefits. This is the opportunity, to re-define this space.
- Leading with CXM: customer experience management. This is where the customer builds trust/engagement and makes money/transacts. It makes the most sense to lead with this solution as it defines most whether our customers win or lose their customers in their marketplace, and how they react to that. This is also the greatest competitive differentiation. Adobe lead with CXM and Salesforce lead with extensible CRM and soon CDP. Think SAP Commerce Cloud together with Context Driven Services + Qualtrics.
- Backed by CDP: customer data platform. Central customer services that also works alongside (any) other customer data source (ERP, CRM). This is the newest space that has been trying to emerge and break away from traditional CRM or back office marketing automation systems. Solutions such as Identity/trust and Customer 360 are placed here. Think SAP Customer Data Cloud together with SAP Marketing Cloud.
- SFM or Sales force management and optimisation: Traditional CRM is now just sales force management or SFM. Customer service does not live here anymore, marketing does not live here anymore. Not required for the end customer object to always be in this traditional CRM system. Focused on optimising and managing the activities a sales force does. The original intention of SFA. Think SAP Sales and Service Cloud.
- Each domain interoperates via the same platform for integration, extension, deployment, monitoring, orchestration, enabling each bundle of applications to be utilised as a suite. There is no concern about one suite vision, as a customer can deploy the suite concept that suites them, substituting one of the SFM/CXM/CDP verticals with one of their own offerings or migrating gradually away from one or the other. A customer may have Adobe AEM but prefers our CDP. A customer may have a separate CRM or ERP acting as a CDP but prefers our CXM.
Opportunities to Create New Value
The advantage of looking at the new market this way, is that there are so many opportunities to build new value that does not exist, in terms of solution enhancements in each domain. The go to market teams also have clear routes that will focus directly on the economic and technical buyer of each sub-category. Imagine that the original CRM and customer service applications grew into many application areas that it has now outgrown and is not a suitable fit for anymore. These are splitting off, which is the maturation of the CRM category. Rather than looking at it as a portfolio of products that can be integrated, or a central monolithic CRM system, it is a set of domains that are cooperating on a common platform.
Further benefits of this model are that the categories can be overlaid into a customer’s existing landscape without any confusion about overlapping solutions. It gives the customer a clear view of solution domains which they can take and map internally. The traditional CRM category that covered all solutions is now dead and has been reborn as a decomposable set of sub-domains.
SAP CX is Leading the Way
SAP CX is a perfect fit for these new sub-domains and is building out a decomposable flexible suite of products, that share a common integration and extension platform called the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory. SAP CX will redefine and take control of the CRM market !