Apr 30
CRM, Order Management, SAP, Wholesale, Distribution, Retail

Order Management or CRM?

With SAP’s recent “all in for CRM” announcement one would think that CRM would be top of mind, but you should ask this question first, is Order Management and CRM a chicken or egg debate or are they two roads to the same destination?

If your company runs SAP the short answer is, it depends.

Before we dive into the fray, two ground rules are necessary. The first requires a general agreement that sales drive a company forward. Yes, there are variations on the theme, and many different business drivers can affect a company’s profitability; but unless you sell something, you’re not in business. Home Depot needs to sell hammers, Boeing needs to sell jets, Geico needs to sell insurance and GM needs to sell cars. Without a sale all other business functions become secondary in importance.

The second is to define the terms order management and CRM to delineate between the two.

Order Management – A prospect or customer walks in or calls in and your sales associate has been trained to meet their needs, understand who they are and what they want. They take the order, manage the complexity of the order, see what other goods or services the customer would like, process payment or multiple payments and wish them a good day. Order management brings process maturity onto the scene providing you with significantly more tools in your arsenal to handle complex selling processes.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Now take the scenario above and multiply it by ten or ten thousand. CRM is about managing the overall relationship that you have with those customers. You can now begin to segment preferred customer types. Within these segments, you can target specific marketing campaigns or promotions, and drill down into buying patterns and profitability.  From there, you can get territory, regional, national or even global insights into performance vs. plan and many more metrics beyond the scope of basic order processing details.

So, within this context, let’s return to the original question “Order Management or CRM?”, and my answer of “it depends.”  Here’s a little Q&A to further unpack this.

Are most of your sales transactional in nature? Do your sales associates or CSR’s interact with customers in a manner where a buying decision is imminent? If so, then you need to investigate order management improvement. Good order management is the foundation for increased sales, reduced cost and improved sales agility. Good order management takes place on the ground in front of the customer.

Are there many people from all sales and marketing channels involved with analyzing customers? Is territory, regional or even global sales pipeline management top of mind? Are sales and marketing campaigns targeted to the right customer segmentation?  If so, then you should investigate CRM because that’s what it does well.  A good CRM is a foundation for longer term strategy.

Both Order Management and CRM meet real business needs but only together they can deliver on a great customer experience.

Should you want to have a deeper discussion about how good order management can measurably improve sales effectiveness or you would like to share your opinion please contact me directly

Should you want more specific information about DataXstream’s OMS+ for order management go to: https://www.sapappcenter.com/apps/6561#!overview







About The Author

Sales Director at DataXstream. Our Mission Statement is simple: Help our clients be more successful at leveraging their SAP ERP infrastructure and realize a better return on investment. We strive each day and with each client to be a world-class provider of enterprise solutions, using proven and emerging technologies architected and deployed by seasoned professionals of the highest degree of integrity and skills.

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