4 CRM Questions SAP Manufacturers Need to Ask to Advance their Digital Transformation

If you are an IT leader, CRM leader, or business transformation leader working for an SAP manufacturing organization, one of the challenges is to identify whether your sales, marketing, and customer success organizations are digital-ready.   Even though it is easy to think that digital transformation efforts are mostly about processes, leveraging technology at the plant, and preparing the workers for the next set of machines, one of the areas which are mostly ignored or neglected is the current state of integration between your systems mostly CRM, ERP, demand planning and others.

IT teams will say we have an ETL tool already running … what more do we need to be digital-ready? But have you considered the impact to your Sales and Customer Service teams if these systems are disparate and they cannot properly communicate accurate SAP pricing, shipping, and delivery in their CRM environment? 😒Perhaps an Integration strategy is your backbone for your digital readiness for Industry 4.0?!!! Sounds interesting and kinda weird right? Let us explore the 4 fundamental questions you as a CRM leader should ask before you decide the right integration strategy for your systems.

Question 1:
Are your Agreements, Quotes, and Contracts accessible and available in real-time to your Sales and Marketing teams?

With traditional manufacturers who leverage Salesforce as CRM and SAP as their ERP, Quotes, Agreements, and Contracts always reside in their ERP systems with all the information buried in Siloes. Now if Sales teams want to quickly review the performance of the contracts and agreements, they have to jump through hoops with several tools, download several excel spreadsheets to see the key performance of their accounts?

For your run-rate businesses, all the sales team needs is to see the current orders compared to monthly or quarterly agreements and reach out at the right time to the customer when there is a deviation? This is not possible with the siloed integration approach of ETL tools or mammoth ESB tools to make it happen. Would it not be easy to just embed a quick dashboard on the account to view agreement performance and notifications to account teams on any up or downswing on key metrics? This is where the solution enosix comes to the rescue with real-time Quotes, Agreements, and Orders readily available within your Salesforce CRM displaying real-time SAP data to act on immediately. The below are screenshots of how a customer data with real-time integration with SAP will look in Salesforce leveraging the enosix Solution.

Customer Search with SAP Data in SFDC

360-degree view of customer data with orders, deliveries, and contracts in one place

Question 2:
Are your products/pricing accessible to all teams at the right time and are they AI-ready?

Manufacturing shops that are ERP-led using SAP typically tend to use SAP Variant Configuration to capture product prices and handle price exceptions. Any time a Sales team wants to know the status of the Quote submitted to sales leadership or view variations on product pricing, it is a hassle to get the data from SAP. Sales team requests for Pricing transparency are always met with IT bureaucratic processes taking days and days of time to access the data. For a future digital-led manufacturing organization, one of the ways to leverage AI on the product, prices, and bundling is getting the data to the CRM. With traditional ETL based approach or point to point solution approach, these requests and enhancements fail due to the complexity of data 

If you are not aware, enosix solutions can also resolve this complexity.  With enosix,  SAP customers can get all the quotes, pricing, exceptions available in real-time in Native salesforce objects which makes the sales team act on them immediately. Imagine the prospect of getting core customer feedback right in your CRM where a Quote which is created in Salesforce, gets priced and approved in SAP and approved by the customer in Salesforce with all digital footprints stored in your CRM. Any customer rejections can also be stored in your Salesforce CRM. Now leveraging Einstein AI, future lead organizations can mine the pricing data, look for trends on prices and provide real-time feedback on add-on pricing to Sales teams right away which can lead to huge revenue increases?  

Question 3:
Is your organization’s eCommerce ready for your partners to get orders and get real-time pricing self-service for shipping, taxes, and other charges?

 With the ongoing Pandemic disrupting supply chains and physical movement of products and goods, a lot of manufacturers are enabling their customers to have storefronts to order products easily. Typically Manufacturing teams use salesforce e-commerce solutions like B2B e-commerce to enable customers to place self-service product orders in real-time. Now for B2B orders, it is important to know all the pricing upfront or do a quick estimate on their orders rather than wait for days to get the data from ERP or risk a lost sale. In order to get additional charges like shipping, taxes, handling, and other charges, a point-to-point integration approach fails miserably to get the data because too much time is taken to integrate SAP with Salesforce and get the data needed.

An on-demand approach of leveraging enosix Salesforce Commerce-SAPecommerce integration, all orders created in Salesforce are in SAP real-time within seconds and add-on charges like Shipping, Taxes, handling are made available from SAP bi-directionally to your CRM real-time. By leveraging this solution, the real-time status of the orders can be notified from SAP to Salesforce and vice versa providing engaging customer experiences on orders leading to saving hours and hours of time on unnecessary support and Increased customer loyalty. For future led organizations, on-demand real-time orders with status and transparency in order cases will lead to increased customer satisfaction bringing more revenue to Manufacturers. Below is an example of a SAP Sales order you can create right from salesforce and the orders integrated with Salesforce real-time right away.

Create SAP orders in SFDC

Question 4:
Are you enabling your partner’s real-time access to inquiries and immediately track leads to opportunities?

Traditional manufacturers rely on archaic inquiry forms on websites where once a customer submits an inquiry form, the data gets processed in the CRM and pushed to SAP for processing the inquiries. Typically partners get assigned in the ERP world to a scenario where there are leads and by the time it gets pushed to a partner portal, it can be days of valuable time lost in the integration. Typical IT integration approaches make it really harder to do customization on inquiries leading to maintenance nightmares on issues.

An on-demand integration approach with enosix can make the inquiry process quick with real integration of inquiries from Salesforce to SAP, providing real-time notifications to Partners and Distributors on their partner portal. With partners having multiple portals for their manufacturers, orders which are created in SAP with partner submissions can be deduped with inquiries assigned to partners leveraging Einstein deduping capabilities which can close the much-needed inquiry to partner orders process. This can yield great rewards, creating high-performing partners operating in real-time and leading to a huge uplift in channel sales.  The below is a screenshot of how you can enable your Sales team to quickly search Sales documents of your partners with SAP data right inside Salesforce leveraging Enosix Solution.

Access Sales Documents within Sfdc

So if you are an IT or Sales Operations leader wondering where to start your digital journey or preparing for industry 4.0, you should ask the following questions within your team.

  1. Are your Agreements, Quotes, and Contracts accessible and available realtime to your Sales and Marketing teams?
  2. Are your products/pricing accessible to all teams at the right time and are they AI-ready?
  3. Is your organization’s e-commerce ready for your partners to get orders and get real-time pricing self-service on shipping, taxes, and other charges?
  4. Are enabling your partner’s real-time access to inquiries and track leads to opportunities right away?

If the answer to any of the questions above is a NO, it is time to rethink your integration strategy and move towards an on-demand framework enabling your sales and service teams to have more access to data in SAP real-time and natively within your Salesforce CRM!! Please feel free to comment below on any questions or email me at buyan@eigenx.com for a toolkit on a strategy to verify your digital readiness with SAP and Salesforce CRM.

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Author: buyan47

Hi there! My name is Buyan Thyagarajan. I am a Salesforce consultant specializing in Higher Education, Manufacturing and Marketing Automation. My blogs will help you to maximize your Salesforce CRM investments, prevent problems beforehand and make the right decisions. If you need to talk to me right away, you can email me at buyan47@gmail.com or call me at 302-438-4097

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