In a fast-paced world, companies are challenged like never before to innovate and provide a superior customer experience. Constantly changing market demands and dynamic customer behaviors require companies to act accordingly in order to meet customer expectations. SAP’s integrated Lead to Cash process can help businesses to achieve these goals.
The Lead to Cash process is an agile, integrated business process combining multiple SAP solutions enriched with artificial intelligence and experience management scenarios. It covers the entire business process chain from initial contact with a prospective customer, to order fulfillment and service delivery. Five sub-processes are used to clearly structure the overall process: Contact to Lead, Lead to Opportunity, Opportunity to Quote/Cart, Quote to Order and Order to Cash. With these sub-processes, the process spans across the entire SAP Customer Experience solution portfolio and SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Key integration scenarios connect solutions from the SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Sales Cloud (including SAP CPQ), SAP Service Cloud (including SAP Field Service Management) and SAP Customer Data Cloud portfolios as well as SAP S/4HANA Cloud to help companies achieve their goals with support of an integrated solution landscape.
When designing the Lead to Cash process, we have paid particularly close attention to how we can support customers as they solve business and IT challenges with a focus on three main areas:
- Enable new business models
The Lead to Cash process allows companies to enable new business models. The process does not only focus on classic sales of physical products, but also allows customers to gradually transition to service sales and subscription sales. Pre-built integration scenarios and a well-documented business process design allow companies to achieve this transition in an efficient way while keeping up with industry and market trends.
- Innovate through flexibility and agility
Customer journeys vary by companies’ business models and by industry. They are neither static nor linear and require businesses to be flexible and agile in order to meet changing customer expectations. The Lead to Cash process provides the baseline that supports individual customer journeys. The integration delivered for cloud and on-premise solutions in combination with a rich set of APIs not only enables the baseline process, but also allows customers to easily adapt the process to their needs and ultimately drive innovation by using the latest technology.
- Seamless experience for end customers and end users
It is equally important that our solutions provide a frictionless sales experience for end customers and a seamless user experience for end users. Improved collaboration capabilities like the automated handover of leads from marketing teams to sales teams reduce potential for errors and accelerate the overall sales process. While seamless user experience embedded into our solutions allows for increased productivity by leveraging harmonized systems and user interface behavior.
With a focus on these three main areas, we have completed several important milestones for the Lead to Cash process in 2020. The functional integration scope for Lead to Cash has been our top priority and a large variety of integration scenarios are available on SAP API Business Hub. There are nearly 100 integration packages available for SAP Customer Experience that include almost 1,000 different integration scenarios. These integration packages are not only available for cloud-to-cloud integration scenarios but include cloud-to-on-premise integrations as well. Additionally, we have provided a rich set of APIs to allow for integration of non-SAP solutions.
Highlights for the functional scope include:
- Enhanced integration between SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Sales Cloud for leads. Leads enriched with important information can be automatically sent from SAP Marketing Cloud to SAP Sales Cloud based on defined criteria in marketing campaigns. The configuration in SAP Sales Cloud then provides quick and targeted assignment to sales representatives who can work on the leads. This scenario marks a change from a passive lead pick-up to a proactive assignment.
- Integration scenarios between SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Subscription Billing are now able to support new business models. Orders with physical products, service products and subscription products are split in SAP Commerce Cloud so that sales and service orders are processed in SAP S/4HANA Cloud and subscriptions are processed separately in SAP Subscription Billing. The option to handle different product types accordingly leads to a more flexible business process design.
- An integrated service delivery process between SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Field Service Management. Creating a service order triggers the dispatch of service technicians and subsequently documents the completed service delivery. This integration scenario is supported by AI-based scheduling in SAP Field Service Management. The framework for automated planning and optimization allows companies to reduce the distance travelled by technicians and matches technicians to jobs based on their skills. This can help to reduce CO2 emissions and leads to a positive impact on sustainability goals.
To complement the released integration scenarios and achieve the second milestone, we have also published the Business Process Blueprint for Lead to Cash on SAP API Business Hub. This reference architecture links process design with integration architecture and provides guidance on when to use each integration scenario. It also allows customers and partners to explore how the E2E process decomposes into applications, modules, business services, technologies and integrations. Furthermore, it allows companies to map out their roadmap, adopt the necessary solutions and transition to a target solution landscape.
The third milestone that has been achieved is related to a seamless user experience. User interfaces with an unfamiliar feel or interface can interrupt the execution of business tasks. However, we have provided a consistent user experience across the Lead to Cash process to improve the daily work of our end users. This improvement has a direct positive effect on business users who use multiple SAP solutions on a regular basis.
Completion of these milestones does not mark the end of the Lead to Cash journey. We will continue to deliver integration scenarios to complement the existing set of integration scenarios. Furthermore, aligned domain models adoption will be completed in Q4 2020 with a focus on the customer domain model across all contributing products in Lead to Cash.
Further information on planned functionality and integration scenarios for Lead to Cash is available centrally in the Lead to Cash section of the SAP Roadmap Explorer. Overall timelines for the adoption of suite qualities for Lead to Cash are also available in SAP’s Integration Plan in the Cloud. For a deep-dive into the Lead to Cash process including technical information and a process demo, watch the recording of the L2C lecture at SAP TechEd 2019.