Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is more than just a buzzword; it’s the backbone of modern business. After all, effective management of customer relations is often the deciding factor between a loyal customer and a lost lead.
As a result of the growing importance of CRM, CRM tools have naturally gained prominence. In fact, the worldwide revenue from the CRM software market is expected to soar from around 53 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 to 57 billion U.S. dollars in 2025. While there are multiple players in this market, SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) has emerged as one of the market leaders in the CRM sphere with 5.2% of the market share in 2019, and it has stood the test of time!
SAP released its first CRM solution back in 2000 and this SAP CRM tool evolved over time to become the SAP Customer Experience (SAP CX) suite. Let’s explore the power of SAP CRM, now SAP CX, and understand its successful evolution.
This evolution from SAP CRM to SAP CX represents a paradigm shift in how businesses approach customer relationship management. Let’s understand how the SAP CRM software progressed into the comprehensive SAP CX suite-
SAP started working on CRM-related capabilities in the early 1990s as embedded CRM modules of the R/3 SAP ERP system. However, SAP offered its first stand-alone CRM software in 2000. The first SAP CRM release 2.0 was made generally available in November 2000.
SAP CRM started as an on-premise customer relationship management software that targeted business software requirements for marketing, sales, and service for midsize and large organizations in all industries and sectors. SAP CRM was part of the overall SAP Business Suite, which also includes SAP ERP, SAP SCM, and SAP SRM.
The Coming of The Cloud
The winds of change began to blow as cloud technology gained popularity, leading to SAP’s first cloud-based CRM solution. SAP started to develop a cloud-based CRM solution in 2007, which was eventually named SAP Cloud for Sales.
By acquiring third-party software companies like Hybris, Coresystems, CallidusCloud, Gigya, and Qualtrics, SAP enhanced its portfolio of customer experience solutions further until it created a comprehensive suite of cloud solutions that it named C/4HANA.
SAP announced the SAP C/4HANA suite in 2018, and it consisted of five key cloud-based pillars: commerce, marketing, revenue, sales, and service. SAP C/4HANA became SAP’s consolidated cloud-based platform that integrated various SAP cloud solutions.
The Birth of SAP CX
By 2020, SAP rebranded SAP C/4HANA as SAP Customer Experience (SAP CX) for marketing purposes. SAP CX became SAP’s flagship CRM solution and the main successor to SAP CRM. SAP CX includes SAP Customer Data Cloud, SAP CRM Marketing Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP CRM Sales Cloud and SAP CRM Service Cloud. It runs on the SAP S/4HANA platform and utilizes the SAP Fiori user interface, offering a seamless and modern experience.
As we discussed, SAP CX consists of five cloud-based solutions that cover different aspects of customer experience management to form a complete CRM solution. Here are the latest five SAP CRM modules-
SAP Customer Data Cloud- Collects and manages customer data securely, providing transparency and control over personal information.
SAP Marketing Cloud- Enables understanding customer preferences, segmenting audiences, orchestrating personalized campaigns, and measuring performance.
SAP Sales Cloud- Helps sales teams manage leads, collaborate, configure, and quote products, optimize pricing, and close deals faster.
SAP Service Cloud- Empowers service agents to deliver omnichannel customer service, resolve issues efficiently, and monitor performance.
SAP Commerce Cloud or SAP Hybris- A unified platform for e-commerce, order management, product content management, merchandising, and customer service across B2B and B2C scenarios. SAP Commerce Cloud was earlier known as SAP Hybris.
These modules represent the core of SAP CX, providing a comprehensive suite that caters to every facet of customer relationship management.
SAP CRM faces tough competition from companies like SalesForce, HubSpot, and Oracle, with SalesForce being larger in terms of market share. So, how does SAP CX/SAP CRM software stand out and maintain a consistent market share and impressive reputation? Here are the strengths and innovative features of SAP CRM that set it apart from its competition:
Integration with Third-party Applications– With 2,500 prebuilt connections, SAP CRM/SAP CX facilitates smooth integration with SAP and non-SAP systems. This allows businesses to leverage existing data and processes from different sources and enhance their customer experience capabilities. For example, SAP Customer Experience can integrate with Qualtrics, a leading experience management company, to provide businesses with actionable insights from customer feedback.
