6 Tips for a Successful CRM and Field Sales Implementation

  • by Bill Rady, Director of Information Services, State Industrial Products
  • March 15, 2006
Anyone considering a CRM Field Sales implementation can learn from what State Industrial Products discovered during its implementation. Save yourself time and resources with these six tips, including planning considerations and hardware needs.
Key Concept
Field Sales is a standalone mobile component within CRM that allows users to work offline and synchronize their data with mySAP CRM. With Field Sales, users can perform tasks such as creating quotations and orders at customer sites, coordinating customer information, managing sales opportunities throughout the sales cycle, and creating and viewing sales reports.

In fewer than 120 days, State Industrial Products moved part of its field sales force from an inefficient paper-and-pencil process (without a CRM system) to mySAP CRM 4.0 with Field Sales. With the old process, the field sales team would visit customer sites and take order requests using a paper order pad and pencil. They would write the order, look up pricing, and fax the order to company headquarters where an agent would enter the information into SAP R/3 Enterprise 4.7.

With this process we were unable to effectively manage the large amount of data generated (475,000 customers and 60,000 materials), leaving the sales force with limited access to key information. For example, customer contract pricing was very difficult to manage without an integrated and organized price reporting system. Also, our associates needed to view notes, activities, and historical sales information to best respond to customers’ service inquiries. Finally, our customers demanded more professional documentation — something that we were not providing with handwritten orders.

State Industrial Products has used R/3 with Microsoft Windows and SQL Server since 1998. We were confident in our ability to implement another SAP component because we had already upgraded twice. The latest was an upgrade to SAP R/3 Enterprise 4.7 in 2004. However, our group is small, comprised of one Basis team member, one ABAP developer, and one Sales and Distribution (SD) configuration team member. At first, we questioned whether we had the resources to support the existing R/3 operation while implementing mySAP CRM 4.0 and Field Sales. What follows are some of the most significant lessons learned from our project.

Bill Rady

Bill Rady is the Director of Information Services at State Industrial Products.

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