Predictive Analytics- SAP CX uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically identify promising leads and prospects, as well as to optimize marketing, sales, and service performance. This helps businesses to target the right customers at the right time, and to provide personalized and relevant offers and recommendations. For example, SAP Customer Experience can use predictive SAP CRM analytics to segment customers based on their behavior, preferences, and needs, and to deliver tailored messages and promotions across channels.
Personalized Pricing Offers- SAP CRM provides individual prices across channels, taking into account various factors such as customer loyalty, demand, inventory, and competition. This helps businesses to increase customer satisfaction and retention, as well as to maximize revenue and profitability. For example, SAP CX can use dynamic pricing to adjust prices in real-time based on changing market conditions and customer behavior.
Advanced Sales Dashboard- It offers individual analyses from different perspectives, such as sales pipeline, sales performance, sales forecast, sales coaching, and sales productivity. This helps businesses to empower their sales teams with tools and insights that help them sell more effectively and efficiently. For example, SAP CX can use a sales dashboard to provide a comprehensive overview of the sales activities and results of each sales representative, as well as to suggest actions and best practices to improve their performance.
Influencer Map- SAP CRM/SAP CX has a unique tool to visualize and analyze influencers in the sales process, such as decision-makers, gatekeepers, champions, and detractors. This helps businesses to understand the complex relationships and dynamics among the stakeholders involved in a sales opportunity, and to devise appropriate strategies to influence them. For example, SAP CX can use an influencer map to identify the key people who have the most impact on the buying decision and to provide relevant information and incentives to persuade them.
Offer and Contract Support- SAP CX enhances speed in day-to-day business operations by streamlining the processes of creating, managing, and executing offers and contracts. This helps businesses to reduce errors and delays, improve compliance and accuracy, and increase customer trust and loyalty. For example, SAP CX can use offer and contract support to automate the generation of quotes, contracts, orders, invoices, and renewals based on predefined rules and templates.
Customer-centric approach- SAP CX enables businesses to adopt a customer-centric approach, which focuses on creating positive experiences for customers by understanding their needs, preferences, and expectations. It goes beyond basic automation and helps to ensure a holistic positive customer experience.
Understanding of customer sentiments and expectations- SAP CX integrates with Qualtrics, an experience management company, to provide businesses with actionable insights from customer feedback, and to help them identify and close the gaps between what customers expect and what they receive.
Industry-specific solutions- It also offers industry-specific applications that cater to the unique needs and challenges of different sectors, such as Automotive, medical, consumer goods, chemical, industrial, and retail. These applications are designed to provide best practices, processes, and functionalities that are relevant and customized for each industry. For instance, SAP CX for Retail enables retailers to deliver omnichannel shopping experiences, optimize inventory and supply chain management, and leverage customer insights.
Implementing SAP CRM or SAP CX is a significant investment, and leveraging the expertise of SAP CRM consultants and implementation services like Spadoom can make the process seamless and efficient. Here’s why:
Tailored Solutions- Spadoom offers customized SAP CRM and SAP CX solutions that align with your specific business needs and industry requirements.
Expert Guidance- With seasoned SAP CRM consultants, Spadoom provides insights and best practices to optimize the implementation process.
Integration Support- Spadoom ensures smooth integration with existing SAP and non-SAP systems, leveraging SAP CRM’s 2,500 prebuilt connections.
Ongoing Support and Maintenance- Post-implementation, Spadoom offers continuous support to ensure that your SAP CRM or SAP CX system runs smoothly.
Training and Knowledge Transfer- Spadoom provides comprehensive training to your team, ensuring that they can utilize the SAP CRM features to their fullest potential.
Choosing a SAP Gold partner like Spadoom for implementing your SAP customer relationship management software ensures a successful transition and maximizes the return on your investment. So, if you are looking for a SAP partner in the Netherlands or basically anywhere in the world, Spadoom is here to help!
The journey from SAP CRM to SAP CX is a fascinating tale of innovation, transformation, and customer-centricity. With robust features, clear advantages, and adaptability across various industries, the SAP customer relationship management software stands as a testament to SAP’s commitment to excellence in customer relationship management. So, partner with a SAP Gold partner like Spadoom and take your customer relationship management to the next level with SAP CX!